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Van Horn Advocate
The Eagles and Steers meet at 7:30 p.m., with both teams hoping to make
a run at the playoffs after struggling through district play a year ago.
That might come as a surprise to Pecos fans, but both teams finished
with 1-4 marks in 4-4A play in 1996, even though the Steers racked up a
50-0 win over the Eagles on homcoming night in Big Spring, in what was
by far the highlight of their 2-8 season.
This year, Big Spring had already won four games, the latest another
homecoming rout, 40-0 over Levelland, last Friday, while the Eagles also
come in with a 4-1 season record.
"Levelland had a couple of turnovers, then things started to snowball on
them just like it did for us last year," said Eagles' coach Mike Belew.
"But Big Spring is a much improved team from last year. It seems like
they've got their problems worked out."
Steers' coach Dwight Butler downplayed the reversal of last year's 1-4
pre-district mark -- "It doesn't mean a whole lot," he said -- but added
"We're finally getting some breaks this year."
What's not different for the Steers is the running of fullback Antwoyne
Edwards. The senior just missed 1,000 yards rushing a year ago, and
appears headed that way this time around, after a 160-yard effort
against Levelland lifted him to 669 yards so far this season.
"Edwards can run inside and outside. He's a legitimate high school
running back," said Belew, adding that the Eagles also have to be
concerned with halfback Tory Mitchell, Big Spring's state-ranked
sprinter who has run for 427 yards this year.
"He likes to get outside, so we have to do a good job at defensive end
to keep him from getting there and not letting it become a track meet,"
Mitchell took over the halfback spot from Edwards, after spending time
at quarterback a year ago. "He (Edrwards) is really starting to
understand his new (fullback) position," said Butler, while at tailback,
"Mitchell has been getting better. He's by no means where he could be.
He's still learning how to be a running back, and that takes a while
when you've never been one."
The Steers coach said Mitchell became quarterback "kind of by default,"
last year, when Gabe Mendoza was injured. This season, Butler said
Mendoza "has stayed pretty healthy, puls we have Joe Owens backing him
up, unlike last year, when we really didn't have anybody."
Mendoza has thrown for 282 yards and four touchdowns this season. "He
throws the ball real well. He's not very mobile, though I hope I don't
have to eat my words on that," Belew said. "They like to throw it to
(Joe) Lawdermilk and their big tight end Chauncy Ford, and they like to
throw it to the backs out of the backfield."
Defensively both the Eagles and Steers have cut their yards allowed by
over 50 per game compared to last season, and the Steers have yet to
surrender a touchdown pass in 1997.
"We're doing pretty good. We've got some young men who run pretty well.
I don't know if they're more aggressive than last year though. We played
aggressive last year, but we just couldn't get any breaks," Butler said.
"They've got two great inside linebackers (Jacob Rios and Brock Gee),
they're defensive tackle (Jeff Denton) is a returning all-district
player, and their secondary is fast," Belew said. "They run an `80'
defense with an eight-man front, which is the same thing we saw the last
two weeks. That puts a lot of pressure on us to throw the football, so
the key to our success is going to be our ability to pass."
The Eagles have struggled at times with penalties and turnovers on
offense in their last two games, but have also thrown for 284 yards and
two touchdowns in 25-7 and 19-7 wins over Fabens and Kermit. All of the
Eagles' completions against Fabens came in the first half, but last
week, Jason Abila hooked up with Mark Abila on a key 43-yard completion
that set up Pecos' fourth quarter go-ahead score, and then got the
clinching touchdown on his second TD pass in as many weeks to Oscar Luna
with just over two mintues to play.
While the Eagles' air attack appears to be their best since they last
led the district in passing back in 1989, Pecos also actually has more
rushing yards than the Steers through the first half of the season,
despite Mitchell and Edwards' success. However, the Eagles will still be
without their starting fullback, Richard Gutierrez, who can't regain his
eligibility until next week's game at Andrews at the earliest.
"It's going to take a super effort by the kids for us to win, but if we
play the way we're capable of playing, I feel like we have a chance to win the ballgame," said Belew.
But a source told The Associated Press that Smith, who has won more
games than any coach in college basketball history, would retire today
in the facility named after him.
Some fans and students slept overnight outside the Dean Dome, hoping to
catch a glimpse of Smith or attend his 2 p.m. news conference.
For years Smith, 66, said he would come to the office one day and decide
to retire from the game he's made his life for the better part of 36
That day for the Tar Heels coach apparently came Wednesday as he told
his team and incoming recruits of his intentions, shocking most everyone
in the basketball fraternity once word leaked out.
Smith, arguably the most popular sports figure in the state, said
earlier this year he planned to honor his contract through 2001.
``I take each year as it comes,'' Smith said in March, ``and I won't
make that decision in April, because every April I am probably (tired).
So, you wait to see how excited you are in August. For 36 years I guess
I've been excited in August and September. If that ever changed up until
2001, then I would make that decision.''
