Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, August 4, 1998
Eagles to begin practice with new staff
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Aug. 4 -- Pecos Eagles varsity football players will
be seeing some old faces and some new ones among the
coaching staff on Wednesday, when preseason workouts get
underway for the 1998 season.
New head coach Dan Swaim will be familiar to the staff,
after serving as assistant coach under Mike Belew for the
past two seasons, while Jay Ragland will also have coached
many of this year's varsity Eagles while working on the
sub-varsity level in 1996 and 1997.
The new faces will be coaches Vance Washington and Gary
Grimes, both of who have worked with Swaim in the past, and
coach Elias Payan, who is back coaching in Pecos after
playing for the Eagles in the early 1980s.
Washington will serve as offensive line and secondary coach,
while also taking over as head track coach from Mike
Ferrell. He comes to Pecos from Odessa Permian, where served
as freshman football as well as track coach and also played
for the Panthers before graduating in 1983, just ahead of
"I worked a couple of years as a broker before getting into
the Ector County schools," said Washington, who attended
Texas Tech after leaving Permian. His return came at the
time Swaim was leaving to take an assistant coaching
position at Bracketville.
"We kind of missed each other, but we've known each other
forever," Washington said.
Offensive line was one of the spots where Pecos was hurt
most by graduation, but Washington said, "I still think
we're going to be pretty solid. It looks like we have some
good kids, and we should be able to run the ball."
Eighth grade coach Rudy Juardo will continue to handle the
cross country team during football season, while Washington
will begin his track duties in the spring semester. "I think
we've got a good hurdler in (Lucio) Florez, and we've got a
strong mile relay," he said. "We should also have more
sprinter speed this year."
Grimes coached with Swaim both in Odessa and at
Bracketville, where he also served as head baseball coach.
He'll be the Eagles' offensive coordinator, as well as
coaching quarterbacks and receivers on offense and
cornerbacks on defense.
He said the Eagles will pretty much stay with the wing-T
offense again in 1998. "We ran the wing-T in Bracketville,
and all the years I've been offensive coordinator we've used
"We'll use multiple sets and motion and try to run the power
game with a little bit of the option," he said. "I've been
impressed with all the kids I've met, and I'm really looking
forward to this year. I feel like we have a great
opportunity to succeed."
Grimes and Payan had coached against each other the past few
years on the baseball field -- Grimes at Bracketville and
Payan at LaPryor, where his teams reached the playoffs the
past two seasons. He spent three seasons there, after
coaching junior varsity baseball and junior high football in
Pecos prior to that.
He graduated from Pecos High School in 1985 after playing
for the Eagles at running back and quarterback on offense
and at safety on defense, where he still holds the school
record for interceptions in a game with five. This year,
Payan will coach the running backs and defensive ends for
"I'm excited to be coming back home and trying to help the
program win," said Payan, who will serve as assistant
baseball coach as well to Bubba Williams, while Grimes
serves as head JV coach.
Workouts get underway for Pecos at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Swaim
said the two-a-days will be run in the mornings and early
afternoon, going from 8 to 10 a.m. and then from 11 a.m. to
1 p.m. Full contact workouts will begin later, and Pecos'
first scrimmage is set for Aug. 21 at home against Monahans.
NCAA adds year to Texas Tech probation
By CHRIS NEWTON
Associated Press Writer
LUBBOCK, Aug. 4 -- The NCAA today added a fourth year to
Texas Tech's self-imposed probation of its athletic
department and stripped additional scholarships from the
football, baseball and men's and women's basketball teams
because of rampant rules violations.
The NCAA announcement concludes an episode that began in
March 1995 and has slowly unfolded. The NCAA began
investigating in February 1996 and the school conducted an
internal audit in October 1997.
In April, Tech put itself on three years of probation and
limited its scholarships in six sports. Today, the NCAA did
not take any more scholarships from the men's golf and
women's soccer teams.
Tech has admitted allowing 81 athletes to compete while
academically ineligible from 1991-97, and that four sports
awarded too much scholarship money.
