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Van Horn Advocate


Friday, September 26, 1997

Freshman gridders fall, junior highs win & tie

Staff Writer
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PECOS, Sept. 26 -- The Pecos Eagles' freshmen football team got in a game they weren't expecting to play for another week on Thursday night, and will be hoping the regularly scheduled affair next Thursday turns out a lot better.

The ninth graders played the first of what will be two straight home games against the Kermit Yellowjackets, and came out on the short end of a 35-0 final score. Pecos had been scheduled to be idle this week, but added the game with Kermit at the last second, after the Yellowjackets' scheduled freshman game was canceled.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' junior high teams played their regularly-scheduled contests in Alpine against the Bucks and scored a win and a tie, as the seventh graders downed Alpine, 14-6, while the eighth graders tied the Bucks, 14-14.

Kermit scored two quick touchdowns on Pecos, then took a 21-0 lead just before the half, and added two more third period scores to get their victory. The freshmen had a late chance to score ended by an interception, as their record fell to 0-3 on the season.

The eighth graders are 0-1-1 after their tie, as they were able to stop a late two-point conversion by the Bucks, after seeing the same play cost them a tie last week against Monahans.

"The kids played a lot better than they did last week," said coach Lea Daggett. "The running game looked good, and we threw the ball a lot better than a week ago."

Benny Juarez scored on a touchdown run to give Pecos a 6-0 lead, and then Richard Rodriguez threw to Ricky Plummer for a score with Mason Abila adding the two point run, after the Bucks had taken an 8-6 lead.

Daggett said Pecos had one last scoring chance after a Justin Gonzales interception, but were unable to get into the end zone.

The seventh graders improved to 2-0 with their win, as Eddie Mata scored on a 12 yard run, set up by his own long run off a broken play in the fourth quarter. Tony Trujillo added the two point conversion.

Robbie Ontiveros got the Eagles' first TD on a 53 yard run off a fake punt, and coach Jerry Parent said penalties cost the Eagles touchdowns on punt returns by Mata and David Juarez.

"The defense kept us in the game," said Parent, whose team will host Kermit next week, along with the Eagles' eighth graders.

Tonight at 8:30 p.m., Pecos' varsity will try to go 3-1 on the year when they play in Fabens, where the Wildcats also are seeking their third win in four games. The Eagles also are seeking to win two road games in a season for the first time since 1993, when they posted a 5-5 record.

Sweetwater, which hasn't lost any regular season games -- home or away -- in three years, added to that streak Thursday night, with a 54-7 victory at Amarillo Palo Duro. Quarterback Andrew Boatright ran for 201 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more, as part of a 499 yard night on offense for the 4-0 Mustangs.

In tonight's other games involving 4-4A teams, Andrews hosts Levelland, Fort Stockton plays at Monahans, San Angelo takes on Brownwood and Big Spring goes to Snyder.

Levelland (2-1) at Andrews (3-0): The Mustangs won their game at Midland High last week, but lost quarterback David Kessler for the season with a knee injury. Jeremy Pitkin steps in, but the Mustangs are better suited than anyone else to hide any deficiencies he may have, so long as Pitkin can hand the ball off to Shaud Williams and the Mustangs' defense stays healthy.

Aside from Williams, defensive back Wayland Mayfield is making a name for himself, with four interceptions and one TD in three games, plus the game-saving fumble recovery with Midland driving late in last week's game.

Levelland also used fumbled recoveries to hold on in a defensive struggle last week, as they edged Slaton, 10-7. Eric Cooper had 114 yards in the victory, and the Loboes' TD came off a pass from Zach Taylor to Nathan Cummings.

Fort Stockton (3-0) at Monahans (2-1): The Panthers will move the ball on the Loboes tonight. The main question is how Fort Stockton's defense will react to facing a good offense for the first time this year.

The Loboes don't have anyone who'll be able to catch Jacob Vasquez, if he gets behind the defense, which the Panthers' back as already done 11 times this season. However, getting past the line will be the toughest part, as coach Larry Hanna seems to have Monahans' defense playing tougher up front than they did a year ago. It may mean more work for quarterback Steven Cordero, whose had little reason to pass in the first three games.

The Loboes were able to wear down Pecos' defense in the final period last week, driving 78 yards for the clinching score after gaining just 150 in the first three periods. A good performance against Monahans, and next week at home against Crane's stable of fast runners, will show the Panthers' early season defensive numbers are no fluke.

Big Spring (2-1) at Snyder (0-3): This is usually a low-scoring affair, which would suit the Tigers fine. After 42-0 and 27-7 losses to Andrews and Sweetwater, Snyder held the lead on Abilene Wyile last week until the Bulldogs scored with 2:30 to play for a 7-3 victory. The Tigers had 190 yards on offense, which is not great, but far better than they had fared against the two Mustang squads.

Big Spring hadn't allowed a touchdown in their first two games, until losing last week to Lubbock Estacado, 27-21. Running back Antwoyne Edwards had a big night, going for 183 yards and all three scores, though the Steers would like to improve on Gabe Mendoza's 4-for-17 passing numbers of a week ago.

San Angelo (2-1) at Brownwood (2-1): Speaking of defense, the Chiefs seemed to regain some of their last week, while routing Austin LBJ, after a couple of shaky performances in their first two outings. Tonight, they'll try and stop Brownwood's option attack, led by quarterback Colby Freeman, who was pretty much held in check by Sweetwater in Week 1, but had big nights in wins over Kerrville Tivy and Belton.

Brownwood routed the Antlers a week after Tivy ran up big rushing numbers against Lake View, so tonight will be a good indication if the changes made by the Chiefs since then will give some defensive support to their high-powered passing game, which has slipped little from the past three seasons.

Eagles try to extend win streak Saturday

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PECOS, Sept. 26 -- The Pecos Eagles are back in second place in the District 4-4A standings, after a strong late effort against the Fort Stockton Prowlers on Tuesday. And they can stay there for at least another week, if they can produce the same result Saturday, when the Big Spring Steers come to town.

The Eagles won their second straight District 4-4A volleyball game, beating Fort Stockton 15-9, 10-15, 15-5 on Tuesday, in a match where neither team took control until the end, when Pecos rolled off 11 straight points to break things open. It gave the Eagles a 2-1 district record and 13-8 overall mark.

Big Spring, meanwhile, is improved over recent years, though the Steers have had an up-and-down season. They finished ahead of the Eagles in the early-season Ector County ISD Tournament, then slumped in early September. They dropped their district opener in three games to Fort Stockton, but came back on Tuesday to rout Sweetwater by 15-1, 15-7 scores.

Melanie Flenniken led the Steers in kills Tuesday, while Kristi McWhirter is a returning all-district pick from a year ago. But coach Becky Granado is confident about her team's chances if they continue to play the way they finished in Fort Stockton.

"If we can get out there and play like we did in the third game, we shouldn't have any problems, but if we go out and mess around, it will be a long match again," she said.

The Eagles got strong play in the third game Tuesday from hitters Gail Taylor and Ivy Thorp, while working in a new lineup that moved senior LaChrisha Molinar from setter to outside hitter, with junior Shea Lara taking her place.

Play opens with the freshman contest at 12 noon, followed by the JV at about 1:30 p.m. and the varsity at 3 p.m. After Saturday's match, the Eagles draw a bye date on Tuesday, then close out the first half of the 4-4A schedule by hosting San Angelo Lake View on Oct. 4.

Astros kill Bucs' playoff hopes on ER

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HOUSTON, Sept. 26 (AP) -- Brad Ausmus not only starred in the Houston Astros' title-clinching victory over the Chicago Cubs. He also made his debut in the hit TV show that happens to be his favorite.

Houston ensured itself the NL West title by routing the Chicago Cubs 9-1 at the Astrodome on Thursday night, a game that was shown several times on a breakroom television during the live airing of the NBC hit medical drama ``ER,'' which is set in Chicago.

Some of the actors even referred to the game.

``Hey, what's the score?'' said the nurse played by Julianna Margulies.

``It's 8-1, Cubs behind, bottom of the seventh,'' replied George Clooney's doctor character.

``You think you are dreaming, but it's our time to tell everyone else to take a seat,'' said Mike Hampton (15-10), who pitched a four-hitter.

Ausmus' three-run homer in the Astros' six-run seventh inning was shown in one of the shots on Thursday's show, which aired live in the East and Central Time Zones. A second live airing occured three hours later for West Coast viewers, after the Astros' game was over.

``That's my favorite show,'' Ausmus said after the game. ``This is probably my only chance to be on it. You better believe I taped it. I might even use a recording of it on my answering machine.''

The Astros' win dropped second-place Pittsburgh four games behind with three to go. A Houston loss would have given the Pirates a chance to force a one-game playoff with a three-game sweep of their season-ending series in the Astrodome starting tonight.

``Disappointed? Why should we be disappointed?'' second baseman Tony Womack said in a telephone interview. ``I think we did OK. They got the job done, and we didn't, but we had a good year. We played hard every game. Every game meant something to us.''

In the NL West, the only unclaimed postseason berth, Los Angeles closed within two games of division-leading San Francisco, winning 9-5 at Colorado as Todd Zeile homered twice for the second time in three days.

Los Angeles plays its final three games at Coors Field. San Francisco, which had Thursday off, finishes with three at home against San Diego.

``We have some life left,'' Zeile said, ``but we have to leave it in someone else's hands. It's unfortunate we're at that point at this time of the season.''

In other NL games, Cincinnati beat St. Louis 4-3 in 14 innings as Mark McGwire stayed stuck at 55 homers, Atlanta edged Philadelphia 3-2 in 10 innings and Montreal beat Florida 3-2.

At Houston, the Astros, with a record of only 82-77, clinched exactly 11 years after winning their last postseason berth. Ausmus' three-run homer came off Jeremi Gonzalez (11-9), and Jeff Bagwell hit a sixth-inning popup off the ceiling, what is believed to be the first fair ball to strike the top since the stadium opened in 1964.

The ball appeared to be headed toward third, but Gonzalez caught it near the pitcher's mound for an out.

``I had a lot of emotion on that hit,'' Bagwell said. ``Craig (Biggio) had gotten hit in the head in the inning before and I was mad. I put a lot into it.

``I wanted to hit it out of the stadium. When I looked up and saw it hit the roof, I was mad I actually hit it. I was hoping that I could knock it right through the roof.''


Wednesday, September 17, 1997

Eagles fail in stretch in loss to Mustangs

Staff Writer
PECOS, Sept. 17 -- It was deja vu all over again for the Pecos Eagles Tuesday night, with last year's weaknesses reasserting themselves in all-too-painful fashion during their District 4-4A opener against the Andrews Mustangs.

Last season, when junior hitter Lori Marquez rotated to the back line, the Eagles' offense all but died. Pecos did end a three-year playoff drought, but the weakness was glaring in matches against good teams like Andrews and San Angelo Lake View.

This year, Pecos showed signs of correcting that problem during pre-district play. But on Tuesday, the Eagles again couldn't find another consistent hitter down the stretch, and that allowed Andrews to come back twice from big deficits to defeat Pecos for the sixth straight time, 15-13, 10-15, 16-14.

"We just don't have anyone consistent enough to put the ball down when Lori's not there," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado, "Then all it takes is one mistake for the other team to get on top."

A botched set with Pecos ahead 13-10 in the deciding match gave Andrews new life, and a tip call took away Pecos' last momentum with the match tied at 14-all, after Marisol Arenivas poked in a shot over Andrews' blockers to cap a long volley between the teams.

The tip, which at first wasn't called against Pecos' blockers, nullified what would have been a 15-14 lead on a bad spike by Andrews. The Mustangs then won when Shirhonda Bell hit a ball out and a soft hit by Lindsey Hudgers caught the Eagles' defense flatfooted.

"We do some good things, but our mental mistakes kill us," Granado said. "We don't know how to forget about our mental mistakes and go on, and by the time it's over the other team has caught up to us."

Gail Taylor had a couple of kills in the opening match for Pecos, but the Eagles started rolling when Marquez scored six points in an 11-0 run off a trio of kills, two dinks and a block on Mustangs hitter Ali Bane. But then, a block of Marquez by Brittany Reynolds and a bad hit by the senior turned things around.

The Eagles set away from Marquez the next few times, and after she rotated to the back line, Pecos managed only a Taylor kill for a point, while giving Andrews six points in a 10-1 run off bad hits. Andrews did earn their final two points, off spikes by Hudgens and Leesa Lopez.

"We had them down 12-3 and we should have won that game," Granado said. "Sometimes we don't know who's where. We have Lori in the middle and we don't set it to her when Lori was hot and let them get back into it."

Game 2 started out like Game 1, with Andrews coming from a 5-1 deficit to within one, at 7-6. But this time after a time-out, Pecos was able to recover, while being helped by Andrews' unforced errors late in the game.

The victory raises Andrews' season record to 9-6, while Pecos falls to 11-8 going into Saturday's match at Sweetwater.

Andrews also won Tuesday's junior varsity match, 15-6, 15-8, while the Eagles swept the freshmen contests. The gold team downed the Mustangs, 15-4, 15-6, while the purple team won by 15-13, 15-8 final scores.

Owners find no alignment on realignment

ATLANTA, Sept. 17 (AP) -- Proponents of realignment, still unable to come up with a plan that can muster the required support, are unlikely to call for a vote at this week's baseball owners meeting.

After an executive council session Tuesday stretched past midnight, owners said more ideas were presented and that the number of possible plans had increased, not decreased.

``We need to air everything out because what we're doing is going to be done for a long time,'' acting commissioner Bud Selig said after the five-hour meeting, another indication that a vote will be put off.

A council member, speaking on the condition he not be identified, said it's highly unlikely a plan could be formulated that would win approval in the next two days. Two other council members said they weren't even sure what proposals would develop from the latest discussions.

``Every day my fax is busy, clubs sending different plans,'' Selig said, going on to say there was no one plan.

Owners have been unable to issue a 1998 schedule because they can't figure out where to put the two expansion teams, Arizona and Tampa Bay.

Teams support certain plans, but not others:

-- Houston would like to play against Texas, but doesn't want to move to the AL and prefers the Rangers shift to the NL;

-- Philadelphia would shift to the AL, but only as part of the radical geographic realignment in which 15 teams would change leagues;

-- Atlanta, Cincinnati, the New York Mets and Pittsburgh would use their veto power to block radical realignment, and the Chicago Cubs, San Diego and San Francisco also would vote against it;

-- Tampa Bay would like to be in the same league with Florida, but preferably not in the same division;

-- Baltimore would vote against any plan that potentially would allow a Northern Virginia team in its league;

-- San Francisco would sue to block Oakland from joining the NL, and most plans have the Athletics joining the NL along with Anaheim and Seattle;

-- Arizona would use its veto power against any plan shifting it to the AL.

``I understand the trepidation and concerns teams have,'' Selig said.

Owners arriving at the meetings weaved their way through celebrities such as heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, who was attending the opening of Atlanta's All-Star Cafe, which is just down the block from the hotel baseball is using. Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, Sugar Ray Leonard and Wayne Gretzky also were on hand.

When they made their way through the crowd, they made clear that consensus is a ways off.

``I'm sure people will say things in the heat of the moment, but, hopefully, rationality will take over,'' said Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer, an advocate of radical realignment.

The executive council planned to meet again with the realignment committee today, then brief teams during separate league meetings. Both leagues meet jointly Thursday.

The problem began at a meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., last January, the deadline for assigning the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays to leagues. The executive council proposed to put Arizona in the NL West and Tampa Bay in the AL East, shifting Detroit from the AL East to the AL Central and moving Kansas City from the AL Central to the AL West.

The Royals balked, got the Rangers' support and won enough backing to block division assignments. Owners then put Arizona in the NL and Tampa Bay in the AL without assigning divisions.

With no movement since then, a provisional schedule has been drawn up with Tampa Bay in the AL West and Arizona in the NL West. To further complicate matters, after watching the first season of interleague play, many teams decided they'd like to keep interleague games bunched together in future seasons, just like they were in 1997.

With two 15-team leagues, there would have to be an interleague game nearly every day. To change that, someone has to move.

``Baseball has procrastinated for some time. I'd like to see some action taken,'' said Arizona owner Jerry Colangelo, who hopes for a vote during Thursday's joint meeting. ``It should have been taken in Scottsdale last winter. I viewed this as an American League problem. I still do.''

Friday, September 26, 1997

Freshman gridders fall, junior highs win & tie

Staff Writer
PECOS, Sept. 26 -- The Pecos Eagles' freshmen football team got in a game they weren't expecting to play for another week on Thursday night, and will be hoping the regularly scheduled affair next Thursday turns out a lot better.

The ninth graders played the first of what will be two straight home games against the Kermit Yellowjackets, and came out on the short end of a 35-0 final score. Pecos had been scheduled to be idle this week, but added the game with Kermit at the last second, after the Yellowjackets' scheduled freshman game was canceled.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' junior high teams played their regularly-scheduled contests in Alpine against the Bucks and scored a win and a tie, as the seventh graders downed Alpine, 14-6, while the eighth graders tied the Bucks, 14-14.

Kermit scored two quick touchdowns on Pecos, then took a 21-0 lead just before the hal

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