Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, September 1, 2006
Big Lake hosts softball tourneys
Entries are being taken through next Wednesday for men’s and co-ed softball tournaments scheduled for next weekend in Big Lake.
The tournament will be held on Sept. 8-9, with an entry deadline of Sept. 6. Entry fee is $140 per team.
For further information, call either (325) 450-0211 or (325) 884-3626.
Bears host Faith Christian to start football season
The Balmorhea Bears will open their 2006 football season on Friday night at home, when they take on El Paso Faith Christian Academy in a 7:30 p.m. start.
It’s the first regular season game for the Bears’ new head coach Debiasie Mendoza, whose team saw part of its second preseason scrimmage last Friday in Grandfalls rained out.
“We only got to scrimmage Water Valley before it started thundering, and we tied them 1-1,” Mendoza said. “Our running backs and offensive line looked real good.”
With just 13 players on the roster this season, the Bears will have four of their six starters playing both ways. Seniors Brandon Mendoza, Ryan Woodruff and Jonathan Carrasco and junior Russell Garlick will go both on offense and defense against Faith Christian, which went 7-3 last season, while playing half their games in the T-Cal private school six-man district.
“They’re fast. They got a good running back (Tarik Paul) and they block real well,” Mendoza said. “They run a quick scoring (formation), but you’ve got to have very effective blocking to make it work.”
Mendoza said his defense has played well in their scrimmages, since giving up some early scores against Fort Davis two weeks ago. The Bears were scheduled to scrimmage both Fort Davis and Grandfalls last weekend before the rains hit, and will face the Indians next week in their first road game of the 2006 football season.
Eagles, Bucks seek opening game wins
The Pecos Eagles and Alpine Bucks will both be looking to give their new coaches wins in their first regular season games on Saturday, while also looking to deal with the mid-afternoon heat in Ratliff Stadium when the Eagles and Bucks kick off their 2006 football schedules with a 2 p.m. match-up in Odessa.
It’s the first game as Eagles head coach for Chris Henson, and the first game overall as a head coach for Shad Hanna, who served as an assistant coach for the Bucks the past two seasons when they lost to Henson’s Marfa Shorthorns. But the Bucks would bounce back from those losses to make the playoffs each of the past two seasons, while the Eagles are looking for their first trip to the playoffs in since the 2001 season.
“Coach Henson and I know each other from college, so I’m excited to coach against an old friend,” said Hanna, the son of former Monahans head coach Larry Hanna who also is a former assistant coach with the Loboes.
He takes over a team that has a couple of new key players, but is mostly unchanged from a year ago.
“They’re mainly the same team from last year,” Henson said. “But their kids have grown and gotten bigger and stronger.”
Alpine’s scrimmage last Friday in Kermit was rained out, but the Bucks defeated Fort Stockton in their other scrimmage two weeks ago. “Their quarterback threw the ball well, and that’s probably their strength, the passing game.
“They’re getting into the wing-T (formation) now, which is what we run, but they also get into the spread, so we’ll see some of that,” the Eagles’ coach added.
“The offense really came out and executed very well,” Hanna said.
Alpine returns running backs Marco Ramos and Stephen Green, while Moises Estrada moves over from wide receiver in 2005 to quarterback this year. “He was the backup quarterback last year, so he’s not new to the position by any means,” Hanna said.
Pecos had problems defending Seminole’s passing attack in their first scrimmage, and struggled to contain Greenwood’s option offense last week. Henson said for Saturday’s game, the Eagles have changed up a few starters on defense, in part due to the expected high temperatures they’ll encounter on Ratliff Stadium’s artificial turf field.
“We’ve been getting out early this week. We’ve been trying to get out on the field by 2:45 each day to get them used to the heat,” Henson said.
Alpine also had some problems stopping Fort Stockton in their scrimmage. “Fort Stockton hit a couple of long passes and moved the ball well against them,” said Henson. “Alpine has some huge kids, but they play both ways. They’ll sub some, but I hope they’ll play both ways and we can wear them down in the second half.”
“I’m not really excited about us playing at that time, since the forecast changed and it’s supposed to be in the 90s instead of the 70s,” said Hanna. “We played there two years ago against Brownfield in the middle of the afternoon and hit was hot, but living in Alpine you don’t have much of a chance to practice in the heat.”
Hanna said against Fort Stockton the Bucks’ defense “bent but didn’t break” until giving up some late scores when fatigue started to be a factor. “The whole defense stepped it up, and brought it to another level,” he said.
