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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Sports

Monday, August 23, 1999

 

Pecos suffers through rough Friday  in Monahans

By JON FULBRIGHT
Staff Writer
MONAHANS, Aug. 23 -- There have been a lot of bad Friday nights for the Pecos Eagles' football team in Monahans over the past 15 years, and this past Friday was another one of them. But unlike all the others, the Eagles' 5-0 scrimmage loss to the Loboes doesn't count in the standings.

Monahans' Luis Moreno raced through a hole on the right side of the line on the fourth play of the scrimmage and raced 80 yards for the first score, and quarterback Raul Hinojos threw two touchdown passes, as the Loboes' first team scored twice in their opening series and three more times in a `game condition' situation at the end of the scrimmage.

"Monahans made more plays than we did, they were bigger than us and stronger than us," said coach Gary Grubbs. "The flip side is it was as scrimmage. It was just like a practice, except you're going against somebody else.

"There were still a lot of bright spots. We were doing something different on defense and we were doing something different on offense, and it takes a while to adjust."

Certainly the Eagles' first offensive series was un-Pecos-like, with pass plays on 12 of the first 13 snaps. The Eagles got a couple of big gainers, with Alex Garcia hooking up with Kevin Bates for 27- and 37-yard receptions.

"We did that on purpose," Grubbs said of the pass plays. "The reason behind that was except for Len we started a lot of young backs, and with Omar (Luna) and Mason (Abila) playing defense we were thinking long term and didn't want anybody to get hurt."

Pecos played without running back Jacob Esparza, who is out with a broken hand. He was the second Pecos player hurt during practice, as the Eagles lost linebacker Joe Robert Lara for the season with torn knee ligaments.

Pecos was also looking at three new quarterback hopefuls, with Garcia playing with the first team, while Sergio Zembrano and Richard Rodriguez worked with the second unit.

"I don't think Alex did too bad a job. He's still learning, and we would have had a chance to score under regular conditions, because they were called for facemasking on that sack," Grubbs said after Garcia was dropped at the 25 yard line following his long completions to Bates.

Garcia and the other Eagle quarterbacks still have some work to do on the option play. A bad pitch set Monahans up at the Pecos 10 for the second of the Loboes' three TDs in the controlled section, while Monahans' third score came after a shanked punt by Frankie Alvarez went out of bounds at the Eagles' 24 yard line.

Most of the Loboes' yardage in the first series was at the expense of the strong (left) side of the Eagles' defense. Monahans had first downs on five straight plays after their first TD, with Roy Porras taking the last one into the end zone from 13 yards out. The Loboes then drove down to the Eagles' 13 on their next series before Mason Abila recovered a Porras fumble to end the drive.

Pecos' second team fared a little bit better on defense, though it took a fumble recovery on the one yard line to keep Monahans out of the end zone again. "The one ref signaled touchdown, but he didn't see the ball come out. That's why he changed it," Grubbs said.

But the Eagles' second team offense could manage just two first downs on their next series. The Loboes also came away with a pair of interceptions off Zembrano, though he would later hook up with Jason Payne for a 40-yard gain on the final play of the night.

Before that, the Eagles' secondary allowed Hinojos a couple of easy touchdown passes, missing coverage on a 60-yard bomb and a fourth-down float pass of five yards to tight end Chris Adams.

Friday's scrimmage was the only one for Monahans, who'll begin their 1999 season this Friday against the Snyder Tigers. Pecos, meanwhile, gets one more preseason tune-up, this Thursday at Greenwood, where they'll try to correct Friday's mistakes.

"I told them if this isn't a wake-up call, I don't know what is," said Grubbs, whose team opens regular season play on Sept. 2 against Denver City at Odessa.

Pecos' freshmen, meanwhile, managed to both lose and win on Friday against Monahans. The official freshman team was blanked by the Loboes' ninth graders, 3-0, but the Eagles had eight freshmen playing with the junior varsity squad, and they accounted for both of the touchdowns in a 2-1 win over the Loboes' JV.

Eddie Mata caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Peter Juarez on the first series, after setting up the score with a 53 yard run, and Robbie Ontiveros scored on a 35-yard pass from quarterback Matthew Levario on the second series, before Monahans got their only TD late in the final series.

The freshmen gave up two TDs in their first defensive series and a final one on a goal line series at the end of the scrimmage. The JVs did not run a goal line series.

Eagles serve up 3rd at Sandhills

By JON FULBRIGHT
Staff Writer
MONAHANS, Aug. 23 -- Spikes are more exciting, but serves were just as important for the Pecos Eagles, both on the plus and minus side, on Saturday at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans.

Pecos won third place Saturday night, defeating District 2-4A rival Clint by 15-4, 15-9 final scores. Monica Meza served out 10 straight points in Game 1 before the Lions even got their first serve attempt, but by the end of Game 2, it was Clint's inability to get their serves over that helped the Eagles to hold on for the victory.

Four hours earlier, the Eagles were the team that couldn't handle the serves of Denver City's Jennifer Boyd, as the Mustangs rallied from 7-3 and 9-0 deficits to beat Pecos by 15-11, 15-13 final scores in the tournament semifinals.

Clint showed they can give Pecos problems when district play begins, as the Lions' Colleen Bramblett, Michelle Tullins and Polly Wagner were doing a better job of spiking the ball than the Eagles' hitters by the time the match was over. But Clint could never take advantage, serving the ball into the net or out of bounds over half a dozen times.

