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Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Briggs first at weekend service rifle match

Pecos resident Smokey Briggs shot his way to first place Saturday at this month's Service Rifle competition hosted by the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club.

Jimmy LaBaume of Alpine was second with 408 points out of a possible 500, and Jim Tom Cardwell, also of Alpine took third with 406 points. It was Cardwell's first attempt at service rifle competition.

Briggs scored 414 points with an M-1 Garand rifle of World War II vintage, a personal best for this season.

"It was my birthday and I think the guys cut me a little slack," Briggs said. "I'm pleased with my score, but last month it would have barely placed third. Some of our top shooters couldn't make this match, and Mike Mason was shooting an old Springfield 03 so the competition wasn't quite as tough."

Mason shot a range record 431 in July shooting an AR-15-type rifle. The Springfield he shot Saturday is a bolt-action rifle designed prior to World War I.

"Shooting a bolt action rifle in rapid fire events takes a tremendous amount of skill and coordination," Briggs said.

Even so, Mason was in the thick of things until the end and finished with 386 points and fourth place.

Mason, who serves as vice president for the club, said that participation in the monthly match met the shooting requirement for people to buy surplus M-1 Garand rifles through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).

"The Civilian Marksmanship Program is the private, not-for-profit organization that took over the job of the old Department of Civilian Marksmanship that was part of the federal government," Mason said.

Mason explained that the CMP is charged with selling World War II era M-1 Garand rifles to promote civilian marksmanship. To qualify to buy one of the rifles a person must show proof of firing for record in a qualifying match.

According to Mason the rifles currently cost between $400 and $500 when purchased through the CMP.

"The same rifle would cost about twice that much on the open market," he said.

Mason said that if enough people were interested the Club planned to sponsor a "John C. Garand" match in which only M-1 rifles would be allowed.

The next Service Rifle competition is scheduled for Saturday, September 22.

"We hold the service rifle match every fourth Saturday of the month," Mason said.

Service rifle competition generally is limited to M-1 Garands, M-14s, M-16s and civilian variants but the club bends the rules for the local matches.

"We bend the rules a little and allow any rifle that has seen military service," Mason said.

During the match competitors fire a total of 50 rounds from standing, sitting and prone positions at ranges of 200, 300 and 600 yards.

Eagles again fall to Alpine, OHS squads

They played better than they did Saturday afternoon, and better than they did in their season openers two weeks earlier, coach Becky Granado said, but the Pecos Eagles' volleyball team still didn't do well enough to avoid their second sweep of the season by the Odessa High Bronchos and Alpine Bucks.

Playing in Alpine, the Eagles dropped a 15-3, 16-14 decision to OHS, then were beaten by the host Bucks, 15-10, 15-4, on Tuesday, dropping Pecos to 3-12 on the 2001 season after closing out their own tournament on Saturday with losses to Seminole and Fabens.

"We looked better. In the second game we didn't miss any serves. But each time we'd start off and fall behind by a big score and then have to try and come back," Granado said, as Odessa High scored the first 10 points of their opening game and the first eight points of their second one, while Alpine jumped out to 8-1 and 6-1 leads in their two games against Pecos.

The Eagles did manage to rally in their second game against the Bronchos, eventually tying the game at 13-13 and 14-14 before OHS broke serve and scored the final two points for the victory. Against Alpine, Pecos scored seven straight points to narrow the gap to 9-8, and were down only 11-9 when the Bucks scored three straight points to make it 14-9. The teams then went a full rotation before Alpine got their final point to win the match.

The last game against the Bucks lasted just over one rotation. Pecos had cut a 6-1 deficit to 7-4 when Alpine broke serve and scored eight straight points to finish off the match.

Granado said the Eagles lost 12 points on hitting errors against Odessa High. "We're still having trouble with our hitting, so that's what we're working on. Hopefully, we'll get something going before district."

Tiana Terry did have five kills for points in the game against Alpine, most in the opening game. "I had to jump on her and tell her when they set the ball to her to pound it and that's what she did. Tiana had three or four kills in a row, but she needs to be more aggressive and do it all the time."

"We did much better as far as passing, except for those dropped balls we let hit the floor. But overall we were moving much better getting to the ball," the Eagles' coach said.

Pecos' freshmen also lost both their matches on Tuesday, 15-9, 15-6 to Odessa High's sophomores and 15-7, 15-4 to Alpine, while the JV earned a split, beating OHS, 15-9, 8-15, 15-10, then losing to Alpine, 3-15, 15-11, 15-10.

The Eagles' next games will be in pool round play, against Seminole, Hereford and Amarillo Caprock, at the Seminole Invitational on Friday.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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