Hanna added that cornerback Adan Fuentes and lineman Chris Navarette played well in the scrimmage. “We have a couple of really big kids, 270-plus pounds, and he’s one of them,” he said.
“He’s 6-3 or 6-4 and 300 pounds and can run. He’s one we have to keep an eye on on defense and offense,” said Henson, while defensive coordinator Thomas Hughes said Travis Prouse is another lineman Pecos will have to contain.
The last meeting between the teams was in 2003, when the Bucks came into Pecos and came away with a 13-8 win, in a game that foreshadowed the problems in recent years the Eagles have had scoring once inside the 20-yard-line. The Eagles had 11 chances to score in the fourth quarter from inside the Bucks’ 5-yard-line and came up empty each time.
Running out of the wing-T, the Eagles ground game should be stronger this season with Luis Ortega coming off a 1,244 yard rushing effort in 2005. But the senior scored only four times in 224 carries due in part to Pecos’ problems around the goal line.
Ortega’s already scored twice in the scrimmages, on a 40-yard run against Seminole and a 10-yarder in the live quarter last week versus Greenwood, and Henson said “Our line is staying the same,” as the starters in the two scrimmages.
The line will be all seniors, but Eagles will also start three sophomores on Saturday, in quarterback Paul Zuubeldia, running back Hector Ramirez and wide receiver Jeremy Martinez. Zubeldia played the entire scrimmage against Greenwood due to a thumb injury suffered by senior Aaron Urias, and Jesse Hanks will serve as Zubeldia’s backup on Saturday.
Pecos extends streak in wins over Wink, Alpine
The Pecos Eagles added another comeback win to their list on Tuesday evening, and added two more wins over teams they’ve had problems beating in recent years, as they won their ninth and 10th straight matches with victories over the Alpine Bucks and Wink Wildcats.
Pecos won their opener in Wink over Alpine, 25-14, then lost their next two games, 25-23 and 25-21, before rallying for 25-19 and 15-11 wins. The Eagles didn’t have to come back in their second match against the host Wildcats, but needed just four games to get the victory by 25-22, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22 scores.
“They had beaten us before (in the first match of the season), and I knew they had one really good hitter who could hit off the quick set,” said Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough. “I told Jasmine (Rayos) ‘I don’t care where she goes, you block her,’ and she started getting frustrated and hitting the ball out.”
Against the Bucks, Kimbrough said the Eagles looked flat after their opening game victory. “We were just playing in spurts, and I gave them a little pep talk and they realized what was at stake and started to play,” she said. “Our girls just have got to get some confidence out there. I already have confidence in them. I already know they can play, but they just need to believe in themselves.”
She said she also told her players they needed to be more aggressive on offense. “We have to play to win. We can’t be out there playing not to lose,” Kimbrough said. “I’ve seen teams that ought to beat other teams, but they didn’t because of little keys they didn’t do. I told them to stop dinking the ball and to start hitting it.
“Alpine had one big blockers, bigger than anyone Wink had, so we had to move the ball around. Once we started doing that, she got a little frustrated,” she said. “She was very impressive, but we were able to hit around her. Once we started moving the sets around, we overcame that.”
Kimbrough said Rayos and Brittany Rodriguez had good games hitting the ball, while Ashley Ornelas had a good game at the server’s position. “The main thing was we didn’t give up. We kept playing and didn’t quit.”
The win puts the Eagles at 11-4 on the season, going into Friday’s 4 p.m. home match against Dell City. Pecos added a varsity-only match against the Cougars to their schedule, taking advantage of the open date for the Eagles in football. Pecos is off on Friday, and will start their 2006 football season Saturday afternoon in Odessa.
Pecos’ freshman team swept their matches against Alpine and Wink, while the JV defeated the Bucks and lost to the Wildcats. The ninth graders downed Alpine, 25-19, 25-8, and the JV beat the Bucks, 25-13, 25-15, while the freshman beat Alpine, 25-9, 25-17, and then fell to the Wildcats, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22.
Pecos’ JV will be off until next Tuesday, when the Eagles host Van Horn, but the ninth graders will play in the Monahans Tournament this Friday and Saturday. The Eagles will have pool round matches against Midland High, Andrews and Fort Stockton at 1:30, 2:20 and 4 p.m. on Friday to determine their seeding for Saturday.
Pecos’ junior high purple and gold teams also will be in Monahans for tournament play on Saturday. Both the seventh and eighth grade gold teams will face Big Spring at 8:45 a.m., while the purple teams take on Alpine at 10:45 a.m.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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