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


Thursday, February 12, 1998

Seven locals entered in Gloves

PECOS, Feb. 12 -- Seven local boxers will be competing this
weekend in the fourth annual West of the Pecos Golden Gloves
Tournament at the Reeves County Civic Center.

That's one fewer than had been expected, after boxer
Gilbert Plasencia was the vicitm of a stabbing incident
Wednesday afternoon, Pecos Warbirds trainer Roy Juarez said.

Plasencia was taken to Reeves County Hospital, where he was
treated for his injury and released, assistant administrator
Iris Rives said.

Plasencia was scheduled to be one of four Junior Olympic
Division boxers the Warbirds would have in the tournament,
along with Open Division boxer Jesus Marruffo.

Pecos' new boxing team, the Rattlesnakes, will have three
fighters entered in the tournament, said manager Jaime

Warbirds manager Fred Martin was busy Wednesday working out
pairings for the tournament, which will match fighters from
across the Permian Basin and Texas Panhandle. Open Division
winners will advance to the State Golden Gloves Tournament
next month in Fort Worth.

Marruffo is the first Open Division fighters the Wardbirds
have had in several years. Last year, he survived early
problems to defeat Joe Charles of the Lubbock Warriors in
the 135-pound weight class of the Junior Olympic 15-16 year
old division.

Ricky Rubio, Peter Juarez, Michael Vasquez and Plasencia
also were winners at last year's Golden Gloves, and the
first three will be the other Warbird entries.

Rubio downed Jose Gonzlaes of San Angelo Luna in the
15-year-old 130 pound division, Plasencia beat Steve Benitez
of Sundown in the same age group at 119 pounds, while at
80-85 pounds Juarez beat San Angelo's Jaime Gonzales in the
12-14 division and Vasquez downed Lubbock's Henry Castillo
in the 11-12 age group.

"They've been sparring for a while," Juarez said. "The one
who may get a little more tired is Marruffo, because he's
working and has only been practicing twice a week. The
others come here every night."

Juarez said Marruffo will fight at 139 pounds, Rubio will
fight at 132, Juarez at 110 pounds and Vasquez at 100.

Marquez, who started his own team last fall, said, "We've
got about two months training, but they haven't had any
fighting experience. Out of 21 kids I'm going to have
(three) who are going to fight, and the rest will probably
be ready for Odessa (next week)."

He said Greg Barrera, Jr., Joe Manuel Barrera and Joseph
Garcia would be his three fighters entered, all in the
Junior Olympic Division. Greg Barrera will fight at 55
pounds, Joe Manuel Barrera at 115 and Garcia at 85 pounds,
Marquez said.

The two-day tournament begins at 7 p.m. Friday, and
concludes with finals at the same time on Saturday night.
Tickets for the tournament are $5 for adults and $3 for

Chamber backing tourney, but needs help

PECOS, Feb. 12 -- Pecos Chamber of Commerce executive
director Tom Rivera said Monday the chamber will continue to
support events such as the West of the Pecos Golden Gloves,
but wanted to stress that the boxing tournament -- as well
as other local events -- need more outside community support
to be successful.

Rivera was responding to criticism by tournament organizer
Fred Martin in last Friday's Enterprise that the chamber had
provided less help in preparing this year's tournament.
Martin said combined with a lack of other outside support,
it could cost Pecos the Golden Gloves Tournament after this

"This is going to be the fourth year the Chamber has
supported the tournament, and we're going to continue to
support it, Rivera said. "We got it going, now we need
somebody to pick up the ball and keep it going."

Chamber members were told by president Richard Crider
during their Tuesday meeting their help was needed for the
tournament on Friday and Saturday at the Reeves County Civic

The Golden Gloves was expected to attract boxers from as
far away as Amarillo and Abilene to Pecos this weekend.
Rivera said last year's tournament took in $6,128, according
to Chamber figures, while costing the Chamber $6,433, though
those numbers don't include food, gas, motel and other
expenses paid for by out-of-town visitors.

