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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

UTPB baseball, softball squads holding tryouts

The University of Texas-Permian Basin will be holding softball and baseball tryouts over the next three Saturdays at the UTPB campus in Odessa.

Softball tryouts are scheduled for Saturday, June 3 and Saturday, June 17 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the UTPB Softball Field off East 42nd Street (State Highway 191) on the northeast side of the campus.

Those planning to participate should bring gloves, appropriate clothes ad shoes and sign a release form. Players under age 18 will also need a parental signature on the form. For further information, contact coach Danny Dunaway at (432) 552-2676.

The baseball tryout will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 10 at the Jam and Ted Roden Baseball Field on the UTPB campus.

Any player who attends the tryout and is accepted on the UTPB baseball or softball teams will also have to apply to the school for admission and be accepted as a student. An application must also be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse, and both applications must be approved before any player can be ruled eligible to participate in athletics at the NCAA level.

Lights off chip-off decides Beau Jack tourney winners

Twilight forced an end to a playoff in the championship flight of the annual Beau Jack Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday, with the team of Ruben and Michael Baca winning as chip-off over Steven Alexander and Blanton Baker of Snyder after the teams remained tied following four extra holes.

The two teams were among four that tied at the end of regulation in the 36-hole two-man low-ball tournament, with the Bacas winning by coming closest to the pin on the 100-yard chip-off on the 18th hole. Both shot 64-67-131s, as did the third place team of Matt and Steve Burkholder, who went out on the second playoff hole. The other team, of Allen and Mike Claburn, went out on the first playoff hole following rounds of 65 and 66 for their 131 total.

This year’s tournament had 66 teams in five flights. In the first flight, Tim Doan and Lance Windham took first place, shooting 66-68-134 to beat out Craig Davis and Terry Ott by one stroke. They shot a 68-67-135, while Galan Doan and Brad Shugert placed third, with rounds of 69 for a 138 total.

In the second flight, Ronnie Martinez and Patrick Garrett shot a 72-75-147 to win first place, while Peter Mora and Michael Benavides won second in a scorecard playoff over Keith and Chad Windham, after both teams had rounds of 70 on Saturday and 78 on Sunday for a 148 score.

The third flight also had a four way tie, this one for second place, behind Ralph and Frank Nunez, who won with a 72-74-146 score. That playoff was also decided on the scoreboard, with Charlie Claburn and Jerry McDonald winning second place and Bob Burkholder and Jerry Patterson taking third. Claburn and McDonald had a 74-75-149 total ,while Burkholder and Patterson shot 73-76 for their 149 score. Michael Serrano and Ricky Lujan, and Matt Williamson and Steve Smith, both with 72-77-149 scores, were the other two teams tied for second.

In the fourth flight, winners were Randy Graham and John Shaffer with a 75-78-153 total. They were followed by Nick and Roger Granado with a 76-79-155 score, while Daniel Lewis and Kenny DelaGarza were third, with a 79-78-157 total.

N.Y.-Boston hoop program conducts clinic

Local youths will have a chance to get some tutoring on their basketball skills over the next three days, as part of a youth outreach effort by the Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department and the New York-based group that is conducting the clinic.

Basketball City will have staff in Pecos on Tuesday through Thursday working with boys and girls ages 8-18 in three hour morning and afternoon sessions at the Pecos High School gym. The instructors will include former players and current coaches associated with the company, which operates a six-court year-round basketball facility along the Hudson River in Manhattan, as well as one in the Boston area.

“We’ve got a good turnout. We’ve got about 300 kids,” said Basketball City president Bruce Radler. “Our group is excited to be working with these kids.”

“Ten people are coming down who work with (NCAA) Division I basketball, and a couple have played professionally,” he said. The group includes Craig Alfano of Trinity College, who is the youth director for Basketball City, and Brian Holden, general manager of the organization’s Boston location.

“We’ve been doing it for nine years. We do a long of camps with the Knicks and Celtics, and we’ve done some camps in partnership with the Nets,” said Radler, adding that Basketball City is looking towards expanding its full-time operations out of the New York-New England area.

“I’ve had my son and daughter in the program, and I’ve seen how it impacted them,” he said, explaining that along with the skills training, the Basketball City program is designed to get kids more interested in the sport on a full-time basis.