"They (Clint) played a tough match against El Paso Americas, that went three games and they probably went flat," Eagles' coach Becky Granado said about the Lions' slow start. "I don't know what it is but every team up until now has had trouble with our serves."

Pecos got some kills out of middle hitter Philonicus Fobbs and outside hitter Ashley Salcido in both games, and even got one hit from their setter, Amy Chabarria, to break serve during the second game against Clint. But Granado said the Eagles will have to get harder spikes from their other outside hitters in the future.

"They've got to realize that when Philly gets a couple of hits that opens up the outside, and my outside hitters are going to have to come through," Granado said.

Against Denver City, the Eagles and the Mustangs both had their own unforced errors at the outset. Denver City's mistakes allowed the Eagles to go up by four points twice, the last on a tip by Fobbs. The Eagles still led by a 9-6 score when Boyd went to serve and caused Pecos all kinds of problems, scoring aces both before and after a time out, as part of a 7-0 run. Pecos got to within 13-11 before going out off bad hits by Salcido and Fobbs.

The Eagles rolled out to a 9-0 lead in the second game, with Crystal Garcia and Dee Dee Molinar scoring off kills, to go along with several unforced errors by Denver City. But once again, when Boyd went to the server's position, the Eagles fell apart, as the Mustangs went on a 12-0 run, taking the lead off a Amy Garcia spike.

"We don't know how to put games away right now. We get a 9-0 lead and mess around with not killing serves and give the other team all the opportunity to get back into the game," Granado said.

Pecos actually regained some of their focus after a lineup error kept both Fobbs and Chabarria from returning to the game, after being removed for the third time with Pecos trailing, 12-9. That forced Molinar into the full-time setter's role and put junior D'Andra Ortega on the back line, but instead of falling apart, the Eagles held on for nearly two full rotations. They cut the margin to 14-13 off kills by Salcido and Molinar before Denver City broke serve and ended it, on a Gwen Wilson block of Molinar.

"D'Andra did a good job, considering she'd never been back there, but we shouldn't have been in that position," Granado said.

Americas, the team Pecos defeated to open pool round play on Friday at Monahans came back to win the tournament title over Denver City. The Eagles swept Americas and Fort Stockton in their pool round games, and opened play Saturday with a 15-7, 15-1 win over Kermit. Molinar, Salcido, Alexa Marquez and Leslie Brown all has ace serves in the victory, and Pecos scored the final 13 points of Game 2 to complete the sweep.

Pecos' junior varsity and freshmen teams were also in Monahans over the weekend, with the JV placing second in their division, losing to the host Loboes in the tournament finals. Pecos' freshman gold team won consolation in the ninth grade tournament, while the Eagles' purple team ended up losing the fifth place game to Andrews.

Pecos' varsity will take it's 3-2 season record into Midland on Tuesday, for matches against the Lee Rebels and Snyder Tigers. The Eagles then come home for their only matches in Pecos until late September, in the Cantaloupe Classic Tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday.

Rangers host Yankes after sweeping Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas, Aug. 23 (AP) Now that they've affected the wild card race, the Texas Rangers are setting their sights on the New York Yankees.

The Rangers wrapped up the season series against playoff-hopeful Boston on Sunday night with a 6-0 victory over the Red Sox.

Rafael Palmeiro homered and drove in two runs and Aaron Sele scattered eight hits as the Rangers beat the Red Sox for a third-game sweep, dropping the Red Sox one game behind Oakland in the AL wild-card race.

Texas and AL East-leading New York open a three-game series tonight at The Ballpark in Arlington, with the Yankees having won six of the first nine meetings this season.

New York knocked Texas out of the playoffs last year and in 1996.

"We've played them close," said Rangers manager Johnny Oates. "It's how you pitch and how they pitch. Their pitching shut down our offense in the playoffs last year, but I think we play well against them."

Texas is trying to overtake the Yankees and Cleveland Indians for the league's best record and home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Yankees will be trying to control Palmeiro.

"I'm just enjoying the streak I'm in right now," said Palmeiro, who tied single-season club records for homers and RBIs by a left-handed hitter. "I don't know anything about these records until you guys (reporters) tell me. I have no idea why (he's on such a streak). I just want to keep winning."

Palmeiro's sixth-inning solo homer was his 37th of the season, matching his Rangers record for a left-handed hitter set in 1993. His 117 RBIs equal Al Oliver's team left-handed mark set in 1980.

Palmeiro also set a team record with 29 RBIs in August, and tied Juan Gonzalez's 1992 team record with his 12th homer in August. His 351st homer, which extended the Rangers' lead to 4-0, tied him with Dick Allen for 53rd place on the career list.

In the last seven games, he has seven homers and 17 RBIs. Over the series with Boston, Palmeiro finished with four homers and nine RBIs.

"Good month?" said Rangers manager Johnny Oates on Palmeiro's August. "How about a good year. He's right on everything, whether it's a knuckleball or a fastball. It's a great time for him to have it."
 
 

Youth soccer, aerobics start registrations

PECOS, Aug. 23 -- The Reeves County Community Recreation Department is taking applications for youth soccer, and will be starting a low impact aerobics class.

The class will begin next Monday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the old Pecos High School gym.

The youth soccer league will begin at a later date, and parents wishing to register their children can pick up forms at the recreation department's office in the old gym weekdays after 5 p.m.

For further information, call 447-9776.



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