Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, April 12, 1999
PHS head coach Swaim takes Midland job
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Apr. 12 -- For the third time in four years, the
Pecos Eagles are looking for a new head football coach,
after first-year coach Dan Swaim resigned Thursday to take
an assistant coach's position with the Midland High Bulldogs.
"Going to District 4-5A will be a great opportunity for me
and my family," said Swaim, who will be defensive secondary
coach under David Browning at Midland High. "It's hard to
pass up an opportunity like this. You don't know how many
you are going to get in life."
"I didn't look for this job, coach Browning at Midland High
called me," he said. "After talking to him and looking at
what Midland High had, I decided it was a hard opportunity
to pass up.
"Over there I will be teaching fewer classes, and there will
be a pay raise and I will coach fewer sports, so when you
add it up there are a lot of pluses," he said.
Swaim's final two days with P-B-T are today and Tuesday.
He'll arrive at Midland High in time to participate in the
school's spring workouts.
He served as an assistant to Mike Belew during the 1996-97
seasons before being named head coach after Belew was
reassigned in January, 1998. This past season, he led the
Eagles to their first post-season appearance in 23 years,
sharing the District 2-4A title with Canutillo.
The Eagles finished the year with a 6-5 mark, their first
winning season since a 7-3 campaign in 1986.
"It's going to be hard to find the same type of kids as we
had this season. I wish all of them the best of luck," Swaim
"He did us a good job. We're proud of what he and his staff
have done this year," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
Superintendent Don Love.
"Pecos has been real good to me and has given me a great
opportunity," said Swaim, who told his players about the
decision on Thursday.
"Like I told the kids, I've coaches at the 2A level (at
Bracketville) and accomplished what I set out to do, and
I've been able to become a head coach at the 4A level. Now I
want to see if I can coach at the 5A level," he said.
P-B-T athletic director Bubba Williams said he had talked
with Love and assistant superintendent Gome Olibas about the
situation. "Right now we haven't decided anything yet,"
Williams said Friday. "I'm going to get together with Mr.
Olibas and Mr. Love and go through the legality of opening
it (the application process) up."
Love said Olibas put out a notice of the vacancy on Friday,
following Swaim's resignation.
"We're going to look at it Thursday night (at the P-B-T
school board meeting). It's published right now, and we're
going to give it a couple of weeks to get the applications
in and then do interviews," Love said.
He hoped the board could make a final decision on the new
head coach before the May school board meeting.
Pecos' football situation going into the 1999 season looks
far better than it did prior to last year. The Eagles had
finished no higher than fourth in district play since 1981,
but last year's realignment into the El Paso-area District
2-4A just after Swaim's appointment helped turn things
around, and the Eagles will be favored along with Clint to
compete for the District 2-4A title again this Fall.
"We still have coaches to run the off-season program and
everything," Williams said. All three assistant varsity
coaches, Gary Grubbs, Vance Washington and Elias Payan,
remain with the school district. The three were appointed to
their jobs after Swaim was hired.
"It should be business as usual. That's what I told the kids
on Thursday," Swaim said. "I told them they've worked too
hard in the off-season to stop, and they need to keep going
to accomplish the goals they want to reach."
Eagles bounce back, roll by San Eli
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Apr. 12 -- It didn't take long for the Pecos Eagles
to fall behind the San Elizario Eagles Friday night.
It didn't take long for them to come back, either.
A walk, two errors, an infield hit and a two-run homer by
Jose Herrera gave the visiting Eagles a 3-0 lead over Pecos
and pitcher Oscar Rodriguez just four batters into Friday
night's game. But after two errors, a Mason Abila home run
and a pair of singles in the bottom of the first, the host
Eagles would had a 4-3 lead and cruised from there, beating
San Elizario 14-3 to improve to 5-0 in District 2-4A play.
"We got down 3-0 right and the start, and I wanted to see
how the kids responded and they jumped right on it," said
Eagles' coach Bubba Williams. "We came right back, and it's
good to see the kids respond like that."
Rodriguez fell behind in the count on hitters in the first
inning, but settled down after Herrera's home run to strike
out Eddie Figueroa and Jerry Rogers, and allowed only a pair
of hits to leadoff batter Mike Tapia the rest of the way.
"Oscar's got to get his curveball over to be effective. Once
he gets is curveball over he's tough, because they don't
know what pitch he's going to throw and that keeps them off
balance," Williams said.
San Elizario starter Robert Ceballos also kept the Eagles
off balance at times in the early going with his curve. But
Ceballos, who went seven innings last Tuesday in a 2-1 loss
to Clint, didn't fool enough Eagle batters enough of the
He struck out Jeff Martinez his first time up, after a
three-base error on an Oscar Luna pop up and Abila's second
homer of the season cut the lead to 3-2. But the next time
up, with two out and Luna on second base in the second
inning, Martinez stuck his bat out at a two-strike curve
ball and hit it into left-center field for a double and a
5-3 Eagles' lead.
Ceballos had less luck against Josh Casillas and Richard
Gutierrez. They each had singles in the first inning, and in
the third Gutierrez would open by doubling down the line in
left, while Casillas started the fourth with his seventh
home run of the year, a shot over the right field fence and
down Alamo Street.
