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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday September 22, 2006

Eagles survive lineup changes, down Stockton

Pecos Eagles’ volleyball coach Helen Kimbrough doesn’t like playing district rivals in regularly scheduled matches before district play starts. But it does make things a little better if you can go on the road and win those matches.

The Eagles went to Presidio two weeks ago and defeated the Blue Devils, a team they had fallen to five straight times, before beating them again this past Saturday at the Sul Ross Tournament in Alpine. Tuesday night, Pecos traveled to Fort Stockton, where they’ll start District 1-3A play in two weeks, and came away with their first victory in three years over the Prowlers.

The Eagles and Prowlers swapped wins all night, with Pecos ended up with a 25-10, 17-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-10 victory, one which Kimbrough said the Eagles should have won faster than they did.

“Before district starts I want to try and look at a lot of different lineups, and I tried to put JV players in with my back line players to see how they would react to the pressure of being on the varsity,” she said. “The different lineup total messed Jenny Palomino up.”

Kimbrough said the senior was paired with her sister, sophomore Brittany Palomino, who had bee playing the same position for the Eagles on JV. “She was used to having Adrianna (Armendariz) and Amalie (Herrera) next to her,” she said. “It’s nothing against Brittany, but when you’re used to playing the same position as your sister, she wasn’t used to playing middle back(line).”

She said she made the change following Pecos’ opening game victory. “It got them out of their rhythm and they couldn’t get back into it,” Kimbrough said. “Sometimes subbing breaks your concentration, but the girls pulled it out in the last game. They got hot and kept it going.”

She said sophomore Gabby Garcia had a good game against the Prowlers. “She was hitting the lines and reading the court very well. I have her going as a setter and a hitter, but I didn’t have her serving last night.”

Fort Stockton took a big early lead in Game 2 against Pecos, while in Game 4 the Prowlers grabbed the lead midway through and were able to hold on. But the Eagles jumped out to an early lead in the deciding match and stayed in control to earn their 19th victory overall and their 18th in the last 20 matches.

Kimbrough said she plans to cut down on the substitutions when the Eagles return to Fort Stockton for their District 1-3A opener on Oct. 2 “We’ve got all the players used to playing together out there, and when you change it up they can lose their focus,” she said. “But we’ve still got to work on our hitting, and we’ve still got to work on our defense.”

The Eagles have one more match before opening district play, this coming Tuesday against Kermit, which defeated Fort Stockton in four games last week. The Eagles travel to Kermit, then play their first two district matches on the road before coming home to take on Presidio. Not including the upcoming matches and pool round play at the Cantaloupe Classic, the Eagles have played only four of their first 25 matches this season at home, something Kimbrough said, “is not going to happen next season.”

Pecos also won Tuesday’s junior varsity and freshmen matches.

Junior high moves up games in Denver City

The Pecos Eagles’ scheduled junior high football games in Denver City against the Mustangs were moved from Saturday to Thursday this week, and cut from four to two games.

“Denver City only has one seventh and one eighth grade football team,” said varsity head coach Chris Henson in explaining the change. The teams were to play back-to-back games Thursday afternoon in Denver City, while the Eagles’ freshman and junior varsity teams hosted the Mustangs as scheduled in Pecos.

The ninth grade team was still seeking its first win of the season after a 24-0 loss last Thursday at Kermit, while the JV was 1-2 following their 20-6 loss to the Yellowjackets. Chris Sotelo passed to Louis Morales for the lone score in the JV game.

Pecos’ eighth grade and seventh grade teams won their three games last week against Kermit at Eagle Stadium. The eighth grade purple team is 1-1 after a 24-0 win that was cut short at halftime due to lightning. Arturo Munoz and Isaiah Patino had 24- and 20-yard scoring runs in the first period and Jerome Mazone had a 10-yard run in the second quarter.

The seventh grade team is also 1-1 after a 12-0 shutout of Kermit, while the seventh grade gold team is 2-0 following their win. Greg Roman had both scores for the purple team, on runs of six and five yards, while Jared Rodriguez had both touchdowns for the gold team in last Thursday’s victory.

Eagles look to keep offense flying

The Pecos Eagles wrap up pre-district play Friday night in Denver City, as they’ll try and build on their best offensive game in two years, while looking to improve their pass defense against a Mustangs squad that has thrown for six touchdowns it its first three games.

