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Friday, May 17, 2002

Eagle athletes honored at PHS sports banquet

Staff Writer
Pecos Eagle athletes were honored Thursday night at the annual All-Sports Banquet at the Pecos High School gym, with a long list of players receiving their all-district honors while coaches told those returning next year that things will be tougher next year, when the Eagles move into District 4-3A.

"There are 116 names here," said Eagles boys track coach Jerry Parent, referring to the placemats listing the names of this year's all-district players. "I've been here 19 years and that's the most I've ever seen."

"Since I've been here, this is the most titles Pecos has ever won," said swimming coach Terri Morse. Her team too both the boys and girls district and regional titles, while Pecos also won district titles in tennis, girls track, boys and girls golf, softball and baseball during the 2001-2002 year, while Pecos teams also qualified for playoff competition is football and volleyball.

"I want to say as athletic director that I appreciate the job you've done the past four years in this district," Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD athletic director Bubba Williams said. "It's going to be tough going into this other district. But if you've got the will, you've got the heart you can go over there and compete.

"I guarantee you they're going to be saying in that district `Man, we've got Pecos in this district. Let's see what they're going to do," he said. The Eagles are moving from the El Paso-based District 2-4A into District 4-3A, with Monahans, Fort Stockton, Midland Greenwood, Kermit and Presidio beginning this August.

Williams also recognized superintendent Don Love and school board members for improvements being made to the Pecos High School campus and its athletic facilities, along with the Pecos High School FFA Land Judging team that won the national title in Oklahoma earlier this month.

The banquet's ceremonies began with P-B-T school board member and Pecos Police investigator Paul Deishler asking for a moment of silence for Trans Pecos Drug Task Force officer Jaime Rodriguez, who died in Lubbock Thursday afternoon after being shot earlier in the day by a Greyhound bus passenger while conducting a drug intradiction in Pecos.

Rodriguez' daughter, Jessica was at the banquet, and was the recipient of the Joe Shoemaker Award, one of the five major awards handed out at the end of the evening's events.

The award goes to the Pecos High School senior girl who has participated in the greatest number of sports during her four years in school. Rodriguez was a member of the Eagles' volleyball, basketball, track and softball teams, and also received all-district certificates for the past season in three of those sports.

Another senior Kathy Maldonado, who played volleyball for the Eagles this season before missing most of the basketball and softball seasons with a knee injury, was the winner of the Norma Matta Fighting Heart Award. For the boys, Mason Abila was the winner of the Doc Lunday Sportsmanship Award, Peter Juarez was the winner of the Craig Woods Award for football and track and Sammy Gonzales received the Joe Bob Kelton Award.

Guest speaker at the banquet, Abilene Christian University head football coach Gary Gaines talked about his past experiences coaches against Pecos while at Monahans High School, along with five characteristics of success _ good work habits, determination, competitiveness, having the right friends and spiritual soundness _ which he said go towards being successful both in sports and in life.

"Everybody has the desire to success," Gaines said. "The difference is very few people have the will to prepare." He cited several examples of athletes, including those he had coached while at Odessa Permian High School, to stress his points.

Along with the regular all-district awards, several coaches also gave out special awards to their top athletes, including all-region and all-state honors.

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