"The Chamber always supports events, it just doesn't
necessarily mean it has to be the sole sponsor of the
events," Rivera said. "It's gotten to the point the Chamber
is doing more on events than what it should be doing for
members and promoting tourism."

Rivera said he ad Crider agree with the goals of the
Chamber, and added neither member can decide on the group's
actions alone.

"I can't make decisions for the Chamber. They have to go
before the board and they say `yes we can' or `no we can't'
and no one board member can decide, either," he said.
"That's why the Chamber preaches community involvement. We
can have a lot more events in the community if the community
gets involved in the process."

Olympics now enduring rain delays

NAGANO, Japan, Feb. 12 (AP) -- The Winter Games turned into
watery games today, as driving rain and high winds left
athletes and spectators soggy, forced more skiing
postponements and sent an icy river flowing down the bobsled

For a Canadian snowboarder, the games turned golden again.

On a day when miserable weather once more played havoc with
the Nagano Olympics, Ross Rebgliati got back the gold medal
taken from him because he tested positive for marijuana.

Teammates and fellow boarders had appealed for return of
the medal. Fellow Canadian snowboarder Michael Michalchuck
even unfurled a homemade sign printed on a restaurant napkin
as he finished his halfpipe run today -- ``Ross is the
champion. Give him the gold back,'' it read.

In the end it was a legal technicality that carried the day
for the 26-year-old Rebagliati before an international
appeals board.

The Committee for the Arbitration of Sport, an independent
appeal panel that has overturned International Olympic
Committee drug sanctions before, did it again by reinstating
Rebagliati's medal. The committee bypassed the issue of
recreational drug use, ruling merely that there was no
specific agreement between the IOC and international skiing
officials regarding the drug. Rebagliati had appealed being
stripped of the medal, saying he was merely exposed to
marijuana smoke and did not smoke it himself recently.

Heavy snows that have plagued the glamour Alpine skiing
events gave way to thunderstorms that boomed through the
mountains and turned the village of Hakuba into a slushy,
watery mess. Outside a hotel where the U.S. ski team was
staying, at least 2 feet of water covered the access road.

Rivers of water streamed down the bobsled run, forcing
cancellation of today's second practice. Cross-country
skiers slogged on, with Norway's Bjorn Dahlie becoming the
first man to win six Winter Olympics gold medals and
Russia's Larissa Lazutina the first double gold winner of

U.S. snowboarders won two bronze medals, doubling the
American medal take through five days of competition.

With above-freezing temperatures and winds gusting to 37
mph, forecasters had a field day. First they issued a gale
warning, then a thaw warning and, finally, an avalanche
warning for the Happo'one course in the mountains
surrounding Nagano.

The men's downhill race was wiped out for the third time in
five days, and the men's downhill portion of the combined
had to be postponed too.

With nine Alpine events still to be run and 10 days left in
the games, officials were forced to schedule doubleheaders.

``As long as the Olympic flame is burning, we can
reschedule races,'' said Gian Franco Kasper, secretary
general of the international ski federation. ``We will do
our best to avoid any cancellation.''

The men's downhill, men's combined downhill and the two
women's downhill training runs -- all called off today --
were rescheduled for Friday. The men's super-G, originally
scheduled for Friday, was pushed back to Saturday, where it
will be the first half of a skiing twinbill that includes
the women's downhill.

So far, America's Picabo Street has won all the Alpine
skiing gold medals awarded in these games -- one. She took
that Wednesday, when a rare day of sunshine allowed the
women's super-G to take place.

``We watched it turn from clear to cloudy to snowing a
little bit to blizzard to fog to rain,'' Street said today.
``We could have gone out there and fished for polliwogs.''

-- CROSS-COUNTRY: Dahlie, undisputed Olympic king of cross
country, bounced back from a horrendous showing in Monday's
30-kilometer race to win the 10K classical. Dahlie's triumph
before a large crowd huddled under umbrellas in the rain
goes with the three golds he won at Albertville in 1992 and
the two he collected in his native Norway at Lillehammer in
'94. He can win a seventh gold Saturday in the 15K

Lazutina added the 10K freestyle pursuit to the 5K title
she won Tuesday, holding off a strong challenge from fellow
Russian Olga Danilova and the Czech skier Katerina
Neumannova, who took the silver and bronze medals. Lazutina
also has a silver medal and Russia has a total of three
golds and two silvers in cross country.

