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


Friday, February 13, 1998

Eagles' focus on relays at regionals

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 13 -- Pecos Eagles' swimming coach Terri Morse
is going for quality, not quantity today, at the Region I
swimming and diving championships in Lubbock.
The Eagles qualified at least one person in every event
except for girls 1 meter diving two weeks ago, at the
District 4 championships in Monahans. But when the team
competes today in the regional preliminaries at the Texas
Tech Aquatic Center, there will be Pecos swimmers missing
from several events.

That's because with no individual swimmer seeded higher than
fifth in any event, Morse is putting more emphasis on the
Eagles' relay squads today.

"I'm going to stack them a little bit," she said.
"Eventually, I may change them again for the finals."

Swimmers are allowed to compete in two individual events,
but no more than four events overall. By taking some of her
swimmers out of one individual event, Morse will give them a
chance to swim on all three of the Eagles' relay teams --
the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 free.

"The medley relay for the boys will be the same (as at
district), but for the girls it will all be different,
except for Sarah Flores," Morse said.

Eagles' Kevin Bates, Al Tillman, Kenneth Friar and Matt Ivy
tied the district record in the 200 medley relay two weeks
ago in Monahans, while Bates, Friar, Ivy and Cortney Freeman
broke the old mark in the 200 freestyle.

"In the 200 (free) I'm going to have Kevin, Kenneth, Matt
and Al in it, but in the finals I may put Cortney back on
it," Morse said. "In the 400, I'll have Matt, Al, Tye
(Edwards) and Kenneth, but in the finals I'll take Matt off
it and put Al, Grant (Holland), Tye and Kenneth unless we do
so good going into the finals."

Both 200 relay teams are seeded fifth and will swim in the
final heat of the prelims, while the 400 goes in seeded
ninth and will swim in the next-to-last heat, "We're really
seeded pretty well in the 400, because we had three freshmen
(Freeman, Holland and Edwards), so that was better than I
hoped. I think we'll be able to make the finals without much

The girls' medley was changed up after the Eagles were
seeded 14th going into prelims. Pecos placed second there in
district, while the 200 freestyle relay won the district
title and is seeded sixth in Lubbock, and the 400 relay is
seeded eighth, after a win by forfeit over Big Spring at

Randi Key, Megan Freeman and Dionnie Munoz will join Flores
in the 200 medley, and the first three will only swim one
individual event, while joining Liz Parent on the 200 and
400 freestyle relays squads.

Bates is seeded best individually. He's fifth going into the
100 freestyle and is seventh in the 100 backstroke. "Kevin's
not seeded too badly in the 100, but there are all seniors
ahead of him, so it's going to be tough. But Kevin's had a
better year in the freestyle than in the backstroke, so you
never know."

Friar will swim only one individual race, the 100 butterfly,
where he's seeded seventh, while in today's diving
competition, Scott Pounds has a chance to improve on his
third place district effort and earn some points in a small
regional field. Only about a dozen divers are entered in the
boys' finals, and fewer than that in the girls' division.

On the girls' side in swimming, Parent is the only Eagle
with a Top 10 seeding. She's ninth in the 500 freestyle.
She's also 12th in the 200 individual medley, with the next
best seedings going to Freeman and Key, 13th and 15th in the
100 fly, and to Flores, 15th in the 100 breaststroke.

As is always the case, the Region I meet will match swimmers
from Classes A through 5A together, with only the winner of
each event assured of a berth at the state finals in Austin
on Feb. 27-28. Other berths will be decided according to
fastest times among finalists of the four regional meets.

The highest-seeded swimmer among District 4 qualifiers is
Big Spring's Slate Broyles. He defeated Bates for the 100
backstroke title at district, and is seeded third at
regionals, .71 seconds off the top qualifying time.

Eagles face Mustangs to close hoop season

PECOS, Feb. 13 -- The Pecos Eagles get their final shot at
winning a District 4-4A basketball game tonight, and at the
same time can do either Andrews or San Angelo Lake View a
big favor, when the 1997-98 boys hoop season concludes at
home against the Sweetwater Mustangs.

