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Van Horn Advocate


Thursday, July 31, 1997

Eagles' booster club sets Monday meeting

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The Pecos Eagles' Athletic Booster Club has scheduled an important meeting for Monday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Pecos High School cafeteria.

The meeting, the last prior to the start of athletics for the 1997-98 school year, will be designed to sign up new club members and to discuss and make plans for new activities for the club during the upcoming year.

Refreshments will be served during the meeting, and everyone is urged to attend.

Football workouts for the Eagles' varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 6, while preseason workouts for the Eagles' high school tennis and volleyball teams also begin over the next week. Regular season play opens on Aug. 19 for the Eagles' volleyball team, while tennis begins play in late August. Pecos' football team opens its 1997 season on Sept. 5, with preseason scrimmages on Aug. 22 and Aug. 29.

Sports may help girls' math skills

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NEWTON, Mass. (AP) - Boys score higher on math tests mostly because of better spatial skills, say researchers who found that girls' math anxiety doesn't figure nearly so much into the equation.

Girls might do better at both spatial skills and math by competing in sports, the study found.

``The take-home message is, `Wake up and think about spatial skills,''' said M. Beth Casey, a developmental psychology professor at Boston College and the report's lead author.

Researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the measurable differences in math scores - 64 percent - was attributable to boys' better spatial ability, and 36 percent to girls' lower self-confidence.

Quiet Irvin keeps focus on football

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By Chip Brown
Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN - Michael Irvin, the Cowboys' normally flamboyant receiver, has spent training camp working harder than ever - but quietly.

Gone are the taunting comments to cornerbacks and the dances and dramatic spikes after making a big play in drills. Instead, Irvin is just going about his business and the victims this week were the Oakland Raiders.

Numerous times, Irvin torched Oakland cornerbacks.

On Wednesday, Irvin brought the fans at St. Edward's University to a deafening roar by soaring past former teammate Larry Brown and catching a deep post pattern for what would have been a touchdown.

On Tuesday, the fans cheered as he beat Oakland's Perry Carter on another deep route, this time adjusting his body at an acute angle to haul it in over his shoulder.

Irvin said before camp that he wanted to be traded because he was tired of the turmoil in Dallas involving his personal life after being suspended last year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and then being the target of a murder-for-hire plot by a Dallas police officer now serving time in jail.

Irvin recently settled a defamation lawsuit he and offensive tackle Erik Williams filed against a Dallas television station for a reported $2 million.

But after talking with Dallas owner Jerry Jones, Irvin reported to camp. Once a willing interview subject, Irvin has become leery of the media, turning his hand up to reporters.

On the field, Irvin has been a study of focus.

``Michael has always been one of the hardest workers out here,'' said Jones. ``This year there is even more fire, and the rest of the team appears to be following his lead.''

Jones also said the team's annual week of training camp with the Raiders could become a home-and-home series.

``The main reason we would go up there to Oakland to their camp is the aspect of being reciprocal as far as the Raiders coming down here,'' Jones said Wednesday. ``It's been a big plus for us. But again, we don't have any plans or succinct agreement to do that. It's just something we might think about in the future.''

Unlike Raiders owner Al Davis, who closes practices to the public, Jones said he prefers open practices.

``We've enjoyed a lot of success with open practices and we believe very strongly that our players perform and practice at a higher level when they've got thousands within 40 or 50 feet of them,'' Jones said. ``It's just a pride factor. Al's way has had success and our way has had success.''

The Raiders wrapped up two days of two-a-day practices with the Cowboys - rain shortened a Wednesday afternoon workout - and will scrimmage the Cowboys on Thursday night before going to Dallas for a preseason game against Oakland on Sunday night.

Texas set to decide on Rodriguez trade

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Associated Press Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas - Sometime before midnight Thursday, the Texas Rangers will have either sent Ivan Rodriguez packing or resigned themselves to the possibility of losing the six-time All-Star catcher to free agency.

Either way, the decision will be all business.

To many of the Rangers' fans, however, the issue of whether the player they know simply as ``Pudge'' stays or goes is largely emotional.

``All you have to do is look at all the `We love Pudge' signs out here every game to know things will be different if he leaves,'' said Madge Miller of Flower Mound, Texas.

``We want him to stay ... not because we give him the money he wants, but because he loves playing for us as much as we love cheering for him,'' he said.

Rodriguez is eligible for free agency after this season and has been unable to reach a contract agreement with the Rangers.

Last week, he rejected a five-year, $38 million offer from the team, and it appears he is determined to test his value on the market. If the Rangers hope to get anything but a draft pick for him, they'll likely have to trade him by Thursday night.

Jeff Moorad, who represents Rodriguez, said he talked Wednesday to Rangers president Tom Schieffer and ``he told me that there was certainly a reasonable chance that Pudge would not be traded.''

``Pudge is prepared to accept whatever plays out,'' Moorad said.

The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are among the teams rumored to be interested in trading for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is only 25 but already has five Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards to help support claims that he is the best catcher since Johnny Bench.

His determined, consistent play and his thrilling knack for throwing out runners have made him an absolute fan favorite at The Ballpark.

News that he might have played his last game here - the Rangers don't return until Friday - has many fans longing for the days when players and teams were more loyal to each other.

``How can you really enjoy following a team when every other season there is a whole set of different players,'' said Steve Boyd of Dallas, who has followed the Rangers for 11 years.

``One day baseball is really going to suffer for this kind of thing. The fans have been loyal to Pudge for years and now his attitude is `business is business.'''

Posted outside The Ballpark are ``Power to the Pudge'' signs meant to send a clear message to management that the town wants Rodriguez to stay.

Drive around Arlington and you'll see enough ``Sign Pudge'' bumper stickers to think the catcher could be elected mayor.

Nine-year-old Cort Farmer, a catcher for his Little League team in Sunnyvale, grew up idolizing Rodriguez and has learned to mimic his every move. His mother says he wants anything bearing Rodriguez's name, number or picture.

The last few days, thick with rumors of Rodriguez's departure, have not been good ones for Cort.

``I don't want him to go,'' the boy said. ``It just doesn't seem fair ... He's my favorite.''

The fact that Rodriguez was brought up in the Rangers' farm system and played his whole career with the Rangers also makes him special to fans who have set Texas attendance records the past few seasons.

``He has transcended just being a player that people like because he's good - he's like the centerpiece for the team,'' said devoted Rangers fan Steve Smith of Duncanville.

But Smith said he believes Pudge is as good as gone - local hero or not - and that the Rangers could feel the fan backlash well after the catcher is gone.

``This attitude that it's just business could really hurt baseball ... it makes you feel like not rooting for these guys anymore,'' Smith said.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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