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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Thursday, February 14, 2002

Eagles hosting tourney on new tennis courts

After giving elementary and junior high students a chance to play around on the new Pecos High School tennis courts on Tuesday, the Pecos Eagles' varsity tennis team will get their first chance to use them in an actual match on Friday, when they host four other teams in tournament play.

Coach Mike Ortiz said Midland Greenwood, Midland Trinity, Wink and Crane would be in the Pecos Tournament, which will start at 9 a.m. on the new PHS courts.

"We want to finish in one day, but if not we have Saturday," said Ortiz, whose team hasn't played in two weeks because of a rainout last week against Monahans.

Weather has been a problem for Pecos in recent years during their own tournament as well, though Ortiz is hoping for better luck this time. "I hope we have a good day, because the last couple of years it's rained or almost has been snowing. But this weekend's supposed to be good."

The Eagles are 2-0-1 in team play so far during the spring season, with victories over Monahans and Crane and a tie against Brownfield. Ortiz said he was shorthanded for those matches, mainly on the girls' side, but expects to have more players out for Friday's tournament matches.

All of the matches so far this season have been on the road, while work was finished on the new courts, which cost about $150,000. The Eagles will play two dual meets at home after Friday's tournament, before hosting the District 2-4A tournament in April.

Pecos starts softball play in Andews

The Pecos Eagles' softball team will get their 2002 season off to a delayed start Friday morning, when they begin play in the Andrews Invitational Tournament.

Coach Tammy Walls said the Eagles would play warm-up games in pool play Friday morning, starting with a 10 a.m. game against Midland Christian, before beginning their season for real with a 12 noon match-up against the El Paso Eastwood Troopers. A win would put Pecos into a 3:10 p.m. quarterfinal round game, while a loss would drop Pecos into the consolation round, at 4:45 p.m. on Friday.

Walls said the Eagles won a trio of scrimmage games on Saturday at Kermit over the host Yellowjackets, Denver City Mustangs and Sweetwater Mustangs, and she is hoping Pecos is able to improve on their hitting this year. The Eagles went 13-11 last season, losing eight games by shutout, including a 2-0 loss to Andrews in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs.

"We've got some new faces, and I'm excited about the skills they're bringing with them, because they've played some in the past," she said. "Kathy Flores' hitting seems to be strong right now, which is something we've needed in the past." Flores had a triple in the win over Kermit, Walls said.

Pecos does return five starters, including seniors Rebecca Wein at catcher and Jessica Rodriguez at first base, and sophomore pitcher Stephanie Herrera. But Walls said she doesn't know about senior centerfielder Kathy Maldonado, who injured her knee three times during basketball and hurt it again while playing in the outfield this week.

"I don't know if she'll be able to play," Walls said. "If we have to hold her out until district we will, and she will probably have to wear a knee brace."

Among the other players back are infielder Mya Gomez and outfielders Neftali Salgado and Marissa Mendoza. Gomez will play third base along with freshman Katie Lee, while another freshman, Danielle Garcia, is being looked at for second base and sophomore transfer Brittany Lobstein will play at shortstop.

With Maldonado's absence, Walls said another freshmen, Cheyenne Grice, would see action in centerfield. "I'm really pleased with her. She seems to have some speed out there," the Eagles' coach said.

Wein has been the district's defensive MVP the past two seasons at catcher, while Herrera became the Eagles' No. 1

Powerlifters hosting meet on Saturday

The Pecos Eagles powerlifting team will host their first-ever home meet this Saturday at the old Pecos High School gym.

Coach Steve Cross said seven other teams would be participating in the meet, which will begin with squat thrust lifting at 9 a.m. "We'll have lunch after that and then we'll start the bench press and then the dead lift in the afternoon," Cross said. "All our athletes are very excited about the meet, and I'm expecting a good turnout of between 140 and 160 lifters."

"Anybody who would like to help out can contact me (at 447-7220), and I'm sure I can find some place to put them to work," said Cross who will have between 15 and 20 lifters entered in the meet.

"I should have some more lifters. Some boys have band competition to go to, but some others should be out, though I don't see having any more than four girls (lifting) at this time."

Pecos had 16 boys and two girls competing two weeks ago in competition at Fort Stockton, picking up one first place and four second place finishes in the various divisions.

Adam Salgado was first and Hugo Rodriguez second in the 198 pound weight class, while Eric Matta placed second at 114 pounds, Roderick Villanueva was second at 181-pounds, and on the girls' side Alexandra Vasquez was second in the super-heavyweight division. Earning third place finishes on the boys' side were Tony Trujillo in the super-heavyweight class and Bobby Valenzuela at 165-pounds, while Chris Orona at 198 pounds, David Muniz at 242 pounds, Hector Contreras in the super-heavyweight division and Mindi Harrison in the girls' 114-pound weight class finished fourth.

Chris Lara at 148 pounds and Pablo Rodriguez in the super-heavyweight class were sixth in their divisions, while Cross said four other Eagles _ Dallas Goff, Daniel Medina and Hector Garcia at 181 pounds, and Fernando Lerma at 165 pounds _ competed in the `B' division at Fort Stockton.

Fort Stockton, Midland Greenwood, Alpine, Presidio, Crane, Van Horn and Reagan County are the other teams entered in the meet. Admission to the powerlifting competition is free, Cross said.

Eagles close hoop season with San Eli

The Pecos Eagles will be ending their season a couple of days later than expected, and while they won't be involved in any post-season action for the seventh year in a row, they can turn the District 2-4A playoff race into a big mess tonight, when they host the San Elizario Eagles.

The two Eagle teams will meet at 6 p.m. at the new Pecos High School gym. The game is a make-up of the teams' Feb. 5 game, which was postponed due to the threat of ice on Interstate 10 between Pecos and El Paso.

Pecos fell to 1-8 in district play on Tuesday with a 63-50 home loss to Fabens, which clinched its second straight district title with the victory. Meanwhile, San Elizario was moving a half-game in front of Clint and Canutillo in the race for second place with their 48-44 victory over the Lions, which put them at 6-3 in 2-4A play.

A win tonight over Pecos would give San Eli second place and a bi-district playoff match-up with El Paso High, while Clint and Canutillo would play off to decide who would face El Paso Bowie in the bi-district round. However, a win by Pecos would create a three-way tie for second that would require either a coin-flip or a three-way playoff to decide the two remaining playoff berths.

San Elizario already owns two wins over Pecos this season. They defeated the Eagles by a 54-45 score back in December at the Gym Bice Invitational in Andrews, then downed Pecos last month on their home court, 53-26.

Jaime Reyes keyed a 22-1 run in the first half of the teams' game at Andrews and finished with 16 points for San Eli that night, while Jesse Arrellano put in 16 in the teams' first meeting in district play last month.

The Eagles haven't been able to get a player in double figures yet this season against San Eli. Ezra Varela had nine points in the December loss, and Richard Rodriguez had nine in last month's game. On Tuesday, Rodriguez had nine points before fouling out, and Joey Ortega led Pecos with 11 in the loss to Fabens, as the Eagles fell behind by nine points after one period, and saw several comeback attempts after that fall short.

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Pecos Enterprise
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