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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pecos squads earn regional cross country berths

The Pecos Eagle high school cross country teams placed third in both the boys and girls divisions this past Monday at the District 2-3A meet in Monahans, to earn trips to the Region I-3A competition in Lubbock next weekend.

The boys had two runners finish in the Top 10 and had 58 points overall in the meet, which was won by Monahans with 32 points to 47 for Fort Stockton. The girls had three in the Top 10 and had 62 points overall, while Presidio won by a 36-49 margin over Fort Stockton.

“Our strongest runner, Ray Gonzales, didn’t make it. He twisted his foot the night before, so we had to do without him,” said Eagles’ coach Rudy Jurado. “Without him, that hurt our chances for second place.” Gus Mendoza placed sixth for the boys, with a 19:11.53 second time over the three-miles at the Ward County Golf Course, while German Rodriguez was ninth, with a 19:44.88 time. Fort Stockton’s Sam Franklin won the boys’ division with a 17:33.22 time, while Bryan Azuaje was second, at 18:36.62.

The leaders were closer on the girls’ side. Fort Stockton’s Rela Bernal won with a 13:12.38 time to 13:22.59 for Presidio’s Edla Dominguez, while Pecos’ Trina Morales was fifth, with a 13:43.56 time and Heather Lamka was seventh, with a 13:45.90 time. Kathryn Lamka was also in the Top 10, finishing ninth with a 13:54.15 time.

The other finishes for the girls were a 15th place by Ashley Ornelas, with a 14:57.28 time, and a 26th by Olivia Castilleja, with a time of 17:22. For the boys, Maurice Johnson was 13th, with a 20:14.37 time; Stephen Apolinar was 14th, with a 20:20.18 time, Jesse Juarez placed 16th, in 21:08.03, and Austin Vernon was 22nd, with a time of 22:37.44.

The girls also had six runners in the junior high division, which was won by Kayla Natividad. Clarissa Cerna was third, Sabrina Moya was seventh, Annie Cerna eighth, Toyah Ghant ninth and Alexandra Guerrero 12th for the Eagles. No times were available in the junior high girls division.

Pecos needs win in Fabens to keep hopes alive

Trips to El Paso for district games a few years ago were part of the road to the playoffs for the Pecos Eagles football team. But when the Eagles make their first trip in five years to the El Paso area on Friday night to face the Fabens Wildcats, they’ll be in need of a win and some help to keep their post-season hopes going.

The Eagles, 1-2 in district and 3-4 on the season, face the Wildcats, 1-3 in 1-3A play and 2-6 overall on the year, in their first trip to El Paso since Pecos was a member of District 2-4A from 1998 through 2001. The Eagles were 6-4 in their 10 trips out there during that span, but made the playoffs all four years they were a member of that district.

Since then, things haven’t gone nearly as well for the Eagles. Their 31-21 win to open District 1-3A play last month was their first on-field district victory since 2001, and they followed that up with a 52-0 loss at Monahans and last week’s mistake-filled 27-20 loss at home to Clint, which left them needing to sweep their final three games at Fabens and Tornillo and at home to Fort Stockton, while also needing help from either Clint or Monahans in defeating the Panthers.

“We’ve preached to our kids that for us, the playoffs already have started,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “We have to win out if we want our season to go on.”

Pecos will also be trying to end a string of sluggish first quarters and awful second quarters in district play. The Eagles have missed several scoring chances in the first period of their three 1-3A games so far, but have outscored their opponents, 7-0, in the first 12 minutes. But in the second quarter, the Eagles have been outscored 59-6, including 21-0 a week ago against Clint, a deficit they were unable to climb out of in the second half.

Like Pecos, Fabens’ last playoff trip was in 2001, but their playoff hopes were all but ended by their 62-0 loss last week at Monahans, following a surprising 34-0 defeat at home against Anthony. However, with both the Loboes and Fort Stockton already past them, coach Mike Martinez is hoping his team can have a strong final two games of the 2006 season.

