Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Eagles face flight through Tornadoes
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 12, 2002 -- The Alpine Bucks won last year's District
4-3A football title. And the Pecos Eagles defeated the Bucks handily,
35-10, in their 2002 season opener last week. But the Bucks graduated
most of the key players off their 2001 team.
In contrast, the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes return most of their starters
off last year's team, which tied for the District 3-3A title with two other
teams, including the Greenwood Rangers, who the Eagles are expected to battle
for the District 4-3A title this year, and advanced to the Region I-3A Division
I title game.
So Friday night's home opener for Pecos should give the Eagles a better
idea how they stand against some of the other Class 3A teams they'll either
be battling for a playoff spot or battling in the playoffs, when they host
the Tornadoes beginning at 7:30 p.m.
While Lamesa lost Greenwood from their district, the Tors added Snyder,
Sweetwater and Merkel, to go along with Denver City, the other team to tie
for first place last season, and Seminole, which is 2-0 so far in 2002. "Sweetwater
and Snyder are going to be tough games and Merkel is 2-0. That's one of the
reasons why we scheduled Pecos," the Tors' seventh-year head coach Tim James
said. "It will be a good test for us. Hopefully it will get us prepared for
The Eagles racked up 331 yards on offense and held Alpine to only 133
in their victory last week, while Lamesa held Lubbock Cooper to only 162
yards in their opener a week ago, a 29-6 homefield victory. Brandon McCurley's
15-yard touchdown run late in the second period broke an 8-8 tie, and the
Tors clinched the victory with two fourth quarter scores.
"They looked pretty good," said Eagles' coach Fred Carter. "They run something
similar to us (on offense) with a lot of that split backfield."
McCurley ran for 115 yards and scored Lamesa's third touchdown of the
night as well. "He had a great game last weekend. I understand he's a pretty
tough runner," Carter said.
"Brandon did a real good job for us, and Bryan Nowlan did a great job
running the offense," said James. McCurley was a starter last season, but
not Lamesa's main running back, while Nowlan started a year ago, but on the
other side of the ball, at defensive end.
"He didn't throw the ball that well last week (2-for-6, 74 yards), but
he did a good job," James said.
"Their quarterback, McCurley and one big wide receiver (Kevin Miers) were
their main threats. They have him listed at 6-6 on the program, and that's
the one who concerns us, because we don't have anybody back there in the
secondary anywhere near his height," said Carter. "We'll have to put a great
pass rush on to get to him (Nowlan)."
Alpine got their only touchdown a week ago when 6-foot-3 receiver Ryan
McWilliams outjumped an Eagle defender in the end zone for the ball. Pecos
did allow 83 yards passing last week, but also got two second half interceptions,
by Bobby Valenzuela and Jayson Hinojoz in the final period.
Defensively, Lamesa allowed Cooper only 33 yards rushing on 26 carries
last Friday. "We came out and had a good game against Cooper. The defense
really got to the football," James said.
Lamesa runs a 5-2 defense, and James cited the play by defensive tackle
J.J. Koehler and linebacker Jordan Addison in last week's win over Lubbock.
Cooper was able to throw for 129 yards and their only touchdown a week
ago, and Carter said, "I think we can throw on these guys, because their
linebackers don't get back in coverage very fast."
Pecos had one touchdown pass a week ago, a 30-yard crossing pass from
Freddy Torres to Matthew Levario, who the Eagles split out several times
on offense against Alpine, as they did with tight end Joey Ortega on occasion.
Levario, who ran for over 1,000 yards last season, still ran for 56 yards
and two touchdowns last week. But junior Oscar Parada had the big night running
the ball, scoring twice in the first period and rushing for 136 of his 151
yards in the opening quarter. Parada started due to injuries suffered before
the game by Levario and his projected backup, Bino Barreno.
"Bino's still on the injured list, and with Matthew we may look at him
as a receiver," said Carter, which would put Parada in the backfield again
on Friday, with Torres and fullback Will Armstrong.
While Parada and Levario accounted for all five of Pecos' scores last
week, Alpine got all 10 of its points off the Eagles' problems with deep
snaps. Two on punts resulted in safeties, and the Bucks' scored their touchdown
following the free kick after the first safety.