A source close to the program, speaking on the condition of anonymity,
told the AP that Smith called him Wednesday to tell him the news. He
also told him that Bill Guthridge, Smith's assistant for the past 31
seasons, would succeed Smith.
Smith and Guthridge, 60, have been virtually inseparable through the
years. Guthridge turned down several head coaching opportunities to
remain on Smith's staff.
Guthridge said during last season's NCAA tournament he wasn't interested
in becoming North Carolina's head coach should Smith retire in the next
Despite his age, Smith leaves at the top of his profession, taking the
Tar Heels to his 11th Final Four last season. Smith also guided the team
to his 13th Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title during the
1996-97 campaign, which started with his first 0-3 league start.
The timing of the move also came as a shock to many, considering the Tar
Heels are just nine days away from opening practice and are considered
one of the contenders for the 1998 national title. Smith has won that
``Coach Smith left a message for me and when I called him back, he just
came out and told me he was retiring,'' said Kris Lang, a senior at
Gastonia Huss High School who plans to play for UNC during the 1998-99
``He said he hoped I understood, and I said I did,'' Lang said. ``He
told me he was still going to be around. He just wasn't going to be
ESPN, citing sources close to the North Carolina program, reported
Wednesday night that Smith was not stepping down for health reasons.
UNC sports information director Steve Kirschner refused to give details
about the news conference, saying only that the school planned a ``major
announcement.'' He would not comment when asked whether it concerned
Smith, with a career record of 879-254, broke Adolph Rupp's career
victory mark of 876 last season during the NCAA tournament in
Winston-Salem. He won national titles in 1982 and 1993.
Smith's teams have finished in the top three of the Atlantic Coast
Conference for a record 33 straight seasons, including last season's
Smith's teams have also posted an NCAA-record 27 straight 20-win
Smith's only losing season came in his first, when the Tar Heels went
8-9 in 1961-62.
He has coached 30 All-Americas, including Michael Jordan, Jerry
Stackhouse, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Mitch Kupchak, Charlie Scott and Billy Cunningham.
Pecos' boys will be seeking their eighth district title in nine years
and the girls their seventh in the past eight seasons next January, when
the regular season concludes at Monahans. It's one of two trips the
Eagles will make there this season, with the other the Monahans
Invitational on Nov. 22.
The week before, the Eagles will host their own meet at the Pecos High
School pool. Abilene, Odessa, Seminole, Fort Stockton and Lubbock are
Pecos' other regular season meets for the `97-98 scedule.
Coach Terri Morse said she'll have a bigger squad than in recent years
this fall, with 15 girls and 13 or 14 boys participating. However, she
said not all her swimmers would make the Midland meet. "That's band
contest weekend, so all of them can't go."
The boys won the District 4 title last season, while the girls placed
second to Monahans, snapping their string of six straight championships.
17-18 - Midland Invitational -- 5:30 p.m./10 a.m.
25 (Sat.) - Abilene Invitational-- 5:30 p.m./10 a.m.
15 (Sat.) - Pecos Invitational -- 10 a.m.
22 (Sat.) - at Monahans Invit.-- 6 p.m./11 a.m.
6 (Sat.) - at Odessa Invitational -- 5:30 p.m./10 a.m.
13 (Sat.) - at Seminole Invitational -- 12 noon
10 (Sat.) at Coker Inv. (Ft. Stockton) -- 10 a.m.
16-17 (Fri.-Sat.) - at Lubbock Inv.-- 6 p.m./10 a.m.
31 (Sat.) - Dist. 4 meet at Monahans -- Time TBA
13-14 (Fri.-Sat.) - Region I meet at Lubbock -- Times TBA27-28 (Fri.-Sat.) - State meet at Austin -- Times TBA
Crockett's eighth graders will go to Fort Stockton for `A' and `B'
games, while the seventh graders host the Panther Cubs for game at 4 and
5:30 p.m. at the Crockett Middle School field. At 6 p.m., the ninth graders will face the Bucks at Eagle Stadium.
Baeza is a second degree black belt instructor, certified by the
International Taekwon-Do Federation and has received instructor training
from Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi. He was awarded his second degree by
Master C.E. Serriff on Sept. 20.
Serriff is the world's highest ranking non-Asian, president of the
United States Taekwon-Do Federation and an 8th degree black belt. Cross
and Angela Ortega were present to assist during the test while and
Kattie Davis and her father, Kelly Davis, were both promoted to first
degree black belt at the testing.
Baeza has been training with Cross for the past five years and has
assumed many leadership roles during that time. He is very interested in
the development of young people's confidence and moral fiber, serving
two years as a volunteer youth sponsor at the First United Methodist
Church in Pecos.
He works at the Reeves County Detention Center and has seen, first
hand, how things can end up for our young people without proper
guidance. He hopes that his involvement with youth as well as with young
adults will help them focus on becoming caring productive citizens.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.
Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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