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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pecos hosting Class 5A boys playoff contest

The Midland High Bulldogs will take on the El Paso Eastwood Troopers at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Pecos High School gym in a Class 5A area round playoff game.

Tickets for the game will be sold at the PHS gym box office, and will be $5 for adults and $2 for students.

Midland High won the District 3-5A boys title and is 23-6 on the season. El Paso Eastwood is 19-10 and finished third in District 1-5A, but advanced to the area round with a 42-40 win over Lubbock Coronado on Monday night in Monahans.

Pecos hosts Jr. Relays; HS teams in Stockton

The 2006 track season opens Friday afternoon for the Crockett Junior High seventh and eighth grade teams, when they host six other area schools for the West of the Pecos Junior Relays.

The junior high season opens a day before the Eagles’ high school track teams hold their first meet of 2006, on Saturday at the Comanche Relays in Fort Stockton.

The junior high meet will have Fort Stockton, Monahans, Kermit, Greenwood, Presidio and Grandfalls as the other teams, and will start at 4 p.m. at Eagle Stadium, with field events and the finals of the 2400-meter run. The other running events will be timed finals, and will start about 6:30 p.m. with the seventh grade girls 400-meter relay.

The Comanche Relays will be a one-day event, but will have afternoon preliminaries and finals in running events. The field events will start at 9:30 a.m., along with the finals of the 3200-meter run. Prelims are set to begin with the 400-meter relay at 12:30 p.m., while the finals will also start with the 400-meter relay, at 4 p.m.

“We still have some participating in powerlifting, plus the ones going over to Ozona for baseball,” said boys’ coach Robbie Ortega. “We won’t have a full squad until next week,” when the Eagles host the West of the Pecos Relays on March 3.

Girls coach Donna Gent also will have some team members at other events on Saturday, including the girls’ softball tournament at Crane.

Eagles looking towards Devils at tournament

Pecos Eagles coach Elias Payan was still undecided about his pitching rotation on Tuesday, going into this weekend’s season-opening Ozona Tournament. But he does know that while play opens for Pecos Friday afternoon, the big game for the Eagles in the round robin event will take place Saturday morning, when Pecos faces two-time defending District 3-3A champion Presidio.

Pecos faces the Bangs Dragons in their season-opening game at Ozona, starting at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, and will take on the host Lions at 7 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the Eagles will open against the Blue Devils, and will turn around after that game and take on Menard, starting about 12 noon.

“I don’t know much about the other teams, so I’ll have to call around and see how good Bangs is,” Payan said. “I don’t want to take anyone for granted, but I want to try and save our pitching for Saturday against Presidio if I can.

“I may start Robert (Nunez) in the first game and maybe bring Isaiah (Rayos) in against Ozona,” he said. Eddie Vela and Edward Valencia are the other pitchers Payan is looking at for this weekend, while Jose Chavez would be the fifth pitcher, if needed, for the Eagles. “If (Chris) Garnto needs to pitch, he’ll pitch too,” Payan said. “I just hope the pitching can last the entire game.”

Pecos is short a couple of people due to grades and disciplinary reasons, but the Eagles will start with basically the same roster they had a year ago, when they went 6-6 in district and missed post-season play for the first time since 1998.

“We have a couple of kids go for us right now, but that will give some of the other kids opportunities,” Payan said.

This weekend’s games are the first of a series of three long trips for Pecos to start off the 2006 season. After their 160-mile trip to Ozona, they’ll follow that up with a 190-mile drive to Snyder on Tuesday to take on the Tigers, and will then be making their longest trip of the year two days later, to Sweetwater to compete in the Mustangs’ tournament.

Armendariz earns all-district honors

Pecos Eagle junior Adriana Armendariz was named to the All-District 3-3A girls basketball team, in voting by the district’s coaches.

The team was chosen two weeks ago and released following Seminole’s 36-33 loss to Snyder in the Region I-3A quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Maidens, who went unbeaten in district play for the second straight year, dominated the selections, putting all five starters on the team, along with one player on the all-defensive squad.

Armendariz was the Eagles’ leading scoring this past season, when Pecos finished 2-10 in district and 5-19 on the season. She was an honorable mention selection as a freshman and a sophomore for Pecos.