The Eagles face the Mustangs in a 7:30 p.m. game, as Pecos looks to go into District 1-3A play next week with their first winning record since 2000 while notching their first back-to-back victories since wins over Lamesa and Brownfield in the 2003 season.

Pecos racked up 471 yards in total offense last week in their 30-10 win over Kermit. The points and yard totals were the most for the Eagles in two seasons, since they scored a 31-10 win over Denver City, a game played in Monahans, but which was their last “home” victory until this past Friday’s win over the Yellowjackets. But last season in Denver City, the Mustangs paid the Eagles back, scoring twice in the final period for a 21-7 victory over Pecos.

The formula for the Eagles’ win two years ago wasn’t all that different from their victory last week over Kermit. Pecos got 227 yards rushing and three touchdowns out of Luis Ortega, who ran for 206 yards and a pair of scores a week ago, his second 200-plus performance this season.

Last year, Denver City held Ortega to just 39 yards on the ground in their 21-7 win. But coach Terry Summers said almost all of his starting defense from that team has graduated, along with all but two of his starters on offense.

“We started all over at the beginning of the year, and every game it looks like we’re starting over,” said Summers, whose team is 1-2 following a 12-8 loss last Friday to Levelland. “We haven’t been able to get everything together.”

Denver City opened up with a 24-0 win over Lamesa, the lost a 20-14 game to Seminole. The Eagles had troubles stopping the Indians’ offense during their scrimmage last month, though Summers downplayed his team’s narrow loss two weeks ago.

“The final score didn’t show how dominant Seminole was. We really had trouble with every aspect of the game. They wore us out at both ends,” he said.

Eagles’ coach Chris Henson said while the Mustangs may not have much experience, they will bring some size on their front line. “They’ve got some big tackles. Two are 285 and two are bigger than 250,” he said.

“They’ve got eight kids who start both ways, at least early in the game, so we’re going to try and wear them down and get them as tired as we can,” he said.

Summers’ son, Ethan, is the Mustangs’ quarterback, after moving over from wide receiver. “He was on the varsity, but didn’t get to play. He was a backup, and he’s making some first-year mistakes right now.”

Summers hooked up with Drew Middleton on a 29-yard touchdown pass for Denver City’s lone score a week ago, and was 9-for-23 with an interception in the loss, while throwing for 132 yards and three TDs in the win over Lamesa and 154 yards and both scores against Seminole. He’ll be going up against an Eagle defense that has allowed over 100 yards passing in the first half of each of its first three games so far in 2006.

“He throws the ball pretty well and runs well and has a lot of speed,” said Henson. He added that the Mustangs often work out of the shotgun with four receivers while Clifton Powell is the main ball carrier for Denver City.

“Both of our backs were JV backs last year,” Summers said. “We’re trying to run the one-back, but right now nobody is there so say you’ve got to go out there and get it done. But they’ve got three varsity games underneath them, so you’ve got to hope they start developing.”

Defensively, Denver City allowed Levelland only 187 yards total offense last week, almost all of that on the ground, despite a defense that Summers said is all new.

“We haven’t really had anybody step up and take the (leader) role. A lot of that is because we’re all new, and we’re trying to figure out who we are,” he said.

Henson said the Mustangs, like the Eagles’ other opponents this season, can be expected to put most of their players close to the line to try and stop Ortega. “They run a split-6, which is a version of our defense. So our kids have seen it quite a bit and know what it does,” he said.

Kermit held Ortega to just 12 yards in the first period, but the Eagles were able to open up the game by passing after that, and ended up with 217 yards and two touchdowns, 204 of that by quarterback Paul Zubledia. But Denver City allowed only one pass completion last week, and Summers said his defensive backfield has probably been the best part of the defense so far in 2006.

“They’ve got a good secondary,” Henson said, adding that Briton Golden and Powell looked good on video in the game against Levelland.

He said with the Eagles’ District 1-3A opener coming up next Friday against Anthony, the Eagles are trying to put a few new things into their offense. “We’re trying to put in a little more each week, and are trying to get more people involved in the offense,” he said. “Back-wise it helped us against Kermit, because when they keyed on Cowboy (Ortega) all the time, it helped us with the other backs getting open for some big plays.”

Henson said he hoped to have center Ruben Salgado back, after he missed the Kermit game due to a fracture on his non-snapping hand, and also expected to get back linebacker Wayne Sparkman from a leg injury.

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