“If kids are doing things after school they have less time to get in trouble, Radler said. “The more kids we impact the better they are and the better we all are.”

The camp coming to Pecos is based upon a program called “Jump Start” which uses sports and recreation to reach out to youth to help them learn and develop the life skills they need to be successful. The “Jump Start” program tries to help young people develop characteristics like self-esteem, leadership, teamwork and generosity that are vital traits in the development of young people to help them grow into productive adults.

The schedule for both the morning and afternoon sessions calls for a 10-minure camp shoot-around and a 20-minute group discussion, followed by 15 minutes of warm-ups. After that, the boys and girls will have 45 minutes at the various drill stations working on their skills, followed by another 30 minute discussion during which contests will be held and prizes given out.

“It’s not as much how you perform but how much you learn life skills like teamwork,” Radler said. “Basketball teaches you a lot of life skills.”

The Juvenile Probation Department’s effort was set up by Louise Moore. Co-sponsors include American Home Health (Leo Hung), TransPecos Banks (Bill Oglesby), Richard Slack, James Pattee, Bill Weinacht Law Firm, Valor Telecom-Cody Falwell, 143rd District Attorney’s Office - Randy Reynolds, Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department, Town and Country Food Stores, Lindsey Brothers Earth Movers, Inc., and Wal-Mart, which donated the basketballs for the camp.

Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation call 447-6901 to sign up.

Changes made in Eagles varsity coaching jobs

Pecos Eagles’ Athletic Director Chris Henson has made three changes to head coaching positions at Pecos High School, with two spot remaining to be filled after the resignation of one head coach and the reassignment of two others following the 2005-06 school year.

Henson said head basketball coach Lisa Lowery has resigned to take a coaching job in Monahans, while head tennis coach Mike Ortiz has decided to leave his coaching job. The new athletic director also reassigned head baseball coach Elias Payan and boys golf coach Kim Anderson.

Debbie Garcia, who stepped in as head volleyball coach just prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, will move over to replace Lowery as head basketball coach, while former Eagles tennis coach Bernadette Ornelas will step back into that job, which she left five years ago and Pat Gent will become the new varsity boys golf coach for Pecos. That leaves the volleyball and baseball positions to be filled, something Henson hopes will happen by either the June or July regular meetings of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.

Lowery spent two seasons as head basketball coach of the Eagles, but commuted from Grandfalls, where her husband remains head football coach. Anderson served as head golf coach for the past nine seasons and won four district titles and qualified for regionals for five straight years between 1999 and 2003. Payan finished his fourth season as Eagles’ head coach, making the playoffs in 2003 and 2004. The Eagles placed fourth in district in 2005 and this past season lost a playoff to get into post-season play against Midland Greenwood.

“We just wanted to take it in a different direction,” said Henson, who added Payan had been reassigned to the junior high coaching staff.

Henson said he’s talked to a couple of coaches about the open head volleyball position, and is expecting to hire one new coach, Eric Garcia, with baseball experience at the June school board meeting. He said once that’s done, he’d have his full high school football coaching staff completed.

“Robbie Ortega will be our lone holdover on the varsity. The rest will be a completely new staff,” said Henson. Two other coaches, Art Wellborn, and Carey Hannsz will return, with Wellborn paired with new coach Sean Brooks on the JV, and Hannsz with Garcia as freshman coach.

Henson said as of now 40 incoming freshmen have signed up to play football, to go along with 67 returning players from 10th through 12 grades. “We’ll have between 33 and 35 on the varsity, and we won’t have any freshmen moved up,” he said, adding that a scheduling change approved by the school board will not have freshmen practice during first period and prior to the start of school each morning.

“We’ll start at 7 a.m. and practice into first period, and that way we’ll have all our coaches here for the JV and varsity practices,” he said. “That will give us more individual work time.”

Some of the Eagle players will also be participating in the first 7-on-7 tournament Pecos will host, on June 8 at 6 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.

“We’ll have Fort Stockton, Crane, Kermit, Alpine and Fort Davis and Marfa called and they want to play in the JV division,” the Eagles’ coach said.

The 7-on-7 in mainly for skill position players, but Henson said there would also be a lineman challenge as part of the June 8 event; the first of four during the month Pecos will participate in. The others are on the following three Thursdays in Fort Stockton, Alpine and Kermit, with linemen challenges in the Fort Stockton and Kermit events.

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