Because of that, the Tors can be expected to come after punter Abel Lopez
Friday night, and Carter said the Eagles have been working to correct that
problem this week. "We're doing better with the punt snaps," he said, while
adding that the deep snaps haven't yet gotten to the point where the Eagles
will put a shotgun formation into their offense.
Friday's game begins a stretch of three home games in four weeks for Pecos.
They'll face two other South Plains teams at home between now and Oct. 4,
Brownfield for homecoming on Sept. 20, and Lubbock High to close out pre-district
play two weeks later. In-between, the Eagles will go to Crane, and they play
three of their four District 4-3A games on the road, due to the forfeit by
Presidio of all their district football games this season, including the
Oct. 18 home contest against Pecos.
Eagles cross-country team places third
There's probably nobody happier than Pecos Eagles cross country coach
Rudy Juardo to get out of District 2-4A.
While travel was the biggest problem for the Eagles in several sports
the past four years, for Pecos' cross country team, competing against the
El Paso runners in 2-4A meant going up against some of the best runners in
the state each fall, and the results weren't good for the Eagles, who sent
only one runner to regionals in the past four seasons.
Now, with Pecos down one classification and a member of District 4-3A,
Juardo is hoping for better results at district, and a shot at advancing
to regionals, especially following this past weekend's cross country meet
in San Angelo.
The Eagles placed third in the boys division, behind Del Rio and Abilene
Wylie, one of the teams Pecos would see if they are able to advance to Region
I-3A competition this fall. The Rams won with 38 points to 61 for the Bulldogs
and 76 for the Eagles. District rival Fort Stockton was fourth, but well
back, with 146 points.
"We could have finished in second place, but I didn't have one of my best
runners, Gary Garcia," Juardo said. "I didn't know if he would be there,
so I didn't enter his name. He would have beaten four or five of their (Wylie's)
guys if he were running, so we would have gotten second instead of third.
But I'm still very pleased."
Individually, Genaro Mendoza picked up a third place on the short course,
finishing with a 6:07 time. Jason Sanchez was ninth with a 6:24 time and
Justin Lara was 10th, one second behind. The boys' other finishers
were Jay Dannelley, 26th and Alex Orosco 28th, both
with 6:48 times; Joshua Cobos 30th with a 6:51 time; Jeremiah
Mora 55th with a 7:24 time; Raul Garcia 58th with a
time of 7:25; Stephen Lamb 73rd with a 7:56 time and Edgar Gabladon
89th with a time of 9:23.
Juardo said the Eagles also had eight girls compete in San Angelo, though
they didn't fare as well as the boys, placing ninth overall with 269 points.
Ballinger won with 28 points, followed by Wall with 35 and Wylie with 67.
Freshman Michelle Wein was the only Eagle to break the 10 minute mark,
finishing 34th with an 8:18 time. She was followed by Cirene Fuentes,
88th with a 10:38 time; Christy Contreras, 91st with
a 10:51 time; Samantha Armendariz, 93rd with an 11:24 time; Sara
Wein, 94th with an 11:29 time; Olivia Marruffo, 96th
with a 12:34 time; and Lupe Barragan, 97th, with a time of 12:35.
Juardo said Fort Stockton was the only other district team at the San
Angelo meet. "We go to Big Spring next weekend, and hopefully we'll see the
rest of the district, and that way it will give us an idea of where we're
at," he said.
Sub-varsity grid teams face Lamesa, Monahans
The Pecos Eagles junior varsity and freshman football teams will play
their first road games of the 2002 season this evening, when both squads
travel to Lamesa for games against the Tornadoes.
The ninth graders, who split their first two games at home, will take
on the Tors in a 5:30 p.m. game today in Lamesa, followed by the JV, which
will try to improve to 2-0 when they face Lamesa, starting about 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Eagles' junior high gold teams will play their first home
games of the season this afternoon, hosting Monahans at the Crockett Middle
School fields at 4 and 5:30 p.m.
The freshmen were routed in their season opener two weeks ago by McCamey,
then came back to shut out Crane last week by a 20-0 final score. Pecos'
JV was idle two weeks ago, and opened their season last Thursday by defeating
The junior high gold teams were scheduled originally to start their 2002
seasons this week, but added games last Thursday against Alpine, and both
the seventh and eighth graders ended up winning by 8-0 scores.
The junior high purple teams are idle this week. Both the purple and gold
teams will be at home next Thursday, also against Monahans, in games scheduled
at Eagle Stadium.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise