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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bears to play Cowboys and Indians

The Balmorhea Bears had a rough time with a former district rival, while tying and defeating two other current district opponents last Saturday, in scrimmage play against Fort Davis, Sanderson and Sierra Blanca.

The Bears lost by a 4-0 score to Fort Davis, and will face the Indians again on Friday, along with another former district rival in Grandfalls, when they travel to Grandfalls for their final pre-season scrimmage. Coach Debiasie Mendoza said Balmorhea will also face Water Valley in the scrimmage, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

Mendoza said the Bears opened last week’s scrimmage with their loss to Fort Davis, which qualified for the playoffs along with Grandfalls last season, but which is now a part of the Division I Six-Man football bracket. Balmorhea is part of Division 2 along with Sanderson, who they tied 1-1, and Sierra Blanca, who the Bears defeated by a 2-0 score.

“I think against Fort Davis our guys were a little bit nervous,” said Mendoza, who took over as Bears’ coach this season and will have a small squad to work with in 2006, with just 13 players on the varsity. “I think we were a little intimidated, but once they found out they could play with them, we played well after that.”

He said Ryan Woodruff scored Balmorhea’s touchdown in their tie with Sanderson, while Brandon Mendoza and Gabriel Jurado had the scores in the scrimmage with Sierra Blanca. “On defense we had some big plays from Brandon at safety and Ryan at linebacker,” Mendoza said. Mendoza had one interception and Woodruff had two during the scrimmage.

“Our nose tackle Jonathan Carrasco also played well, and Danny Estrada had a fumble recovery,” the Bears’ coach added.

Grandfalls like Balmorhea was put into Division II, for the smaller six-man schools, but the Cowboys go into the season ranked as the No. 1 team in that division. Water Valley, like Fort Davis, will play in Division I this season.

Balmorhea opens their 2006 season on Sept. 1 with a home game against El Paso Faith Christian and will then play in Fort Davis again the following week, in their 2006 road opener.

Rangers’ defense set to test Eagles

The Pecos Eagles may not have to do as much quarterback chasing on defense Thursday night in Greenwood, when they play their final pre-season scrimmage against the Greenwood Rangers. But their offense figures to be tested by a Rangers defense that shut out Monahans this past Saturday in their first scrimmage of the season.

The two former district rivals were scheduled to face each other at 7 p.m. on Thursday, following freshman and junior varsity scrimmages at 5 and 6 p.m. Pecos comes off a 4-1 scrimmage loss at Seminole, in which the Eagles’ starters were outscored by the Indians, 2-1 and had problems running down Indians quarterback Eric Boyd, while the reserves were blanked in their 15-play series and surrendered two long runs for touchdowns.

Greenwood defeated Monahans by a 1-0 score, with the lone touchdown coming on their first series. But the Rangers then suffered a major blow when quarterback Colton Wilbur injured his knee a short time later.

“I talked to their coach and he said he had a torn ACL and was out for the season,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. Wilbur ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns last season, in Greenwood’s 35-8 win over Pecos.

However, despite that, Henson expected the Rangers’ running game to test Pecos on Thursday.

“The run the wishbone and that Air Force type (offensive) stuff so much, they’ll find somebody to run it,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Meanwhile, on offense the Eagles gained 99 yards and had a touchdown on their first eight plays against Seminole, then had minus-8 yards on their remaining 12 plays with the first team, and gained just 40 yards with their second team offense on the field.

“We went through the video with the kids,” Henson said. “We had a lot of poor technique. I think the kids were too worried about their technique and making mistakes instead of getting after it.”

He said with the new offense the Eagles were using this season, some of the problems were due to being unsure of the plays. “I think the learning period is about over. We should start clicking soon.”

Henson said Thursday’s scrimmage would end with a 12-minute quarter under game conditions, after an opening 15-play series for both teams, followed by two 10-play series. He added that Aaron Urias would probably see more time at quarterback with the first team this week. Urias worked mostly with the second team, while Paul Zubledia took the snaps on the opening series.

The freshman and JV scrimmage will be the same as the varsity scrimmage in terms of plays, with the exception of not having the timed quarter of play. Pecos’ JV and ninth grade teams will start their seasons one week later against Alpine, while the varsity will take on the Bucks on Sept. 2 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa to start their 2006 season.

Pecos hosting tourney after VH victory

The Pecos Eagles will be looking to get over the .500 mark for the first time this season and improve on their tournament showing from a week ago starting on Friday morning, when they host the Cantaloupe Classic Volleyball Tournament at the Pecos High School gym.

The Eagles got to .500 for the first time this season on Monday, evening their record at 4-4 with a 17-25, 25-18, 26-28, 25-23, 15-10 win in Van Horn over the Eagles, one of the teams they had lost to last weekend at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans. Van Horn would later lose to Pecos’ district rival Fort Stockton, and those teams will face each other on Friday, in one of the four three-team brackets in the tournament.

Pecos opens with a 9:45 a.m. match against El Paso Parkland, and then faces Fort Davis at 12:15 p.m. as part of Pool C in the tournament. Fort Hancock is the other team in Pool A with Fort Stockton and Van Horn, while Pool B is made up of Kermit, Sierra Blanca and Fabens and Wink, Marfa and Presidio are the teams in Pool D.

Pool round play will end early enough for the championship round of the tournament to start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, while the consolation bracket will start at 5 p.m. in the old gym. Semifinal and consolation semifinals will take place Saturday morning, and the tournament’s title game is set for 4 p.m.

Pecos had lost in two games to Van Horn on Saturday morning in Monahans, but outlasted that group of Eagles on their home court. “We were in better shape,” said coach Helen Kimbrough. “And they talked and communicated and didn’t fold up. They kept fighting for it.

“When you’ve played a team before and lost, there’s always something in the back of your mind that they can beat you. But after the fourth game, they showed they had changed and kept hitting the ball,” she said. “Van Horn is a good defensive team and instead of hitting the ball too hard and hitting it out we were more selective on out hits. We were more accurate than last time.”

“Brittany (Rodriguez) and Gabby (Garcia) had some good hits, and Jasmine Rayos played well,” Kimbrough said. “But to get good hits you have to have good passing, and Amalie Herrera did an excellent job for us.

“We also had some good serving out of Amalie and Ashley (Ornelas). She had a very good game serving, and I may have to move her up to first server in the rotation,” she added.”

While Pecos got to see Monahans two weeks ago in scrimmage play and Fort Stockton this past weekend in the Sandhills Tournament, this will be the Eagles’ first chance this season to see Presidio, their other District 2-3A rival. Pecos’ volleyball district is unchanged from the past two years, while all other sports except for football and swimming have now been changed to match the four-team volleyball alignment.

The freshman division of the Cantaloupe Classic got underway at 4 p.m. on Thursday with Pecos facing Fort Stockton in their opening match. Van Horn played Presidio, Monahans faced Alpine and Crane took on Marfa in the other first round matches of the tournament, which will conclude on Saturday at the Crockett Middle School gym.

The JV bracket will begin with Pecos facing Kermit at 8:30 a.m. on Friday in the old PHS gym. The other opening round matches have Marfa facing Fort Davis, Van Horn taking on Fort Stockton, Crane ‘B’ facing Presidio, Monahans facing Odessa High and Crane ‘A’ taking on Alpine. The title game in the JV bracket is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday in the old PHS gym.

Pecos’ ninth graders lost to Van Horn in their match on Monday, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, while the JV won by 25-22, 25-23 scores.

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