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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 11, 2003

Pecos golfers get 5th straight regional trips

The lead got wider for the Pecos Eagle girls golf team on Thursday at the final round of the District 4-3A golf tournament at Hogan Park in Midland.

The Eagles, who went in with a 49-stroke lead over Monahans after 36 holes of the 54-hole tournament, ended up with a 75-stroke victory over the Loboettes and their fifth straight district title.

Meanwhile, Pecos' boys placed third on the day, but not in the tournament, as they were able to hold onto the second place berth into the Region I-3A tournament with a final round of 312 and a 17-stroke margin over third place Greenwood.

"We just played an awesome round of golf," said coach Tina Hendrick, as Pecos shot a 324 to finish 26 strokes ahead of Monahans for the day, and at 953 overall for 54 holes.

It was the highest score of the tournament for the Eagles, though Hendrick said, "The course wasn't that tough. We just had one or two bad shots."

Senior Lauren Martinez didn't have many. A week after tying the course record at Fort Stockton with a 69, Martinez captured the medallist title for the second year in a row, firing a final round of 72 to finish with a 221 score, 21 strokes ahead of runner-up Whitney Mitchell of Monahans.

Brandi North was third overall with a 242 despite a final round of 85, while Shelly Martinez shot an 83 and was fourth, with a 242 overall score. Sarah McKinney also fired an 83 in the final round and ended up with a 249 score, while the Eagles' other 'A' team golfer, Dena Dutchover, shot an 89 and finished at 260, seventh overall in the final standings.

"We just getting ready to go to regionals at Nueva Vista (in Midland), and just want to be ready for anybody we see there," Hendrick said.

The Eagles' four 'B' team golfers shot a 398 on Thursday and finished with an even 1200 score for the tournament, fifth overall. Bianca Mendoza shot an 88 and finished with a 268 score, Jennie Canon shot a 92 and wound up with a 281, Susan Bradley shot a 107 and finished at 312 and Evelyn Flores had a 111 and finished with a 339 score.

Monahans ended up beating out Fort Stockton for second place by 52 strokes. The Loboettes shot a 350 on Thursday and were at 1028, while the Prowlers shot a 368 and finished with a 1080 score. Greenwood was fourth with a 383-1155, while Kermit was sixth, with a 1294 total after a 436 final round.

Pecos' boys came into the final round 11 strokes ahead of Greenwood for the second place regional berth. And while they ended up with the third-best score at Hogan Park, they were edged for second by Fort Stockton, which shot a 311, Greenwood shot a 318, six strokes behind the Eagles, which gave Pecos its fifth straight trip to the regional round.

Pecos finished with a 946 score, 54 strokes behind first place Monahans, but 17 in front of Greenwood, which ended up with a 963 score. Fort Stockton placed fourth, one shot behind Greenwood at 964.

Sophomore Michael Nichols shot a 71 and finished ninth overall in the tournament, with a 231 score, while junior Sal Nichols ended up fifth in the medallist standings with a 227, after a final round of 79.

"Mikey played real well. It was kind of an off-round for Sal, but he still played well," said coach Kim Anderson.

The Eagles' 'B' team dramatically lowered their score, but not enough to avoid finishing 10th in the final standings. Pecos, which shot a 476 and 427 in their first two rounds, fired a 332 on Thursday to finish with a 1235 score. David Bradley broke 80 to lead the 'B' team, shooting a 78 to finish at 246 overall, and Anderson said because of that, he may rework his team before regionals later this month in Odessa.

"Regionals are April 21-22 at Ratliff Ranch, and my team is not set yet," he said. "Since Bradley came up and shot well, we'll qualify for regionals with the best five going."

Pete Vasquez shot an 83 and finished at 243, Jake McKinney shot an 82 and finished at 248, and Casey Breiten shot an 81 and finished with a 249 score for the other 'A' team results. For the rest of the 'B' team, Dustin Gulihur shot a 95 and finished at 330, Will Kington shot a 106 and finished with a 348, Ty Kington shot a 111 and finished with a 378, and Andre Varela shot a 100 but did not have an overall score because he missed the tournament's opening round.

