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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bears sending three to Region I-A track

Balmorhea’s A.J. Garcia and Alexis Lozano continued to pick up first place medals last Thursday, at the Class A area track meet in Wink, earning trips to next week’s Region I-A meet in Levelland along with distance runner Michael Hernandez.

Garcia earned a trip to regionals in the discus, with a winning throw of 148-feet-6, while Lozano captured the gold medal in the shot put, with a throw of 49-foot-3. Garcia won his event by nine feet over Iraan’s Preston Villanueva, while Lozano’s throw was just under six feet ahead of the Braves’ Miguel Dehoyos, who threw 43-3 1/2.

Bears’ coach Adoflo Garcia said prior to the Wink meet he thought he had a chance to get three people to Austin this year, based on their results both during this season and last year. Hernandez, who only started running late in the season, just missed a trip to state in cross-country in November, after qualifying as a junior in 2004. Last Thursday, he nipped Big Bend-Terlingua’s Brendan Flippo by just under two seconds for the third and final regional berth in the 3200-meter run, with a 10:57.36 time. Ryan Zambrano of Comstock won the race, finishing 10 seconds in front of Hernandez, while Iraan’s Brandon Gentry was in second, and eight seconds ahead of the Bears’ runner.

The Region I-A meet will be held on April 28-29 at South Plains Junior College in Levelland, with the top two finishers in each event advancing to the Class A state meet on May 12-13 in Austin.

Pecos JV teams get fifth at district track meet

The Pecos Eagles’ junior varsity boys and girls track teams both finished in fifth place last Friday, in the JV divisions of the District 3-3A Track and Field Championships, held at Eagle Stadium.

Pecos’ boys finished with 47 points in a division won by Monahans with 181 points to 132 1/2 for runner-up Seminole, while the girls ended up with 29 points in a division won by Greenwood, by a 147-106 margin over Monahans.

The boys picked up one first place medal at the meet, from Aaron Urias, who won the 800 meter run with a 2:13.02 time. Jesus Juarez was also fourth in that race for the Eagles, and Billy Garcia placed sixth. The Eagles also earned a second place finish in the 200 meter dash, where Luis Morales had a 24.28 time, while in the 1600 meter relay, Morales, Urias, Juarez and Garcia finished third, with a 3:54.89 time.

The other points for the boys came from Morales, sixth in the long jump; Brian Navarette, sixth in the discus; Gonzalo Reyna, fifth in the 3200 meter run, and the Eagles’ 800 meter relay team, which finished fourth.

The top finish for the girls was a second place by Jessica Trujillo in the 200 meter dash, with a 30.76 time. She also came in fourth in the 100 meter dash, while Lisa White was fifth in that race. Beth Castaneda had Pecos’ other medal finish, as she third in the 400 meter dash, with a time of 1:18.64, and later took sixth in the 1600 meter run.

In the field events, White was fourth in the long jump and Sam Villarreal was fifth in the discus for the Eagles.

Seven Eagles get All-State swim spots

Pecos Eagles junior Kyle Winkles received first team Class 4A all-state honors in swimming, while six other Pecos swimmers earned second team all-state or honorable mention honors, coach Terri Morse said on Tuesday.

Winkles earned his first-team selection thanks to his 21.57 second time at the District 3-4A Swimming and Diving Championships at Big Spring in January, which set a new meet record. He, along with senior Matt Elliott, junior Matt Oglesby, sophomore Matthew Florez and freshman Josh Elliott were second team selections based on their times in the 400 yard freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay, while individually, Winkles and Josh Elliott earned second team spots in the 100-yard backstroke, and Oglesby did the same based on his district time in the 200 yard individual medley.

The honorable mention list included Matt Elliott, Oglesby, Winkles, Florez, and diver Hector Roman on the boys’ side, and senior Lindsey Shaw for the girls. Shaw, who signed a letter of intent last week to swim for the University of Texas-Permian Basin, earned honorable mention in the 200 individual medley, where she qualified for state after winning at district and regionals, while Roman qualified in the 1-meter competition, after placing third at district and advancing to regionals.

Ogelsby and Matt Elliot both earned honorable mention for their times in the 100-yard butterfly, while the two, plus Winkles and Florez, did the same in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

In addition to the all state honors, the six Eagles also earned All-Region I-4A honors for their times. The boys also were joined by freshman diver Jose Gonzales, while the other girls to receive all-region honors were senior Ashley Mendoza, junior Cynthia Marmolejo, sophomores Cassandra Mata and Neyva Rodriguez and freshman Niki Lindemann.

Honorable mention all-region went to senior Alonzo Garcia, sophomore Luke Serrano and freshmen Brian Carrasco and Frankie Morin.

One other Eagle swimmer on the girls’ side, freshman Stephanie Lucas, earned All-District 3-4A honors, while another Pecos swimmer on the boys’ side, Oscar Machuca, was honorable mention at the district level.

Weekend games key to Pecos’ playoff hopes

The playoff fates of both the Pecos Eagles softball and baseball teams could be decided this weekend, when the Eagles play back-to-back games against the Presidio Blue Devils and Greenwood Rangers.

The Eagle girls’ season will almost certainly be decided by Friday’s 5 p.m. game at Greenwood. The Eagles are a half-game in back of the Rangerettes in the District 3-3A standings with a 5-5 record, and close out their season on Saturday against 0-10 Presidio. A Greenwood win would eliminate Pecos from the playoff race, while the Eagles would earn the third and final district playoff berth with victories over both the Rangerettes and Blue Devils. A third place playoff would be needed if the Eagles won at Greenwood and then lost at Presidio.

