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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 6, 2006

Burgen wins first in top flight of PMGA’s tourney

Andrews High School golf coach Mark Burgen came out on top this past Sunday in the Championship Flight of the Pecos Men’s Golf Association’s Fall Classic Tournament, held at the Reeves County Golf Course.

Tournament organizer Ken Winkles said there were 102 golfers in eight flights competing in the 36-hole tournament, which included golfers from 26 cities in both Texas and New Mexico. Burgen shot a 66-69-135 to beat Cory Theil be two strokes for first, with Marcos Lopez third with a pair of 70s for a 140 score and Steve Burkholder fourth, with a 70-72-142.

In the First Flight, a 72-70-142 score by Johnny Doan was good enough for first place by two strokes over Mike Claburn, who shot a 72-72-144. Winning a three-way playoff for third was George Hale, after shooting a 74-71-145. Gilbert Abila finished fourth, with rounds of 72-73, while Sam Jimenez was fifth, after 74-71 rounds.

In the Second Flight, Ruben Lopez won with a 76-74-150 score, two shots up on Rodney Roman, who had a 78-74-150. Placing third was Danny Doan, with a 78-76-154, while Mike Ortiz was fourth, with a 77-78-155 total. In the third flight, John Contreras won with a 75-76-151. Gilbert Herrera score an 81-73-154 and won a scorecard playoff over John Granado, who had an 80-74-154, while Dan Maldonado was fourth, with a 77-78-155.

In the flights that finished play earlier Sunday afternoon, Tony Aguilar took first in the Fourth Flight, shooting a 76-74-150. He was followed by Phillip Armendariz, with a 75-79-154, and Jackie Yates won a scorecard playoff over John Burkholder, after Yates shot a 76-79-155 and Burkholder had those rounds reversed on Saturday and Sunday for his 155 total. The Fifth Flight was won by Kuko Nunez was a 78-77-155, while Armando Granado shot an 80-78-158, Manny Espino had an 81-80-161, and Jesse Anchondo shot a 78-84-162.

In the Sixth Flight, the winner was Gary Sizemore, with an 83-82-165 total, while four players two strokes back at 167. David Vejil Jr., won the scorecard playoff after rounds of 87-80, with Jerry McDaniel third after shooting 85-82 and Kenny DelaGarza fourth, after shooting 84-83. Geno Aguilar, with an 83-84 total, was fifth. In the Seventh Flight, Cliff Davis shot 86s both days to win with a 172 total, one stroke in front of Jimmy Martinez, who shot an 85-88-173. Finishing third with Tommy Doan, with a 90-84-174 and Trey Miller was fourth, with a score of 89-86-175.

Eagles down Prowlers, snap district loss streak

Pecos Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough has a perfect record in District 1-3A play, following her team’s match Tuesday night in Fort Stockton. But the Eagles’ four-game win over the Prowlers was a big change for many of her players who have been on the varsity for the past several seasons.

The Eagles ended a 10-match losing streak in district play and won for only the second time in their last 16 district matches, dating back to their last playoff appearance in 2003, as they survived some shaky moments to defeat the Prowlers by a 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 score.

“I think the hype of the first district game hurt,” Kimbrough said, after he team lost the opener, then had to survive Prowler rallies after jumping out to big leads in the third and fourth games. “If it had just been a game in pre-district, we would have been all right.”

“I think our girls were trying not to make mistakes,” she said. “I had to keep telling them to play our game, and go outside with the ball. I had to call time-out and re-tell them ‘What did we work on this week? That’s what we’re going to do today.’ After I told them that, they started doing the things they should.”

Pecos held a 10-6 lead in the opening match, and was up 13-11 when the Prowlers went on an 8-0 run with Jessica Gonzales serving. “She was serving left-handed and that’s always a problem for people handling a left-handed serve. That’s why I like have left-handed servers on my team,” Kimbrough said. “But we did have trouble passing, and you wouldn’t know it, but that’s something we’ve been working on, passing all day the other day. It’s just something we’re going to have to work on.”

Pecos was able to rally from a 19-13 deficit in Game 1 to get to within 20-19, but a spike by Angie Newton and a tip behind Pecos’ front line by Tara Smith widened the lead to three, and Smith would later end the game with a spike off Eagles’ blocker Gabby Garcia.