"My guys still didn't shoot as well as they can," said Anderson. "I'm hoping they can gel when we go to regional and shock Monahans, Snyder and Abilene Wylie," Anderson said.

Monahans broke the 300 barrier for the second time in three rounds, shooting a 298 to win the tournament with an 892 score. Kermit tied Pecos 'B' and Fort Stockton 'B' for the fifth best round of the day at 332 and were fifth overall with a 999 score, and were followed by Monahans 'B' at 327-1024, the Panthers' 'B' team with a 332-1045, Greenwood 'B' with a 366-1130 and Presidio, with a 409-1235.

Monahans' Braxton Brin won medallist honors with a round of 72 and a 218 overall, while the Loboes' Derek Jordan tied Michael Nichols for low round of the day, a 71, and was second overall at 220.

Pecos, Greenwood seek playoff race advantage

The Pecos Eagles didn't get a chance to come back in their first meeting against the Greenwood Rangerettes in the District 4-3A softball race.

This afternoon, they're hoping they won't have to, and in the process, can earn at least a tie for third in the district standings.

The Eagles and Rangerettes, both 5-3 in district play, meet at 5 p.m. this afternoon at Martinez Field in Pecos, with the winner taking a big step towards advancing to the Class 3A playoffs. Both teams are tied for second with Fort Stockton right now, and the Prowlers will play this afternoon in Monahans, which clinched the 4-3A title last week and is looking to complete an undefeated district season.

Pecos' first game against Greenwood three weeks ago ended after 41/2 innings due to lightning and with the Rangerettes holding a 4-0 lead. That's the way things ended, and at the time it put Greenwood a game up on Pecos for second in the 4-3A standings. But since then, both Fort Stockton and Monahans have shut out the Rangerettes, in falling back into a three-way tie with the Eagles and Prowlers.

"The next two games are very important for us," said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls, whose team goes to Fort Stockton to close out regular season play on Tuesday. "We're in a three-way tie for second right now, and we need to win this one, because it's tough to go down to Fort Stockton and win."

In their March 21 loss at Greenwood, the Eagles had some early defensive problems, but the big play for the Rangerettes was a three-run home run by Savannah Neely off Stephanie Herrera in the second inning. Megan Chase and Sara Heidleberg combined to shut out Pecos in the game.

Pecos had a lot of defensive problems a week ago at Kermit. After grabbing an early lead, the Eagles fell behind by a 9-4 score, before rallying for a 12-10 win over the Yellowjackets. "We can't have a defensive game like we did against Kermit," Walls said. "We know what we need to do, it's just a matter of executing what we've done all season."

Eagles grab 3-4A boys' title; girls place second

Staff Writer

Three years ago in San Elizario, the Pecos Eagles ended up sending no runners to regional competition on the boys' side in any event at the District 2-4A Track and Field Championships.

Things got better for the Eagles over the next two years, and they placed second running at home last April in the 2-4A track finals.

This year, the Eagles moved down and over from District 2-4A to District 4-3A, where things were supposed to be easier for Pecos' distance runners, but tougher for the rest of the team after getting out of the El Paso area district.

Things did go a lot better for Pecos in the distance races - they qualified at least one runner in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs. But they also qualified at least one runner in every other race Thursday night at Walton Field in Kermit, and earned their first district track and field title in 53 years.

The Eagles came into Tuesday's running finals in third place behind Midland Greenwood and Monahans, and ended up winning by a surprisingly wide margin, with 178 points to 144 for the Loboes, while earning regional berths in all 11 running events.

Pecos' girls, who ended their long title drought with a win at the District 2-4A meet at Eagle Stadium last year, couldn't repeat as champions in their new district. But they were able to rally at the finish of Tuesday's meet to edge Monahans for second place behind Midland Greenwood.

