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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PHS boys 2nd, in relay meet, girls place 10th

The Pecos Eagle boys swim team placed second and the Eagle girls finished 10th on Saturday at the Lubbock Relays, the first big meet of the 2006-07 season for the Eagles. Pecos’ boys scored 155 points to finish one point ahead of San Angelo Central, while the girls scored 61 points in their division. “Lubbock high was the only boys team to beat us,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. She added that all the Eagles’ District 4-4A rivals were at the meet except for Fort Stockton, and of the 4A schools entered, only Abilene Wylie and Wichita Falls Hirschi placed in front of Pecos’ girls.

“For only having eight girls swimming Saturday, I was impressed by them, “ Morse said. “Our times are a little off, but the freshmen are really coming along and showing signs of progress.”

For the boys, Morse said, “We won a few of our relays, and got second in a couple of others.”

The boys won the 100-yard butterfly relay, with a time of 1:48.17, and the 100-yard innertube freestyle relay, with a 1:21.88 time. They placed second in the 400 freestyle relay by .82 of a second to San Angelo Central, and were third in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard backstroke relay. They were also sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke relay, the 300-yard individual medley relay and in the 200-yard medley relay. The ‘A’ relay for Pecos in the 200 yard fin freestyle was disqualified.

“The boys’ 400 free relay went 3:31.96, which is the best we’ve done in a while,” Morse said. The 400, along with the 200 free and the 200 medley relays, are the events run in regular swim meets. “The four boys I swam in that I’ll probably keep together all year.” The Eagles boys’ ‘B’ team was sixth in the 200-butterfly relay; 10th in the 200 free relay and ninth in the 200 yard fin freestyle.

The girls’ best finish was in the innertube event, where they placed second. In the more normal relays, Pecos was sixth in the 200-yard butterfly relay; eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke relay; ninth in the 200-yard backstroke relay; 10th in the 200-yard medley relay and 13th in the 200 freestyle relay;

Pecos’ mixed relay teams placed sixth in the 200 yard freestyle, fifth in the 200 yard freestyle T-shirt relay and12th in the 200 yard mixed relay.

The Eagles’ next meet was scheduled for this Thursday at home against Monahans, but Morse said due to a scheduling mix-up, that event has been cancelled. She said that Pecos will host Monahans next month, for a dual meet originally scheduled at the Loboes’ pool.

Eagles play lone home matches against Loboes

The Pecos Eagles’ tennis team will play their second match in a week against the Monahans Loboes on Tuesday afternoon, when they host Monahans in their only home match during the fall season.

The Eagles played in Monahans last Tuesday for the third time this season, after neutral site matches against Sweetwater and Snyder. This time, the Loboes came out on top by a 16-4 final score. “We were six or seven players short,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “As far as the level of play goes, I think we’re evenly matched, and I hope to pick up all those lost matches when we play here.”

Boys’ No. 1 seed Francisco Ornelas picked up two of the Eagles’ four wins. He beat John Witueki in singles, 8-6 (7-4), 6-2, and teamed with Jerris Rayos to beat Michael Derrick and Ryan Day, 8-6, 6-4. The other win came from boys’ No. 5 seed Noah Munoz, 7-5, 6-4 over Matthew Gonzales.

Monahans swept all 10 matches on the girls’ side. Pecos’ top seeds played pro-set matches, with Crystal Ikeler losing to Madison Murray, 8-4 and Priscilla Sotelo falling to Tiffany Bean, 8-6. In the mixed doubles match, Cody Zamarippa and Sotelo lost to Ronquillo and Phipps, 8-6, 6-3.

Boys Singles

Francisco Ornelas defeated John Witueki, 8-6, (7-5), 6-2; Jerris Rayos lost to Michael Merrick, 6-4, 1-6, 7-4. Cody Zamarppa lost to Ryan Day, 7-5, 6-2; Derrick Barron lost to Andrew Orona 6-4, 6-1; Noah Munoz defeated Matthew Gonzales, 7-5, 6-4; Rojelio Alvarado lost to Tim Forbush, 7-5, 6-3.

Girls Singles

Crystal Ikeler lost to Madison Murray, 8-4, Priscilla Sotelo lost to Tiffany Bean, 8-6; Hope Mora lost to Jennifer Rodriguez, 6-0, 6-2; Yesinia Munoz lost to Hannah Cater, 6-0, 6-1; Meagan Lopez lost to Amanda Chavez, 6-2, 6-0; Jessica Munoz lost to Hollie Derrick, 6-0, 6-2; Julie Licon lost to Laura Phipps, 6-1, 8-6.