Judge allows Martin use of golf cart

EUGENE, Ore., Feb. 12 (AP) -- When Casey Martin sued the PGA
Tour for a chance to ride a cart while playing the pro golf
tour, he had only himself and his painful right leg in mind.

After his federal court victory Wednesday -- the first time
the Americans with Disabilities Act was invoked for
competition in a major sport -- Martin said he wants to be
an inspiration for others with handicaps.

``I was doing this selfishly,'' Martin said. ``I realized if
I win, that would open the way. That's something to feel
good about. I'd like to be a role model. Hopefully, I'll do
a good job.''

The Nike Tour rookie asked for a cart to accommodate his
rare circulatory disorder that makes it painful and even
dangerous to walk. His doctors say too much stress on his
withered right leg could cause it to break, which could
force amputation

``I hope five to 10 years from now, if I'm still able to
play golf, the PGA will lean back and scratch their heads
and say, ``Why did we fight this guy?''' he said.

Martin's case caused a national debate over the rights of
the disabled to compete in professional sports, and
generated an outpouring of public sympathy, an endorsement
from Bob Dole, and book and movie offers.

Sporting a Nike golf shirt that he donned after leaving
court, the 25-year-old Stanford grad and former teammate of
Tiger Woods said he would have lunch today with Nike
chairman Phil Knight, who bucked the PGA Tour and signed
Martin to be part of the company's new ad campaign, ``I

The PGA Tour, which said it will appeal U.S. Magistrate
Thomas Coffin's decision to the 9th District Court in San
Francisco, will provide Martin with a cart March 5-8 in the
Nike Tour's Greater Austin Open in Texas.

``The PGA Tour is disappointed with the court's decision,''
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. ``As we have said
from the outset of this lawsuit, we believe firmly in the
basic premise of any sport, that one set of rules must be
applied equally to all competitors.

``We also disagree with the judge's prior ruling that PGA
Tour competitions are places of public accommodation. In our
view, the area inside the ropes at a PGA Tour event is no
different than the playing field in any other professional
sport, and is not therefore a place of public accommodation.
The PGA Tour believes that the ADA was not designed or
intended to apply to competitors in professional sporting
events, including professional tournament golf.''

Coffin faulted the tour for failing to consider Martin's
individual medical condition.

During the six-day trial, tour lawyers instead emphasized
principles of fair competition, arguing a cart would give
Martin an advantage and remove the fundamentals of
athleticism and stamina that walking gives the game at its
highest levels.

The judge acknowledged that the walking-only rule was
``substantive,'' but said the PGA Tour failed to prove that
waiving the rule for Martin alone would fundamentally alter

As for the argument that walking the course is a test of
stamina, Coffin said walking 18 holes over a period of five
hours is ``not significantly taxing'' for an able-bodied

``The fatigue level from his condition is easily greater
than of an able-bodied person walking the same course,''
Coffin said.

PGA Tour stars say they see trouble ahead.

Fred Couples, with a chronically sore back, said it's ``much
easier to play golf riding a cart.

``I don't understand how anyone can say, in golf, you don't
expend any energy playing it,'' said Couples, in Honolulu
for the Hawaiian Open. ``That's the biggest farce in the
world. That's the only thing that irritates me about this.''

Added Paul Azinger, ``Why is it for only one guy? If a guy
really needs a cart to get around, then there are a lot of
other guys that could use a golf cart as well.

``I guess some of the questions some of the players have
had, but not me, is does he take a wheelchair from the 18th
green to his car?''

Martin said he hopes to live up to the public's expectations
of him now, and doesn't want to be treated as an outcast.

``The public has spoken, the courts have spoken, you'd think
they'd get it.''

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Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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