Pecos has yet to beat Greenwood in seven district softball games dating back to 2003. But they have done better on the Rangers’ home field than on their own field, where they lost earlier this year by a 3-0 score. Amber Garduno three-hit Pecos, while the Rangerettes took advantage of control problems by pitcher Amalie Herrera to score twice in the first inning last month.

The same problem hurt the Eagles in their last game, on April 11 against Monahans. The Loboes scored twice in the first inning, and added two more runs in the third, then held off a late Pecos comeback for a 4-2 victory. That’s the same score the Eagles lost by in Greenwood last season, while the Rangerettes’ last game was on April 13, when they fell to Monahans by a 3-0 margin, as Heather Schuler tossed a no-hitter.

Coach Tammy Walls said, “The batting lineup will probably be different,” for Friday’s game, and added the team has been working on their hitting in the 10 days between games. “Since the JV’s season is over we’ve been able to get the varsity out on the field during the athletic period, “ Walls said. “So we’ve gotten a lot of batting in.”

The situation is a lot better for the Eagles in baseball. Pecos is tied with Seminole and Presidio for first place at 6-3 after last Thursday’s 6-2 win over the Indians and the Blue Devils 6-2 loss at Greenwood, and can still survive a weekend defeat. But all three teams are only a game up on fourth place Monahans and one game ahead in the loss column on fifth place Fort Stockton. Meanwhile, at 3-5 Greenwood needs to sweep their final four district games to have a shot at their fifth straight trip to the playoffs.

Eagles’ coach Elias Payan said Josh Anchondo, 5-2, would get the start in Presidio. “I’ll start Josh on Friday and come back with Edward (Valencia) on Saturday, and if we need to use Eddy (Vela), we can do that,” Payan said.

Anchondo started the teams’ first district game and had a strong first three innings, before running into trouble after a 45-minute rain delay. The Blue Devils turned a 1-0 Eagle lead into a 5-1 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh inning, then fell apart on defense, committing two key errors that allowed Pecos to tie the game and then win, 6-5, on Isaiah Rayos’ two-out single.

Valencia got the win in relief of Anchondo, while Juan Aguilar suffered his second loss of the season, relieving Hector Rodriguez in the seventh. Payan said he expects to see one of those two pitchers again on Friday.

The win over the Blue Devils came after the Eagles were 10-run ruled by Greenwood in their first district game, an 11-1 loss in five innings. The Rangers scored eight times in the fifth off Anchondo and Rayos to break open the game, while they put up a seven-run inning on Eddie Vela in pre-district play, in a game eventually won by Pecos, 9-7.

David Hill shut down the Eagles, and ended the game with a grand slam home run in the fifth inning. For Saturday, Payan said, “It will probably be either (Logan) Bawcom or Hill, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see that Dean (Smith) kid.”

Friday’s game will start after the Eagles’ JV purple game against Presidio, though Payan said that game will probably have a time limit in order to get the varsity game started on time and allow Pecos to make the 160-mile trip home early enough to prepare for Saturday’s 1 p.m. game. Pecos’ JV gold team will play a doubleheader in McCamey on Friday.

Henson adds two to Eagles’ football staff

Two new assistant coaches have been hired by incoming Pecos Eagles head coach Chris Henson, and he is hoping to have two more coaches approved by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board before the end of the current school year.

Henson, who took over in late March as head coach and athletic director for P-B-T ISD, after three seasons in the same job at Marfa, said Thomas Hughes would be the new defensive coordinator for the Eagles. School board members approved Hughes on Tuesday for a coach and special education position, and the board also approved Derick Price as a new assistant coach and history teacher at Pecos High School.

Like Henson, Hughes comes to Pecos from Marfa. “He’s been my defensive coordinator at Marfa for three years,” Henson said, while Price has served as offensive coordinator at Rotan.

“He won’t be the offensive coordinator here, I’ll do that, but he’ll be our running backs coach and will help with the secondary,” Henson said.

One of the two other positions the new head coach is looking to fill will also be from a current Marfa coach, pending approval by the school board.

“Art Reyes was going to go before the board last night, but we haven’t got the paperwork completed,” Henson said. Reyes will be the new junior high school coordinator, once he is approved by the board.

“I’m still looking for a fourth coach, who is to be announced,” Henson said. He added that he knows whom he wants for that spot, but said, “He’s still got to come down and meet with the principals.”

The new group of coaches will be trying to improve on the Eagles’ 6-33 record over the past four seasons, since dropping down from District 2-4A to Class 3A in 2002. The Eagles will be moving into District 1-3A this fall along with Monahans and Fort Stockton, and will be joined by former 2-4A rivals Clint and Fabens and two other El Paso-area schools, Anthony and Tornillo.

Henson said he’s been working mainly on offense in his first four weeks as head coach, and plans to have a run-based offense operating out of the Wing-T formation. “The kids have been really supportive of what we’ve done on offense,” he said.

“We have some huge lineman. We’re returning all our offensive line, and they’ll be all seniors next year, so we should have an awesome front, and Luis Ortega at fullback in the Wing T will be our primary running back,” Henson said.

He said Aaron Urias and Jeremy Martinez are the two he’s currently looking at to replace Eddie Vela at quarterback. Urias will be a senior and Martinez a sophomore next season.

“We’ll have a three-step drop back, with a quick read and pass, and we’ll run some sprint outs from the Wing T and move him out of the pocket,” Henson said. Pecos will also be looking at new starters at the wide receiver spots, while on defense, they’ll be replacing their linebackers and most of their secondary.

He said the Eagles will work more on defense during the final month of the current school year, and he’s also hoping to have a team to field in an area 7-on-7 league this summer.

“We’ll run our offensive and defensive plays there,” Henson said. “We’re trying to put together a league with Fort Stockton, Monahans and Kermit with rotating tournaments, so we can host a couple here.”

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