Boys Doubles

Ornelas and Rayos defeated Derrick and Day, 8-6, 6-4; Zamarippa and Barron lost to Witueki and Orona, 7-5, 8-6; Munoz and Alvarado lost to Gonzales and Forbush, 6-1, 8-6.

Girls Doubles

Ikeler and Sotelo lost to Murray and Bean, 8-6, 6-3; Mora and Y. Munoz lost to Rodriguez and Cater, 6-1, 8-6; Lopez and J. Munoz lost to Chavez and Derrick, 6-3, 8-6.

Mixed Doubles

Zamarippa and Sotelo lost to Ronquillo and Phipps, 8-6, 6-3.

Skill gap still wide between Eagles, Loboes

The Pecos Eagles have come a way from their performances of the past couple of seasons in 2005. But they still have a ways to go as well, which is why coach Helen Kimbrough wants her team to be playing more teams in the future like the Monahans Loboes.

The Eagles closed out a 40-day stretch of 17 straight road matches on Saturday against the defending district and regional champs, and were swept by the Loboes, 25-11, 25-13, 25-8, dropping their record to 21-7 on the season. But Kimbrough said only by playing teams like Monahans do the Eagles have a chance to get back to where they were in volleyball in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“You can tell they’ve been playing together for a long time,” the Eagles’ coach said.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to teach my girls to do, get quicker on offense. We did pick up a few balls and did some good things, but they’re the better team.”

The Eagles softened up their pre-district schedule this season, dropping some Class 4A and 5A schools, and while they have swept their four matches so far this year against their other District 1-3A rivals Fort Stockton and Presidio, Kimbrough said Pecos will have to go back and start playing the bigger schools in pre-district if they’re going to get the experience to face top teams later in the season.

“I think that in time we’re going to be just as good, but we haven’t had experience playing a team that’s fast like that,” she said. “We’re going to have to play up and play teams that play that fast, like in El Paso, so we can get used to that style of play.”

The Loboes were the toughest team the Eagles have faced since they played Midland High in the Sandhills Tournament the opening weekend of the season, and after staying close to Monahans in the early going of all three games, saw them pull away, thanks to both their faster quicksets and cross-court sets, and their stronger group of hitters.

Adrianna Armendariz would put down an overset for the match’s first point, but Monahans would take the lead for good at 4-3 on a bad hit by Jasmine Rayos. The Loboes would go up 10-4, and after Pecos had cut that to 12-8 thanks to a couple of bad hits and a dink by Rayos, Monahans would go on a 10-2 run led by hitter Joclyn Latham. They would close the game out on a kill by Bethany Willmon.

Pecos never led in Game 2, but was within 8-6 when the Loboes went on an 11-3 run, led by kills from Catherine Cutbirth and Bailey Marcum. In Game 3. the Eagles hurt themselves with some miscommunications on going for free balls that allowed the Loboes to score points, while Marcum would score three straight points off blocks of Eagle hitters and four of five overall during a closing 17-3 run.

“When you’re playing somebody like Monahans you can’t make those mistakes. They play very good defense, and I’m still trying to teach our players how to do that,” Kimbrough said. “We didn’t give up, but we have to make adjustments. I wanted us to run a double-block up front, but we still had players dropping back to cover.”

The Eagles did play the game without senior outside hitter Amber Pando, who aggravated a leg injury during last Tuesday’s victory at Fort Stockton. “She has a bad hip, and that caused her to hurt her knee,” said Kimbrough, who hopes to have Pando back for Tuesday’s game against Presidio.

“She’s a senior, and would have given us some more experience out there today. She wouldn’t have tried to hit over the block, she would have dinked it over,” she said.

Monahans upped their record to 33-3 and 2-0 in district with the win, while the Eagles will take their 1-1 district mark into Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. match against the Blue Devils, whom the Eagles have beaten in Presidio and in tournament play at Alpine last month. The Blue Devils are also 1-1 in district, after a five-game home court victory on Saturday over Fort Stockton.

It’s also the first home match for Pecos since Sept. 1, and only the Eagles’ fifth match on their home court out of 29 so far in 2006. “We finally get to stop traveling,” Kimbrough said. “We just have to start working on our offense and defense against Presidio.”

Monahans also won Saturday’s freshman and junior varsity matches. The Loboes’ ninth graders avenged a homecourt loss to Pecos a week earlier with a 25-19, 16-25, 25-14 win, while the JV also defeated the Eagles in three games, 21-25, 25-17, 25-18.

Pecos two-decade woes in Monahans continue

To say the Pecos Eagles have had a bit of a problem playing in Monahans over the years would be an understatement.