The Eagles take on the Mustangs in junior varsity and
varsity games at 6 and 7:30 p.m. They'll be trying not only
to snap their nine game district loss streak, but also
recover from a pair of lopsided losses during the past week,
after narrow defeats in their first seven 4-4A games.

That included a 64-53 loss in Sweetwater last month, when
Derrick Franklin broke loose in the third quarter for nine
of his 24 points. It helped turned a two-point Pecos
halftime lead into as much as a 16-point Mustang advantage,
and a late Eagle rally fell short. Omar Hinojos and Fabien
Adame, who had 15 and 12 points on Tuesday, put in 20 and 16
respectively, in the loss at Sweetwater.

Hinojos also had a strong game last Friday, but the Eagles
were out of both those games well before the final period.
They lost by 23 points at Big Spring and by a 79-51 score in
Fort Stockton this past Tuesday. Ice-cold shooting from
3-point range has played a part in Pecos' problems, as they
managed just one 3-pointer in the first half of their losses
to the Steers and Panthers.

Sweetwater has already clinched a playoff berth, but the
preseason favorites could find themselves playing for second
place if they lose tonight. The 7-2 Mustangs are tied for
first with Andrews and Lake View, who play this evening in
San Angelo. Sweetwater will either play the winner or the
loser of that game for the district title or the runner-up
spot next Monday or Tuesday, depending on how they fare
against Pecos.

Big Spring round opens Pecos boys' golf season

PECOS, Feb. 13 -- A week after the Pecos Eagles opened their
1998 girls golf season, the boys will begin play today, as
they travel with the girls to Big Spring, for the two-day
Big Spring Invitational.

It's the lone tournament of the month for the varsity boys,
who'll have three more 36-hole tournaments in March before
the start of District 4-4A play, at the Reeves County Golf
Course on March 28. Andrews and San Angelo will host the
final rounds of the 54-hole tournament in April.

Like the girls, the Eagles will get to see their district
tournament courses in pre-district play before going back
for 4-4A competition. However, today and tomorrow they'll be
seeing Big Spring's country club and municipal course, as
will the girls, with the two fields swapping sites on

This year's tournament will at least have better weather
than a year ago, golf coach Kim Anderson said. "Last year it
was about three degrees when we got there, with the wind
chill factor, and we had to wait until about noon for the
greens to thaw before we could play."

The Eagles wound up 23rd that day, but figure to do better
this time around, with most of their players back from a
year ago. Junior Casey Love had the best score last season
for the Eagles, shooting a 163 in the bad weather conditions.

Pecos' girls were sixth a year ago in Big Spring and were
sixth last weekend, in the season-opening San Angelo
Tournament. Sophomore Jennifer Armstrong placed 11th in the
individual standings with a 36-hole total of 175 while Alva
Alvarez was second for the Eagles with a 182.

Pecos Eagles 1998
Boys Golf Schedules

x - District
13-14 (Fri.-Sat.) - at Big Spring (Varsity)8 a.m.
17 (Tue.) - at Andrews JV Tourn. (JV) 8 a.m.

6-7 (Fri.-Sat) - at Andrews Invitational (Varsity) 8
13-14 (Fri.-Sat.) - at San Angelo Invitational (Varsity) 8 a.m.
20-21 (Fri.-Sat.) - at Fort Stockton Invitational (Varsity)
8 a.m.
28 (Sat.) - x-at Pecos (Var., JV) 9 a.m.

4 (Sat.) x-at Andrews (Var., JV) 9 a.m.
16 (Thur.) x-at San Angelo (Var., JV) 9 a.m.

Chan a mystery, but has Aikman's support

AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Feb. 13 -- The biggest testimony to the hiring of
unheralded Chan Gailey as the new Dallas Cowboys coach was
the big smile on Troy Aikman's face.

Aikman was the unhappiest Cowboy under Barry Switzer's reign
in the last two years, when the team was 17-17.

``I like what I heard him say,'' Aikman said of Gailey.
``I'm excited to get the past behind us.''