Pecos led for much of Game 2, but saw the Prowlers grab a 17-16 lead on a kill by Newton. But the Eagles would re-tie the game on a block of Smith by Jasmine Rayos, and would later go ahead for good at 19-18 on a spike by Adriana Armendariz. She and Garcia would also have kills in a game-ending 7-1 run.

The Prowlers in Game 3 would also grab the lead, after Pecos had jumped ahead early by a 12-4 margin. Brittany Rodriguez had a couple of kills in the early going, while Newton and Smith led an 11-2 run that eventually gave Fort Stockton a 15-14 lead. This time, the Eagles wouldn’t take the lead for good until a spike by Amber Pando gave them a 21-20 lead. She would add another kill after an ace by Rayos, and the Eagles would end the game on a block of Newton by Armendariz and a block out of bounds by Newton on a spike by Garcia.

Fort Stockton rallied twice in Game 4, tying the game at 9-9 after the Eagles had grabbed a 7-1 lead. The score was 11-9 when Pecos went on a 9-3 run, with Rodriguez coming up with a couple of kills around a series of Prowlers mistakes. But a Newton block of Armendariz started the Prowlers on another comeback, which forced Kimbrough to call a time out after Fort Stockton got to within 23-21.

The Prowlers would get to within one after the time-out, on an ace by Krystine Alfaro, but the Eagles would survive and close out the match when Reba Bernal hit the ball into the next on a back line spike attempt and Alfaro then mishandled a pass at match point, to give Pecos the victory.

The win was Pecos’ 21st in 27 matches and 20th in their last 22 contests, including 16 straight on the road. Fort Stockton, which lost a non-district match at home to the Eagles two weeks ago, fell to 14-20 on the season.

The Eagles finally close out their 17 match road trip on Saturday, with their toughest contest of the season so far, as they travel to Monahans to face the Loboes, beginning between 1 and 1:30 p.m. Monahans improved to 32-3 on the season by sweeping Presidio in their District 1-3A opener, and haven’t lost a game in any of their district matches in the past four years.

“We’ve got to play better for our next game in Monahans,” said Kimbrough, whose team finally gets to play at home for the first time since Sept. 1 this coming Tuesday, when they host Presidio.

Pecos also won Tuesday’s freshman and junior varsity matches over Fort Stockton. The ninth graders swept the Prowlers, 25-9, 25-17, while the JV won a split match, by a 17-25, 25-13, 25-18 score.

Starting up, shutting down ground games key for Pecos, Monahans

The Monahans Loboes got a new coach, dumped the spread formation, went back to the wing-T offense in 2005, and had their best season in a decade.

This year, it’s the Pecos Eagles who’ve gotten a new coach, dumped the spread offense and gone back to the Wing-T. And while the Eagles aren’t going to have a 10-0 regular season like the Loboes did a year ago, Pecos can assure themselves of their best record in half a decade on Friday night, if they can go into Monahans and upset the Loboes in their second District 1-3A game and the district opener for coach Mickey Owen’s team.

Owen returned as head coach last year, put in a more run-oriented offense, and advanced to the Region I-3A semifinals before losing to Sweetwater. This past Friday, the Loboes were in Sweetwater, where they suffered their first regular season loss under Owen, losing in the closing minutes to Graham by a 14-7 score.

“I thought the defense played pretty well. We only gave up 14 points to a team that throws a bunch downfield,” said Owen. “We just didn’t score enough points to win.”

Graham was able to limit the Loboes’ rushing attack to just 96 yards on Friday, after Monahans had averaged over 350 yards on the ground in their three opening victories. Owens said other than 6-3, 305-pound lineman Michael Murphree, “Our offensive line didn’t play as well as they have,” against Graham. But with Murphree the lone returning starter from a year ago, he added overall, “They’re a little bit further along than we expected them to be.”

“They had a good defensive scheme they ran out of a 4-2-5 like we do,” Eagles’ coach Chris Henson said of Graham’s defense, which shut down Monahans after they had scored 49 points in the final three quarters of their homecoming win the previous week against Andrews. The Loboes also were able to move the ball on Midland Christian in a 26-21 win after a rain-plagued 12-7 opening victory against Snyder.