Seminole had co-MVPs for the district in juniors Felicia Alvarez and Shannon Wickson, along with the defensive MVP in senior Stacy Fitzhugh. Maidens’ coach Dickie Faught earned Coach of the Year honors, while Lamesa’s Trista Southall, a sophomore, was named Newcomer of the Year.

The other all-district players were sophomore Courtney Layton and senior Erin Sheets of Seminole, senior Bailee Harris and junior Katie Pierce of Lamesa; seniors Whitney Etheridge and Loran Presley and junior Ashley Unger of Greenwood; senior Nicki Fuentez of Fort Stockton; junior Catherine Cutbirth of Monahans and senior Christa Carrasco of Presidio.

The all-defensive team was made up of Seminole senior Naomi Garcia, Lamesa senior Ronnie Stewart, Greenwood senior Rashonda Smith, Fort Stockton senior Ruby Bernal and Monahans junior Dina Ortiz.

The all-district boys’ team was also picked two weeks ago, but won’t be released until after Seminole’s season ends. The Indians won a first place playoff over Greenwood last Friday and face Muleshoe this Friday night. Greenwood was eliminated in the bi-district round on Tuesday by Clyde in overtime, 58-53, while third place Fort Stockton lost their bi-district game to Sweetwater, 44-33.

Netters in Panthers’ tourney after EP competition

Pecos Eagle tennis players are scheduled to compete this weekend in tournament play at Fort Stockton, after competing last weekend at the El Paso Americas Tournament.

None of the Pecos players earned opening round wins, while Francisco Ornelas had the highest finish of any of the Eagles, placing 11th in the consolation boys singles, out of 48 competitors entered in each division. Ornelas defeated Robert Fournier of El Paso Andress, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3); then lost to Rafael Cano of El Paso Cathedral, 6-3, 6-0; before defeating Omar Vasquez of El Paso Socorro, 6-3, 6-1. Vasquez earlier had defeated Pecos’ Jerris Rayos, 6-3, 6-4, and Rayos later lost to Fournier, 6-2, 6-4.

In girls’ singles, Amber Pando advanced to the consolation finals of her consolation bracket, while Imari Ornelas lost in the finals of her consolation bracket. Ornelas defeated Andress’ Cassandra Hesse, 6-2, 6-2; then downed her teammate Christina Casas, 6-2, 6-3; before falling to Jennifer Johnson of El Paso Jefferson, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0. Pando lost to Jaime McKenna of Carlsbad, then beat Brianna Rivera of West Las Vegas, 6-4, 6-0; before falling to Edna De Rivera of El Paso El Dorado, 6-1, 6-2.

In doubles play, Paul Zubeldia and Cody Zamarripa won their first match, 6-1, 6-0 over Ben Escontrias and Michael Vejil of West Las Vegas, then lost to Americas’ team of Raul Puente and Daniel Traveioa, before winning over Chris Pacheco and Chris Atwood of West Las Vegas, 6-1, 6-0.

In girls doubles, Victoria Montoya and Janette Perea won their opening consolation match over Tovia Hamilton and Victoria Richens of Silver City, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, then lost to Wade and Wade of El Paso Chapin. Elva Martinez and Doni Marquez lost to Williamson and Harris of Las Cruces Mayfield, and then fell to Hamilton and Richens.

In mixed doubles, the team of Jesse Hanks and Crystal Ikeler downed Drew Lindle and Luke Mare of El Paso Chapin, 6-3, 6-4; then beat Diego Garcia and Myra Vejil of West Las Vegas, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1; before falling to Hilario Alaniz and Heather Portillo of El Paso El Dorado, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Pecos’ other missed doubles team, Derek Barron and Delicia Ramirez, lost to Mayfield’s Hanks and Miramontes, then downed Gardner and Montoya of Silver City, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; before losing to Lindle and Mare, 6-3, 6-2.

PHS swimmers face changes for state finals

Things will be different for both the boys and girls for the Pecos Eagles, at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships, than they have been for any of the previous six Class 4A state meets, though for entirely different reasons.

