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


Wednesday, February 4, 1998

Eagles starting from scratch in softball

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 4 -- Try to imagine what high school baseball
would be like for the Pecos Eagles if they did nothing but
toss slow underhand pitches to batters while they were in
Little League and Senior League, and there were no passed
balls, wild pitches or stolen bases to contend with.

Welcome to the debut season of the Pecos Eagles' girls
softball team. It's going to be a learning experience for
all involved, but things could improve rapidly, especially
when realignment takes effect next year.

It's not that the 18 girls out at Maxey Park on Tuesday --
or those still in basketball or swimming who will come out
over the next two weeks -- have never played softball. It's
just that most of them have never played fast pitch
softball, where the ball comes into home plate just about as
quickly as in baseball, and runners can steal bases or
advance on balls that get past the catcher, unlike its
slow-pitch softball counterpart.

With that in mind, new coach Tammy Walls spent part of
Tuesday looking for both pitchers and catchers for her team,
which will hold its first scrimmage next Tuesday at home
against Monahans, and plays its first game on Feb. 20
against the Alpine Bucks.

"I think a couple of them seem to have it down, but until
they pick up a bat, I won't know," Walls said. "I've got
about 10 or 12 more coming out from basketball next week, so
I really won't know where we are until then."

"They're all pretty athletic, so I think that's going to be
a plus," said Walls, who has six weeks before Pecos opens
District 4-4A play, with a March 17 trip to Fort Stockton.

On Tuesday, Walls was working with junior Heather
Uptergrove, one of two out-of-state transfers who played
fast-pitch in the past, on developing a windmill delivery,
while trying out senior Gabi Bafidis at catcher, where her
brother Ponchito started as Pecos' catcher for four seasons
back in the 1980s.

"I'm just going to see how they do there," said Walls, who
will be working with assistant coach Becky Wein to try and
develop the program from scratch.

Softball is a relatively new sport to all Class 4A schools,
but the Eagles are the last of the six district schools to
take up the sport. Andrews and Big Spring played a couple of
seasons of club softball before going into UIL play three
years ago, and the Mustangs not only won the District 4-4A
title last season, they advanced to the state tournament in

Fort Stockton also has a couple of seasons of District 4-4A
softball under their belts, while Sweetwater and San Angelo
Lake View joined in 1997. Meanwhile, the Eagles' softball
program was just approved earlier this school year by
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members, and talks last Spring
about playing club softball for one season before beginning
UIL play failed to produce any results.

So Pecos will be at a disadvantage as far as experience goes
when they face their five district rivals, though that will
change next season, when Pecos moves into its new home in
District 2-4A. Canutillo is the only school that has an
established program, while the others -- Clint, Mountain
View, Fabens and San Elizario -- are joining the Eagles in
starting up programs this season. The first three will play
in District 3-3A against Monahans and Alpine, while San
Elizario will play a junior varsity-only schedule this year.

With no fast pitch leagues in place locally, some Pecos
girls in junior high and elementary school have been going
to Monahans the past couple of years to play in their summer
fast-pitch league, and Wein's husband, Pat, said a meeting
has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. this Friday at the Maxey
Park softball field to try and organize girls fast pitch
leagues in Pecos.

The league would be divided into 8-9, 10-12 and 13-15 year
old divisions, similar to those in the Monahans league.
Anyone interested in coaching or helping out should either
be at the field Friday afternoon, or should call Wein at

Eagles again done in during final minutes

Sports Editor
PECOS, Feb. 4 -- It's often said about the NBA that you can
skip watching all but the last two minutes of a game,
because that's when all the good stuff happens.

Turn that around, and you've got the Pecos Eagles' District
4-4A basketball season -- watch everything but the last two
minutes, because that's when everything bad happens.

The Eagles fell behind by 16 points less than 10 minutes
into Tuesday night's game against the San Angelo Lake View
Chiefs, but cut that to four by halftime and took the lead
midway through the third quarter on a driving lay-up by
Oscar Luna. They would then go up by as many as six points
in the fourth quarter, only to see the Chiefs rally, holding
Pecos scoreless over the final 2:45 of play to win by a
61-54 final score.

The game opened as if the Chiefs were going to post a
40-point blowout on Pecos. Led by their 6-foot-4 and 6-6
posts, Jorge Villarreal and Cody Renfro, Lake View dominated
inside on offense, and forced the Eagles to change their
shots at the defensive end. After Omar Hinojos cut the
Eagles' deficit to 15-10 with a lay-up. Villarreal did the
same down at the other end to begin a 12-point run that took
up the last two minutes of the first period and the first
two of the second quarter.

A lay-up by Fernando Navarrete finally stopped the bleeding,
and then for some odd reason, Lake View stopped working the
ball inside. The Chiefs began hoisting up 3-pointers while
the Eagles suddenly found openings inside.

Fabien Adame rebounded a Navarrete miss, and would add two
more baskets as the third period ended, Jacob Chavez hit
from 3-point range to cut the gap to 31-27, and the Chiefs
closed out the period when 6-2 Kendall Jones and 6-5 Michael
Williams both missed open lay-ups and then lost the ball to
Pecos 5-7 Hector Garcia.

Navarrete and Adame then tied the game with lay-ups as the
third period opened, and Luna's basket would later put the
Eagles ahead for the first time, before San Angelo finally
settled down. The teams traded baskets for the next six
minutes, with another 3-pointer by Chavez giving the Eagles
a 43-41 lead going into the final period.

But by then Chavez had been whistled for four fouls. Chavez
would stay in the game and hit his third `3' of the night to
break a 45-all tie, but moments later he was gone after
colliding with Alonzo Robinson trying for a steal.

Sadler put Frank Perea in the game, and he nailed his first
shot from 3-point range to make it 51-45. But Lake View then
remembered what got them their first quarter lead and went
back inside, as Renfro, Williams and Villarreal scored,
cutting the lead to 52-51.

Adame would then get what turned out to be the Eagles' final
points of the night on a lay-up, before two at the other end
by Jones put San Angelo ahead with 2:20 to play.

Pecos then threw the ball away twice in their next three
trips downcourt, while Navarrete missed from 3-point range
and Hinojos couldn't hit from inside. That forced Pecos to
foul and the Chiefs sank 5-of-8 foul shots in the final 45
seconds for their seven-point victory.

Villarreal and Renfro both finished with 18 and the win,
coupled with Fort Stockton's loss to Sweetwater, gives the
Chiefs a 5-2 district mark and a two game lead in the race
for the final District 4-4A playoff berth. Lake View is 17-8
on the season.

Pecos was led by Adame with 14 points and Chavez with 11, as
the Eagles fell to 13-14 on the season ad 0-7 in district.
The Eagles did score a pair of sub-varsity victories on
Tuesday, as the junior varsity downed Lake View 69-65, while
the freshmen beat Balmorhea's JV, 57-40. Hector Garcia had
14 to lead the JV, while David Chavez had 11 and Alex Garcia
10 for the freshmen.

Pecos' mistakes costly in loss to Lake View

PECOS, Feb. 4 -- It was a pretty close race as to which hurt
the Pecos Eagles more -- the foul shots or the bad passes --
in their 60-53 loss Tuesday night to the San Angelo Lake
View Maidens.

The Eagles were whistled for 27 fouls on the night, which
sent Lake View to the line 29 times, 18 of those in the
second period. Those fouls and free throws helped give the
Maidens the lead, but it was the bad passes that denied the
Eagles a chance to rally in the fourth quarter, as they
closed out the home portion of their 1997-98 basketball
season on a losing note.

Lake View took a 28-22 lead after two periods, and the
margin could have been more, but the Maidens missed eight of
10 foul shots in the last 2½ minutes of the half. But the
Eagles missed their own free throws in the fourth quarter,
once down by three points, a second time down by four and a
third after they had cut a 55-45 deficit to 55-49 with 1:05
to play.

"Those free throws killed us," said Eagles' coach Brian
Williams. "That and the turnovers."

Several times, Eagles' post Lorie Marquez saw her full-court
passes fall short of their mark and were picked off by Lake
View's defenders. It was part of a five-point night for the
Eagles' leading scorer, who picked up three fouls in the
first five minutes of play, but survived until the closing
seconds before fouling out.

"We need her on the court. I used my last time out to
remained everyone how many fouls they have and to make sure
they didn't pick up that fifth foul," Williams said.

Marquez' long stretch on the bench and later foul trouble by
post Ivy Thorp left things open inside for Lake View to get
several rebound baskets, as well as foul shots off their own
missed free throws in the second quarter -- eight in one 30
second span.

Meanwhile, Stacy Bartz wasn't going to the foul line, but
she was getting open inside enough to score 28 points, after
a 27-point effort in last month's win over Pecos in San

"We just led her get too good a position," Williams said.

While Marquez struggled, Shay Lara bounced back from being
shutout by Andrews last Friday to lead Pecos with 14 points,
while Penny Armstrong added 11. "Shay had an outstanding
night, and Penny did a good job on the boards," said

Lara gave the Eagles their only lead of the night as the
first period ended, scoring on a rebound lay-up and drawing
the foul for a three-point play. It put the Eagles ahead
10-12, but Pecos wouldn't score again until midway through
the final period, after the Maidens put in 10 straight

Lake View as up by nine in the third period when Armstrong
had a pair of baskets around two foul shots by Lara to cut
the lead back to 37-34. The Eagles would get to within 43-41
early in the final period, when their foul shooting problems
hit. Bartz then scored eight points to put Lake View ahead
by 10, before Pecos made one last rum, cutting the margin to
57-52 on a 3-pointers by Annette Marquez with 36.6 seconds

But unlike the second quarter, Lake View was able to make
just enough free throws after that to widen the lead while
the Eagles' final 3-point tries fell short.

The loss left Pecos with a 2-7 mark in District 4-4A, and
12-14 overall, while Lake View improved to 4-5 and 15-12
overall. The regular season closes out for the Eagles Friday
night in Big Spring.

Deal with Donahue apparently falls through

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- First, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry
Jones said he planned to announce a successor to Barry
Switzer by midweek. Now, Jones says he has no timetable for
naming a coach.

Jones' midweek projection didn't seem likely to come true
after former UCLA coach Terry Donahue caught the first
flight out of town on Tuesday.

Donahue spent Monday night at Jones' mansion for a third
interview, and appeared on the verge of being named Cowboys
coach. He wasn't talking after returning home to California.

Jones, meanwhile, extended the contracts of five assistant
coaches and hired a sixth, and the mystery of his plans for
a head coach grew deeper when he suddenly said he has no

``I don't need to have this done by this week or before the
(NFL) combine or after the combine or before the draft or
after the draft,'' Jones said. ``There's no reason to set a
time frame and compromise my decision.''

Donahue's hasty exit fueled speculation that things didn't
go well. Several reports, citing sources close to Donahue,
said he fears coaching under a meddling owner such as Jones.

Former UCLA coach Pepper Rodgers, a friend of Donahue, told
The Dallas Morning News that Jones offered the job on
Monday, but talks hit a snag when they got down to details.

``Terry was upset about certain conditions,'' Rodgers said.
``He's gone back to California to think some more about

The Washington Post reported today that Donahue abruptly
broke off talks with Jones and told friends he was
uncomfortable with some aspects of negotiations.

Jones, who hired Jimmy Johnson and Switzer although they had
no NFL coaching experience, also claims to have a
``mystery'' candidate he can fall back on if all else fails.

He insists he'll have a coach that will have the players and
fans ``sitting up in their seats.''

Donahue was set to fly to Indianapolis on Thursday with the
Cowboys for the NFL combine, and it wasn't known if that
trip is still planned.

Green Bay offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis and former San
Francisco coach George Seifert have had two interviews each.
Lewis got to spend two nights at the Jones mansion, while
Seifert has yet to be summoned there.

Donahue had a 20-year career at UCLA, but never won a
national title as had Johnson and Switzer, who quit Jan. 9
after going 6-10 in his fourth and final season as the
team's coach.

Donahue, who coached Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman in
college, resigned from UCLA after the 1995 season. He has
been working as a college football analyst for CBS.

Dallas also needs an offensive coordinator to replace Ernie
Zampese, who has gone to New England. The team hired
Clarence Shelmon of the Seattle Seahawks as running backs
coach on Tuesday to replace Joe Brodsky, who has gone to

The team said it also extended the contracts of defensive
coordinator Dave Campo, linebackers coach Jim Bates,
kicking-offensive quality control coach Steve Hoffman,
offensive line coach Hudson Houck and secondary coach Mike

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