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Van Horn Advocate


Wednesday, August 6, 1997

Grid practice begins for Eagles

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Aug. 6 -- Preseason workouts began for the Pecos Eagles' high school football squads this morning, with a pair of two-hour sessions for the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams.

"It went good. I was pleased," said Eagles' coach Mike Belew "I think everybody had a good attitude and worked hard.

"It was just the first practice, and we're just trying to refamiliarize the kids with the system and knock some of the rust off," the Eagles' coach added.

"Early on we're going to do a lot more individual workouts," Belew said Tuesday about his 1997 squad, which will try and improve on the 4-6 mark Pecos posted in his first year as head coach.

"Of course, the main thing will be to get the kids in shape," the Eagles' coach added.

Turnout has been a problem for Pecos in recent years, but the number of players participating in freshmen, junior varsity and varsity football was up by about 35 last season, though still below the level of their other five District 4-4A rivals.

This morning's workout had about 30 varsity players, while there were between 45 and 50 junior varsity and freshmen players suited up in T-shirts, shorts and helmets.

Belew said on Tuesday that after the coaches returned from last week's THSCA meeting in Fort Worth, "The first thing we did when all the coaches reported was to get each of the coaches to contact players according to their defensive positions.

"We got ahold of all but two or three of them, and the feedback we got looks good. I'm anticipating everyone will show up," the Eagles' coach said.

"We were about 10 short this morning. I was expecting 40 on the varsity," Belew said following this morning first workout. "I knew some of them were not going to be here, and we're in the process right now of calling to find out where the others are."

Earlier, Belew said more players participated in off-season workouts this summer than during off-season last year. "I was here from 8 to 5 most of the summer and there were a good amount of kids coming up daily. And we had other coaches keeping it (the weight room) open from 6 to 8 (p.m.), and the few times I was up here there were a lot of kids in here," Belew said.

The teams are going through morning two-a-days without pads from today until Saturday, and two-a-day pad workouts will take place next Monday through Wednesday, before the start of school on Aug. 14.

Workouts will continue for the next week, prior to the Eagles' first scrimmage, on Aug. 22 at Crane. Pecos will host Greenwood in their other scrimmage, on Aug. 29, then open their 1997 season at home against Lamesa on Sept. 5.

Schools change coaching assignments

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PECOS, Aug. 6 -- The head coaches are virtually the same as a year ago for the Pecos Eagles' varsity boys athletic teams, but there will be a number of changes in the coaching assignments on the sub-varsity levels, and changes in almost all the girls' coaches for the Eagles for the 1997-98 school year.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Athletic Director Mike Belew said there are still some positions to be filled on the junior high level for Pecos, following some resignations and reassignments over the past three months.

Belew enters his second season as head football coach for Pecos, after a 4-6 mark in 1996. Assistant coaches Mike Sadler, Dan Swaim and Felix Urias also return, and are joined by Mike Ferrell, who moves up from junior varsity head coach to replace Joe Wheeler, who took a job in Duncanville.

Moving up are 1996 freshman football coaches Alan Wyles and Larry Serrano. They'll join Jay Ragland and Mike Adams on the JV level, while last season's eighth grade coaches, Tino Acosta and Darrell Ericson, will follow their players up to the freshman football level this season.

Sadler will remain as head boys basketball coach, while Ferrell stays as head track coach. Bubba Williams will again be the Eagles' head baseball coach, and Kim Anderson, last year's assistant golf coach, will take over the top job, replacing Wheeler, while Cindy Duke will serve as assistant and coach junior high boys golf.

At Crockett Middle School, Phillip Garrison and Lea Daggett will be the eighth grade football, basketball and track coaches, while at Zavala Middle School, Jerry Parent and Rudy Juardo remain as coaches. There is one spot open in both the seventh and eighth grades.

In varsity swimming, Terri Morse remains as boys and girls coach, while April Blackwell replaced Colleen Colman as assistant coach. Bernadette Ornelas will again be the Eagles' varsity tennis coach, with June Blackwell as assistant coach.

In the other girls' varsity sports, only Tina Hendrick returns in her same position, as golf coach. Becky Granado moves up from junior varsity volleyball coach to the head coaching job, replacing Nora Geron, while Lily Talamantez takes over from Granado as head track coach.

In basketball, the Eagles' former junior varsity boys coach Brian Williams will replace Patty Hall, after she took the head volleyball coaching position at Monahans during the off-season. Former Monahans' JV coach Veronica Valenzuela will serve as assistant coach in basketball, volleyball and track.

At Crockett, Eliza Acosta moved up from Zavala, and will be joined by Debbie Garcia. Tammy Walls will be the new coach at Zavala, while Robin Land will serve as the junior high girls golf coach.