Over the past 21 years, the Eagles have made 11 trips to Estes Field under seven different coaches, and have come within 14 points of the Loboes only one time. Most of those games have been pretty much decided by the end of the first quarter, but on Friday night, it wouldn’t be until the second quarter that the roof would fall in on Pecos, as the Loboes scored 24 points in the period and another 28 points in the third period to pound the Eagles by a 52-0 score.

“That was the worst loss I’ve ever had as a coach,” said Chris Henson, who saw his team drop to .500 in both District 1-3A play and on the season. “We had a good first quarter and came out with a good game play. But in the second quarter we just gave them the short field over and over. Our special teams play was just bad.”

The Eagles dodged a couple of bullets in the opening period. Monahans took the opening kickoff and drove inside the Eagles’ 25-yard-line, with Josh Rodriguez and Chris Roberson going for 20-plus yard runs. But Rodriguez was held to three yards on his next two runs, and quarterback Kenny Almanza’s third down pass to the goal line was picked off by Xavier Tercero, his fourth interception in two games.

The Eagles were unable to move the ball on their first series, but got the ball back again when Almanza fumbled the snap after a 46-yard punt by Luis Ortega, with Wayne Sparkman recovering at the Loboes’ 47. But the Eagles tried an end around on first down, and Clayton Hiers ended up dragging receiver Drake Bradley down for a 10-yard loss, leading to another Pecos punt. This time, the Eagles would stop the Loboes on downs and force a punt, but taking over at midfield, Ortega was held to just three yards on two carries, and a deep pass to Jeremy Martinez fell incomplete.

“They had a great defense. They held Snyder to seven points, and that was on one long run early in the game,” Henson said. “Our offensive line would lock on their man and see a linebacker blitz and come off their block. They had a great scheme for us, and had us confused all night.”

Monahans would lose Roberson on the next series when he reinjured a hand he hurt earlier in the week in practice, but got a 28-yard run out of Rodriguez and a 12-yard run by Almanza to get deep into Pecos territory. A holding call would set the Loboes back just before the end of the first period, but Sean Merrick would kick a 41-yard field goal seven seconds into the second quarter for a 3-0 lead.

The Eagles’ special teams woes began on the ensuing kickoff, which Timo Reyes bobbled and was ruled down while trying to pick the ball up at the 14-yard-line. The Eagles would get out of their own end on their only big play of the night, when Paul Zubeldia looped a 3rd-and-4 pass over the secondary to tight end Robert Nunez for a 29-yard gain. But once again, the drive stalled at midfield, and this time, when Ortega fielded a low snap from Nunez his knee was ruled down, giving Monahans the ball at the Eagles’ 36.

Devon Fann, Roberson’s replacement, would gain 11 yards, but a motion call would leave Monahans with a 4th-and-5 at the Pecos 20. This time, coach Mickey Owens opted against another field goal try, and Almanza would step up to avoid two Eagle pass rushers and find Chris Bates open in the end zone for a touchdown midway through the period.

Monahans would botch the extra point snap, but Merrick would run the ball into the end zone to make it 11-0, and things went downhill after that. Tercero would have trouble with Anthony Cota’s kickoff and was tackled at the 6-yard-line, and after two runs for 14 yards by Ortega the Eagles lost six yards on a fumble and 10 more yards when Zubeldia was sacked by Clay Anthony. Ortega then had to field a high snap in the back of the end zone and was only able to get off a 20-yard punt to the Pecos 25.

Monahans needed only four plays to score again, as Fann gained 11 yards and Rodriguez would score from two yards out with 1:44 left in the half. Pecos would get the ball out to their own 29 after the kickoff, but this time, a busted pass play on a 3rd-and-4 forced another Pecos punt, which Ortega shanked. Monahans took over at the Pecos 44 and with backup quarterback Steven Valles in, survived a double bobble of the shotgun snap by Valles, who then threw to Bates. He caught the ball at the 8-yard-line, shook off a tackle by Tercero and walked into the end zone for Monahans’ third TD in less than six minutes.

“There was no pressure on the quarterback,” Henson said. “When your secondary has to cover for 5-6 seconds, that’s almost impossible.

The Eagles did block Merrick’s extra point to keep the score at 24-0 going into halftime, but did nothing after the second half kickoff, and saw Monahans take just three plays to go 61 yards for their fourth touchdown. Rodriguez would get it on a 30 yard run up the middle after Fann went around right end for 25 yards. That came with 9:37 left in the period. Six minutes and 38 seconds later, the Loboes would score their final points of the night.

