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Van Horn Advocate
The Eagles, who are seeking their first tournament title in five years, needed only 20 minutes to down El Paso Parkland, 15-6, 15-4. They were next scheduled to play Crane in a 12:20 p.m. match, and closed out pool round play with a 3:40 p.m. contest against Van Horn.
The Matadors gave the Eagles almost all of their points in the opening game, then had problems at the end of Game 2, failing to return the final three serves by Marisol Arenivas.
"I thought they were going to be tougher than what they showed. They may not have been awake yet," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado following the 9 a.m. match.
Pecos took an 8-4 lead in the opener of the pool match, in which both teams started with 4-4 scores, before El Paso got their only two points off a bad hit by Pecos and a block by Michelle Sovar. But the Eagles would then break serve and finish things off, with Shirhonda Bell and Lori Marquez scoring off spikes during the final 7-0 run.
Marquez would have a trio of kills for points in Game 2, while Arenivas was able to dink a shot over Parkland's blockers for a point, to go along with her two ace serves at the end. A mishandled serve by Syreeta Strickland closed out the match.
Defensively, the Eagles did a better job getting to the ball on the back line than they had in their earlier matches, though Granado was hoping for a tougher test this afternoon for her defense.
"We'll see what Crane looks like, and see if we do better against them," she said.
If the Eagles win their pool, they'll play the runner-up from Pool III in a quarterfinal round match at 10 a.m. Saturday, while a second place finish will put them into an 11 a.m. match against the winner of Pool III. Fifth place semifinal matches start at 1:15 p.m., while the championship semis are at 2:30 and the fifth, third and first place matches are set for 5, 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Consolation matches are at 8 and 9 a.m. in the PHS gym, with the consolation finals at 3:45 p.m.
Also this morning, Pecos' junior varsity team split their opening pool round matches against Crane, falling 15-13, then scoring a 15-12 victory.
Thursday evening, Pecos' freshman purple team swept its six pool round matches, while the Eagles' ninth grade gold squad finished 3-3 in the freshman division of the tournament.
The purple team will face Andrews at 11 a.m. on Saturday, after downing Monahans, 15-6, 15-6; Crane, 15-11, 15-10; and Greenwood, 15-10, 15-10. The gold team ended up in the consolation bracket, and will play Monahans at 10 a.m. Saturday, after they split with Fort Stockton, 6-14, 15-14, lost to Andrews, 15-11, 15-10, and swept Alpine, 15-8, 15-9.
Granado said Saturday's freshmen matches, which had been scheduled for the Zavala Middle School gym, will be played at the Crockett Middle School gym instead, because it's closer to the high school complex.
The Uriases resigned from their jobs to take similar positions with the Edinburg school district. Crissy Urias will be the assistant superintendent for the Edinburg ISD under Mario Sotelo, who resigned as P-B-T superintendent last month to take the same job with the Rio Grande Valley district.
Felix Urias will teach Spanish and serve as tight end coach for the Edinburg varsity football team. He served last season as an assistant coach under Mike Belew, after three years as the Eagles' head football coach. Before that, Urias was an assistant coach for 14 seasons under Daylon Whitehurst.
Adams was one of four JV coaches for Pecos, and Belew said, "We're going to move Mike up into Felix's spot as varsity line coach and offensive tackle coach. That will leave us one coach short on the JV, but we'll just have to suck it up.
"I don't think you can get another coach at this late date, but I think we'll be O.K. The other coaches will just have to take a little bit more of the load," Belew said.
Adams joins Mike Sadler, Dan Swaim and Mike Ferrell as the Eagles' other varsity assistants, while Alan Wyles and Larry Serrano remain as JV assistants under coach Jay Ragland.
The Eagles will play their final pre-season scrimmage tonight, against Greenwood, before opening their 1997 season next week against Lamesa.
Warbird boxers will also be on the card, which begins at 8 p.m. Funds from the event will go towards purchase of a new boxing ring mat for the Warbirds.
Drawings for 17 items donated by local merchants will also be held during the night.
The card won't be as large as the Warbirds' usual smokers during the winter and spring, manager Fred Martin said. "This was kind of a spur of the moment thing, and most of our boys were playing ball this summer, then went right into football."
"There's so much going on I don't know what kind of crowd to expect. But the fight fans are going to be there," Martin said.
Of the Warbirds' regular group of boxers, Martin said, "The only one we'll have ready is Jimmy Don Juarez. The others will be law enforcement officers or from Odessa."
That group includes Paul Dieshler and Oscar Machuca, and Martin said the fights won't be a one-time event.
"Paul said he's going to stay out, and Oscar said he's going to stay," though he added that pairings can be a problem with the older fighters.
"It's kind of hard to find Paul an opponent. He may have to fight the same person over and over for a while because of his age."
The Warbirds normal fight schedule will get underway in the late fall. "We'll get our football players back like Peter (Juarez) and Robbie (Ontiveros) when the season ends," Martin said.
Booster Club president Dennis Thorp said the plates would go on sale about 6 p.m. at the north end of Eagle Stadium, on the home side between the field and the high school gym. Single burger plates with chips and sodas will be $4, while double burger plates are $5.50.
Pecos' freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams will scrimmage at 5, 6 and 7:30 p.m., while the volleyball tournament will continue until about 8 p.m. this evening before resuming on Saturday.
``He is going to be playing a position he never played before at this level,'' Cowboys coach Barry Switzer said. ``He played five preseason games against vanilla coverage ... he's going to see things he hasn't seen except during practice.''
Stewart's reply? It's not like it's his first game ever at quarterback, even if it is as an NFL starter. After all, he saw just about every imaginable defense while playing in college at Colorado, though not at the speed and intensity level he will Sunday.
``It is NOT my first game,'' he said. ``It is my first regular-season game. It is not starting this week. It started when I was announced as the starting quarterback.''
That's why Stewart isn't trying to make the game out to be more than what it is -- the first game of the season. He says it doesn't make any difference if the Steelers are playing the Cowboys or Chicago -- or the Colorado Buffaloes.
``It's no bigger to me,'' Stewart said. ``All the games I play are the same. You want to win them all. ... To say this is a bigger game than we played in the preseason or any other games we have coming up, I would be putting pressure on myself -- and that is not what I want to do.''
Even Steelers coach Bill Cowher professes to being anxious to see how Stewart -- now, the one-dimensional Slash -- handles all the firsts: his first start, his first sack, his first interception as a starter.
``Everybody is so caught up on Kordell Stewart being Slash and running all over the place, making things happen, going crazy, they forget when I was a quarterback at Colorado, I very seldom ran the ball,'' Stewart said.
He set Colorado career records with 456 completions in 785 passes for 6,481 yards and 33 touchdowns -- but, as a senior, also was second on the team with 639 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 122 carries.
Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman also wonders why there is so much attention being paid to Stewart's debut, considering he has played in the league for three years -- albeit, more as a pass catcher than a passer.
``People are making probably too big a thing that this is his first start at quarterback,'' Aikman said. ``Kordell has played for a couple of years now at some other positions. He's played quarterback in some big games. He's made big plays in big games.''
At times, he hasn't. The last time Stewart took a snap in a game that counted, he was 0-for-10 in a 28-3 playoff loss to New England in January. But both the Steelers and Stewart think he has progressed dramatically since then after his first off-season and training camp as a fulltime quarterback.
``Kordell is used to the tempo of the game, so that's not going to come as a surprise to him.'' Aikman said. ``I don't expect it to be a big adjustment for him. I think he is an exceptional player. ... I think he can stand in the pocket and throw the football.''
Meanwhile, right tackle Justin Strzelczyk, one of Stewart's main protectors, failed to practice again Thursday because of a heel injury.
If he can't practice Friday, he is expected to be replaced by Jamain Stephens, a 1996 first-round draft pick who has yet to play a single down. Veteran lineman Jim Sweeney also has spent time at right tackle this week.
``But I expect to practice (Friday),'' Strzelczyk said. ``And if I practice Friday, I can play.''
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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