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


Monday, February 2, 1998

UIL tells Pecos to go west next fall

Sports Editor
PECOS, Feb. 3 -- The bi-annual realignment of Texas schools
by the University Interscholastic League may be terrible
news for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD travel budget, but it's
great news for the Pecos Eagles' football team.

The UIL stripped the Eagles of all of their longtime
District 4-4A rivals and placed them in a new District 2-4A,
made up entirely of El Paso-area schools with the exception
of Pecos. And while that will mean either overnight stays or
long Tuesday night road trips for the Eagles' basketball,
volleyball, baseball and softball teams, it will put Pecos
in a district with three schools newly arrived from Class 3A.

Pecos will be paired with Fabens, Clint, El Paso Mountain
View, San Elizario and Canutillo for the next two years,
barring any appeal to the UIL. Fabens, Clint and Mountain
View are moving up after years in Class 3A, San Elizario is
in its second year of Class 4A play after being at the Class
A level as little as 12 years ago, while Canutillo has been
a Class 4A school for only four years, after being forced to
play at the 5A level for several years before that despite a
small-4A school enrollment.

Pecos' old District 4-4A will remain almost unchanged. The
Snyder Tigers will rejoin the group they left in 1990 to
replace the Eagles, while the UIL made some strange moves to
even out Snyder's former Lubbock-area district, as well as
the other Class 4A and 5A districts in the Panhandle.

Meanwhile, the only change facing the Balmorhea Bears'
football team under today's realignment is in their district
number -- the Bears will go from District 8-A six man to 7-A
six man, while retaining their six current district rivals.
But the Bears will see a big change in their basketball
district come next fall.

Football is the primary focus of the UIL's bi-annual
realignment, since it requires more players than other
sports, giving larger schools more of an advantage. And
while the Eagles come off a 4-6 season, while their junior
varsity and freshman squads went winless, none of the five
other schools in the new 2-4A had winning records in
football this past season. Fabens' 5-5 mark was the best
overall, but that included a 25-7 non-district loss at home
to Pecos this past September.

A number of players who were on the freshman and JV teams in
1996 did not play in 1997, leading to the Eagles' winless
sub-varsity marks, while a decision is still to be made on
the varsity head coach, after new Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
superintendent Don Love reassigned coach Mike Belew last
month. But Bubba Williams, who took over from Belew as P-B-T
athletic director in January, said he hopes the realignment
will help that situation.

"I feel like it will give a boost to the kids and give them
a little confidence in themselves," Williams said. "I'm not
saying its an easy district, but it's sure not as hard as
the one we came out of."

"Now I hope we get more kids out participating," Williams

Pecos High School principal Danny Rodriguez echoed those

"They've had us going west all these years and now it's
finally happened," he said. "I think it's a good move. It
will help us to be more competitive."

The Eagles have gone 22 years without a playoff appearance,
and after a 4-1 start this past season, suffered their first
winless district season in over 30 years, as some players
either missed workouts or quit the team during the course of
the year.

Williams -- whose baseball team won't be affected by the
change until the Spring on 1999 -- and Love were at the
Region 18 Service Center in Midland this morning picking up
their packet on the realignment, as well as finalizing the
1998 football schedule. It was thought the Eagles might end
up in a district with several El Paso schools plus Monahans
and Fort Stockton.

But the Loboes stayed in Class 3A and will not be on Pecos'
regular season schedule for the first time in over a half
century, while the Panthers will be the only former district
rival the Eagles will face this fall.

Pecos will scrimmage Monahans and Midland Greenwood, then
open their season against Denver City. Their other
non-district games are against Alpine, Fort Stockton, Crane
and Kermit. After that, they'll have at least two trips to
El Paso in District 2-4A play this season, and either two or
three trips there in 1999.

The other sports will be facing five games in El Paso for
each of the next two years, which could mean a series of
175- to 225-mile trips on weeknights. "That's a lot of
travel," Williams said. "I'm going to talk with Mr. Love and
see what we can do."

One option, used by Class 2A schools such as Eldorado and
Ozona in the past was to take overnight trips to the area,
playing Anthony on a Friday night and Van Horn on a
Saturday. "We may look at that, but as far as baseball, I
don't know," Williams said.

The talent difference in the other sports doesn't figure to
be as great as in football. Fabens has a strong volleyball
team this past season; Clint, San Elizario and Mountain View
have fielded competitive basketball teams in recent seasons,
and most of the El Paso-area schools have been strong in
cross country and in the distance races in track and field.