That came after Luna capped the third inning with his eighth
homer of the season, a three-run shot that gave Pecos a 9-3
Casillas' home was the last pitch for Ceballos. He was
replaced by Jose Ramirez, who hit Gutierrez with his first
pitch, then saw Mark Abila single to left-center field. One
out later, he walked Luis Salgado, and two more runs scored
off a passed ball by Figueroa and an error by new shortstop
That made it 12-3 and with two outs Mason Abila gave Pecos
the runs they would need to end the game under the 10-run
rule, singling home Salgado and Louis Valencia to give Pecos
an 11-run lead.
Rodriguez ended up with eight strikeouts and had only minor
problems after the first inning. Tapia reached third base in
the third when the Eagles' failed to cover the bag on Edgar
Flores' sacrifice bunt, but Salgado was able to hold Tapia
there on Jose Ramirez' grounder to short, and Valencia then
threw out Herrera on a grounder to second base, ending the
In the fifth, Rene Solis walked and went to second on a wild
pitch, but went too far past third on Tapia's single to
center and was caught in a rundown between third and home.
Rodriguez then fanned Florez to end the game.
The win lifted Pecos' record to 13-5-1, while San Elizario
fell to 2-3 in district, and 7-9 on the season. The second
half of the district schedule begins for Pecos on Tuesday,
when they travel to Fabens for a 5 p.m. game.
Eagle teams easily lead district golf
PECOS, Apr. 12 -- The Pecos Eagles' golf teams performed up
to their coaches' hopes on Saturday, in the first round of
the District 2-4A tournament, and will try to wrap up
regional berths today, with the final round of play in El
Pecos' `A' and `B' golf teams were first and second after
the opening round of play at the Reeves County Golf Course,
with the boys and girls `B' teams each having a 53-stroke
cushion on third place Clint going into today's round at
Vista Hills in El Paso.
The top two teams in each division will advance to the
Region I-4A Tournament, scheduled in two weeks at Bentwood
Country Club in San Angelo.
The boys' `A' team -- which last advanced to regionals 14
years ago -- shot a 311 on their home course, with five of
the top six golfers in the medalist standings, while the `B'
team shot a 335, well ahead of Clint, which shot a 388 on
Coach Kim Anderson's squad also had nine of the top 11
golfers in the medalist race, with all five `A' team members
breaking 80 on Saturday.
Casey Love's 76 led the Eagles, and was a stroke up on
teammate Jason Salcido. The other golfers -- Lee Lyles,
Michael Baca and Cortney Freeman -- shot 79s, tying them for
third with Clint's Clinton Moore.
However, the next lowest score for the Lions was a 94 by
Matt Ryan and only four golfers in the entire field shot in
the 80s, all from Pecos' `B' team.
Tye Edwards had an 81, John Granado and Eric Machuca both
shot 84s and Dallas Jarrett had an 86 for the first 18 holes
of play. The Eagles' other `B' team golfer, Jae Ewing, shot
a 93, while Pecos' two individual competitors, Patrick
McChesney and Daniel Munoz, shot 109 and 127 respectively.
After Clint, Fabens' `A' team was next with a 414 score,
followed by Mountain View and 425, Canutillo at 432, and
Fabens' `B' team with a 473 score.
Like the boys, the girls had nine of the top 11 golfers as
well in the medalist race, and overall the ~Eagles' ~`A'
squad leads the field after shooting a 339 on Saturday. The
`B' team was next at 368, followed by Clint at 421, Fabens
and 483 and Canutillo at 505.
Mountain View did not have enough players for a full squad
while San Elizario does not have girls and boys golf teams.
Pecos' girls did not have a golf team for several years in
the 1980s, and are seeking their first regional trip since
then. Senior Alva Alvarez advanced to regionals as a
medalist last year, and is second in the race right now to
teammate Sarah Armstrong, who shot a 77 to Alvarez' 79.
Salem Mitchell was next for the `A' team with a 91, followed
by Amanda Stickels at 92 and Cassie Foster at 96.
Candace Hillard and Candace Roach shot 85 and 89 to lead
Pecos' `B' team. Brandi Bradley shot a 91 and Kelsey Riley
had a 103 and Kattie Davis shot a 108 for the other team
Coach Tina Hendrick also had one individual golfer, Courtney
Clark, who shot a 98 and is tied for 10th in the medalist
race with Clint's Justina Farrias. Clint's Sara Britton is
the only other non-Eagle among the Top 10, after shooting 94
Lions claw Pecos after defensive collapse
PECOS, Apr. 12 -- Cheap runs have been what the Pecos
Eagles' softball team has been getting, instead of giving,
in District 2-4A play this season ... until Saturday
afternoon in Clint.
The Eagles' late-game defense, which had saved them in
their first meeting with the Lions' fell apart this time
around, as Clint scored the game's final 10 runs to turn an
8-7 game in the fifth inning into an 18-7 victory.
