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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pecos LL holds ’06 registration through March 6

Registration for the 2006 Pecos Little League is underway, and will run through March 6, with opening day of the season scheduled for April 1 at Chano Prieto Field.

Registration and medical release forms can be picked up at Gibson’s on Walthall Street, or at Auto Zone on South Cedar Street. Registration fee is $35 for one child and $25 for each additional child. Registration is open to boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 12.

Completed forms and a copy of the child’s birth certificate should be returned to Gibson’s, 810 Walthall St., between now and March 3. No late registrations will be accepted and tryouts and the league draft are scheduled for Saturday, March 11, at Chano Prieto Field.

Spring volleyball, softball sign-up deadline near

The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department ‘s is singing up boys and girls now through March 11 for its spring soccer league and spring volleyball programs.

The soccer program is open to boys and girls ages 4 1/2 to 9, with a sign-up fee of $10 per child. Volleyball is for children in second through eighth grades, and also carries a $10 sign-up fee.

Registration forms are available at the RCCRD office at the old Pecos High School gym. A copy of the child’s birth certificate and signatures from both parents are required with the returned registration form. For further information, call 447-9776.

Pecos girls earn two firsts at Comanche track

The Pecos Eagle girls track teams picked up a couple of gold medals on Saturday at the Comanche Relays while placing fifth overall at the season-opening meet with 51 1/2 points, and Pecos’ boys had two medals on the day in Fort Stockton, finishing with 29 points.

Senior Jennifer Martinez won the 1600-meter relay and junior Chantel Mazone took first in the discus for the girls. “Jennifer and Chantell also won third place medals. Jennifer was third in the 800 meters and Chantell in the shot put,” said coach Donna Gent.

Martinez won with a 6:06.25 time, while Mazone threw 122-feet-2 1/2 inches to take the discus. The two accounted for four of the Eagles’ five medals at the meet.

“Jasmine Rayos got second in the 200, and she went into that race in fourth place,” Gent said, referring to the preliminaries earlier in the day. Rayos also had a fifth in the triple jump and tied for sixth in the high jump.

Pecos’ other points came from fourth and sixth place finishes by Heather and Kathryn Lamka in the 3200 meter run, while the Eagles’ 400 and 1600 meter relay teams placed sixth.

“In the relays, Cheyenne Carrasco got hurt during the long jump and I had to replace her, so the handoffs were off,” Gent said. “But we should do better this weekend, when we have all our softball girls here.”

Boys’ coach Robbie Ortega won’t have all his boys this coming Friday for the West of the Pecos Relays, but is hoping to do better in the field events than they did on Saturday.

“We had no throwers. They were all at the powerlifting meet, and some of them are runners,” Ortega said. “We had some freshman filling in at spots, and gave them a look, but we had a lot of kids in powerlifting, baseball, and we had two in swimming.”

Justin Hannsz placed second in the 3200-meter hurdles, and the Eagles’ 800-meter relay team took third for Pecos’ only medals of the day. Larry Johnson was fourth in the 400-meter dash, Gonzalo Reyna was fifth in the 3200 meter run and Andrew Grant finished sixth in the pole vault for the Eagles.

Monahans scored 193 points to win the meet on the girls’ side, with Crane second with 115 points. For the boys, the Loboes won with 126 points to 102 for Midland Christian.

Girls 2nd at Stockton golf, boys 15th in Midland

First days of tournaments so far in 2006 haven’t worked out very well for the Pecos Eagles boys’ golf team, while Pecos’ girls found the second day of play this weekend to be a little tougher than the first had been on Friday.

Pecos’ girls were tied for first with Andrews after the opening round of the Fort Stockton Invitational, following a round of 333 on Friday. But high winds sent all the scores up on Saturday, and while the Mustangs saw their total rise by 12 strokes, the Eagles’ score was 25 shots higher on Saturday, which left them in second place overall in the final standings. The Eagle boys, meanwhile, found themselves in last place out of 18 teams in their division at the Tall City Invitational following the opening round of play on Friday, then cut their score by 29 strokes on Saturday and moved up three spots, to 15th in the final standings. Shelly Martinez won her second medalist honor of the year, while Eleanor Mason placed third in the medalist race at Fort Stockton for the Eagles, who also had to deal with the absence of No. 3 golfer Stephanie Galindo on Saturday.

“Stephanie had to go to the powerlifting meet on Saturday. She was able to qualify for regionals, but it really did hurt us on Saturday individually and as a team, because she would have finished in the Top 10,” said Eagles’ coach Tina Doan.

Martinez won the tournament with a 73-74-147 total, while Mason shot an 81-84-165 for third. Galindo had an 87 on Friday, while Rica Pino shot a 95-98-193 and Carolina Briones had a 92-102-194.

“Overall the girls played well. They had to fight off some tough spots on the course,” Doan said. “Shelly had awesome rounds both days, while some of my girls had a little trouble with the wind the second day. It was blowing about 20 mph and they had to adjust hitting the ball and putting.”

The Eagles had two other golfers who played as medalists. Kayla Natividad only played on Friday and shot a 108, while Samantha Sparkman shot a 127-122-249.

While the Eagles weren’t able to stay with Andrews on the final day in Fort Stockton due to their 358 score, they still placed 49 shots in front of third place Monahans with their 691 total. The Mustangs won with a 678 while the Loboes finished at 740 after rounds of 360 and 380. Midland Lee was next with a 367-380-747 score, and no other team entered in the tournament broke 400 on the second day.

Playing in Midland, Pecos’ boys shot a 348 on Saturday, 12th best on the day, after a 377 on the opening day to finish at 725 for the tournament.

“It was cold and raining both days, and our kids just had trouble. But we did look better and Nueva Vista,” said coach Kim Anderson. “My kids just aren’t used to playing in wet weather and it rained on them the whole 18 holes at Ranchland Hills.

“My guys are used to that dry caliche, and when you hit down into that wet grass, the ball just doesn’t go anywhere,” he said.

Individually for the boys, Joseph Tarin shot an 84-79-163, Zack Morton had an 87-84-171, Heath Armstrong shot a 102-88-190, Nathan Duke had a 104-97-201 and Guthrie Long shot a 115-129-244.

All of the Eagles’ District 3-3A rivals were at the Midland Tournament, with Lamesa shooting a 320-337-657 for the best round of the district teams, and fourth overall. They were five strokes up on Monahans, which shot a 329-337-662, while Fort Stockton shot 336s both days for a 672 score, Seminole shot a 347-360-707, and Greenwood had a 374-364-738.

Graham won the tournament, with a 318-305-623 score, while Snyder was second in the Class 3A division, with a 309-324-633 total.

Pecos’ boys are off this weekend, while it will be the varsity girls’ turn to play in Midland on Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, the Eagle JV girls will be hosting their own tournament, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Reeves County Golf Course.

Pecos hosting Midland High, Montwood

The Midland High Bulldogs and El Paso Montwood Rams will face each other on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Pecos High School gym in a Region I-5A boys basketball quarterfinal playoff game.

Midland High improved to 24-6 on the season be defeating El Paso Eastwood this past Friday at the PHS gym by a 62-54 final score. The Bulldogs won the District 3-5A boys title while Montwood took the District 1-5A crown and are undefeated and ranked No. 3 in the Class 5A high school basketball poll, with a 28-0 record. They defeated North Crowley in their area round game on Friday, 46-41.

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

Swimmers improve placing, but miss on finals

The Pecos Eagles swim team moved up a couple of spots in some of their races from their seeded positions going into the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend in Austin. But the Eagles weren’t able to get anyone into the championship finals of the meet on Saturday.

No Pecos swimmer was seeded in the Top 8 going into the state meet, and none were able to move high enough to get out of the consolation finals on Saturday, though freshman Josh Elliott was second alternate in the 100-yard backstroke. He and senior Lindsey Shaw both improved on their seeded positions going into the meet, though coach Terri Morse said both fell short of personal best times in their events.

Shaw, who went into the meet seeded 15th in the 200 individual medley, placed 15th in the prelims on Friday, then moved up a spot to finish sixth in the consolation finals and 14th overall on Saturday, with a 2:25.19, which was .28 better than her Friday time.

Elliott, who went into state with the 16th seeded time in the 200 medley, placed 15th both days, while improving his time by 1.38 seconds on Saturday, to finish with a 2:10.12 effort. In the 100-yard backstroke, where he went into the preliminaries, seeded 13th, Elliott swam a 58.12 on Friday to place 10th, then had a 58.40 time on Saturday to finish fourth in his heat, and 12th overall.

In the relays, the Eagles’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Elliott and his brother Josh, Matthew Florez and Alonzo Garcia placed 14th on both days. The four had a 1:37.24 on Friday and swam a 1:37.46 on Saturday. The same four also swam in the 400 freestyle relay, where they placed 16th both days, with a 3:35.56 time on Friday and a 3:36.68 effort on Saturday.

“I was hoping they would cut a little more than they did, but I thought we competed well,” said Morse. “But the times weren’t as good as they were at regionals.

“It’s hard to hold a taper that long,” said Morse, who explained that the Eagles had to focus more on regionals this year in order to assure them of earning spots at the state meet. Shaw won her event at regionals and Matt Elliott took the 200 medley while earning an at-large berth in the 100 backstroke behind Kyle Winkles, who pulled out of the state meet over the dispute he and his family are having with the school district over disciplinary action taken as the result of a Jan. 31 incident.

The Eagles were seeded 10th in the 200 freestyle relay and 14th in the 400 free relay going into the state meet, though those seedings were at the regional meet with Winkles as a part of the team. Alonzo Garcia replaced Winkles on both relays, and Morse said the senior did have a good meet in Austin.

“Alonzo did do his personal best times, and Matt Elliott did his personal best times,” she said of the splits in the relays. “Josh was a little off, and Matthew Florez was about the same.

“I thought our relays did as good as they could under the circumstances. Alonzo had a 55 (second) split on his 100 free, which is the best he’s ever done by two seconds, and he had a low 24 on his 200 (relay) split, which is the best he’s ever done there,” Morse said.

None of the region I-4A qualifiers outside of Andrews’ Matt Culberson, second in the 1-meter diving, and El Paso Andress’ Tim Burns, third in the 100-yard breaststroke, earned medals at state. Andrews’ 200 freestyle relay team did qualify for the finals, but finished eighth on Saturday.

“We’re not the slowest region, but we’re one of the slowest,” said Morse, who said the Eagles and other Region I-4A schools need to improve on their efforts in the upcoming years.

“As a region, we’ve got to figure out how to get the kids more competitive at the state level,” she said. “We’ve got to compete not just within the region, but at the state level.”

Pecos baserunning mistake costly in tourney title defeat

If the Pecos Eagles’ softball team took anything out of this past weekend’s Crane Softball Tournament, it was a much better knowledge of the infield fly rule.

The Eagles were tied in the top of the seventh inning of the championship game against District 3-3A rival Fort Stockton, and got their first two runners on base when Bianca Baeza hit a pop up that turned into a triple play, and Fort Stockton would then go on to win the game and the tournament title in the bottom of the inning, 8-7, on Jessica Gonzales’ RBI double off Amalie Herrera.

“That was a bad way to go out. The girls were extremely upset,” said assistant coach Becky Wein of the loss, which left the Eagles with a 9-2 record for the weekend and an 11-3 mark overall for the season. “Our girls on Saturday hit better than they did the whole tournament. They hit the Fort Stockton pitcher, and Stockton was hitting Amalie.”

Wein said the Eagles had problems with the signal by the umpire that the infield fly rule had been called, along with the strong winds on Saturday that affected Baeza’s pop up.

“I thought it was going foul, but it blew back fair, and the umpire raised his arm and finger to signal an infield fly, but he never said anything. The only one yelling the infield fly rule was the Fort Stockton coach,” Wein said. The confusion led both runners to take off as Baeza reached first base, and both ended up being tagged out to end n the inning.

The win was the Prowlers second in two days over the Eagles, who earlier on Saturday, they rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first inning to defeat Denver City, 10-3. Pecos edged the Mustangs the night before, 1-0, while Denver City advanced to the semifinals by beating Fort Stockton in Friday’s round-robin play. The Prowlers won their semifinal on Saturday over Kermit, 16-5.

The Eagles defeated Kermit to open up the tournament, 5-3, then scored a 7-3 win over Seminole, defeated Crane 13-0, downed El Paso Hanks, 10-1, beat Marfa, 2-0, and downed El Paso Americas, 4-2. On Saturday, the Eagles shut out Tornillo, 13-0, and Presidio, 18-0 to go along with their win over Denver City, while they lost to Fort Stockton by a 7-3 score. Freshman Gabi Garcia pitched that game, while winning her four other starts on Thursday and Friday. Herrera pitched both games on Saturday and six overall in the tournament, with the games on the first two days having one-hour time limits.

At bat, Jessica Florez had a home run on Friday, while she, Baeza Cassandra Terrazas and Herrera had multiple extra-base hits during the three days of play.

Pecos has one more game before the start of District 3-3A play, back in Crane at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. They’ll open district at home on March 7 against Lamesa, while the Eagles’ junior varsity will host their own tournament this coming weekend.

Thunderstorms stop runners in track meet

Rains and the spring track season arrived in Pecos together this past weekend, with the result being half of the running events at the Pecos Junior Relays had to be cancelled when a line of thunderstorms blew through the area about 9:30 p.m.

The meet ended due to the threat of lightning just after Pecos’ seventh grade girls had won first place in the 800-meter relay. It gave the Crockett girls with 76 points and fourth place in their division.

Monahans won all four divisions, taking the seventh grade girls’ title with 133 points, and the eighth grade with 138 points. Pecos’ eighth graders with fifth with 37 1/2 points. On the boys’ side, the Loboes were first in the seventh grade division with 133 points, while Pecos was third with 73 points. For the eighth graders, the Loboes had 169 1/2 points, while the Eagles finished fourth, with 65 1/2 points.

Most of the field events were completed before the thunderstorms arrived. For Pecos’ eighth grade boys, Robert Herrera won both the shot put and discus events, throwing 41-feet-9 in the shot and 112-10 1/2 to win the discus. The Eagles also got a sixth from Anthony Montanez in the shot put and a fourth from Cesar Lazcano in the discus.

Jameel Tombs won sixth in the triple jump for the eighth graders, and Sammy Sandoval tied for sixth in the high jump for the other field event points. In the running events that were completed, German Rodriguez finished second in the 2400 meter race, with Edward Rodriguez fifth and Stephen Apolinar sixth. In the 400-meter relay, the team of Toombs, Sandoval, Nick Granado and Angel Martinez was fourth; and Alex Dominguez was fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles.

The seventh grade boys got a gold medal from Arturo Munoz in the discus, where he won with a 113-foot-5 throw. Munoz also placed third in the shot put and teammate Louis Rodriguez was sixth. The Eagles’ other field event points came from a third place finish by high jumper Larry Sparkman.

In the running events, Pecos got a first from Bryan Levario in the 110 hurdles, which he won with a 19.74 time. Edmundo Dominguez also scored points with a fifth place finish. Alonzo Contreras was second and Zachary Rayos was fifth in the 2400 meter run; Nathan Henshaw was fourth in the 800 meter run; Eric Ornelas placed fifth in the 100 meter dash and in the 400 meter relay, Levario, Munoz, Joel Chavez and Ramiro Pinales finished fourth.

Carrisa Cerna, Sabryna Saenz, Jasmin Ybarra and Desirae Deakins won the 800-meter relay with a 2:07.58 time, one of two gold medals for the Eagle seventh grade girls on Friday. The other was in the shot put, where Destiny Simmons took first place with a 26-foot-4 3/4 throw. Pecos’ other field event points came from fourth place finishes by Conner Armstrong in the high jump and Saenz in the long jump.

In the other running events, Armstrong, Cerna, Marlene Salgado and Talia Castillo were second in the 400 meter relay; Saenz was third, Stacie Lujan fourth and Castillo fifth in the 100 meter dash; Kayla Natividad was third in the 800 meter run and Armstrong placed fourth in the 100 meter low hurdles.

