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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Bears get by Cougars, 4-3 in scrimmage

The Balmorhea Bears football edged the Dell City Cougars this past Friday in the first of their two pre-season football scrimmages, and will play the second this coming Friday at 7 p.m., when they host Lake Arthur, N.M.

Bears coach Ennis Erickson said his team got past Dell City by a 4-3 score. "We did pretty good overall. I got a chance to look at some kids in different positions," he said.

Balmorhea finished 6-4 last season in District 8-A six-man, losing out in the final game of the regular season to Sanderson for the district title and then falling to Sands in the bi-district round of the state playoffs.

Sands will be Balmorhea's final pre-district oppnent this season before they open play in their new District 6-A six man group, which includes all of their 8-A district rivals from a year ago, two teams that are back in the district after a two-year absence and one team who are back as a Balmorhea district rival after a 17-year absence.

Imperial-Buena Vista and Grandfalls-Royalty are the two teams returning after a brief relocation into District 7-A the past two seasons. Grandfalls had finished ahead of Balmorhea and reached the playoffs for four straight seasons before the move, but graduated most of their players in 2000 and have been rebuilding for the past two seasons. Buena Vista just missed the playoffs a year ago, and will be seeking to get back into postseason play for the first time since 1995.

The new team in the district is Fort Davis, which dropped down from 11-man football to six-man this season. Fort Davis and Balmorhea were last in the same football district in 1985, before the Bears went six-man, and the teams will meet for the first time since then to close out regular season play on Nov. 8 in Fort Davis.

The Bears will open their regular season with a non-district game against district rival Sierra Blanca on Aug. 30 on the Vaqueros' home field. After this Friday's scrimmage against Lake Arthur, Balmorhea's first home game won't be until their second district game on Oct. 4, when they face Grandfalls in their 2002 homecoming game.

Eagles suffer two losses, one injury to start season

The opening night of the season was anything but a success for the Pecos Eagles' volleyball team in Odessa on Tuesday.

The Eagles managed to lose a pair of matches, to the Alpine Bucks and Odessa High Bronchos, then lost one of their middle blockers as well in the second game of their match with OHS, as they fell to the Bronchos, 15-5, 15-11, after a 15-4, 15-11 loss to the Bucks.

"Everything went wrong. We couldn't pass, we couldn't set and we couldn't hit," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "We also struggled all through the games with missed serves. We'd get a little momentum going and we'd miss a serve or we'd hit it out or into the net."

Slow starts were the pattern for the Eagles this past weekend in scrimmage games against Alpine and five other teams. But on Tuesday, the Eagles also ended up with a slow finish, after senior Jessica Martinez went down with a sprained ankle in the second game against Odessa High.

"When Jessica sprained her ankle the game was close. I think it was tied 7-7, and a girl from Odessa High came under the net, and Jessica came down on her and sprained her foot," Granado said. Pecos was then outscored 8-4 the rest of the way.

"I told them nobody picked up the slack. Once Jessica had to come out, I put Maritza (Sandoval) in there and we were very short up front," Granado said. Martinez and Mini Harrison were the Eagles two middle blockers going into the season, and Granado said she might have to move up a junior varsity player until Martinez returns to the line-up.

Aside from the injury, the Eagles' coach said her team played tentative out on the court in both games. The opener was being taped by Fox Sports for a segment next month on Granado, but she said, "I don't think having the camera in the huddle bothered them. They just don't have any confidence.

"I was talking with them after the game, and Bre'Ann (Windham) said she was holding back, and I asked why. She said she was afraid of making a mistake, but we end up making more mistakes playing like that."

The Eagles were also swept by Alpine and Odessa High in their season openers a year ago, and struggled to a 4-15 record over the first month of the season before bouncing back to finish 10-5 and earn a playoff spot. This weekend, the Eagles will see three of their rivals for playoff berths in their new District 4-3A at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, where the host Loboes will be entered along with Midland Greenwood and Presidio.

Granado said overall on Tuesday, the Eagles split their six varsity and sub-varsity matches. The JV swept Odessa High and Alpine, while the ninth graders lost to the Bucks and defeated the Bronchos in their season openers.

Both teams will also be entered in the Sandhills Tournament, with the freshmen beginning play on Thursday while the JV opens their pool round competition along with the varsity, on Friday morning.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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