“Getting Monahans out of the way is big,” said Martinez, whose team has averaged under 200 yards per game on offense, and has suffered through the same turnover problems the Eagles have in recent years. “This year we’re a real young team. We knew we were going to be young with 6-7 sophomores starting. Then we got hit with injuries and grades and there hasn’t been any continuity,” he said.

The bright spot in the offense has been running back Jaime Garcia, who has run for 572 yards and seven touchdown, though he struggled to get into positive yardage last week in Monahans. “We didn’t do a good job picking up their defensive blitzes. Every time he got the ball there were 3-4 green jerseys around him,” Martinez said. “But he’s just turned 15, and has been doing a real good job, so the future looks bright for him.”

“He’s a big running back. We’re going to have to gang tackle him,” said Henson, whose defense had a number of blown tackles in their loss to Clint. “We went through gang-tackling drills yesterday (Tuesday), and today we’re going through a drill called ‘shotgun alley’ which is 3-on-3 work on gang tackling.” At quarterback, Daniel Cordero has taken most of the snaps in recent weeks, after Bernie Chacon started the season. But for Friday, Martinez said he may bring up junior varsity quarterback Adrian Solis, in order to give him some varsity work before the 2007 season.

“He’s a very smart quarterback and has got a good arm and is very football savvy,” the Wildcats’ coach said. “Hopefully he’ll give us a shot in the arm.

“He’s not that quick, but he can maneuver out of there when he feels the pressure. He knows the game real well, and hopefully, he can turn us around this year,” Martinez said.

At receiver, Sergio Ceballos leads the district in receptions with 21, even though he was shut out in last week’s game against the Loboes. “He’s our big-play guy. He’s dangerous when we can get the ball in his hands, and he’s our quickest guy,” Martinez said.

“They do a lot out of the spread set with him, so our secondary will have to make some good adjustments, and the pressure on their quarterback will have to be good this week,” Henson said.

Defensively, the Wildcats have given up some yardage in their recent games, but also have been hampered by being placed in bad situations due to offensive turnovers. “I think as the year has gone on we’ve been coming around. We’ve been hurt by injuries and grades, but I think we’ve been improving,” Martinez said. “They run an NFL-style 3-4 defense,” Henson said. “They’ve got a huge nose guard (6-4, 315-pound Gabriel Lopez). Ruben (Salgado) is going to be going against him all night.”

The Eagles’ center got the cast off his left hand this week, Henson said, and also has been working on snaps with quarterback Paul Zubeldia, after several fumbled exchanges cost Pecos in their seven-fumble game of a week ago.

“We’ve pulled Paul and Ruben away from defensive drills and have had them snapping 500 times during drills, and that seems to have worked out. Yesterday was one of our longest practices and we didn’t have any bobbles,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Aside from Lopez, Henson said linebacker Enrique Nunez looked good on the videos the Eagles’ coaches have seen, while Martinez said linebacker Pete Martinez has been one of Fabens’ leading tacklers.

“We just got him back from grades. He’s got a nose for the football,” Mike Martinez said of his linebacker. He added that Ceballos at cornerback also has done a good job.”

Henson said the Eagles will be without lineman Aaron Navarette for Friday night, after he suffered a chest muscle injury, while they were hoping defensive end Robert Nunez and linebacker Travis Walker would be available. Nunez hurt his ankle during last week’s game and Walker hurt his knee in workouts this week. Friday’s game was to have been the final one for the Wildcats’ 46-year-old football field, after Fabens voters passed a bond issue earlier this year. But Martinez said plans have changed since then, and the field will be around for the foreseeable future.

“They’re going to build us a new field house, but they decided to keep the field where it is,” Martinez said. The field is located just to the west of FM 973 (Exit 49 on I-10), on Avenue G NW, while the high school was moved several blocks west of that site in the 1990s.

Blue Devils edge Eagles, force playoff

Pecos Eagles coach Helen Kimbrough promises this year’s Pecos Eagles volleyball team won’t end up with the same results as the Eagles’ team from two years ago, when Pecos travels to Alpine on Saturday to face the Presidio Blue Devils.

