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Van Horn Advocate
Play opens with the Eagles' varsity and JV squads facing Alpine at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Bucks and Bronchos. Pecos will then close things out against Odessa High, starting about 6:30 p.m.
The Eagles ended a three-year playoff drought in 1996, advancing to the area round of the playoffs in coach Nora Geron's 17th and final season as PHS head coach. Tonight's matches will be the first official ones under Becky Granado, who served as the Eagles' JV coach for the past decade.
While the coach is new, most of the players are back from last season's squad, which made the playoffs despite an 8-11 start to the year. The Eagles went 5-5 in district, finishing third, with junior hitter Lori Marquez earning all-district and all-state honors.
Pecos did sweep its practice matches over the weekend from a trio of Class A squads plus OHS' crosstown rival Permian, though Granado said the Eagles played better in their second 20 minute scrimmages than in their opening matches. "I hope we can come out and play better at the start on Tuesday," she said.
While the Eagles try to improve on their start of a year ago, the Bucks and Bronchos also are hoping to better last year's results. Odessa High missed the playoffs for the first time in three years, while Alpine saw their string of district titles ended by Monahans, which made it all the way to Austin.
The Bucks return six of their 10 players from a year ago, when they were District 7-3A runners-up. Odessa High lost most of their players from last year's 15-13 squad, but will have a tall squad to work with against Pecos and Alpine tonight, with five players 5-foot-10 or better.
"Helen (Kimbrough, Permian's head coach) said Alpine is real good. Alpine and Fort Stockton both looked good," Granado said. Permian scrimmaged the Bucks and Prowlers last week before their practice matches in Pecos.
"I was talking with Jackie (Hill, former Zavala seventh grade and now Seminole head coach) and she said they were big and Andrews was big, too, so it's going to be an interesting year," said Granado. OHS scrimmages Seminole on Friday.
Following tonight's matches, the Eagles will go to Odessa for the Ector County ISD Tournament on Friday and Saturday. They'll face Midland High, Wink and El Paso Austin in pool round competition on Friday at Permian High School, while the JV plays Permian's sophomores, Wink and Abilene Cooper at Odessa High.
Sanders had another cortisone injection in his lower back Monday and will miss the Cincinnati Reds' next two games while undergoing therapy. It was his second cortisone shot in nine days.
The two-sport start is concerned that the problem might interfere with his plans to play cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys. Under his unusual contractual arrangement with the Reds, Sanders will be allowed to leave on weekends to play regular-season games for Dallas.
Sanders started to wonder about football as he watched television over the weekend.
``I was flipping through the channels and it made me think, `I'm going to be playing (football) in two weeks and I can't even run?' It's hard for me to imagine,'' Sanders said.
Sanders has felt pain and numbness in the back of his leg for several weeks. A cortisone shot on Aug. 9 eased the pain and he missed only one Reds game.
The outfielder played during a West Coast trip last week and felt the problem returning. That's what caused him to think the problem might interfere with football.
``I am (worried) now,'' he said. ``I wasn't last week. I am now because it's worsened.''
He had hoped to be working out now to get in football condition, but the bulging disc has limited him.
Sanders hopes to play in every regular-season game for the Cowboys, who open Aug. 31 in Pittsburgh. The Reds will allow him to leave on Saturday, play on Sunday and return for their next game.
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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