Pecos had picked up 46 points during the first day of the meet on Tuesday, including regional berths for pole vaulters Will Armstrong and Justin Lara. But 18 of the 46 points came in the finals of the 3200-meter run.

"One-hundred and fifty points running and 28 in the field, that's pretty amazing," said Eagles' coach Jerry Parent. "I was figuring 135-165 points with us winning it."

About the only disappointment for the boys came in the 100-meter dash, where Monahans' Richard Covington edged Rashad Terry for first in a battle of sophomore sprinters. Terry still earned a regional berth with a 10.61 time, and earlier had come from behind to give Pecos a win in the 400 meter relay, while breaking the 22 second barrier for the first time in taking the 200 meter dash later in the meet with a 21.68 effort.

"We knew all along Covington's going to be there, and he finally got him, but all the others pretty much came out the way we expected," said Parent.

While Terry's second was a mild disappointment, Jack Bradley's second in the 300-meter hurdles was a big surprise. Bradley was seeded fifth going in, but earned a regional berth with a time of 41.56 after earlier capturing first place in the 110-meter high hurdles with a 14.96 time.

"That was amazing. He's never run 41 (seconds) ever and comes in second, and John (Parent) runs sixth and scores a point for us, and our freshman Peter Juarez, finished sixth and got a point for us in the 100," the Eagles' coach said.

The boys' other first place on the evening came from Isaiah Juarez, who took the 800-meter dash with a 2:05.36 time. Juarez had already earned a regional berth on Tuesday by placing second to Fort Stockton's Rey Palma in the 3200-meter run, and later on Thursday Genaro Mendoza took second behind Palma in the 1600-meter run to earn a regional spot.

Pecos also qualified their 800 and 1600 meter relay teams for regionals with second place finishes, and Alex Orosco earned a regional berth with a second in the 400 meter dash, with a time of 52.40. Alan Chappell earned a regional alternate's berth in that race with a third place finish for Pecos' other medal of the evening.

Both were members of the 1600-meter team, along with Juarez and John Parent, which finished second to Fort Stockton with a 3:32.88 time. Terry, Bradley, Sanchez and Armstrong made up the 400-meter team and Sanchez, Armstrong, Peter Juarez and Freddy Torres were the 800-meter runners.

The girls lost their appeal of Tuesday's decision to disqualify all three of the Eagles' discus throwers for watching a videotape of their throws, a violation of UIL rules. But they gained some ground back at the outset of Thursday's running finals, when both Monahans and Greenwood saw their 400 meter relay teams disqualified, Monahans for an exchange out of the zone and Greenwood for throwing their baton after the finish line.

That didn't keep the Rangerettes from capturing the girls' division title with 164 points, but the disqualification of Monahans cost the Loboettes 20 points and allowed the Eagles to beat them out for second by a 123-118 margin.

"We came early and talked about it (with meet officials), but they didn't budge," said coach Roxie Chavez of the girls' discus, where Stephanie Herrera led after the first three throws and Stephanie Arreguy was tied for second. "We tried to get our stories straight and explain it to them, but what's done is done and you can't go back and fix it."

The girls had picked up one gold medal on Tuesday, when Jessica Martinez won the 3200 meter run, and picked up another on Thursday when Jummy Akinyode won the 200 meter dash, while Tiana Terry also qualified for regionals by finishing second.

"Tiana cut time in her 200 and in the 100, where she ran a 12.9," Chavez said. Terry also finished second there to earn a regional berth. "That's the fastest she's run all year. She broke 13 seconds and she really wanted to do that."

Akinyode finished with a 26.57 time. "That wasn't her fastest 200, but she was down in the 26 (seconds) today," Chavez said. Terry finished with a 27.58 time.