Pecos’ eighth grade girls didn’t fare well in the field events, but earned two first place finishes in the running events. Trina Morales won the 2400 meter run with a 10:18.95 time, and Allyson Salcido took the 100 meter hurdles with a 19.24 time, with Olivia Castilleja finishing seventh. Brittany Chavez was sixth in the 100-meter dash, Diahnn Alvarez was sixth in the 800 meter run; and the 400-meter relay team of Salcido, Chavez, Aileen Rayos and Kendra Villaneuva placed fifth.

The Eagles’ only points in the field events came from a seventh place finish by Alvarez in the high jump.

Fast starts, strong pitching earn Eagles title

The Pecos Eagles got two shutouts in three games, including one over their District 3-3A rival and two-time defending district champion, and opened up the 2006 season by capturing first place at the Ozona Baseball Tournament.

The Eagles jumped out to quick leads in all three games they played, though they did have to hold on in their opener to defeat Bangs, 6-4. Pecos followed that up by shutting out the host Lions later on Friday, 10-0, and finished off the tournament by blanking Presidio, 5-0.

Edward Valencia struck out eight and allowed only three hits, while capping off the win with a two run homer in the seventh inning off Juan Aguilar, who had shut down the Eagles in his only start against Pecos last season. The home run came after the Eagles got to Aguilar for five straight hits and three runs in the first inning.

“We started off strong every game. We just hit the ball hard, but then it seemed like our bats went cold the rest of the game until the late innings,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan. “But we’re still 10 times better than we were at this time last season.”

Hits by Jonathan Garcia, Isaiah Rayos and Kenny Rayos got Valencia all the runs he would need, but he and Eddie Vela added on with RBI singles off Aguilar, who was able to get out of trouble after that, and escaped several more jams before being tagged for Valencia’s homer in the seventh.

“We’ve just got to be more consistent with putting the ball in play. We had the bases loaded and then had two strikeouts and a ground out,” said Payan. “I think some of our kids just get a little nervous with two strikes, but we’ve got to see the ball better and swing at better pitches.”

Meanwhile, the hitters from Bangs, Ozona and Presidio had problems of their own. “I was really happy with the way our pitching looked,” said Payan. “Eddie was the reason we beat Bangs. He had some problems with his curve, but his change-up was working. Edward had his curveball and change working, and Robert (Nunez) when he wants to throw a strike he uses his curve, because he can put it where he wants. His fastball is his out pitch.”

Valencia didn’t allow a hit until Ysidro Rocha singled in the fourth inning, and allowed only infield singles in the sixth and seventh innings. Runners also reached base in those innings on lead-off passed ball third strikes, but in the sixth the Eagles were able to throw out Michael Rodriguez trying to go from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by Pablo Rodriguez, while in the seventh Valencia got the next two hitters before allowing a two-out infield hit. He then struck out Joaquin Valenzuela to end the game.

Valencia’s homer was his second of the tournament and fourth overall for the Eagles in the three games, and helped earn him tournament MVP honors. He and Vela homered off Ozona’s Drew Clayton in Pecos’ Friday night win, with Vela’s homer coming in the Eagles’ four run first inning, while Valencia homered in the third, when Pecos boosted its lead to 9-0.

The offense made things easy on Nunez, who got his first win as a started by throwing a two-hit shutout and striking out eight batters. Nunez, Vela and Kenny Rayos joined Valencia on the all-tournament team. Rayos, the only non-pitcher in that group, had a two-run home run against Bangs, which was able to cut Pecos lead at one point to 5-4 before the Eagles added an insurance run to help Vela pick up the victory.

The Eagles will follow up their trip to Ozona with a long Tuesday night trip to Snyder, where they’ll take on the Tigers in a 7 p.m. start. Payan said Vela would start on the mound for the Eagles, who will head back east on Thursday to compete in the Wooden Bat Tournament in Sweetwater on Thursday through Saturday.

“Snyder’s going to be a test for us. They’re ranked somewhere in the Top 10, so it will be a challenge, but I think Eddie is competitive enough so that he’s going to keep us in the game,” Payan 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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