District 2-4A's bi-district rivals will be members of
District 1-4A, which is made up of all the Class 4A schools
from the El Paso ISD, Ysleta and Socorro districts. It is
made up of El Paso High, El Paso Bowie, El Paso Burges, El
Paso Parkland, El Paso Riverside and El Paso Ysleta.

Meanwhile Pecos' former rivals Andrews, Big Spring, Fort
Stockton, San Angelo and Sweetwater will now join Snyder in
District 5-4A. And instead of going out to El Paso for first
round playoff matches, their bi-district round games will be
against District 6-4A, which includes traditional football
powers Brownwood and Stephenville, as well as Cleburne,
Everman and Granbury.

Balmorhea meanwhile, will remain with Buena Vista, Dell
City, Grandfalls, Marathon, Sanderson and Sierra Blanca in
the new District 7-A. However, the district does regain the
first round playoff bye in six-man football they lost two
years ago.

In basketball, the Bears will lose all three of their
current District 29-A rivals, Grandfalls, Buena Vista and
Marathon, and will get a much easier number to remember.
Balmorhea will be in District 1-A, with Dell City, Sierra
Blanca and Valentine as their rivals. Their bi-district
rivals will come from District 2-A, made up of Fort Davis,
Marfa, Wink and Fort Hancock.

Monahans remained in Class 3A despite seeing their
enrollment increase to above 730, as the UIL raised the
bottom cutoff for Class 4A schools from 700 to 780 this
year. Pecos reported about 830 students to the UIL last
fall, when enrollment figures for the realignment were
determined. The upper level for Class 4A is now 1,779
students, also up by 80 from two years ago.

The Loboes will remain with Alpine and Greenwood, while
Kermit, Crane and Presidio take the place of Clint, Fabens
and Mountain View in the new District 4-3A, while Lamesa
drops down from Class 4A to 3A and will be paired with
Seminole, Brownfield, Denver City, Slaton and Colorado City.

The loss of Lamesa and Snyder created the UIL's strange
Panhandle pairings. Canyon and Canyon Randall, located just
outside Amarillo, were put in with Lubbock Estacado,
Levelland, Frenship and Plainview to create the new District
4-4A, while Amarillo Palo Duro joins Amarillo Caprock,
Hereford, Dumas, Pampa and Borger in District 2-4A.

That left the Class 5A district in the Panhandle one school
short, which the UIL filled by moving San Angelo Central out
of District 4-5A with the Midland, Odessa and Abilene
schools and into District 3-5A, where their travel woes will
dwarf Pecos' problems. Central's nearest district rivals
will be in Lubbock, 187 miles away, and they'll also play
Amarillo and Amarillo Tascosa, a 298-mile trip from San

Swimmers win one, lose one on recount

Sports Editor
MONAHANS, Feb. 3 -- The battle for the girls division title
at the District 4 swimming and diving competition on
Monahans on Saturday was over before the final race began.
But the uncertainty about the boys title not only lasted
until the final race, it wasn't finally settled until most
of the teams had packed and gone home.

Pecos' girls won their seventh district title in eight years
by a wide margin Saturday night, pulling away over the final
six events of the evening. Meanwhile, Pecos' boys, seeking
their eighth title in nine years, appeared to have lost out
to Big Spring for the championship when the Steers took the
400 yard freestyle relay, the final event of the night,
based on unofficial tabulations.

But when the winners were announced at the end, the Eagles
were given the title by a 96-94 margin over the Steers.
However, their elation lasted only 30 minutes, until it was
discovered the scorers had forgot to add on the points from
Saturday afternoon's diving finals, where first- and
second-place finished by Big Spring gave them enough points
for their second championship in three seasons.

"It was close, considering we got third in diving (with
sophomore Scott Pounds) and third in the 200 (freestyle),"
said Eagles' coach Terri Morse before the faulty final
numbers were announced. "If we had gotten those, it wouldn't
have even been close."

Matt Ivy was third in the 200 free, just after swimming the
anchor leg in the 200 medley relay, where the Eagles tied
their own District 4 record with a 1:44.14 time. "They
didn't give Matt enough rest after the medley. They didn't
realize until after that they needed to give them more time
between races because things were going so fast. That was
one thing that went against us, but that's just the way
things go."

Big Spring's depth on the boys' side and the Eagles' depth
in the girls division earned them their victories. The boys
set two other district records along the way and finished
with 100 points to Big Spring's 107, while the girls didn't
set any new marks and had one less first place finishes, but
wound up with 104 points, 35 more than Monahans. The Loboes,
last year's district winners, took second by one point when
Big Spring's 400 freestyle relay team was disqualified for
re-entering the water before the last teams in the race had

"Everybody cut their times. The kids surprised me with some
of the time drops, like in the 500 (freestyle). I was really
shocked about that," Morse said.

Liz Parent placed second in the 500 to Big Spring's Somer
Leubner, who was named top girls' swimmer. Parent had a
5:50.12 time to Leubner's 5:45.49, while teammates Jamie
Corson and Briar Prewit were next with 6:23.23 and 6:23.80

Kellee Bagley was sixth in the race as well, and the 13
total points, followed by a victory in the 200 freestyle
relay, helped the Eagles begin to pull away from the Steers,
who trailed by just two points after the first six events

Pecos edged Big Spring by a 1:51.20 to 1:51.81 mark to take
the 200 freestyle, then claimed the 400 freestyle title
after the Steers' disqualification.

Although the Eagles went into the 200 seeded only third,
Morse said, "We planned to get first on that. What really
scared us was Big Spring stacked their 200 free team and not
their (200) medley. But that kind of backfired on them,
because we were still able to win the 200."

The girls' other gold medal came in the 100 butterfly, where
Megan Freeman won with a 1:09.58 time to teammate Randi
Key's 1:10.15.

Kevin Bates tied with Big Spring's Slate Broyles for
outstanding swimmer on the boys' side. Both set one
individual district record, with Bates' coming in the 100
freestyle, which he won in 50.34 seconds, .1 under the old
mark set by Andrews' Mike Visentine. Bates was also a member
of the Eagles' 200 freestyle relay team, which won with a
1:35.24 time, .36 seconds better than the old District 4
mark set by the Eagles four years earlier.

Broyles set the mark in the 100 backstroke, with a 54.96
time, beating out Bates, who was second in 57.60. That left
Pecos five points behind Big Spring with two races to go,
but the Eagles then got help from Andrews' James Cross, when
he upset Big Spring's Billy Beckworth to win the 100 yard
breaststroke. Al Tillman and Grant Holland were third and
fourth in the race, which left the Eagles three points
behind the Steers going into the 400 freestyle.

A win would have given Pecos the title, but swimming with
three freshmen (Holland, Tye Edwards and Cortney Freeman),
the Eagles end up second by 11 seconds and the Steers were
-- eventually -- able to claim the title.

Aside from Bates, Pecos' other gold medal came from Kenneth
Friar, who won the 500 freestyle with a 5:30.65 time. He
earlier lost out by .72 second to Broyles in the 100
butterfly, but his butterfly leg of the 200 medley gave the
Eagles a lead over the Steers they were able to maintain
through the final 100 yards.

The boys' other points came from Tillman and Holland, who
were second and third in the 200 individual medley; Ivy and
Freeman, who were third and sixth in the 500 free; Edwards,
fifth in the 100 fly and fourth in the 100 backstroke; and
Timothy Harrison, fourth in the 500 free.

On the girls' side, freshman Sarah Flores placed second in
the 100 breaststroke; Key earned second in the 100
backstroke, while JoAnn Wein was fourth; Munoz was second
and Wein was fourth in the 100 freestyle; Freeman was third
and Munoz fourth in the 50 free; Parent was second and
Flores fifth in the 200 medley; and Prewit, Corson and
Jennifer Martinez placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the 200

All of the finalists from Saturday's meet will advance to
the Region I Swimming and Diving Championships, set for Feb.
13-14 at the Texas Tech Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Mustangs end Eagles' playoff hopes

Sports Editor

PECOS, Feb. 3 -- The third quarter has been the weak spot
for the Pecos Eagles all season long. Friday night, another
bad third period put an end to the Eagles' last hopes for a
playoff berth as they faced the Andrews Mustangs.

Needing to sweep their last three games to stay alive, the
Eagles were already in trouble at the half, down 30-20 to
Andrews. But in the third quarter, the lead more than
doubled, as Andrews outscored Pecos 17-4 on the way to a
58-39 victory at the Pecos High School gym.

"We picked it back up in the fourth quarter, but we expended
so much energy getting back into the game," said Eagles'
coach Brian Williams, who has been trying to solve the third
quarter problems since early December. "We'll just have to
work on it next year and hope the new group can do a good

"Mathematically, we're out of it, but I'm proud of every
last one of our seniors," said Williams. "Since they've been
in the program, they haven't had any consistency (Williams
is the Eagles' third coach in three years) and that hurt in
the long run."