The situation is almost the same as in 2004 for the Eagles and Blue Devils, but the big difference is the teams will be vying for seeding in the Class 3A playoffs, and not for the final playoff spot itself, when they meet at 6 p.m. at the Gallego Center at Sul Ross State University.

Pecos only had to win their final match two years ago to advance to post-season, but lost to Presidio, then lost again in Alpine a week later in the third place playoff. This time, when the teams met on Tuesday, both already had clinched playoff spots. But the Eagles had a chance to clinch second place with a win on Tuesday, but ended up falling to the Blue Devils by a 16-25, 25-23, 25-11, 25-20, 15-13 score.

“They lost focus in the games we lost,” said Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough. “It was just like we were trying to catch up. We weren’t relaxed at all, and weren’t thinking about what we were supposed to be doing out there.”

The Eagles had beaten Presidio a couple of times in pre-district in 2004, along with their first district meet, before the Blue Devils put together back-to-back wins to end Pecos’ season. This year the Eagles had two tournament wins and a non-district victory in Presidio, then beat the Blue Devils in the first half of 1-3A play before losing on Tuesday.

“That’s why I don’t like to play a district opponent in a preseason game. It’s hard to beat a team like that several times, because the girls become lazy,” Kimbrough said on Wednesday. “Yesterday when we played Presidio we did not execute our game plan, and we didn’t hit our spots. We hit it hard when we should have been placing it.

“If you’re going to be a championship team, you have to be able to adjust to different situations. We didn’t do that, plus we missed too many serves. You can’t beat anybody in the playoffs missing all those serves.” Pecos had several blocks on Presidio hitters than ended up falling on the Eagles’ side of the court in the deciding Game 5, which ended with another hard spike that sailed out of bounds. “We didn’t communicate. We don’t talk on the court, but in the three days I’ve to them, we’re going to change that. The Eagles’ loss put them at 23-9 on the season, while the Blue Devils are 19-16 going into Saturday’s match. Win or lose in Alpine, both teams will be playing on Tuesday in Van Horn, in the bi-district round of the playoffs. The winner will take on District 1-3A third place finisher Tornillo, while the loser will face 1-3A runner-up Fabens.

“Now we’re both 3-3, and our backs are against the wall, so we’re going to have to play smart,” she said. “We can do it, and we’re going to do it.”

Monahans finished up their fifth straght undefeated district season with a sweep at home on Tuesday over Fort Stockton. The Loboes will play a practice match at Denver City on Tuesday, but won’t open Class 3A playoff action until the area round, on Nov. 4.

Eagle boys earn first at Big Spring swim meet

The Pecos Eagle boys swim team came away with first place in their first invitational meet of the 2006-07 season, while Pecos’ girls took fourth place overall last Saturday, at the Big Spring Invitational.

The boys, who edged Andrews to win the district swim title back in January at the Big Spring YMCA pool, beat the Mustangs out by 63 points for first place this time, winning by a 275-212 margin. The girls, second to Andrews at district last season, beat out all their 4-4A rivals and finished second to Pampa among the sub-Class 5A schools at the meet. The Eagles had 117 points to 121 for the Harvesters, while Midland High won the meet by a 179-138 margin over Abilene High.

“They swam better than I thought. I don’t think anybody had a bad day,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. “Matthew (Oglesby) swam a 2:08 in the IM, and he’s never swam that before. Even some of our new swimmers swam their personal best times, and our divers had a real good day on Friday as well.”

The boys won three individual events and two of the three relays on Saturday. Senior Oglesby won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly, while senior Kyle Winkles was first in the 50-yard freestyle. Oglesby swam a 2:08.76 in the 200 medley to win by nearly 10 seconds over Big Spring’s Ryan Hughey, while taking the 100 fly in 57.44, four-tenths of a second ahead of Midland Lee’s Cash Owen. Winkles won the 50 free with a 22.64 time, .23 second ahead of Big Spring’s Cameron Hughey, and later placed second by a tenth of a second to Andrews’ Stephan Rettschnick in the 100-yard backstroke, with a 57.62 time.