None of the scores came as the benefit of any turnovers. The Loboes would stop Pecos and after another short punt by Ortega, made it 38-0 when Almanza underthrew Matthew Montoya, only to have it bounce off Tersero’s shoulder pads and right to Montoya, who scored with 8:20 left in the period. It was the third TD pass, and the third completion of the game for the Loboes.

The Eagles were then stopped once more, got another short punt from Ortega and allowed Fann to go around the right end 33 yards for a touchdown with 6:23 left in the period.

Down 45-0, Pecos went for it on 4th-and-5 at their own 26 and Ortega was stopped for a two-yard gain. This time, it was Monahans’ second team that scored, with Pablo Jimenez going in from the 12-yard line. Merrick’s extra point made it 52-0. The reserves would drive the ball deep into Pecos territory again in the final period, but lost the ball on downs at the four in the closing minutes of play.

Both teams lost players to injuries. Along with Roberson, Monahans lost lineman Phillip Gonzales to a first quarter injury, while Henson said the Eagles lost Martinez and Larry Johnson to concussions, while Chris Navarette suffered an ankle injury.

Rodriguez ended up with 122 yards rushing and Monahans overall picked up 356 of their 458 yards on the ground. Ortega, who came into the game with 1,120 yards rushing, had just 52 yards on 24 carries, including a minus-15 on the downed punt attempt in the second quarter. The rest of the Eagles rushers had a combined minus-4 yards on the ground, and Pecos was held to 75 total yards on the night.

The loss put Pecos at 1-1 in district and 3-3 overall, while Monahans improved to 4-1 after their non-district loss to Graham on Sept. 29, and are 1-0 in District 1-3A play.

“We just have to regroup and prepare for Clint in two weeks,” Henson said. The Eagles have this week off before hosting the Lions, who improved to 6-0 with their 37-13 win at Anthony. Clint hosts Monahans this coming Friday.

Bears keep competing despite loss to Red Devils

If you are a Balmorhea Bear fan you had to walk away from Friday nights game with a mixture of sadness and optimism.

The scoreboard told one story - the story of a lopsided trouncing of the Bears by the undefeated Rankin Red Devils 62-20.

But, if you watched the game there was another story - a story of a team that is just that - a team.

In the past five or six years a sense of being a team was one thing that was not evident on a regular basis. If things went well for the Bears all was fine, but when things started going wrong - such as a team running up a 44-14 half-time lead like the Devils did Friday, team spirit often seemed to be replaced with name calling and blame.

Not so with this year’s Bears.

They could have quit. Heck, they probably should have quit. The Devils were leading 30-0 three minutes into the second quarter and the Bears looked helpless on defense and offense.

Often in years past this is when fans would watch their team start acting like a dozen individuals.

Not Friday night.

For the fifth or sixth time in 13 minutes the Bears took the kickoff deep in the endzone and only made it to their own 20-yard line.

Three plays later facing fourth down and four yards to go head coach Debiasie Mendoza made a gutsy call went for the first down, handing the ball to Brandan Mendoza. Mendoza squirted through a crack in the formidable Devil defense and suddenly was in the clear.

The Bears kicked the points after and brought the score to 30-8.

It was not the first time in years past the Bears found new life facing great odds.

But, on the next play, when the Bears kicked to the Devils, the Devil receiver ran past all six Bears and erased the Bear score. Ten seconds after the Bears managed to score the Devils pushed the score to 38-8.

That is when the Bears should have come apart and started acting like individuals. Instead, they slapped each other on the back and took the field.

It was an impressive display of team spirit in the face of dismal odds.

Instead, the Bear offense came out and posted a drive that ended with a 25-yard pass from Jose Rodriguez to Ryan Woodruff for another touchdown.

The Bear defense still could not solve the Devil attack and Rankin added another score before the end of the half.

When the teams went to the locker rooms the scoreboard read 46-14 and the only question in most fans’ minds was how long would it take the Devils to put the game away under the 45-point rule.

The short story is that the fans got to watch four full quarters of good football.

The Bear defense found itself in the second half, led by Gabriel Jurado up front. The Devils owned the line of scrimmage for the first two quarters.

Not so in the second half of the game. Sean Enloe, Russell Garlick, Ryan Woodruff, Brandan Mendoza and Jose Rodriguez all stepped forward for the Bear defense.

The Bears never did shut the Devils down, but the defense made a game of it to the very end.

In the third quarter Rodriguez found Woodruff in the endzone again to add a third touchdown.

When the clock ticked to zero the score was 62-20 and the Bears had lost.

But, they certainly were not beaten. That bodes well for the rest of the season.

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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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