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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

PHS freshman reported OK after head injury during game

A Pecos High School freshman football player is recovering in a Lubbock hospital after suffering what school officials said was bleeding on the brain Thursday night, during the team’s final regular season football game in Kermit.

Pecos played Kermit’s junior varsity team, and varsity head coach and athletic director Chris Henson said because the game was not being recorded, they’re not sure when the injury occurred to Joseph Fuentes, but that it happened early in the Eagles’ 34-24 loss to the Yellowjackets.

“We had run 2-3 plays and Joseph came off the field and he said he felt faint and his eye was blurry,” Henson said. “The coaches got him off the field and with the medical staff there at Kermit got him to their hospital and from there he was flown to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock.”

Henson said the ninth grader did not lose consciousness while being taken from Kermit to Lubbock, while freshman coach Eric Garcia said doctors did perform surgery to check on the severity of the injury.

“I talked to his parents there, and he did have some bleeding on his brain,” Henson said following Pecos’ varsity game on Friday night, while adding that Fuentes was expected to be moved to a private room over the weekend.

The game was one of four sub-varsity games played on Thursday to close out their 2008 season. In the other three, the Eagles’ junior varsity and junior high teams suffered season-ending losses to the Midland Christian Mustangs. Playing in Midland, the Eagles’ JV ended their season at 5-5 with a 21-8 loss to Midland Christian, while the ninth graders finished up 4-6 after losing to Kermit’s junior varsity, 34-24.

Playing in Pecos, the seventh grade Eagles wound up with a 4-4 record after their 20-12 loss to Midland Christian, and the eighth graders finished their season with a 3-5 record, after falling to the Mustangs, 35-0.

The Pecos-Midland games were the second week in a row the Eagles faced the Mustangs, with the Mustangs coming away with their second consecutive victories.

The JV, which lost the previous week on two late scores, got their only points on Thursday off a Ramiro Pinales TD run and a two-point conversion by Cesar Lazcano.

The freshmen, who beat Kermit’s ninth graders earlier this season, got a pair of touchdown runs from Israel Espudo and one from Chase Price, along with a TD pass from Price to Luis Villescas in the losing effort.

In the seventh grade game, Midland jumped ahead 12-0 before Pecos scored in the third period on a three-yard run by Cesar Ortega. The Mustangs would answer at the end of the quarter, while the Eagles got to within a touchdown midway through the final period, on a seven-yard run by Roderick Renteria.

In the eighth grade game, the Mustangs jumped out to an early 21-0 lead on two punt returns and a long touchdown run, while shutting Pecos out for all four periods.

Swimmers get 1st in Andrews, 2nd at Midland

The Pecos Eagles swim team had a busy weekend and some good results against a couple of their District 4-4A rivals and some of the area 5A schools, swimming in a double dual meet on Thursday in Andrews and at the Midland Invitational on Saturday.

The Eagles beat both the host Mustangs and Monahans in Thursday’s three-way event, then placed second on both the boys’ and girls’ sides to San Angelo Central on Saturday.

Central won the girls’ division with 336 points to 218 for Pecos, 30 more than third place Amarillo High. On the boys’ side Central won with 492 points to 212 1/2 for the Eagles, and 171 for third place Midland Lee.

Coach Terri Morse said she had most of her swimmers in different individual events from Thursday’s meet on Saturday, though the ‘A’ relay lineups were basically unchanged both days.

“You could tell they looked tired on Saturday, but we did all right in spite of that,” she said. “The times were a little off, but not by much.”

Pecos’ girls picked up a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, with Conner Armstrong, Alyson Reynolds, Alexcia Mendoza and Anatalia Hernandez swimming a 2:07.72 time to beat out Central by one second. In the 400 freestyle relay, the Eagles placed second to San Angelo, with Adrianna Roman, Armstrong, Lauren Elliott and Reynolds swimming that race, while in the 200 free relay, Hernandez, Mendoza, Elliott and Roman finished third.

The girls also had ‘B’ relays in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle races. Tiffany hunter, Victoria Machuca, Maggie Hernandez and Dakota Hegar finished seventh in the 400 free relay and 12th in the medley relay.