Aikman was laughing and joking, personality traits that
weren't visible last season when the Cowboys fell to 6-10.
Switzer paid the price on Jan. 9, when he resigned with
owner Jerry Jones' strong permission.

Gailey became the fourth and least-heralded coach in the
Cowboys' 38-year history Thursday, walking the Valley Ranch
halls where such storied leaders as Tom Landry, Jimmy
Johnson and Switzer produced Super Bowl champions.

Gailey has been responsible for one champion as head coach,
winning the 1984 NCAA Division II title at Troy State.

But he impressed Jones in a four-day courtship that ended a
34-day search by the sometimes uncertain owner.

``I sat on the front of my seat when I saw his energy
level,'' said Jones, who never met Gailey before they got
together Sunday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
``He'll put fire into the players when they see his skill

Gailey, the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator the
last two years, beat out such big names as former San
Francisco coach George Seifert and Green Bay offensive
coordinator Sherman Lewis.

Former UCLA coach Terry Donahue almost had the job, but lost
it in a battle with Jones over money and control.

``Jerry's long search might have been the best thing that
happened,'' Aikman said. ``I think Chan can put his stamp on
the team and give it a sense of direction.''

Jones liked the fact Gailey has spent 10 years as an NFL
assistant. Four of those teams reached the Super Bowl and
seven were division winners, while enduring only one losing

This past season, his play-calling helped the Steelers reach
the AFC championship game, although some of his decisions
were criticized after a 24-21 loss to Denver.

``With each stop along the coaching road, he's made a very
vivid and lasting impression,'' Jones said.

Gailey, 46, was given a five-year contract. His salary was
expected to be about $500,000 per year -- the same amount
Donahue was offered.

``I plan to work hard and get the guys organized to play,''
Gailey said. ``I don't plan to run around here with a whip,
but I'm focused on what has to be done. The goal is to win
the Super Bowl, and I'm fortunate to get a nucleus of
players to get that done.''

Gailey said he isn't going to be a puppet for Jones.

``Our relationship will be good, don't worry about it,''
Gailey said.

Denver quarterback John Elway, who worked with Gailey when
he was offensive coordinator for the Broncos, said the
Cowboys have a treat coming.

``The Cowboys are going to be delighted with him,'' Elway
said. ``Troy is going to enjoy working with him as I did
during his days here in Denver. He is a great coach and a
quality person. I think you'll see he is going to be one of
the great coaches of this league.''

Wide receiver Michael Irvin, a vocal backer of Lewis, said:
``I'm totally excited about Gailey. We needed somebody with
a creative head for the game. The way Pittsburgh plays says
a lot about his ability.''

Irvin said he backed Lewis because ``he deserves to be head
coach. I thought it was important to let Jerry know that.''

Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher said: ``I'm happy for Chan.
People will find out soon enough that he is a good coach. We
all were no-names at one time.''

Gailey said he knows what he has to do: get the Cowboys back
in the playoffs, which they missed for the first time in
seven years.

``I am very focused about what has to be done and where we
have to go,'' he said.

U.S. zooms to first luge gold medal

AP Sports Writer
NAGANO, Japan, Feb. 13 -- Bodies flew on the slopes and on
the ice in a bruising day at the Winter Games. But it was
smooth sliding for the ``Arctic Evel Knievels,'' who won
America's first two Olympic luge medals ever.

Sweden beat a star-studded U.S. hockey team 4-2 as NHL
players crashed the Olympics boards for the first time,
while the Hermanator crashed in spectacular fashion and a
French skier brought back memories of Jean-Claude Killy 30
years ago.

Nine Olympics worth of failure in the luge ended for the
United States when two American doubles teams racing
back-to-back finished just behind a German team to win the
silver and bronze medals.

Before, the teams of Gordy Sheer and Chris Thorpe, and Mark
Grimmette and Brian Martin, were the only Olympians with
their own theme song -- ``Arctic Evel Knievels'' by Mojo
Nixon. Now they are the only American lugers with Olympic

``Well, we broke the barrier,'' Sheer said. ``I guess it's
now up to everyone else who comes after us to live up to our
performance and one-up us and get the gold medal. That's
someone else's job next time.''