Pecos' first district loss left them just percentage points
ahead of Clint in the district standings. But at 9-1 the
Lions have finished their regular season games, while the
Eagles still have two more to play, against San Elizario and
El Paso Mountain View. Wins in both games would give Pecos
the district title.
Defense helped Pecos rally from a 6-0 deficit to beat Clint
at home last month, but this time, coach Tammy Walls said,
"We played bad. We had 14 errors ... We've always depended
on our defense to hold them, and then our bats would get
started, but this time we couldn't get our defense down."
The Eagles led briefly early in the game, but saw Clint
come back in the second inning, then put the game away after
Pecos cut the lead to one in the fifth.
"We hit the ball, but the plays we normally make we
didn't," Walls said. "Their field had a really find sand
instead of dirt, and we had a hard time getting our footing."
Walls said the field was especially rough on shortstop
Katrina Quiroz. "They had their shortstop playing all the
way back on the grass, but Katrina doesn't have that kind of
arm, and I wasn't going to change our defense. I hoped she
could get to it, but she either couldn't get started, or she
had trouble planting to make the throw."
At the same time, Walls said, Clint "Hit the ball better
than they did here," when they touched Alexa Marquez for 14
hits in a losing effort. This time, the Lions made better
contact overall, in handing the sophomore her first loss in
2-4A play. "They were a lot more selective about the pitches
they hit," Walls said.
The loss leaves Pecos with a 7-1 record, 10-6 on the
season, and left Walls happy the team did not have to stay
longer in Clint on Saturday, has had been briefly planned
"I'm glad we didn't have to play a doubleheader there,"
said Walls, referring to a plan for the Eagles to play their
rained-out March 27 home game against Mountain View on
Clint's field following the Eagles-Lions game. That was
scrapped, but the plan to play in Pecos this afternoon also
was put on hold, pending a conference call this morning.
The teams must get their game in before Friday, when the
district track meet is held in Clint. Along with the race
for first between the Eagles and Lions, Mountain View and
San Elizario are still competing for the third place playoff
berth in the 2-4A standings.
Olazabal walks off with second Masters
By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Writer
AUGUSTA, Ga., Apr. 12 -- Jose Maria Olazabal just wanted to
be alone. His feet ached so bad he couldn't walk, and he
couldn't stand the thought of others seeing him in his
Friends and fellow golfers called, but he shrugged them
off. The mysterious foot ailment that forced him at times to
crawl to the bathroom had taken him from the heights of
being a Masters champion to the life of a recluse in his
home in Fuenterrabia, Spain.
``Some of the players wanted to come and visit me,''
Olazabal said. ``But I was feeling so low that I didn't want
them to see me that way.''
Playing in the Masters again wasn't a question. Playing
golf at all didn't seem possible. Getting off the couch was
enough of a chore.
``I thought I would never play golf again. My quality of
life was an issue,'' Olazabal said.
But play he did. Oh, how he played Sunday coming down the
stretch at Augusta National.
He played his way into another green jacket, holding off
Greg Norman and culminating a remarkable comeback that left
a very proud man weeping as the sun set on the 63rd Masters.
And when it came time for a final walk up 18, Olazabal's
feet were more than willing -- but not willing to go alone.
He waited for Norman to join him in a tribute to a fellow
competitor who came up just short yet once again.
``He's a great gentleman. He's a great player,'' Olazabal
said of Norman. ``And just walking with him those last few
yards was the right thing to do.''
Another day that held such brief but bright promise for
Norman ended with Olazabal slipping on the same green jacket
he won in 1994 with a back nine 33 highlighted by an
in-your-face birdie putt on No. 13.
Yet, it ended on a note of redemption for the eventual
third place finisher as well as the champion.
``It's not heartbreak. Don't make a mountain out of a
molehill on this one,'' Norman said.
Not like 1996, it wasn't, when Norman squandered a six-shot
lead in one of golf's most public and spectacular collapses
to lose to Nick Faldo. This time, Norman hung in there to
give himself a chance with an eagle on the par-5 13th before
Olazabal answered with a birdie putt of his own to keep them
Norman played the final five holes 2 over to lose by three,
but shoulder surgery and a lack of tournament time may have
been as much to blame as anything else.
``I feel 80 percent success, 20 percent failure,'' Norman
said after finishing in the top 10 of a major tournament for
the 28th time but has yet to win anything but the British
Olazabal's final-round 71 gave him an 8-under 280, the
highest winning score in the 10 years. Masters officials
succeeded in toughening up the course with some new trees
and tees and a cut of light rough that made it difficult to
spin the ball.
Winds gusting and swirling through the tall pines did their
part to ensure the final day would be one when players
thought more of survival than making a move at the lead.
Only seven players broke par, and David Duval's
roller-coaster 70 was the low score of the day.
``It was very hard out there,'' said Duval, who made a run
at the lead and was only two strokes back when he hit it in
the water on 11 and made double-bogey.
The conditions brought the leaders back to the field, with
Olazabal squandering his early lead with three straight
bogeys starting at No. 4 and Norman shooting a 1-over 37 on
the front nine.
At one point midway through the final round, five players
were tied for the lead at 5 under, and the tournament seemed
there for the taking.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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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