The other win by the girls came from Reynolds, who took the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:45.35 time. Earlier, she placed second in the 200 free, while Elliott was third in that race, as well as in the 500 free. The other finishes for Pecos included a fifth by Mendoza, an eighth by Anatalia Hernandez and a ninth by Maggie Hernandez in the 200 medley; a 11th by Hegar and a 12th by Roman in the 50 free; a third by Mendoza, fifth by Anatalia Hernandez and a 10th by Machuca in the 100-yard butterfly; an eighth by Armstrong, 10th by Roman, 11th by Hegar and 17th by Maggie Hernandez in the 100 free; a 15th by Hunter in the 500 free; a sixth by Armstrong and an 18th by Hunter in the 100-yard backstroke and an 11th by Machuca in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The boys got their second place at Midland without benefit of a first place finish on the day, but did place second to Central in the first and last races of the day. Josh Elliott, Carlos Navarro, Gus Mendoza and Derek Teague were edged out by half a second in the 200 medley relay, with a 1:50.96 time, and Elliott, Frankie Morin, Carlos Navarro and Edward Navarro were second behind the Bobcats in the 400 free relay.

The Eagles’ ‘B’ relay of Gregory Roman, Tye Hegar, Clay Teague and Abraham Lujan was 10th there, while Lujan, Hegar, Roman and Austin Demor were 10th in the 200 medley relay. In the 200 freestyle relay, Pecos ‘A’ team of Edward Navarro, Morin, Mendoza and Derek Teague were fifth, and the ‘B’ relay of Demor, Roman, Chase Price and Clay Teague finished 16th.

The highest individual finish for the boys were seconds by Elliott in the 100-yard backstroke and by Carlos Navarro in the 100-yard breaststroke, where he was edged by Central’s Matthew Mahler by .18 second. Elliott was also third in the 200 medley, while Navarro was fifth in the 100 free. The other finishes for the boys included a fourth by Edward Navarro, a sixth by Morin and a 15th by Demor in the 200 freestyle; an eighth by Mendoza in the 200 medley; a ninth by Derek Teague, a 32nd by Hegar, a 38th by Price and a 47th by Luis Villescas in the 50 free; a third by Gregory Roman in the 1-meter diving on Friday; a fourth by Mendoza and a 14th by Demor in the 100 fly; an 11th by Derek Teague, a 30th by Price and a 35th by Villescas in the 100 free; a third by Edward Navarro and a fourth by Morin in the 500 free; a 13th by Abraham Lujan in a 17th by Clay Teague in the 100 backstroke; and a 20th by Hegar and a 24th by Teague in the 100-yard breaststroke.

In the meet on Thursday Pecos’ boys defeated Andrews by an 81-20 margin and the girls won by a 69-29 score, while the Eagles beat Monahans on the boys’ side 70-28 and by a score of 71-23 for the girls.

Winners for the girls included all three relays, with Armstrong, Reynolds, Mendoza and Anatalia Hernandez taking the 200 medley in 2:06.70; Hernandez, Hegar, Elliott and Roman winning the 200 free in 1:56.41 and Roman, Armstrong, Mendoza and Reynolds taking the 400 free with a 4:10.17 time.

Armstrong also took the 200 medley in 2:41.04 and the 100 backstroke in 1:10.72; Reynolds won the 50 free in 27.58 and the 100 free with a 60.74 time; Hernandez took the 100 fly in 1:13.38 and was third in the 200 free; Roman won the 500 free in 6;02.25 and . Mendoza was second in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 free to Andrews’ Allison Moore; Elliott was second in the 100 fly and the 100 backstroke and Hegar was second in the 100 free.

Other finishes for Pecos included a third by Maggie Hernandez in the 200 medley and the 500 free and a sixth by Victoria Machuca in the 100 breaststroke. Pecos also had two ‘B’ relays, in the 200 medley, where Elliott, Machuca, Maggie Hernandez and Roman finished third; and the 400 free, where Hegar, Machuca, Tiffany Hunter and Maggie Hernandez placed fourth.

The boys also won all three relays on Thursday. Morin, Derek Teague, Mendoza and Edward Navarro took the 200 medley with a 1:56.25 time; Teague, Carlos Navarro, Mendoza and Elliott won the 200 free with a 1:40.28 time; and both Navarros, Elliott and Morin won the 400 free with a time of 3:45.28.

In the individual races, Morin won the 200 free with a 2:10.25 time and won the 100 backstroke in 1:08.71; Teague was first in the 200 medley in 2:22.55, beating Andrews’ Josh Farmer by .04 second, and was second in the 100 breaststroke; Elliott took the 50 free in 24.05 and won the 100 free in 53.05; Mendoza took the 500 free in 5:53.34 and was third in the 100 back; Carlos Navarro won the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.23 and was second in the 50 free; while Edward Navarro was second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 medley.

Pecos also got a first from Roman in 1-meter diving, while the other individual finishes for Pecos were a second by Lujan in the 100 fly and a third in the 200 free and a third by Demor in the 500 free and a fourth in the 100 fly. In the ‘B’ relays, Roman, Hegar, Clay Teague and Lujan were third in the 400 free; Lujan, Hegar, Demor and Roman were fourth in the 200 medley and Roman, Demor, Clay Teague and Hegar finished fourth in the 200 free.

“Next year if we do that, we’ll make sure the meet is on Tuesday so we don’t get them bunched together,” said Morse, whose team will be hosting the Pecos Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the Pecos High School pool.

Eagles run past Lions to earn second in district, 42-21

The Clint Lions made sure Pecos’ Timo Reyes wouldn’t be the one to beat them Friday night. So instead, Hector Ramirez beat the Lions, and gave the Pecos Eagles second place in the District 4-3A standings.

The Lions keyed on Reyes all night and kept him from getting outside on any runs, but couldn’t stop Ramirez from going up the middle. Reyes would still score two touchdowns, and did get free for a 24-yard touchdown in the third period, but was held to 67 yards while Ramirez rushed for a season-high 212 yards and two scores, as the Eagles closed out regular season play with a 42-21 victory.

A turnover early in the first period and just before halftime by Pecos set Clint up for two of their three touchdowns, and the Lions were able to drive 75 yards in the third quarter for their final score, after Reyes’ second TD of the night gave Pecos a 27-14 lead. But the Eagles were able to answer all three of Clint’ scores with touchdowns of their own to snap a two game losing streak to the Lions and go into Thursday’s bi-district playoff game against Greenwood with a four-game winning streak.

The Eagles will face the Rangers at 7:30 p.m. at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland in the bi-district round of the Class 3A-Division II playoffs. The winner will face either Sweetwater or Dalhart in the area round the weekend of Nov. 21-22.

Reyes had run for 191 yards in both of the Eagles final pre-district home games, against Monahans and Fort Stockton, and coach Chris Henson said, “Those were the two tapes they got.”

But while the Lions were focused on containing Pecos’ runs to the outside, Henson credited quarterback Paul Zubeldia with a good game at recognizing Clint’s defensive alignment.

“Paul did a great job audibling at the line. He probably called 10 audible tonight, and our kids on the line did a good job picking it up,” Henson said. “This is the first time we were able to pick it up like that, so it shows we’re progressing.”

The Eagles set up Clint for an early score after stopping the Lions’ opening drive, when Thomas Witter recovered a muffed punt by Reyes at the Eagles’ 26. Witter then ran 15 yards to the Pecos 11 and three plays later quarterback Chris Villalobos found an opening on the right side of the line to score from nine yards out.

“The kids seemed a little uptight in the first quarter. We just tried to get them to settle down and just have fun,” Henson said. Pecos would answer back with a 60-yard drive on their first offensive possession, with the key play a 20-yard run by Zubeldia on a 4th-and-5 play from the Clint 25. Two runs by Ramirez got down to the one, and after Reyes was stopped for no gain on third down, he was able to slip out of the grasp of linebacker Edgar Martinez behind the line and make it into the end zone.

Pecos missed the extra point to keep Clint up by one, but a holding call on the next series, one of eight first half penalties for the Lions, forced a punt, and the Eagles opened the second period with a 54-yard scoring drive.

Zubeldia scrambled for 19 yards on the second play of the quarter, and then found Ariel Salgado across the middle for 14 yards and a first down at the nine. Two plays later Ramirez broke through the right side of the line for his first touchdown a 12-7 Eagle lead.

Clint’s next series ended with another punt after one first down, and this time the Eagles went 91 yards on just six plays, helped by two offside calls against the Lions at the start of the drive. Ramirez had runs of 24- and 35-yards to set up the score, a 31-yard slant pass from Zubeldia to Luis Morales with 4:11 left in the half.

Pecos would stop Clint on downs, after the Lions drove down to the Eagles 30 on their next possession, taking over with 50.8 seconds to play. But a trick play would backfire two plays later, as Martinez lateraled the ball over the head of Reyes after catching a short sideline pass from Zubeldia. Joseph Castro recovered for the Lions at the Pecos 26, and Villalobos immediately ran for 15- and nine yards, setting up a four yard score by Martinez 14.4 seconds before halftime.

“We went into our two minute offense and turned it over,” Henson said. “We were trying to put them away by getting another score, but we should have just jammed it down their throats, I guess.”

Which is what the Eagles did in the second half, as Ramirez and Rayos would run the ball on all but one of Pecos’ 24 offensive plays during the final two periods. Up 19-14 after David Cardenas’ extra point kick, the Eagles would come out and hold the ball for the first 5:17 of the third quarter to widen their lead back to double digits.

Clint appeared to have stopped the drive when Reyes was caught for a three-yard loss on a 4th-and-7 from the Lions’ 34, but on 4th-and-10 the Eagles were able to fake a punt by Junior Carrasco and snap the ball to Martinez at the up-back position, who threw over the middle to Joseph Ontiveros for a 13-yard gain, the only pass of the second half by Pecos.

“To be able to execute that fake punt was the turning point of the second half,” Henson said. “ Jeremy Martinez was able to get the ball to Joseph Ontiveros, and then we go in and score.”

One play later Reyes was able to find an opening in the middle and scored from 24 yards out. Zubeldia then passed to Morales for the two-point conversion to make it a 27-13 game.

Clint answered with a long 6:23 drive of their own, most of it on the ground and most of it over the left side of the line with Martinez and Villalobos. An offsides penalty on a 4th-and-3 from the four set Villalobos up for a first down quarterback sneak, and Martinez went over from a yard out of the next play.

Up by six, the Eagles almost gave the ball up on the kickoff, which was muffed twice before Ontiveros fell on it at the 30 just before the end of the period. After dodging that bullet, Pecos then went 70 yards in 11 plays, including one of the few times Reyes was able to get outside on Clint’s defense, going 21 yards, followed three plays later by a 40-yard run by Ramirez.

He would score from seven yards out, and Zubeldia would add the two point run with 7:06 to play, making it 35-21 and forcing Clint to go to the air. Villalobos hit one pass for 10 yards to Jonathan Meza, then ran for seven yards on a 4th-and-7 play and picked up another first down on a 4th-and-5 pass interference call. But on 3rd-and-7 from the Pecos 35 Villalobos went deep for Luis Soltero and was picked off by Salgado at the 7. He returned it all the way to the Lions’ 46 and after a first down and a motion call against Pecos, Ramirez broke loose up the middle and went over the 200-yard rushing mark with a 40-yard touchdown with 1:39 to play.

The win put Pecos at 4-1 in district and 4-6 on the season, while Clint ends regular season with a 3-2 district record and 6-4 overall mark. The Lions will also play their bi-district game at 7:30 p.m. CST on Thursday night, at home against Monahans. The Loboes were beaten at Greenwood on Friday in overtime, 21-14, to tie them, the Rangers and Seminole for first place. But while Greenwood won the head-to-head match-up, the tiebreaker based on the three-way points match-up went to Monahans, giving the Loboes the District 3-3A title and the No. 1 seed out of 3-3A in the Division II playoffs.

