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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mendoza captures Junior Olympic boxing crown

Pecos-Barstow Warbird boxer Aaron Mendoza earned a trip to the National Junior Olympic Boxing Tournament next month, by taking first place this past weekend at the State Junior Olympic Tournament, held in El Paso.

Fighting in the 114-pound weight class, the 15-year-old became the first Pecos boxer in 23 years to claim the state title, which advanced him to the national finals, which also will be held in Texas, next month in Brownsville.

Mendoza, a freshman at Pecos High School, was one of two family members to win titles in El Paso this past weekend. His younger brother Abel took his division at the state meet, but at 9 years old did not compete in a division that advanced past the state level.

Terry draws middle lane at state meet

The lane lottery went better for Pecos’ Rashad Terry this year at the UIL Class 3A Track and Field Championships, even though his results were worse at the Region I-3A meet than they were last season.

Terry, who won the Region I-3A title and had the second fastest time of all eight qualifiers in the 200 meter dash at regionals a year ago, ended up running in Lane 1 in both that event and in the 100 meter dash. This time, Terry placed second at the Region I-3A meet to Abilene Wylie’s Gary Edwards, and fifth overall out of the eight runners. But coach John Fellows said when the places were drawn for lane assignments at Friday’s state finals, the senior ended up in Lane 4 this time around.

Terry said he was happy to be away from Lane 1, which is next to the rail on the inside of the track. Terry had trouble with the rail at state a year ago after stepping on it while running at regionals. This time, he’ll be in the same lane he ran in at the finals of the regional meet on April 30.

Fellows said Terry had a good week of practice last week and the first two days of this week, as he tries to regain his s tamina while recovering from the leg injury that bothered him for most of April.

“He seems to be in pretty good spirits,” said Fellows, who has had Terry working out with Pete Juarez, who placed second in the 200 meters at district. “We’re going to take Pete to state, just so he’ll have somebody to work out with.”

The group was scheduled to leave Thursday morning, and stop in Blanco, about 60 miles west of Austin, for some workouts before continuing into town. Once there, Fellows said they’d have over a day before the finals of the 200 meters goes off, at 8:55 p.m. on Friday.

“We’ve got that lone day on Friday, so we may end up going to a movie or something,” he said. “We’ll probably get to the track about the time they start the 4-by-100 relay (at 6 p.m.).”

Unlike last year, when the Class 3A events were split between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, all the 3A events will be held on Friday, with the field events going off in the morning.

Terry will be trying to become the first Pecos runner to earn a medal since Willie Mata placed second in the Class 4A 400-meter dash finals in 1994, and the first to win a state title since Mata took the 800-meter run in 1993. The last Pecos boys’ track athlete to medal at state was Bryan Brownlee, who placed second in the Class 4A state discus finals in 1997. The last Eagle athlete overall to medal was a year ago, when Stephanie Herrera placed third in the Class 3A discus finals.

Martinez sees 3A honors as state tourney medallist

Pecos Eagles junior Shelly Martinez was back in Austin on Thursday after a one-year absence from the Class 3A State Golf Tournament, as she looks for a medalist honor in the 36-hole tournament at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course.

Martinez and coach Tina Doan left on Tuesday for Austin, where the two rounds were scheduled for Thursday ad Friday at Jimmy Clay, which was the site of the last state appearance for the Eagles’ golfer. Martinez competed with the Eagles’ full team in 2003, when Pecos placed second to Snyder in the state finals. That year, Martinez shot an 80 in her opening round and then an 87 during the final round of the 36-hole tournament.

“It should be a little easier, but (the course) is so much different from two years ago and from when I went over their last August,” Martinez said on Monday, referring to the Texas Boys and Girls Junior Championships, which was held at the Jimmy Clay and Roy Kaiser courses.

“You can’t expect to go over there and just play good. You have to go hole by hole and shot by shot and hope you play well,” she said.

Doan said that while the medalists entered at the state tournament would be paired up, she didn’t know if they would tee off first, beginning at 7 a.m., or go after players from the eight teams which qualified for state began their round.

“She’ll just go out and try to play her best two round of golf and see what happens,” Doan said.

Martinez played a round in Pecos on Monday, when temperatures were in the 90s, and had a practice round in Austin on Wednesday before the start of the tournament. “I checked and the lows (Thursday) and they’re supposed to be in the 60s to the 80s, so this is getting us prepared for that,” Doan said.

Martinez was one of two District 3-3A golfers to earn an individual berth at state. The other was Monahans’ Allison Jordan, who won both the district and regional golf titles. At regionals, Martinez shot a 77-78-155 to place third behind Jordan, who shot a 76-73-149, and Sweetwater’s Kelly Rainbolt, who shot a 75-77-152.

Snyder and Sweetwater are the Region I-3A team representatives in Austin, and Martinez had to win a four-hole playoff over Sweetwater’s Brittany Mercer for the third place regional medal. In the 54-hole district tournament, Martinez shot a 226 to place second to Jordan, who won the district medalist honor with a 224 score.

Martinez and Jordan were paired together in most of their tournaments this season, and Doan said she hoped they would be matched together again in Austin.

“I feel like the two girls are the best, and if they can challenge each other, they will finish at the top of the board,” Doan said.

Balmorhea students honored at sports, academic banquet

Awards for both athletics and academics were handed out on Tuesday night to Balmorhea ISD students at the school’s first-ever awards banquet, held in the Balmorhea school cafeteria.

Ector County ISD Athletic Director Gary Gaines was the guest speaker. The former Monahans and Permian High School head football coach, talked about aspects of success during his speech to those at the banquet. He cited former player Kyle Hooper as an example of determination, saying at 5-9 and 155 pounds, his determination made up for the fact there were other faster and stronger players on the team.

“Life’s about competition. Competitors aren’t afraid to go up against the best,” Gaines said. He also told students a belief in God and choosing friends who have the right values are other important aspects to being a success in life

“It’s always easy to do the right thing when you surround yourself with friends who share your values,” Gaines said. He added that faith can help students towards becoming more than just a one-dimensional period, and told the Balmorhea High School students they needed to be role models for the younger kids in the school district.

In the awards portion of the banquet, junior Michael Dominguez was named the outstanding male athlete, after advancing to state in cross country last fall and finishing fourth at reginoals in the 3200 meter run on April 29. He also was a member of the Bears’ football and basketball teams and placed sixth at regionals in the 1600-meter run. On the girls’ side, Lorissa Rodriguez was named the outstanding female athlete. She was named Most Valuable Player in District 1-A in basketball, as the Bears advanced to the playoffs, and also was all-district in volleyball while qualifying for regionals in track in the triple jump.

Dominguez also shared the 2004 football award with teammates Levon Barragan and Robert Vasquez, while Rodriguez won the top award in basketball for the 2004-05 season, and will compete this July in the Six-Man Coaches Association All-Star Game in Lubbock.

Coach Adolfo Garcia also announced during the banquet he would give up one of his coaching jobs for next year, turning over boys’ basketball to Marco Lujan, while remaining as head football and head track coach for Balmorhea.

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