Andrews ran back door plays on Pecos to get their first half
lead, and continued to find open players cutting towards the
basket in the third period. The decisive series came on
consecutive trips down the court, when Korrie McKinney
scored off a lay up and was fouled by Lorie Marquez, then
scored again inside off a Holly Fields assist after
completing a three-point play.

It turned a 35-22 lead into a 40-22 margin midway through
the quarter, and the Eagles wouldn't score again until
Marisol Arenivas hit a 10-foot jumper with 15 seconds left
in the period.

Andrews never trailed in the game, but the Eagles stayed
within five points for most of the first half, until tiring
in the closing minutes of the second period. That allowed
the taller Mustangs to score twice on rebound opportunities,
with Kayla Kimberlin getting one basket on the Mustangs'
fifth shot.

Penny Armstrong had six points in the first period, which
the Eagles left trailing 16-11, while three-pointers in the
second quarter by Annette Marquez and Arenivas kept things
close. Lorie Marquez also had eight of her team-high 17 in
the half, but missed on three straight foul shots late in
the second period when Andrews went ahead by 10.

The Mustangs' biggest lead came late in the third period, at
47-22, a margin the Eagles were able to cut down to 52-36 in
the fourth quarter. But by then only two minutes remained
and the Mustangs were able to get some fast break baskets in
the final 90 seconds to close out the game.

Armstrong was also in double figures for Pecos with 12
points, while Andrews had a balanced attack, led by McKinney
with 13 points and Gina Esquivel with 10. The win kept
Andrews tied for first with Sweetwater at 7-1 in district,
while Pecos fell to 2-6 in district and 12-13 with two games
to play.

The Eagles still have a shot at finishing above .500 for the
first time in five years with wins in their final two games.
Pecos closes out its home schedule Tuesday against San
Angelo Lake View, and ends the season on Friday with a trip
to Big Spring.

Sutton 4 1-2 9; Graham 0 0-0 0; McKinney 5 2-4 13; Reynolds
1 0-0 2; Fields 3 3-3 9; Gulley 2 3-6 7; Esquivel 5 0-0 10;
Kimberlin 4 1-1 9. Totals 23 11-16 58.

PECOS (39)
Arenivas 4 1-2 9; Lara 0 0-0 0; A. Marquez 1 2-2 5;
Armstrong 5 2-2 12; Orona 0 0-0 0; Quiroz 0 0-0 0; L.
Marquez 7 3-7 17; Hathorn 0 0-2 0; Thorp 0 0-0 0. Totals 15
7-17 39.

Andrews 16 14 17 11 --58
Pecos 11 9 4 15 --39
Three-point goals: Andrews 1 (Mckinney); Pecos 2 (Arenivas,
A. Marquez). Fouled out: None. Total fouls: Andrews 13,
Pecos 15.

Foul finish again fatal for Pecos

PECOS, Feb. 3 -- It was another missed opportunity and
another bad ending for the Pecos Eagles Friday night at the
Pecos High School gym, as the Eagles were kept winless in
District 4-4A play by the Andrews Mustangs.

On the scoreboard, the Eagles dropped a 67-56 decision to
Andrews, but with less than 90 seconds to play, the Eagles
were down 55-54 after a 10 foot jumper by Oscar Luna.
However, the Eagles couldn't make their lay-ups down the
stretch, while Andrews' Jacob Lopez did make his baskets and
Shaud Williams made his free throws, and lots of them.

Lopez scored three baskets in a 48 second span with under 90
seconds to play, and Williams then made the last four of his
14 free throws on the night to make the final margin appear
to be wider than it actually was. It was part of a 22-for-33
night from the line for Andrews, while the Eagles had their
free throw chances as well, but could hit just 13 of their
25 shots.

"I'm sick of losing. Losing stinks," said Eagles' coach Mike
Sadler after the game. "You can say so many positive things.
We played well enough to win tonight. In all five of our
(district) games we played well enough to win, but we just

Sadler was hit with a technical foul in the final seconds,
after Oscar Luna fouled out for bumping into Williams while
coming back onto the court after a lay-up. Williams lifted
his shoulder to make sure he and Luna would make solid
contact, and the call, coming after an earlier non-call on
an Omar Hinojos lay-up, set off the Eagles' coach.