The school also improperly paid 66 athletes' fees to take
the Texas Academic Skills Program test. Tech also admitted
to several infractions stemming from booster money that was
given to athletes; in one case the money was used to pay an
athlete's bail bond.
Investigations by the school and the NCAA found rampant
rules violations and errors in academic certification and
financial aid distribution.
The NCAA also announced the school may have to repay up to
90 percent of the revenues generated from an appearance in
the 1996 men's basketball tournament.
The NCAA is taking away 18 football scholarships over three
years; the school had volunteered to give up 14 over two
years. The men's basketball team will lose seven over three
years, five more than the school suggested.
Tech offered to lose 7½ baseball scholarships through 2002,
but the NCAA bumped that by three.
The women's basketball team would not have lost a
scholarship under the school's recommendations, but the NCAA
is taking away one in 1999-2000.
Texas Tech officials could not immediately be reached for
comment. A conference call was scheduled for 11 a.m.
Tech officials hoped their stiff internal punishment would
pacify the NCAA. While the governing body upped to the
school's penalties, it did not impose bans on postseason
play or television restrictions.
Because none of Tech's programs was on probation, the school
was not in jeopardy of receiving the death penalty. However,
the school's ongoing problems and the way it handled the
investigation left it open to more severe penalties than it
Since the NCAA investigation began, the athletic department
has been restructured, several new compliance officers hired
and the budget was cut. Many of the individuals named in the
NCAA letter no longer work for Tech.
Three athletic department employees were fired, two resigned
and Bob Bockrath, the athletic director under whose watch
many of the violations occurred, took a similar post at
Alabama in June 1996.
Preseason work starts for swimmers
PECOS, Aug. 4 -- Preseason swimming workouts will get
underway at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Pecos High School
natatorium, Eagles swimming coach Terri Morse said Monday.
Practice will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon, and all
swimmers must bring running shoes and have returned their
completed physical forms in order to participate.
Preseason workouts also open Wednesday morning for Pecos'
high school football, volleyball and tennis teams. Practice
begins at 7:30 a.m. for volleyball players in grades 11 and
12, 8 a.m. for all football and tennis players, 8:30 a.m.
for 10th grade volleyball players and 9:30 a.m. for 9th
Missing center snaps Cunningham rhythm
By DENNE H. FREEMAN
AP Sports Writer
WICHITA FALLS, Aug. 4 -- How odd for the Dallas Cowboys to
lose a game because their placekicker malfunctioned.
Last year it was the only offense they had.
Richie Cunningham was second in the NFL in field goal
accuracy, connecting on 34 of 37 attempts as the Cowboys
offense bogged down inside the 20-yard line, that so-called
``Red Zone'' area.
In one stretch he made 18 in a row including a game winner
from 43-yards out against Washington for a 17-14 win at the
He broke Chris Boniol's club record of 32.
Also, he made all 24 of his extra point attempts.
So, Dallas loses Friday night 20-19 to Seattle in a
preseason game because Cunningham missed an extra point and
a 43-yard field goal attempt.
But was it all Cunningham's fault?
Cunningham took the heat but he wasn't all to blame. His
regular center, Dale Hellestrae wasn't in the game.
Hellestrae is one of the most accurate snappers in the NFL.
In fact, to prove a point one day at Valley Ranch, he
snapped a ball through the open window of a car moving at 30
Steve Scifres was the snapper against Seattle.
``You never know when Hellestrae might get an injury and
you might not have a first-team snapper,'' said Dallas coach
Chan Gailey. ``That's something Richie has to see and know
and make an adjustment on his part.''
What Cunningham saw was less than accurate snaps.
``They were not bad snaps,'' Gailey said. ``It's just not
the same rhythm. So your stride is a little bit off just
enough to make you miss.''
For his part, Cunningham took it like a pro.
``I've really got no excuse missing those kicks,'' he said.
``I just came up too fast on them.''
He added the crowd reaction kind of startled him.
``It was the first time I ever got booed out there,'' he
Such is the life of a placekicker in the NFL.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise