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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Willis happy with Eagles' opening workouts

Staff Writer

Pecos Eagle football players are working their way into the new offensive and defensive schemes coach Patrick Willis plans for the 2003 season, though he said it would still be a while before the Eagles will have everything set up for their first preseason scrimmage.

"The kids are working hard and the coaching personnel are working hard," he said following Tuesday's second day of preseason practice. "I've already seen improvements from yesterday's workouts to today."

Willis was hired as new head coach and athletic director in June after serving as an assistant coach the past three seasons at Abilene Cooper. The Monahans High School grad is trying to turn around a program that went from four straight post-season appearances as a member of District 2-4A to a 2-8 season in 2002 as a member of District 4-3A, with one of those victories coming by forfeit over Presidio.

The lone victory on the field was Pecos' worst effort since a 1-9 mark in 1965. With Presidio having dropped their football program during the off-season, all of the Eagles' wins this year will have to be on the field, and Willis will be trying to improve on an offense that struggled to open holes for its running backs a year ago, and a defense that allowed almost 40 points per game in their eight losses.

"They're suffering from a bit of mental clutter right now," Willis said about the new offensive and defensive systems that are being put in. "But once we get it in, we'll slow it down some and get the fundamentals put in.

"They're doing pretty good for the first two days. Of course, they're going to have some mental busts, and they're going to be overwhelmed at first over the changes mentally, but soon a light will come on and they'll be able to adjust from one defense to the next one and from one offense to the next," he said.

Between 29 and 33 players have been out over the first two days of workouts. "There may be one or two who haven't shown up, but the core of the kids I saw all summer who said they're going to play are here."

Pecos has been running two-a-days early in the morning and then again early in the afternoon, with a one-hour break in-between. That gets the workouts over with by 2 p.m., although for the past two days that still hasn't kept the Eagles from finishing up in the 100-degree heat.

"I guess they got a little ragged towards the end, but I try not to let them think about it, and I told them it's hot in Greenwood, it's hot in Monahans, it's hot in Fort Stockton and it's hot in Kermit, and that gives a little motivation to them," Willis said.

Friday will be the first day the Eagles hold full contact pad drills, and they'll have another six days of workouts after that before playing the first of their two pre-season scrimmages, against El Paso Riverside on Aug. 16. The regular season opens for Pecos on Sept. 5 at home against Alpine.

Willis said he has an idea about who the starters will be for the Riverside scrimmage, but added, "You never really can tell until you get into pads who needs to be where. Right now it looks OK, but we won't really know until they get into pads and start working out."

Rec department sign-up players

for volleyball, football leagues

The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is signing up boys and girls this month for its fall volleyball and flag football programs.

The volleyball program is open to children entering grades 3-6, while the flag football league is for boys and girls ages 5 through 7. Registration cost for either program is $10 per player, and forms can be picked up at the recreation department office in the old Pecos High School gym during regular office hours.

Returned registration forms must be accompanied by a birth certificate and signatures of both parents. Deadline for signing up for volleyball is Aug. 23, while flag football sign-ups continue through Aug. 29. For further information, call the recreation department office at 447-9776.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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