Practice for high school football, volleyball and tennis teams gets underway over the next week, while junior high teams begin their preseason workouts when school begins late next week.

Jones denies Switzer almost resigned

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Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has consulted with the NFL about how to punish coach Barry Switzer for carrying a loaded, unlicensed gun through an airport.

``We are certainly interested in looking at how and what the issue of arms are involved with the league,'' Jones said Tuesday night. ``That's part of it. Part of it is just counsel within our own organization.''

The most likely option appears to be a fine, a source told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said it learned there was a heated conversation between Jones and Switzer in the hours after the coach's arrest on Monday. The discussion centered around whether Switzer should remain as coach, the newspaper said, quoting a source.

At one point, the source told the newspaper, Switzer remarked, ``I just might resign.''

Speaking on Dallas radio station KTCK today, Jones discounted the report saying: ``No, again sheer speculation. And that was wrong.''

The source said Jones and Switzer talked later Monday and again on Tuesday and that their current relationship is ``fine.''

Jones, who has refused to answer questions about whether Switzer's job is in jeopardy, said he expected to make an announcement on the matter ``sooner rather than later.''

The team owner said he was gathering ``information regarding the entire matter and making an assessment of what's in the best interest of everything we are doing, what we are doing off the field and how we move on throughout the year.''

``All of that is evolving into the comments I will make regarding the action with Barry,'' he said.

Jones has said he wouldn't stand for the kind of behavior that led to the suspensions of five players, including Michael Irvin and Leon Lett, for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy in the past three years.

Jones said that a mistake by someone in an influential position is ``an even more serious matter than it would be if it were a player.''

According to NFL policy, all league employees are prohibited from carrying firearms while on NFL premises or while conducting NFL business. A violation is subject to discipline by the commissioner.

NFL officials have said they are in contact with the Cowboys, but declined to comment on any specific discussions.

Switzer was one of the first to arrive at practice Tuesday. Jones showed up later, but did not talk to his coach, choosing instead to climb a tower between two practice fields to watch the team from above.

After the Cowboys conducted special teams drills, Switzer huddled with his players to explain Monday's arrest at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Afterward, running back Herschel Walker put his arm around the coach.

``He said he was sorry and explained what happened,'' tight end Eric Bjornson said. ``He apologized and said, `You guys are doing great, keep up the good work.'''

Fullback Daryl Johnston said, ``I don't think it's anything at all. I think it's a very innocent act. He's already come out and apologized and said he's embarrassed for what he did.''

Quarterback Troy Aikman, a critic of Switzer in the past, said: ``In light of what the organization has tried to do and having gone through a good camp up to this point, it gives us a little bit of a black eye. But we'll put it behind us and move forward. It was an honest mistake.''

Switzer was arrested at the airport for for carrying a loaded .38-caliber pistol in his baggage.

He has said he put the gun in his travel bag to hide it from three children who were guests at his home during the weekend and then forgot it was still in the bag when he went to the airport.

Carrying a weapon into an airport is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

However, Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Mike Parrish said such cases usually are handled as misdemeanors if there are no prior felonies or weapons charges.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Switzer was not licensed to carry a gun. State law says carrying a handgun without a permit is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

After practice, Switzer reiterated his contention that the incident resulted from good intentions -- keeping the weapon away from the children of friends who were visiting his home.

He declined to address questions about apparent discrepancies between what he told a news conference Monday and what he said in the police report.

Switzer told reporters he found the gun on his bed and then put it in the travel bag to keep it away from the children, ages 11, 10 and 2.

The police report, however, said that Switzer told authorities he found the gun on his kitchen counter where his son, Doug, had placed it after cleaning out a rental vehicle.

Volleyball players need to pick up equipment

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PECOS, Aug. 6 -- Pecos Eagles' varsity, junior varsity and freshman volleyball players who have not yet picked up their workout clothes need to do so before the start of practice on Monday, coach Becky Granado said.

The Eagles' new head coach said she'll be in the Pecos High School gym this week from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. for those who need to get their workout clothes. Granado added that all players need to have their physical forms filled out and returned before they'll be allowed to practice.

Workouts open for Pecos' junior and senior players at 7:30 a.m. next Monday. Sophomores will report to the PHS gym at 8 a.m. and freshmen volleyball players at 9 a.m., Granado said.

The Eagles will hold scrimmages on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 at the PHS gym, then begin their 1997 season on Aug. 19 with a dual meet at home against the Alpine Bucks and Odessa High Bronchos.

Pecos has 10 home matches on their 1997 schedule, including the Cantaloupe Classic on Aug. 29-30. The Eagles have up to 19 matches on the road this season, including tournaments at Odessa and Seminole.

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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