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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Thursday, March 19, 1998

Association wants pro dismissed

Monahans Golf Association has turned up the heat on the golf
course issue. In their annual meeting on Thursday, March 12,
members of the association decided they want Golf Pro Doug
Ward dismissed to make room for a new grounds keeper.

"They all agreed the golf course problems related back to
Doug Ward," says County Judge Sam G. Massey.

Golf Pro Ward is no relation to Monahans High School swim
coach Doug Ward.

Massey says several people attended the meeting who have
not paid dues or been active members of the association.
But, the judges says, they came to the meeting in full
force and elected new Golf Association President Randy
Pipkin, who paid his dues just prior to assuming office.

The Association then presented a list of 13 suggested
improvements for the golf course. That list was compiled by
Ted Martinez, the Golf Course Superintendent at Odessa
Country Club. Golfers say Martinez is one of the best in he
Southwestern United States at maintaining golf courses.

In addition to the 13 items, Martinez states at the end of
his letter:

"The overall condition of the course can be improved to have
good greens, tees, and fairways without much more money, if
it is properly supervised. The budget seemed to be too high
in the utility column, but not knowing what all it included
could be misleading. The main area that is short of funding
is the fertilizer and weed control column. The needed funds
to do a good job would be between $24,000 to $28,000 per

The condition of the course can be changed greatly this year
if all things are properly supervised. The main thing needed
is labor intensive maintenance, along with the proper
application of fertilizer and weed control chemicals. Proper
watering time tables must be followed and done according to
weather conditions."

In addition to the list of suggestions the Association
presented the Court with a letter which puts the blame
solely on the shoulders of Ward.

March 16, 1998

To: Ward County Commissioner's Court and the Ward County
Golf Course Advisory Board.

The Ward County Golf Association had its annual meeting
March 12, 1998 at the Ward County Convention Center. The
major concern of all the members that attended was the
present and future condition of the golf course.

The main topic of concern was whether or not Doug Ward has
the education, knowledge, ability, or work ethic to do what
is needed to improve the overall condition of the course,
and in particular the condition of the greens. The answer of
all the association members in attendance was no!!!!

Doug has had eighteen months to improve the overall
condition of the golf course since the last so called greens
keeper vacated his position. There has been no improvement.
Things have only gotten worse. Especially the condition of
the greens. Some of this is due to the lack of needed funds,
but most of it is due to lack of knowledge, managerial
ability, and work ethic of Doug.

It is the opinion of the Golf Association that Doug's
contract should not be renewed and a qualified greens keeper
found. We fear that if Doug were retained, even if to only
run the pro shop, that he would undermine the efforts of the
greens keeper. Doug has an unbridled need to be in control.
This would cause extreme tension between the workers whom
Doug has hired and the superintendent. The morale of the
golfing community is very poor because of Doug's attitude
and the condition of the course. His attitude is defensive
when asked about the condition of the course and he has
never accepted responsibility for anything that has gone
wrong at the course. He always blames it on the lack of
funds from the Commissioners' Court. Everyone in Ward County
has had to learn to make do with less money. The time for
excuses is over.

We all feel bad that it has come to this. However, this
situation has not come about without warning. Doug did not
follow the advice of the USGA reports. He closed his eyes to
the worsening conditions. He failed to listen when members
of this community approached him with their concerns about
the condition of the course. He has no set plan for
improvement of the golf course. He failed to put in the
necessary effort and time on the course. Doug sits in the
golf shop in the morning and plays golf in the afternoon.
That is no way to run a golf course. After 12 years, the
course is in worse shape. It is time for a change!!!

The Golf Association has done everything Doug has asked. We
have raised money for water pumps, a nursery green, grass
seed, sod and other costly items. The Golf Association paid
for the USGA to come in and advise Doug on two different
occasions and he ignored their recommendations both times.
After all of these projects and all of the money that the
Golf Association has spent, the golf course is in the worse
shape. It's time for a change!!!!

The enthusiasm is missing from golfing community. If the
golfing community does not see some positive results at the
golf course, it will be difficult to raise money from the
private sector in the future.

Doug has a rental business operated on County property. He
pays no rent and no utilities. He can always move into the
private sector to operate his business. Doug was selling
carts before he came to work at our golf course. He is not
without job skills. He is in no different position than many
of the folks in Ward County who have found themselves
unemployed due to corporate takeovers, downsizing, or
technological advances.

For the good of the golf course, Doug Ward's contract should
not be renewed.
Signed by: Keith Hamilton - Henry S. Ridings - Saundra
Martin - Doug Maxey - Gene Brown - Bruce Treadaway - Randy

Massey already has noted there is not much more the county
can do as far as money is concerned for the golf course, "We
will carefully look over Mr. Martinez's plan. If it's a
money issue, then tough. If it's a matter of Doug not doing
something or doing something different, then I am of the
opinion that we make it clear that his job depends on him
making the changes. However, he should have a chance to do
the job. If he makes the the changes he should stay, if not
we need to find someone who will."

