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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Loboes, Prowlers fall in playoffs

The second and third place teams out of District 3-3A in softball saw their seasons come to an end on Friday, as the Monahans Loboes and Fort Stockton Prowlers were beaten by Snyder and Abilene Wylie in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Wylie took advantage of Fort Stockton errors to score five times in the fourth and fifth innings on the way to an 8-1 win over the Prowlers, while Snyder ended Monahans’ hopes of a return to the Class 3A state tournament by routing the Loboes in Andrews, 13-2.

The losses leave only district champion Greenwood alive in the playoffs. The Rangerettes will take on Perryton this week in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Eagles ousted at regionals by Wylie’s doubles teams

The two doubles teams for the Pecos Eagles had a short stay in the Region I-3A tournament last Wednesday in Odessa, as both squads were ousted in the opening round by teams from Abilene Wylie.

Catherine Garcia and Sara Natividad, who won the District 3-3A doubles title after going into the tournament unranked, were beaten in the first round by Wylie’s Hanna de la Torre and Brittany Brazell, 6-1, 6-0, while Imari Ornelas and Crystal Ikeler, to placed second at district, were beaten by the eventual tournament champions, Sadie McClarty and Nicole Williams, 6-0, 6-0.

“The girls played well, but Abilene Wylie is Abilene Wylie,” said Eagles’ coach Mike Ortiz. “We just ended up playing the teams they finished first and third.”

Wylie sent five players to the Class 3A state meet, and McClarty was making a return trip to Austin in girls doubles, though it’s the first trip for Williams.

“I don’t know if they’re country club girls or not, but I talked to Mark Hathhorn, who used to play here. He coaches over at the college and has a camp there and coaches those girls,” Ortiz said. “He said they’re real tough and have only lost to 5As this season. He said they’d probably win state.”

Garcia and Natividad won the district title as seniors, and Ortiz said, “I only have two seniors, so I’ve got a lot of people coming back next year, so I’m very happy about that.” Only one District 3-3A player advanced to Austin at last week’s Region I-3A Tournament, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday at Odessa College. Fort Stockton’s Bryan Rainwater qualified for state as the runner-up in boys singles after taking the 3-3A title at district.

Pecos routs Lamesa to end 2005 season

After struggling most of the 2005 season to collect both hits and runs at the plate, Pecos Eagles’ coach Elias Payan is hoping the team’s final two road games of the year are a preview of what’s to come in 2006, when the same group of players tries to improve on this year’s .500 performance in District 3-3A play.

The Eagles, who suffered three shutouts and had four games of two or fewer hits in district play, followed up their 17-hit 12-10 win at Greenwood on April 23 with a 10-hit, 14-2 win on Friday in Lamesa. The victory allowed Pecos to close out their 2005 season with a 6-6 district record, though it still left the Eagles out of the playoffs for the first time since the 1998 season.

“You could see when they weren’t playing under a pressure-type game they played more relaxed, and I think with a year’s experience under their belt that will help the kids play like that all the time next year,” said Payan, who graduates no players off this year’s 11-14 squad.

Lamesa ended up going 0-12 in district play this season, and struggled on defense for most of Friday’s game, while the Eagles had some defensive problems of their own in the second inning, after both Pecos’ Eddie Vela and Lamesa’s Brian Brown retired the side in order in the first inning.

Jonathan Garcia reached first when Brett Rebber missed his grounder to first base to open the second inning, and after a walk to Jose Chavez, scored one out later when second baseman Andy Hogg threw past Rebber trying for an inning-ending double play after forcing Chavez at second. Brown then hit Miguel Estrada with a pitch and Kenny Rayos followed with a single that got past centerfielder Dustin White, as both runners scored. In the bottom of the inning, it was a single by Shawn Puttman that got past Garcia in right field that would bring two Lamesa runners home, as it came following a walk to White and a single by Jason Bergara with two away. But those would turn out to be the Tors’ only runs, while Lamesa had more problems with the high winds in the next few innings than Pecos did, as a cold front that hit the area did tricks with some fly balls.