Chavez withdrew two of her 400-meter dash finals qualifiers, Mindi Harrison and Mari Mendoza, from that event, after the Eagles had struggled and placed fourth in the 800-meter relay. "I took them out for the mile relay, so they'd be ready there," Chavez said.

The two, plus Akinyode and Alessandra Carrasco, were able to earn second in that race with a 4:20.57 time and advance to regionals, while finishing two spots in front of Monahans in the final race of the night to capture second in the team standings.

Pecos had placed third in the 400 meter relay thanks to the two disqualifications, to earn an alternate berth at regionals, while in the 800 meter and 1600 meter runs, Carrasco and Jennifer Martinez placed second to advance to regionals. Carrasco ran a 2:37.64 and Martinez a 2:38.47 in the 800, which gave her third and a regional alternate berth.

"Jennifer ran a 6:02 (in the 1600), so she did a good job, and we also got fourth and sixth out of that," Chavez said, as Jessica Martinez and Leslie Rodriguez also scored points for the Eagles.

Regional competition will be on April 25-26 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa. The girls have not run at Ratliff yet this season, while the boys were there in early March for the West Texas Relays, where Pecos placed third, behind Monahans and Abilene Wylie in the Class 3A standings.

Death puts Eagles' woes in perspective for Payan

Staff Writer

Pecos Eagles' coach Elias Payan has had a few other things on his mind besides baseball during the past week.

The Eagles' coach has been trying to find the answers to Pecos' first half problems in the District 4-3A playoff race. His team fell behind by big scores in their first two district games, only to see late rallies come up one run short against Kermit and Monahans, while in the last two games, the Eagles have built up big early leads, only to see those disappear completely in sixth inning rallies by Midland Greenwood and Presidio.

So tonight's 7 p.m. game against the Yellowjackets at Eagle Field is Pecos' last chance to remain in the district playoff race. But win or lose, when tonight's game concludes Payan will go over a few hundred feet from Eagle Field to Eagle Stadium, where he will be one of the speakers at a memorial vigil for his friend and classmate, Johnny Mata, who was killed as the result of a firefight involving members of the 507th Maintenance Company after the company's convoy was ambushed in Nasiriya in southern Iraq on March 23.

Mata's death, along with seven other members of the 507th originally reported missing in action, was announced last Friday evening, about the time Payan was watching Presidio rally from a 5-1 deficit to defeat his Eagles, 8-5.

"It helps put things in perspective for myself," Payan said this morning. "I'm just proud of my friend, and all we can do is go out and play. He gave up his life for the opportunity for us to go out and do things like play a ballgame."

Payan was one of the friends, family members and other local residents who stayed up last night to meet the hearse carrying Mata's body back to Pecos from Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso. "Seeing that hearse come in last night gave me a numb feeling," he said. "It still doesn't seem real, but at least he's home."

Tonight's vigil is scheduled to begin about 10 p.m., or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Pecos-Kermit game.

As for the game itself, Payan said he would start junior Jose Reyes on the mound against Kermit. "Originally I wanted to start Josh (Anchondo), but he's been sick a couple of days this week," Payan said. "I still might bring him in in relief if we need him, and I think he can do a good job."

Reyes was staked to a 9-0 lead in his last start, against Greenwood, but struggled all game with his control and left with a 9-6 lead. Pecos would eventually go up 11-6, before the Rangers scored seven times in the sixth inning for a 13-11 win.

Kermit jumped out to a 7-1 lead on Pecos in their district opener on March 22, then held off a late Pecos rally to win, 7-6. Chris Bennett had a three-run homer for Kermit, and Erbay Saucedo a two-run shot off Barney Rodriguez that ended up giving the Jackets their margin of victory.

Tonight's game is the second in a string of four out of five games at home for Pecos. They'll host Monahans on Tuesday and then face Greenwood a week later after a trip Fort Stockton next Friday. Greenwood, Kermit and Presidio are all 3-2 in district, while Monahans is in first at 4-1 and the Eagles are tied with Fort Stockton for fifth place.

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