Sources report Cutbirths offer land to golfers

Brothers Henry and David Cutbirth have offered to give the
Monahans Golf Association about five acres of land, the
Monahans News has learned.

The land in question is about five acres on which a part of
the Ward County Golf Course, plus the Pro Shop, is built,
sources report.

David and Henry Cutbirth are Monahans entrepreneurs. David
is the mayor; Henry, a candidate for the county commission.
If the scenario reported holds, the offer and acceptance by
the Association will be announced at the Monday, March 23,
meeting of the Ward County Commission in the Courthouse at

The Cutbirth brothers bought the land about five years ago.
It once had been part of the now defunct Monahans Country

With that came a lease assigned to the county by the country
club for use of the five Cutbirth acres as part of the golf

Lobo tennis takes 2nd in State

The greatest tale in all of sports is the rise of the
underdog - the team that faces the opponent and
insurmountable odds to come one step closer to perfection.

Enter the Monahans High School Lobo tennis team.

Last year Lobo tennis finished thirteenth in the State Team
Tennis Tournament. But this is not last year's Lobo team.
This year the Loboes over came disrespect, disbelief,
weather and the number one team in the state of Texas to
grab a second place state finish.

The journey began in the coach's meeting held before the
tournament in Waco to decide the ranking of each team in the

"Mason unarguably received the number one ranking," says
Monahans Coach Justin Quest, "Mason has been a dynasty in
tennis for many years."

In fact, Mason was the defending state team tennis champion.

Vernon received the number two ranking; Abilene Wylie was
seeded number three.

Quest then nominated Monahans for the number four seed,
after all his tennis players had romped through the
regionals in Brownfield losing only one match and that was
close. But the Monahans coach was out voted by the other
coaches. In fact Quest was outvoted as he went down the line
nominating the Loboes for the fifth, sixth, seventh and
eighth ranks. Monahans, the other coaches said, simply
wasn't good enough.

After the top eight teams where selected the remaining
teams, Monahans among them, were put in a hat and chosen one
at a time to fill the tournament brackets. The Loboes were
the first team drawn. They were to face Mason, the number
one team in the state and reigning state champion, in the
first round of tournament play.

Friday, March 13

Mason was prepped and ready to roll past the Desert Lobo on
its way to yet another state championship.

After the first six matches of the tournament Mason lead
Monahans six matches to none. Monahans started playing
tennis - they had been kind to the dynasty long enough.

Nine matches later the game was tied at nine all. Mason was
asking where those guys and gals in green came from. It was
up to the frosh girls.
Monahans was poised to depose a Texas tennis powerhouse, a
legend and of course they went and did.

The last game to decide the winner was played by Monahans'
Megan Shawn and Mason's freshmen girl. When the last point
was scored in the third set, it was the Loboes who stormed
the court in triumph. In one afternoon, Monahans High School
tennis stepped from a discard in an old hat into the ranks
of a tennis powerhouse.

"This win was probably the biggest win in Monahans tennis
history," said Quest, "and started us on our Cinderella run."

"Mason's coach, Paul Smith, is one of the most respected
tennis coach in Texas. Smith made it a point to tell me we
had a great group of kids and a great future."

The Loboes had downed the number one team in the tournament,
but still faced an up hill charge.

"We were told if a winner was decided by 1 p.m. then we
were to stop play," commented Quest. "We didn't finish until
2:30 p.m. while Belleville (our next game) had finished at 1
and was waiting for us. We had one hour to eat and get to
the tournament location."

Bellville handed the Loboes their opening round loss in last
year's state tournament and were seeded number seven in the
tournament. If that wasn't enough for the Loboes, the crowd
had already sealed the Loboes fate before the game started.

"Even though we beat Mason, we still couldn't get any
respect; in fact we were getting dogged," says Quest.

Monahans avenged last year's loss and obliterated Belleville
10-3 to set up their next match against number three
Abilene Wyile.

Saturday, March 14

After a short rain delay, the Loboes swung the ax one more
time and knocked out another top ranked team. Monahans
defeated Wyile 10-8 and were on their way to the state
championship game against number two Vernon.

Due to the possibility of rain both teams agreed to play the
game in Abilene Rose Park and to play a UIL line up in which
a player may only play in either singles or doubles but not
both. The new line up reduced the number of games from 19 to
nine or first to five. Vernon pulled out a 5-2 win, however,
two games were still in progress in which Monahans may have
won which would have made the final 5-4.