Winkles and Oglesby were also part of the 200 medley relay team, along with Josh Elliott and Matthew Florez, which won with a 1:48.52 time, just over a second ahead of Andrews. The margin was much wider for the same group in winning the 400 yard freestyle relay, with a 3:35.43 time, which was nearly 21 seconds ahead of second place Pampa. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Florez, Frankie Morin, Jose Gonzales and Derek Teague finished second to Andrews, with a 1:43.47 time to the Mustangs’ 1:39.85. Pecos also picked up a second place on Friday in 1-meter diving from Hector Roman, who scored a 177.85 to the 233.20 for Andrews’ Matt Culberson. The Eagles also earned third in that event with Gonzales, who had a 1:53.50 score. Other medal winners for Pecos’ boys were Elliott, third in the 100 fly with a 59.53 time and in the 100 backstroke, with a 60.06 time, and Teague, who was third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.04, after placing sixth in the 50 free.

The other finishes for the boys included a seventh by Gus Mendoza, an eighth by Edward Navarro and a 14th by Oscar Machuca in the 200 freestyle; a fifth by Brian Carrasco in the 200 medley; a ninth by Gonzales and a 13th by Mendoza in the 50 free; a ninth by Adam Medina in the 100 fly; a fourth by Florez, a sixth by Morin and a 14th by Austin Vernon in the 100 free; a seventh by Navarro and a ninth by Medina in the 500 free; a fifth by Morin in the 100 backstroke and a sixth by Carrasco, an eighth by Machuca and a ninth by Vernon in the 100 yard breaststroke. For the ‘B’ relay teams, Carrasco, Vernon, Medina and Mendoza placed fourth in the 400 free; Machuca, Mendoza, Navarro and Vernon were eighth in the 200 medley Morin, Navarro, Carrasco and Teague were ninth in the 200 free.

Freshman Anatalia Hernandez had Pecos’ best finishes in the girls’ division, earning medals in both her individual events. Hernandez took second in the 100 yard butterfly with a 1:17.88 time, 6 1/2 seconds behind first place Lauren Sage of Big Spring, and was third in the 500 free with a 6:38.40 time, one second in back of runner-up Erica Olson of Midland Lee. Midland High’s Shaden Powell won the race with a 5:45.86 time.

Hernandez, Cynthia Marmolejo, Niki Lindemann and Neyva Rodriguez also took home a second place finish in the 400 yard freestyle relay, with a 4:33.96 time to Andrews’ 4:31.36.

“The girls would have placed higher, but I had to put some girls in events they wouldn’t normally swim,” Morse said, due to Saturday’s UIL area marching competition. “I’m sure we could have gotten third and possibly second, but with the meet starting at 11, that didn’t give us much time - they had to leave after the 50 free.”

Pecos’ other two relays for the girls -- the 200 medley with Marmolejo, Jessica Dickenson, Adriana Roman and Cassandra Mata and the 200 freestyle with Lindemann, Hernandez, Stephanie Lucas and Rodriguez both placed sixth. The other individual finishes for the Eagles included a fifth by Lindemann and a sixth by Roman in the 200 free; a fifth by Mata and a sixth by Dickenson in the 200 medley; a seventh by Rodriguez, a ninth by Mata, a 12th by Roman, a 14th by Dickenson and a 26th by Bagley in the 50 free; a sixth by Lucas in the 100 fly; a sixth by Rodriguez and a 21st by Bagley in the 100 free; an eighth by Marmolejo in the 500 free; a 10th by Lucas and an 11th by Marmolejo in the 100 back; and a seventh by Lindemann in the 100 breaststroke.

The Eagles have this weekend off, and will be at home for their next two events, a Nov. 2 dual meet against Monahans and the Pecos Invitational, scheduled for Nov. 10-11 at the PHS pool.

