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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eagles split matches at Sandhills tourney

The Pecos Eagles were perfect against teams from the Mountain Time Zone over the weekend, while claiming the consolation title in the Consolation Division of the Monahans Sandhills Tournament. However, they ended up there by falling to teams from their own area, one of whom they were scheduled to face again on Monday evening.

Pecos went 3-3 overall this weekend, finishing seventh in their bracket on Friday in the seeding to determine Saturday’s match-ups. They opened by losing to eventual tournament runner-up Midland High by identical 25-16 scores, then dropped a split-set match to Seminole, 25-9, 23-25, 25-18 before beating El Paso Ysleta by identical scores of 25-19.

On Saturday, the Eagles opened play by losing to the team they were scheduled to face on Monday, Van Horn, by 25-20, 25-22 scores, then defeated El Paso Bowie, 25-20, 25-11, to end up in a rematch against Ysleta. Things were tougher the second time around - Pecos trailed only once in the early going of Friday’s match, but had to rally twice on Saturday to defeat the Maidens by 25-21, 27-25 scores.

“They didn’t quit, and that’s a good thing,” said Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough, whose team will host their own tournament this Friday and Saturday after their 6 p.m. game on Monday in Van Horn.

Kimbrough shuffled her lineups around a couple of times during the tournament, in an effort to get a little more movement into her team. Among them were moving Jasmine Rayos into middle hitter/blocker on the front rotation in Friday’s game with Ysleta, while on Saturday she switched out the labara spot, moving Jenny Palomino into the regular rotation and replacing her as back line player with Rebecca Martinez.

“I’m trying to put a faster team out there that can read the hitters,” she said, after the Eagles had problems getting into position to defend against Snyder and Midland High’s front lines.

In the two games against Ysleta, the Eagles’ offense came from different places. On Friday, Rayos had a strong game at the middle hitter’s position, while on Saturday Pecos had more success from the outside spots, and Kimbrough said the Eagles were able to place the ball better in the consolation final.

“Amber (Pando) had some good kills. She was placing the ball exactly where I wanted it,” she said. “Brittany (Rodriguez) had some good hits, and Adriana (Armendariz) had some good hits.

“Jasmine didn’t have as strong a game, but she was a little tired by the end, because she plays the full rotation, and I never take her out. So this time I had to give her a little rest,” Kimbrough said.

Pando tied the second game on Saturday at 25-25, after Ysleta had rallied from a 24-22 deficit to take the lead. Gabby Garcia would put the Eagles in front with another kill before the Eagles won the match on an illegal pass. In the opener, the Eagles trailed late 20-19 before Garcia tied it with a spike, and Armendariz would kill two bad passes over the net by Ysleta as part of a 5-1 run by Pecos to win the game.

Kimbrough was also happy with the back line work handling spikes and serves in the final match against the Maidens.

“Amalie (Herrera) was passing the ball right on target, and we did run the offense we’re trying to learn,” Kimbrough said. “I put in one play in we wanted to try, and she passed the ball right to the setter and we ran it the way it’s supposed to run.”

Monahans would end up winning the tournament by defeating Midland High, while Fort Stockton, the other District 2-3A team in the tournament, ended up third in the Consolation Division with a win over Van Horn. Pecos’ junior varsity also was in Monahans this weekend, but dropped both their matches, falling to Midland High’s Gold Team on Friday and the Midland Lee sophomores on Saturday.

The JV and freshman Eagles, who were idle this past weekend, also were scheduled to face Van Horn on Monday, at 4 and 5 p.m. Both teams also will be entered with the varsity in their own divisions of the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic this weekend.

Pecos has strong start, struggles at scrimmage

The first eight plays of Saturday’s scrimmage for the Pecos Eagles against the Seminole Indians went about the way the Eagles would have hoped. But the 2006 Eagles also had some of the same problems against the Indians and their quarterback Eric Boyd, that the 2005 Eagles suffered in their trip to Seminole last year.

Pecos came up inches short of keeping their initial drive of the scrimmage alive at the Seminole 41-yard-line, then needed just two plays to go 70 yards after that for a touchdown during their first 20-play series. But the offense was quiet for the rest of the way, while the Indians used the running and passing of Boyd to score two touchdowns on their first 20-play series, then outscored Pecos, 2-0, with the second team units in to finish up with a 4-1 victory.

“I was pleased with the effort,” said new Eagles’ head coach Chris Henson. “I scripted 20 plays and stayed right with the script. If this had been a regular game, I would have done things a little differently.”

Quarterback Derek Zubeldia hit running back Luis Ortega on a short pass the senior turned into an 18-yard gain on the third play of the scrimmage, but Seminole’s defense stopped Ortega short on a 3rd-and-1 play from the 41 to end the first series and send the Eagles back to their own 30-yard-line. However, on the next play Javier Tercero ran for 30 yards on a counter handoff, and then Ortega went through the right side of the line and raced 40 yards for the touchdown.

That would be the last first down for the first team offense. Seminole stopped the Eagles’ running game after that, while Pecos hurt itself with a couple of fumbled snaps and two dropped passes, along with a Zubledia interception. The second team would pick up two first downs in their 15-play series, and also were hurt by a couple of fumbled snaps, a problem that has plagued Pecos for the last few seasons.

“We had a couple of busted plays. We’d have 10 people getting their assignment and one didn’t and we’d get dropped in the backfield,” Henson said. “We missed a lot of assignments, but I thought the offensive line did pretty well. They (Seminole) stunts and they were twisting their interior lines, which we hadn’t worked on. They caught us in some things and some we picked up pretty well.”

Boyd accounted for over 300 yards and four scores in last year’s 35-0 win by Seminole over Pecos, and the Eagles again had trouble containing the quarterback. He scrambled away from Pecos’ pass rush a couple of times for big gains, and would run a quarterback draw on a 3rd-and-9 play 40 yards, to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass to Colter Carson. Earlier, a 32-yard pass from Boyd to Todd Warren and a 15-yard run on an inside handoff by William Brown set up a 1-yard drive for the Indians’ first score, though Brown’s run was helped by a holding call that allowed him to get outside the Eagle defenses.

Penalties were called on both teams, but were not marked off by officials during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Henson said the scrimmage was shorter than original advertised in order to avoid any injuries. The first and second team units were scheduled to have another 10 play scrimmage, but opted to end things after both sides had run off 45 plays. Neither team suffered any serious injuries in the scrimmage.

Seminole scored twice on long runs with heir second team offense, though they also had their problems. The second score was marred by a penalty on an illegal block behind the play, and came one play after Pecos’ Travis Walker recovered an Indians’ fumble off a 12-yard pass completion.

“The defense didn’t do a good job today adjusting to their sets,” said Henson, who added that Seminole’s team speed also was hard at times for Pecos to adjust to.

“The big thing on defense is we haven’t seen this type of speed,” he said. “Our defense has only worked against their JV, and they have several receivers with 4.5 speed and their quarterback is a 4.4 kid. We probably won’t see a team with this kind of overall speed until the playoffs.”

The Eagles will see another fast quarterback this coming Thursday, in junior Colton Wilbur, when they play their second and final preseason scrimmage, in Greenwood against the Rangers. The freshmen and junior varsity teams will scrimmage at 5 p.m., while the varsity scrimmage should begin about 6:30 p.m. Greenwood defeated Monahans on Saturday in those teams’ first preseason scrimmage.

Seminole also won Saturday’s JV and ninth grade scrimmages, by 3-1 and 3-0 scores. All the touchdowns in both scrimmages came during the opening series.

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