The Cinderella Run was over. And Monahans Coach Quest says:
"In two days, Monahans became a name any Texas tennis coach
calls when he or she talks about 3A tennis."

"After the game the Vernon coach came over to me and told me
'you tried to tell us in the meeting'," says Quest. "Four
different sets of (Vernon) parents told me we had a classy
bunch of kids.

"In my own tennis career, I don't think I have ever been
faced with such insurmountable odds. After each round, we
were counted out. We were expected to get knocked out in the
first round.

"I gave each player a piece of tape with 'top five' written
on it and had them put it on their racquets for motivation.
Every time they served or swung the racket, they saw it.
After we beat Abilene and Mason, some of the kids put
another piece on the racquet that said 'state champions'.

"I think all these kids fought every match with heart. Even
after being told you can't... you can't... you can't . . .
they still played with so much heart and guts. We played
teams with more talent and beat them with shear
determination and heart. It was unreal to see what those
kids did.

They put Monahans tennis on the map. Now when you talk about
3A tennis... you have to be talking about Monahans."

Quest can't stop saying it.

State Team Tennis Tournament at Waco and Abilene - Lobo

MONAHANS (unseeded) v MASON (ranked #1)

Competitors Winner Scores

Women's Singles
Joanna Cupp v Whitney Nebgen Monahans 6-3, 6-2
Lecia Baker v Piper Boies Mason 6-1, 4-6,
Erin Armstrong v Kassi Tallent Monahans 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Megan Shawn v Ashley Boies Monahans 3-5, 6-0, 6-2
Christine Wilbur v Marcy Lehmberg Monahans 6-0, 6-3
Melinda Covensky v Linsey Ziriax Mason 6-4,4-6, 2-6

Men's Singles
Kyle Clemmer v Chase Smith Mason 6-1, 6-1
Daniel Fuentes v Jason McMillan Monahans 6-3, 7-6
Robert Wibur v Jeremy Lumpkins Mason 7-5, 6-1
Drew Skinner v Cade Smith Mason 6-3, 6-1
Curtis Gibson v Matt Schmidt Monahans 6-4, 6-0
Jeremy Ryes v Dustin Durst Monahans 6-3, 4-6, 7-6

Women's Doubles
Cupp/Armstorng v Boies/Tallent Mason 6-4, 6-4
Baker/Shawn v Whitney/Ziriax Monahans 7-6, 7-5
Wilbur/Sandra Molinar v Boies/Lehmberg Monahans 4-6,
6-3, 6-1
Men's Doubles
Clemmer/Fuentes v McMillan/Smith Mason 6-4, 6-2
Skinner/Reyes v Lumpkins/Smith Mason 6-1, 6-0
Wilbur/Gibson v Schmidt/Lehmberg Monahans 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Mixed Doubles
Covensky/Hawkins v Durst/S. Nichols Mason
6-3, 6-4

Total: Monahans 10 - Mason 9


Women's Singles
Joanna Cupp v Emily Smith N/A
Lecia Baker v Karar Smith N/A
Erin Armstrong v Kendell Baker N/A
Megan Shawn v Brooke Mahon N/A
Christine Wilbur v Jody Lischka N/A
Melinda Covensky v Leign Ann Schruder Monahans 6-0, 7-6,

Men's Singles
Kyle Clemmer v Derek Anderson Monahans 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Daniel Fuentes v Chris Baker Monahans 6-3, 6-0
Robert Wibur v Austin Hardest N/A
Drew Skinner v Jason Bosse Bellville
4-6, 6-4, 1-6
Curtis Gibson v Jacob Kristen Monahans 6-2, 6-0
Jeremy Ryes v Will Baker Monahans 6-4, 6-4

Women's Doubles
Cupp/Armstorng v Baker/Mahon Monahans 6-3,
3-6, 6-7 (2-7)
Baker/Shawn v Vischka/Smith Bellville 6-3,
3-6, 5-7
Wilbur/Sandra Molinar v Luckey/Massengale Monahans
6-1, 6-1

Men's Doubles
Clemmer/Fuentes v Anderson/Davis Monahans 6-4, 7-6,
Skinner/Reyes v Blazek/Hurdet Monahans 6-3, 6-1
Wilbur/Gibson v Bosse/Kristen Monahans 7-5, 7-6, (9-7)
Mixed Doubles
Covenskey/Hawkins v Smith/Baker Bellville
6-1, 6-1

Total: Monahans 10 - Bellville 2


Rain shortened competition to long sets rather than 3-set

Women's Singles
Joanna Cupp v Erin Moore Monahans 8-3
Lecia Baker v Sunny Wu Monahans 8-4
Erin Armstrong v Stephanie Haynes Monahans 8-4
Megan Shawn v Kendel Osbom Monahans 8-4
Christine Wilbur v Shivawn Bilbenny Wylie
8-9 (5-7)
Melinda Covensky v Cristeens Sneed N/A