Chris Garnto had a bloop single to center and Kenny Rayos a double that the wind carried away from Damian Lopez in left field in the third inning. “That’s what happens when you put the ball in play. Good things happen,” Payan said.

Before then, Isaiah Rayos singled off Brown’s glove to open the inning, while Garcia had an RBI double and Edward Valencia had a two-run double down the left field line.

The last game of the season was also the first of the season for one player for each team, though for much different reasons. Pecos’ John Paul Salcido missed the entire year until Friday after fracturing his arm just before the start of the season. He scored a run as a courtesy runner in the Eagles’ five-run third inning, then went 1-for-2 at bat with an RBI single after replacing Rayos at first base in the fourth inning.

It was also the first game for Lamesa’s Hogg, who had been out of athletics the entire school year after being diagnosed with leukemia last August. Hogg started at second base and had a single in the fourth inning off Valencia, who replaced Vela on the mound, while with two outs and a 12-run lead in the sixth, Payan ordered Valencia to intentionally walk two batters in order to give Hogg one more time at bat.

“He’s suffering from cancer, so this could be his last time to play, and I just wanted to let him have one more time at the plate,” Payan said. Valencia ended up striking out Hogg to end the game, but Payan was thanked by both his father and Lamesa athletic director Carlon Branson for the gesture after the game.

Bloop singles by Salcido and Luis Licon in the fifth inning got Pecos their nine and 10th runs, while the Eagles used four Lamesa errors in the sixth to score four more times, which allowed them to end the game an inning early, under the 10-run rule. Vela picked up the win for Pecos, and finished with a 6-3 record for the season.

While the Eagles now get ready for 2006, Presidio, Seminole and Greenwood will be the District 3-3A playoff representatives this year. The Blue Devils repeated as district champions and will draw a first round bye, while Seminole faces Clyde and Greenwood takes on Snyder in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Pecos 0 3 5 0 2 4 -- 14 10 1 Lamesa 0 2 0 0 0 0 -- 2 3 7 Vela, Valencia (4) and Garnto. Brown and Diaz. W - Vela. L - Brown. E - Pecos, Garcia. Lamesa, Rebber, Hogg, White, Reyna 2, McCall 2. 2B - Pecos, Garcia, Valencia, K. Rayos. SB - Pecos, Estrada, I. Rayos. HBP - Estrada by Brown. WP - Lamesa, Brown. PB - Pecos, Garnto, Lamesa, Diaz 3.

Eagles’ Terry qualifies for return to state meet

Pecos Eagles’ senior Rashad Terry will be going back to the Class 3A State Track and Field Championships next week, while senior Jummy Akinyode just missed earning a state berth on Saturday, in the finals of the Region I-3A championships at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

Pecos’ other senior competitor at the regional meet, Chad Evans, was also the only other Eagle to place over the weekend, as he finished fifth in the boys’ shot put on Friday at the meet, which was won by Sweetwater’s boys and Canyon’s girls.

Terry, who had struggled the past month with a leg injury, got out to an early lead in the finals of the 200 meter dash, was caught in the final 50 meters by Abilene Wylie’s Gary Edwards, but held off Bridgeport’s Colin Jones to earn a spot in the Class 3A state finals on May 13 at the University of Texas in Austin.

“Hopefully, Rashad will get into a little better shape over the next two weeks,” said Eagles’ coach John Fellows. “On the last 50 he ran out of gas, but he competed well.” Terry injured his leg at the San Angelo Relays in early April, and then reinjured it at the District 3-3A track meet in Fort Stockton on April 15, collapsing at the finish line after winning the race with a 23.52 time. On Saturday, Terry ran a 22.46 time, slower than his winning 22.17 time in the 200 at regionals a year ago, while Edwards won with a 22.30 time and Jones finished in 22.54.