Sheer and Thorpe bantered between themselves at the top of a
luge run that only a day earlier had turned into a river
amid heavy rains. Then they raced through the curving course
to finish two runs at 1:41.127, edging Martin and Grimmette,
who were at 1:41.217.

Only Stefan Krausse and Jan Behrendt had a chance left to
win. And the Germans took full advantage of it, making up
time on the bottom part of the course to finish in 1:41.105,
the closest doubles winning margin in Olympic history --
22-thousandths of a second.

While the United States was running its medal count to six
overall in as many days of competition, the Austrians
faltered in a downhill they had been favored to dominate.

Brilliant sunshine following a day of rain turned parts of
the course slushy and left others a slick sheet of ice. On
an icy bend near the start, seven downhillers crashed off
the course, including Austrian ski ace Hermann Maier --
``The Hermanator.''

In what is so far the defining image of the games, Maier
flew upside down off the course, then tumbled
head-over-heels through two safety nets before finally
coming to a halt.

Only 11 of the first 20 racers were able to finish,
including Jean-Luc Cretier, who skied conservatively to the
first French downhill gold since Killy won on the slopes of
Grenoble in 1968.

``There were a lot of guys who were really pushing the
envelope and they weren't skiing tactically smart,'' U.S.
downhiller Kyle Rasmussen said. ``You could not go out there
and ski like Hermann Maier -- look what happened to him.''

Maier was not seriously injured, but had to withdraw from
the men's combined held later in the day. Italy's Luca
Cattaneo wasn't so lucky, tearing his left Achilles' tendon
after losing control and forcing a 29-minute halt to the
race while he was airlifted out.

Cretier finished a half-second ahead of Lasse Kjus of
Norway, while Hannes Trinkl saved face for the mighty
Austrian team by winning the bronze. Defending champion
Tommy Moe of Jackson, Wyo., finished 12th.

-- ALPINE SKIING: Kjus finished second to Austrian Mario
Reiter in the men's combined and became the first skier to
win two Alpine medals on the same day. Reiter, sidelined for
much of the World Cup season with a groin injury, kicked off
his skis and threw them into the air after building up a
lead in the slalom runs and holding on in the downhill.
Austria's Christian Mayer won the bronze.

The race was held on the same day as the downhill because of
bad weather that jumbled the Alpine schedule.

-- HOCKEY: It's hard to name a favorite when almost all the
teams in the Olympic round-robin are loaded with NHL
players. Sweden showed why today, coming back from a
two-goal deficit to beat the United States 4-2. Daniel
Alfredsson scored twice on assists by Peter Forsberg, and
Patric Kjellberg added another goal as the Swedes opened
defense of an Olympic gold medal won under far different
conditions four years ago..

The flag-waving, sign-toting crowd saw the liveliest hockey
action yet, after a week of games featuring the tournament's
lesser teams with few NHL players. Bodies crashed the boards
and players pushed and shoved in freewheeling action on the
bigger international ice.

Dominik Hasek, who has seven shutouts for Buffalo this
season, got his first in the Olympics as the Czech Republic
opened play by beating Finland 3-0. Canada and Russia both
showed they will be powers in this tournament: Canada beat
Belarus 5-0 and Russia whipped outmanned Kazakstan 9-2.

-- NORDIC COMBINED: The home fans keep flocking to the ski
jump. And they keep getting disappointed. Just when it
seemed the Nagano twins would take the lead in the ski
jumping portion of the Nordic combined, Norway's Bjarte
Engen Vik uncorked a huge jump. Some 35,000 people gathered
to watch Kenji Ogiwara, the world champion, and his twin
brother, Tsugiharu, who are big stars in Japan.

Vik's 94.5 meters puts him in front going into the
cross-country portion of the event Saturday. Tsugiharu
Ogiwara was third, and his brother ninth.

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