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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Friday, October 17, 1997

Eagles hope to secure playoff spot Saturday

PECOS, Oct. 17 -- It can't officially be called a playoff `clincher,' but the Pecos Eagles can put all the pressure on the Fort Stockton Prowlers, and end the volleyball playoff hopes of the Big Spring Steers, with a win Saturday on the Steers' home cour

Pecos faces Big Spring in freshman, junior varsity and varsity matches starting at 1, 2:15 and 3 p.m. They come in holding a 1½ game lead over both the Prowlers and Steers in the race for the final bi-district playoff berth, thanks to their 10-15, 15-8,
15-12 victory at home this past Tuesday over Fort Stockton.

Big Spring kept their post-season hopes alive with their 15-13, 15-10 win over Sweetwater. But both the Steers and Prowlers still have games to go against first place Andrews and second place Lake View. A Pecos win Saturday would eliminate Big Spring an
d could oust Fort Stockton as well, if they lose on Saturday at San Angelo Lake View.

Pecos had to pull out a three-game victory at home last month over Big Spring 15-11, 9-15, 15-9, in a match similar to Tuesday's win. The Eagles didn't take control until the end, and were hurt by poor serve reception, as the Steers scored seven aces in
the three matches. However, coach Becky Granado is hoping to score some points off serves as well on Saturday.

"If we can just get our serves over, we'll be O.K. Gail (Taylor) Annette (Marquez) and Ivy (Thorp) back-to-back-to-back are pretty tough servers," she said.

Granado will also have seniors Shirhonda Bell and Marisol Arenivas available again, after their were held out of Tuesday's match for disciplinary reasons. Arenivas will also be running in the Eagles' cross country meet at Big Spring prior to Saturday's
matches, Granado added.

Swimmers' season opens in Midland

PECOS, Oct. 17 -- Swimming season starts for the Pecos Eagles this evening in Midland, when they begin competition in the two-day Midland Invitational.

Diving finals and swimming preliminaries start at 5:30 p.m., while the swimming finals will get underway at 10 a.m. Saturday at the City of Midland pool.

Pecos' boys will be seeking their eighth district title in nine years and the girls their seventh in eight seasons when the District 4 finals take place at Monahans in January, though for this weekend, coach Terri Morse wasn't sure how many of Pecos' dis
trict rivals will be in Midland.

"I know in the 5As, Abilene and San Angelo won't be there, but I'm not sure about Andrews, Big Spring or Monahans. I figure some of them will be there," Morse said.

Some of the Eagles also won't be in Midland, due to either other fall sports or this weekend's area band competition in Odessa. "Kevin (Bates) is the only one of my band people I'm taking," she said. Bates is scheduled to swim two events and two relays,
though Morse said Steve Harrison would replace him on Saturday in the 200 free if Pecos makes the finals.

So far in pre-season practice, Morse said, "We're looking pretty good in the water. A lot of the intervals going on this year are faster than at the same point last year.

"I think we're swimming with a little better quality this year. Our numbers are up, and we'll have a lot of freshman, if everyone comes out who said they will," she said. "It's encouraging for the future, especially if the split up the 4As and 5As at reg
ionals like they're talking about."

Morse said a vote is due this weekend on the plan, which would create a Class 5A and a Class A to 4A level at regionals and state, beginning in 1999. Currently, all five classifications swim against each other at the regional and state meets.

"I think we should do pretty well for an early-season meet time-wise. I don't know about point-wise," said Morse, who won't field a boys' 400 yard freestyle relay team this weekend. "I'll have all three relays in Abilene next weekend, unless the band get
s a one and goes to Lubbock," for the Class 4A regionals, she added.

Ponies spoil home opener for JV squad

Sports Editor
PECOS, Oct. 17 -- The `new look' Pecos Eagles' junior varsity football team made its 1997 home debut Thursday night, and all things considered, didn't do such a bad job against the Andrews Mustangs.

It was a `new look' JV, because it featured members of the Eagles' golf, swimming, tennis and rodeo teams, along with a number of other players who weren't even out for football when the season started.

They were recruited after much of the original JV squad either quit or was lost to grades, and overall played hard, though at times the newness showed in errors, including three turnovers inside their own 30 that Andrews converted into touchdowns, givin
g them their margin of victory in a 34-18 decision.

Up in Andrews, Pecos' ninth graders dropped their game to Andrews by a 35-8 final score while the Crockett middle school eighth graders lost their `A' and `A' games, 37-8 and 24-0.

Over at Crockett's field, Andrews and Zavala's seventh grader `A' teams both remained unbeaten on the year, as they played to a scoreless tie, while the Mustangs' `B' team scored a 30-0 victory over the Eagles.

The JV took a 6-0 lead on a turnover three plays into the game, as Willie Montgomery grabbed the ball away from a Mustang running back and went 42 yards for the touchdown. However, the Mustangs tied the score on their next series, then went ahead 21-6 a
fter the Eagles turned the ball over on each of their first two possessions.

The score stayed that way until the third quarter, when Andrews scored after Pecos fumbled the opening kickoff. The Mustangs would hit two sideline passes for TDs on the night, the second making it a 34-6 game before Pecos got their final scores, off a
41-yard run by Len Carson and a 10-yard pass from Fabien Tarango to Jacob Weidner.