Akinyode also was passed in the final 50 meters of her race, as Brownfield’s Tabby Morin caught her for the No. 2 state berth behind Sanger’s Savannah Richroath. The Eagles’ senior ran the 400 meters in an even one minute, while Richroath won with a 58.87 time and Morin took second with a 59.45 time.

“She said she felt her in the last 10 steps, but she still ran her best time,” said Eagles’ coach Veronica Valenzuela.

Akinyode had qualified for regionals by winning the 400 meters at district while placing second in the 200 meter dash. She had won the 200 at district the previous two years, but failed to qualify for the finals. On Friday, she had the second-best time behind Richroath in the 400 meter dash, but again missed out on a finals berth in the 200 meters.

“Jummy said she was sick yesterday before and after the quarter (400 meters),” said Valenzuela. “She still wasn’t feeling well today, and that may have affected her run, but they were only two-tenths of a second off each other in the prelims, so we knew it was going to be close.

“I told her she has nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s the closest any girl has come (to state) for Pecos in a long time,” she added. The girls had their first state qualifier in any event in over 20 years last May, when Stephanie Herrera finished third at state in the Class 3A discus finals.

Evans had the third best throw in his flight in the prelims on Friday in the discus, going 143-11, and had the fourth best throw overall going into the finals. He would improve to a 145-foot-2 throw after that, but ended up fifth in the final standings.

“His form broke down a little bit. He was trying to muscle it out there,” coach Robbie Ortega said. “He was just trying so hard he let his form break down on him. But we met our goals in getting to regionals.”

Graham’s Dan Schidt easily won the discus with a 163-foot-9 throw, while Borger’s Jason Kerr beat out Seminole’s David Browne by two feet for the second place berth, with a 150-foot-3 throw.

Also on Friday, Terry and Ricardo Morales failed to qualify for the finals in the high jump, with Terry going 6-foot-2 and Morales 6-feet in the preliminaries, and on the girls’ side Chantel Mazone and Jessica Florez missed qualifying in the discus, with Mazone throwing 107-foot-3 and Florez 101 feet in their three attempts.

“Chantel just missed making it into the finals,” Valenzuela said. On Saturday, Mazone threw about two feet less than her winning throw at district in the shot put and missed the finals, while Florez faulted on all three of her attempts in the event.

Pete Juarez, who placed second to Terry in the 200 meters at district, didn’t qualify for the finals in the event after Friday’s prelims, while in the only running final held on Friday, the 3200 meters, freshmen Heather and Kathryn Lamka failed to finish in the Top 6. Heather Lamka ran a 13:35 time and Kathryn finished about one minute behind in the race, won by Canyon’s Morgan Kuykerdall with an 11:39.42 time.

Heather Lamka also ran in the 1600 meters on Saturday, but struggled and placed last in the race. “She’s been having problems with her hip all season,” Valenzuela said after the race. “It was bothering her again this morning, but she didn’t say anything.” Lamka had won the 3200 meters at district and was third in the 1600, while Kathryn Lamka qualified for regionals with a third place finish in the two-mile race.

Overall, District 3-3A champion Monahans earned the most state berths of any district team, and the boys finished second to Sweetwater in the final point standings. Monahans qualified both their 400 and 800 meter relay teams on the boys’ side, along the girls 400 meter tem, Richard Covington in the boys’ high jump and Chelsea Cartwright in the 100 meter hurdles. She won that event, while the others qualified as second place finishers.

Seminole will send Jeremy Hill to state, after he beat Covington in the long jump; Greenwood qualified Jordan Puga, who won the boys 110 meter hurdles, and Fort Stockton will be sending Matt Garvin and J.J. Hickman, after they placed second respectively in the pole vault and 300 meter hurdles.

The Class 3A state meet will be a night event this year in Austin, sharing time with the Class 4A state finals on Friday, May 13. Terry, who placed seventh in the 200 meters in Austin a year ago, will run at 8:55 p.m., Fellows said.

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