Senior Lindsey Shaw will be the lone state qualifier for the girls, when preliminaries for the Class 4A state meet get underway at 10 a.m. on Friday at the University of Texas-Austin, while Pecos’ boys will have four swimmers competing in the state meet. But only freshman Josh Elliott will be entered in any individual event, and Pecos’ two relay teams will have a new line-up from regional competition in Lubbock two weeks ago.

Shaw will swim for Pecos after winning the 200-yard individual medley at the Region I-4A meet on Feb. 11 in Lubbock, while Elliott will swim in the boys’ 200-yard medley, which he won at regionals, along with the 100-yard backstroke, where he earned an at-large berth after placing second to teammate Kyle Winkles in Lubbock.

Winkles won both his events and earned outstanding swimmer honors at the district and regional meets. But he was only able to swim at regionals after his parents got an injunction barring the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD from enforcing a punishment, as part of a lawsuit filed over a violation of the district’s student code of conduct from a Jan. 31 incident.

The family argued in the injunction that the punishment, which included assignment to the district’s alternative education program, was imposed after Winkles already had served a four-day suspension for the incident, and that the district had not followed proper procedures in the matter. Last Wednesday, the Winkles announced that Kyle would not swim at the state meet, but that they would continue their suit to get the second punishment overturned.

In addition to his two races, Winkles also was a member of the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that qualified for Austin. “Alonzo (Garcia) is going to replace Kyle,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse, who added she would change the order of the swimmers up a little. “It will be Matthew Florez, Josh, Alonzo and Matt Elliott.”

Pecos is seeded 10th going into the 200 freestyle prelims and 15th in the 400 freestyle. Morse said how they would do now, “depends on how pumped Alonzo gets. He may get out there and do a time he never has before, and that’s what we’re hoping.”

Shaw went to the state meet last season, but as a member of Pecos’ medley relay team. “I makes me more nervous going by myself, but I’m ready for it,” said Shaw, who is seeded 15th in the 200 individual medley going into the prelims.

“I’m ready for the tougher competition. I’m going to try and drop my time, and see if I can go for the school record,” she said.

Shaw was one of six girls to advance to state last season, all of whom have graduated. She and Ashley Mendoza were the only seniors on this year’s squad, but Pecos was still able to place second at district and third at regionals.

Shaw, who plans to swim for UT-Permian Basin next year, was the lone state qualifier, advancing in the medley after just missing out in the breaststroke last season. She also placed third in the backstroke at regional, the event she switched to this year from the breaststroke.

“I had been getting beat by an Andrews girl (Allison Mohr), who got the gold medal at district and was second at regionals. If I had swum the breaststroke, I would have gotten second at district and third at regionals,” Shaw said.

“Changing strokes before district was a big decision, and changing strokes my senior year was really hard,” Shaw said, while adding it may have helped her in the 200 medley.

“I was getting more practice in my backstroke after getting more practice in my breaststroke the first three years,” she said. “Practicing the backstroke helped cut my splits on the medley.”

While Shaw has been to Austin before, it’s the first trip as a competitor for Josh Elliott, though he made the trip in previous years to watch his older brother swim. Matt Elliott qualified last season in relay and individual events, but missed out on a return to state in the 200 freestyle after hurting his knee during football season.

He placed second there at regional and in the 100-yard fly, but will swim with his brother on the two relays.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Josh Elliott. “Not many people get to do that.”

He said he was surprised to be going to state in four events in his first year in high school. “I thought I might have a shot on the relays. I didn’t know about the individual races.”

Going into Friday’s races, he’s seeded 13th in the 100-yard backstroke and 16th in the 200 medley. “I feel better in the backstroke. I like that one, I just didn’t finish as good (at regionals).”

He also said all of the disruptions surrounding the boys’ swim team over the past three weeks have been a bit of a distraction. “It kind of makes you wonder about stuff, when it hurts your chance at doing better at the relays,” Elliott said.

The top eight times in Friday’s prelims will advance to the finals on Saturday, which start at 9:30 a.m., while the next eight will still swim on the second day, in the consolation finals. Morse said the team was headed to Austin Thursday morning , and that the team has done well in workouts, despite the changes in their lineup.

“No one has missed any workouts and they say they feel fine. If we can get them emotionally pumped up for it we can do they best that we can,” she said.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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