Freshman coach Darrell Erickson said special teams problems contributed to Pecos' loss. "They had real good special teams, and we had a hard time stopping them. But the kids played a real good game, even though it wasn't close."

The Eagles' score came on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Alex Garcia to Chris Bryant in the first half.

Like the JV, the eighth grade was hurt by their ongoing participation problems. Coach Phillip Garrison said the Eagles had just 30 players suited out on their two teams, less than half the number for Andrews, and about 70 fewer than the Mustangs' total
number of eighth graders.

Mason Abila got Pecos' lone score, on a 50-yard run, while Garrison and Richard Rodriguez, Jacob Rodriguez and Ricky Plummer had good games.

In the seventh grade game, Andrews had the lone scoring chance in the first half, but were stopped on downs inside the 15 after a pass interference call in the end zone was waved off due to an uncatchable ball. In the second half, the Eagles drove insid
e Andrews' 10 in the final minute of play, but were stopped on downs, then just missed am interception and a safety in the final 15 seconds of the game.

While the `A' team went to 4-0-1, the `B' team is 2-2 after their loss. "We were just out-sized," said seventh grade coach Jerry Parent of the Mustangs, whose `A' and `B' teams were just about even in weight.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Pecos' varsity goes to Andrews for the Mustangs' 1997 homecoming game. The Eagles will be trying to get their first victory in Andrews since 1986, which is also the last win the Eagles have in the series. Andrews won in Pecos last
season by 30-7 final score.

It's also homecoming tonight in Sweetwater, where the second-ranked Mustangs will take on Fort Stockton, while Big Spring played their homecoming game two weeks ago, but will hope for similar results tonight, as they face San Angelo Lake View.

Fort Stockton (0-1 in district, 5-1 overall) at Sweetwater (1-0, 6-0): It's been three years since the Mustangs have lost a regular season game, but based on Pecos' past three trips to Sweetwater -- all homecoming games -- the Mustangs don't set the wor
ld on fire on homecoming night. A couple of big runs by quarterback Andrew Boatright helped them both last year, and in last week's 21-3 win at Andrews. Boatright and Willie Amos have alternated big running games in recent weeks, so based on that, tonigh
t should be Amos' turn to shine.

The Panthers could will hope to do what Andrews couldn't last week, free up Jacob Vasquez for some long runs from scrimmage. Vasquez gained over 200 yards at San Angelo Lake View last week, but the Panthers allowed Kendall Jones to do the same, and Swee
twater has a much bigger line than Lake View. Fort Stockton will also have to brush off last week's late game fumble that allowed Lake View to win, while staying healthy for their final three games, if they're to have a shot at the playoffs.

San Angelo (1-0, 4-2) at Big Spring (1-0, 5-1): While Vasquez was racking up big numbers on Lake View, Big Spring's line was pushing Pecos around last week, while gaining 302 total yards on the ground in their 37-0 win. Coupled with their win the previo
us Friday over Levelland, and the Steers have outscored their last two opponents, 77-0.

Lake View, meanwhile, will hope to do to the Steers what they did to the Panthers last week, get into a scoring contest where the Chiefs can used their running and passing game to offense their run defense weaknesses. However, based on their work not on
ly against Pecos and Levelland, but also against Lubbock Estacado, the Chiefs figure to have a much harder time getting Jones to the 200-yard mark tonight, which means quarterback Alonzo Robinson and receiver Jorge Villarreal will need to have big nights

Neck surgery to end Johnston's season, career

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 20 (AP) -- After not missing a game in his nine-year NFL career, Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston finds himself at a medical crossroads.

CNN-SI has reported Johnston will undergo surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck and miss the rest of the season.

Doctors have told Johnston that he risks paralysis if he plays again after the surgery, the cable television service reported Thursday night.

However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that nothing was definite.

``All those types of things -- surgery, retirement -- are premature at this point,'' he told CNN-SI. ``In the morning, they may not be true.''

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple, contacted after the broadcast report, said the team stands by its announcement from earlier Thursday.

``His situation will require input and review from several parties, and because of that, no long-term decision will be announced until all the scenarios will be made clear,'' the statement said. ``There is no time frame set at this point.''

Johnston, 31, has played in every regular-season game since 1989 -- 134 straight. However, ``the Moose'' has been plagued by neck and shoulder pain recently. The pain has worsened to the point that Jones said Wednesday that Nicky Sualua will substitute f
or him against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

The 5-foot-11, 256-pound Sualua was taken in the fourth round of the 1997 draft as the heir apparent to Johnston. He was academically ineligible as a senior at Ohio State but started the final 10 games of his junior year in 1995 and finished with 106 yar
ds on 18 carries. He also caught 17 passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

``Right now, it's a little quicker than I thought, but I'm ready to step in there and do my job,'' Sualua said.

Johnston's injury is the latest in a chain of agonies for an offense already without the services of left tackle Mark Tuinei, 37. Doctors said Wednesday that Tuinei will be out at least two weeks after spraining his knee in Monday night's 21-16 loss to W

Without Tuinei and Johnston, it will be even more difficult for running back Emmitt Smith, who has yet to score a touchdown this season. Smith, No. 3 on the NFL's career rushing touchdown list, is in the midst of an eight-game touchdown drought -- the lo
ngest of his career, and Dallas is the only team in the NFL that hasn't had a rushing touchdown this season.

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