Men's Singles
Kyle Clemmer v Travis Adams Wylie 2-8
Daniel Fuentes v Michael Breed Monahans 9-8 (7-6)
Robert Wibur v Forrest McMillan Wylie 5-8
Drew Skinner v Adam Weber Wylie 8-9
Curtis Gibson v Tyler Vigil Monahans 8-4
Jeremy Ryes v Hunter Hunner Wylie 2-8

Women's Doubles
Cupp/Armstorng v Moore/Osborn Monahans 9-8 (7-2)
Baker/Shawn v Wu/Bilberry Wylie 7-9
Wilbur/Sandra Molinar v Lindsey/Haynes Monahans 8-4

Men's Doubles
Clemmer/Fuentes v Breed/Weber Monahans 8-6
Skinner/Reyes v Adams/Hunner Wylie 2-8
Wilbur/Gibson v Vigril/McMillan Monahans 8-6

Total: Monahans 10 - Wylie 7


Individual scores not availble for the championship matches

Total: Monahans 2 - Vernon 5

Lobo tennis readies for state

Monahans High School tennis players are ready for individual
state matches after an unheralded run last weekend in Waco.

They were not seeded in the state team tennis tournament
where they knocked off Texas tennis legend Mason and
finished second in the state to another high school tennis
dynasty, Vernon.

Members of the Tennis Pack feel as if they have a chance to
win that state title next year but there is unfinished
business on the courts this Spring. That's the individual
tennis competitions.

They already have built some memories of 1998.

"I'm going to miss this a lot," says senior Joanna Cupp. "I
am going to move on to bigger and better things, but I'll
really miss my team. I honestly feel I will go to state...
that' s my goal. Their is a girl who has won state all her
high school career, my goal is to beat her."

"It was scary. I think we all were nervous, but we pulled
it out in the end. I knew we could do it," says freshman
Megan Shawn. "Every match we played (in the team tennis
state tournament) was important. If one more of us would
have lost (against Mason), we wouldn't have won."

"During the whole match I just tried to look at it like
another dual match," says junior Jeremy Reyes. "Our goal
was to get people to respect Monahans tennis. I just wanted
to play my best."

"It's awesome, I knew we could do it," says sophomore Erin
Armstrong. "All this has helped my mental game. I used to
lose my temper and my focus, but I've learned that it is
never over 'till it's really over."

"Last year we were just happy to make it to state," says
junior Daniel Fuentes. "This year we were all business. We
were a little nervous playing Mason in the first round.
Coach kept us up even when we were behind and we beat them.
Hopefully we can make another run next year; we are only
losing two senior girls so we should still have a solid
team. I am really looking forward to individual play. I only
dropped one match in my doubles, after that, me and my
partner (Kyle Clemmer), never even split."

"I think it's cool because everyone underestimated us," says
junior Lecia Baker. "They didn't even want to seed us. I
don't think Mason knew what they were facing. I think we
will get more respect in the state team tennis tournament
next year. I think a lot of us on the team have a really
good chance of going to regionals in individual play. I,
however, want to go to state."

Three Pack powerlifters set standard

COLORADO CITY - Three Monahans High School powerlifters set
personal bests in the regional powerlifting competition on
Saturday, March 14, in Colorado City.

Two - Scott Lackey and Aaron Swartsfager - qualified as
alternates for the state competition. In the process, Lackey
set a regional competition record for his weight class when
he bench pressed 380 pounds.

The third with a personal best record lift was Quint Melius.

"All three of these young men posted their best totals of
lifts for the year," says Lobo Powerlifting Coach Mickey
Mitchell. "These young men did a great job of competing all
year long and did a great job of representing Monahans High
School and the community of Monahans."

Lackey finished third in the 242 pound class and is the
first alternate for state competition if either the first or
second lifters cannot compete.
Says Mitchell of Lackey's effort at the regionals:

"He posted a total of 1350 pounds for three lifts. Scott
squatted 490 pounds, benched 380 pounds and deadlifted 480.
Scott's bench press of 380 pounds is a new regional record."

Swartsfager was third in the super heavyweight division.

He squatted 500 pounds, benched 300 pounds and deadlifted
500 pounds for a competition total for the meet of 1,300

Swartsfager earned his way to the position as first
alternate in the Super

Heavyweight Division at the state tournament.

Says Mitchell:

"Quint Melius posted a total of 1245 to place sixth in the
242 pound division."

Melius's personal best was 490 pounds in the deadlift, 350
pounds in the bench press and 430 pounds in the squat."

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
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