Hinojos finished with 16 points, but struggled with his
shooting. Aside from the bump, which occurred with a minute
left and the Eagles down 57-54, he also saw a lay-up at the
two-minute mark roll out with Pecos again down by three, and
had an 8-for-14 night at the line.

"He got bumped, and you've got to get the foul, that's true
enough, but you've got to convert it when you get the
chance," Sadler said.

Aside from those problems, the Eagles' biggest problem
Friday night was inbounding the ball. Andrews either stole
or Pecos threw away a dozen inbounds passes in the game,
which allowed the Mustangs to get a number of easy baskets
in the process.

With all that going against them, the Eagles did have some
things going their way in the first 3½ quarters. Jacob
Chavez broke out of a recent scoring slump, and led Pecos
with 17, including five 3-pointers, as the Eagles were able
to work the ball around fast enough to get him more open
shots at the basket than in recent games.

Andrews took a 28-24 lead at halftime, before the Eagles
came out in the third period and went on a 16-5 run to go up
by a 40-33 score. Hinojos had two of his four baskets during
the streak, while Fabien Adame had a steal and lay-up and
Luna scored off a three-point play. But by the end of the
quarter the lead was down to one, and while the game stayed
close until the final minute, Andrews took the lead for good
with 4:36 left on foul shots by Wayland Mayfield, who had
problems of his own (6-for-12) from the free throw line.

"One of these days we're going to put four good quarters
together and win one," said Sadler, whose team is now 13-12
overall going into Tuesday's home game against San Angelo
Lake View. Andrews, which got 18 from Williams and 15 from
Mayfield, improved to 5-1 in District 4-4A and remained tied
for first with Sweetwater in the district standings.

Andrews' freshmen held off a late Pecos rally Friday to win
by a 53-44 score, while the Eagles' junior varsity rallied
in the final period behind Hector Rodriguez' 17 points to
down the Mustangs, 52-48.

Dillingham 0 0-0 0; Stricklin 0 0-0 0; McCain 1 0-0 2;
Findley 0 0-0 0; Williams 2 14-15 18; Lopez 5 1-4 11;
Jackson 1 0-0 2; Mayfield 4 6-12 15; Woods 2 0-0 4;
Kimberlin 2 2-2 6. Totals 17 23-33 58.

PECOS (56)
Garcia 1 0-0 2; Luna 0 0-0 0; Martinez 0 0-0 0; Navarette 4
0-0 8; Hinojos 7 6-8 20; Matta 0 0-0 0; Adame 6 4-4 16;
Marquez 0 0-0 0; Chavez 3 0-0 7. Totals 21 10-12 53.

Andrews 7 21 13 26 --67
Pecos 9 15 18 14 --56
Three-point goals: Andrews 1 (Mayfield), Pecos 5 (Chavez 5).
Technical Foul: Pecos, coach Sadler. Fouled out: Pecos,
Adame, Luna. Total fouls: Andrews 19, Pecos 24.

Jones says to expect new coach by Wedensday

Associated Press Writer
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 2 (AP) -- Four people are in the
running to be the next Dallas Cowboys head coach, and owner
Jerry Jones says one them could have the job by Wednesday.

``I'm not going to give his name, but I am very close,''
Jones said during a visit to Springfield on Sunday, when he
was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Among those in the running, he said, are three whose names
have already surfaced in news reports: Green Bay Packers
offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis, former UCLA head coach
Terry Donahue and former San Francisco 49ers coach George
Seifert. He declined to name the fourth.

``It doesn't benefit him and it doesn't benefit us, either,
frankly,'' he said.

In making the final decision, Jones said he was looking for
someone with a dynamic personality who would get both fans
and players alike excited about the Cowboys.

``I'm looking for something that, for the players and the
fans, would give you that spark that would have you up on
your seat,'' Jones said. He said he would like someone who
could provide the same inspiration to his team that his late
father, Springfield entrepreneur J.W. ``Pat'' Jones, gave

He laughed at suggestions he has dragged out the selection
process to hype the team, adding, ``I've worked harder at
this than anything else I've done in a long time.''

Jones added he's been surprised by the publicity the Cowboys
coaching dilemma has generated since Barry Switzer resigned
after the team that won Super Bowls in 1993, '94 and '96
finished last season with a 6-10 record and failed to make
the playoffs.

``When Barry quit, that made a half a page in The New York
Times,'' Jones said, shaking his head.

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