Vaqueros rally for 43-42 victory over Bears

If you are a football fan, Friday night’s game pitting the Balmorhea Bears against the Sierra Blanca Vaqueros was pure fun.

If you are a Bear fan, it was pure heartbreak as the Bear’s lost by one point, 43-42, after having an extra points attempt kick blocked with 11 seconds left to play in the game.

Both teams traded touchdowns in a back and forth first half that led to a 16-16 tie at half time.

The Bears then dug a hole for themselves with three defensive miscues late in the game that they could not crawl out of.

The second half began like a replay of the first with both defenses controlling the opposing offenses. Balmorhea kicked to the bears to start the third quarter and the Vaqueros mounted a strong drive deep into Bear country leading to a first-and-fifteen from the Bear 20-yardline.

The Vaqueros ran on first and gained four yards.

On second down they opted for a short pass and Brian Mendoza wrapped up the receiver at the line of scrimmage.

On third down the Vaqueros sent a running back up the middle to meet a gang of Bears.

Going for it on fourth down the Vaquero quarterback completed a swing pass only to see Russell Garlick wrap him up at the 10-yardline.

The Bear offense ran into a similar stiff defense and the teams scrimmaged up and down the field without scoring.

The Bears got the ball back late in the quarter mounted a drive of their own with a key catches by Ryan Woodruff and Mendoza.

Mendoza caught a second pass only to be bulldogged to the ground by the facemask. The resulting penalty set the Bears up first-and-goal from the Vaquero 14-yard-line.

Freshman 230-lb fullback Gabriel Jurado got the call up the middle and churned down to the four.

On the next play Rodriguez found Jurado coming across the middle of the Vaquero zone for six points. The points -after kick was good and the Bears led 24-16 with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Vaqueros fumbled away good field position set up by a successful onsides kick and then the Bears fumbled back after the Bears drove to the Vaquero 17-yardline.

On the first play of the possession the Vaquero back managed to turn the corner on a sweep for a 63-yard touchdown run. This time the Vaqueros added the points-after and took the lead 30-24.

The Bears couldn’t do anything on offense on the next set of downs and punted on fourth-and-long pinning the Vaqueros at their own 11-yardline.

And it happened again.

The Vaqueros handed off outside, turned the corner and 69 yards later they were in the end zone. They faked the points-after kick and tossed a complete pass for a single point conversion to run the lead to 37-24 with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But the Bears were not done.

Brandon Mendoza took the kickoff and ran it back 64 yards to the Vaquero 11-yardline.

Four plays later the Bears turned the ball over on downs.

On second down at their own 15 the Vaqueros passed across the middle and into the waiting hands of Bear safety Jose Rodriguez who dodged through all six Vaqueros for the touchdown. The points-after kick was blocked but the Bears were within seven.

The Vaqueros then returned the favor, returning the kickoff to the Bear 30 and then passing for a touchdown on fourth down.

With 2:56 left to play the Vaqueros owned a 13-point lead, 43-30.

A failed onside kick set the Bears up at mid-field. Rodriguez found Garlick across the middle to move the ball to the 25-yardline.

On the next play Rodriguez pitched to Mendoza who caught the Vaqueros in a prevent defense and tossed 20-yard TD pass to Woodruff.

The Vaqueros blocked the points-after kick again, leaving the Bears down by seven. That blocked kick would prove fatal.

The Vaqueros tried to run out the clock but the Bear defense held three times to zero yards. The punt landed past the end zone and the Bears brought it out to their own 20 with 1:20 left to play.

It was enough. With 29 second left Brandon Mendoza pump faked and took off finding the end zone with 11 ticks left on the clock.

The score was 43-42 Sierra Blanca.

Going for the win the Bears lined up to kick the points -after attempt - and the Vaqueros blocked it - again.

Final score, Bears 42, Vaqueros 43.

The Bears will be off this week because of Marathon’s cancellation 2006 season due to a lack of players.

Balmorhea’s next game is at home on Nov. 3, against Dell City.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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