At 3-2, Pecos can surpass their best win total since they dropped down to Class 3A four years ago with a victory. But the Eagles have only beaten Monahans once since 1982, and last season, the Loboes jumped out to a 15-0 lead less than halfway through the opening period, on the way to a 38-7 victory in Pecos.

Sam Graves ran for 148 yards on the night, which helped him pass Pecos’ Luis Ortega and win the district rushing title. This season, Ortega already has run for over 1,100 yards in five games, including 295 in last week’s 31-21 win over Anthony. He needs 125 yards on Friday to surpass his 2005 rushing total and already has 10 more touchdowns than last season, while the Eagles already have surpassed their point total from a year ago.

Even with last week’s loss, the Loboes are only slightly behind their 298-yard rushing average from last season, and have two runners with a chance to go over 1,000 yards for the season, in Josh Rodriguez and Chris Roberson.

Roberson just missed the 1,000-yard mark last season, rushing for 922 yards. He missed the Loboes’ season-opening win this year against Snyder, but has run for 383 yards and three touchdown in the past four games, while Rodriguez has gained 570 yards and scored seven touchdowns.

“Coming in, we didn’t know how many carries Josh would get, or how he’d do,” said Owen. Rodriguez was averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground until being held to 25 yards a week ago by Graham. Roberson was limited to 48 yards, but had two receptions for 32 yards, including Monahans’ lone score of the game.

“They’ve got a lot of quick kids and a lot of team speed,” Henson said. “They’ve got a huge front line, two great backs and a very talented quarterback.”

Kenny Almanza was the backup quarterback last season, but saw a lot of late-game playing time, including in the Loboes’ win over the Eagles. “Kenny’s done a real good job at quarterback. He’s been throwing the ball well,” said Owen, while Henson said Almanza is in charge of a fairly complex offense.”

“They run a bunch of plays. They have about 100 different formations we’ve see on video. We’ll just have to adjust on defense and not get out-manned,” he said, adding. “We expect them to stick with the run. They average about 8-10 passes per game.”

Henson did say the Loboes went deep with the pass early in their win over Midland Christian, and Pecos’ opponents have made a number of big plays through the air this season. Last week was the first time the Eagles haven’t allowed 100 or more yards passing, but they did give up a touchdown and got lucky due to some overthrows by quarterback Jose Solis late in the game, after Pecos had rallied to take a 25-21 lead.

Henson said in order to add some more speed to the secondary, he planned to start Drake Bradley at cornerback. Bradley had been ineligible prior to this week, and will replace Lucas Macha. “Lucas will still see quite a bit of time. With Jeremy (Martinez) starting on offense, he and Lucas will split time at the other corner.”

Pecos only put the ball up five times in last week’s game, while running the ball 60 times, 43 by Ortega. They were able to wear down the Wildcats in the fourth quarter, but doing the same thing against the Loboes figures to be a lot tougher, though Graham and Andrews were able to move the ball at times against Monahans’ defense.

The Loboes figure to follow the lead of the Eagles’ other opponents this season and put as many as nine on the line to stop Ortega. But if Pecos decides to pass, they’ll have to be wary of a secondary that has six interceptions and a fumble recovery in four games.

Russell Covington had one of Monahans’ two interceptions a week ago, and leads the district with five. “He makes good breaks on the ball, but so do Anthony Cota, Devon Fann and Chris Bates,” said Owen. “All our secondary kids have played well.”

At linebacker, Owen said Sean Merrick is back from last year, while Clay Anthony has worked at both middle and weak side linebacker this season.

“They’ve got a very quick secondary, and they blitz or stunt somebody just about on every single play,” said Henson. “The kids have got to be prepared for every single thing.”

The Eagles will also try to avoid last week’s penalty deluge, that saw them flagged 17 times in the game, and 12 in the first half alone. Most of those calls were motion penalties, and Henson said the Wildcats were able to draw the Eagles offsides several times. “It wasn’t quite faking the snap count, but they were yelling and it caused us to move,” he said.

Following Friday’s game, the Eagles will have their bye week, then return home to face Clint, which is the last unbeaten team in 1-3A and will host Monahans on Oct. 13.

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Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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