Pecos’ playoff trip will be their first since 2001, when they lost to El Paso Parkland in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Eagles and Rangers didn’t play this year during the regular season, but scrimmaged on Aug. 21 in Greenwood, with Pecos coming away with a 4-2 victory on the varsity level.

“Greenwood’s playing a lot better than they were at the start of the season, but I think we’re also playing a lot better. It will be a good game,” Henson said.

Fort Stockton, which won the District 4-3A title, was already locked in before their 49-0 win over Anthony Friday night to a Class 3A-Division I game against Seminole, which will also be on a Thursday night, at 7 p.m. at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa. The winner there faces either Abilene Wylie or Lubbock Estacado in the Region I-3A semifinals, while the Clint-Monahans winner takes on Snyder or Lubbock Cooper in their Division II area game.

Eagles hope to repeat scrimmage success against revamped Rangers

In their first eight weeks of the 2008 season, the only ‘win’ the Pecos Eagles picked up was against the Greenwood Rangers, and that came in a scrimmage game.

Now that the Eagles are riding a four-game winning streak into the playoffs, they hope things don’t reverse themselves against Greenwood, when the teams meet at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Grande Communications Stadium in the bi-district round of the Class 3A-Division II playoffs.

It’s Pecos’ first trip to post-season play since 2001, the last year they played in Class 4A. The Eagles dropped down to Class 3A in 2002 and were expected to battle Greenwood for the District 3-3A title, but instead collapsed to a 2-8 record, while Greenwood came up a missed field goal short of winning the Division II state title game.

The Rangers have been annual playoff qualifiers since then, but both Pecos and Greenwood were picked to finish fifth in their six-team districts this season before moving up, with the Eagles finishing second after Friday’s 42-21 win over Clint, while the Rangers tied Monahans and Seminole for first thanks to their 21-14 overtime victory against the Loboes.

Pecos had lost four straight games in district to Greenwood, and then were beaten in two scrimmages before this year, when they defeated the Rangers 4-2 at J.M. King Stadium back in August, and 3-1 on the varsity level. But coach Chris Henson said Rangers’ coach Steve Taylor has changed a few things up since then.

“They’re a much improved team. They moved No. 8 (Blake McCullough) back to quarterback,” Henson said. “Kinsey Williams is the one the seem to want to get the ball to.”

Williams has been the Loboes’ top runner in district, but McCullough had a couple of good runs against Pecos in the August scrimmage, including a 16-yard score, and had two TDs in Friday’s overtime victory against Monahans.

Williams and McCullough had one-yard touchdown runs 2:39 apart in the second quarter on Friday against Monahans, as Greenwood rallied from a 14-0 deficit. The teams then played scoreless in the second half, before the Rangers scored on a two-yard McCullough run in overtime, then stopped Loboes’ quarterback Quincy Titus on the two-yard line on fourth down to earn the victory.

“They took advantage of Monahans. They had several key turnovers and couldn’t score twice inside the 20,” Henson said. Greenwood again will have a size advantage up front against Pecos. “They’ve got kids 305 and 300 pounds and their regulars average 260 across the line,” Henson said. “They base out of the wishbone like Clint, but they get into the ‘I’ quite a bit and then jump into the spread offense with one back and four wide-outs. But they’re a run-based offense that wants to keep you off the field.”

All three of Pecos’ scores in their scrimmage against Greenwood came through the air, on passes of 70- and 45-yard from Paul Zubeldia to Luis Morales and a 12-yarder from the Eagles’ quarterback to Eric Salcido. The second of the two TDs to Morales was the only score for either team during the timed portion of the scrimmage, while the Eagles were able to knock away a late scoring pass attempt to receiver Josh Cook, who along with Brandon Cox are Greenwood’s main receiving targets.

Hector Ramirez had an early 34 yard run in that scrimmage for Pecos, but sat out the rest of the scrimmage with an injury he would aggravate a week later in the Eagles’ season opener against Alpine, causing him to miss the next four weeks. Ramirez ran for over 200 yards this past Friday against Clint, but Henson said the Eagles will be facing a different Greenwood line from 2 1/2 months ago.

“They went to a real quick defensive front instead of one with a lot of size,” he said. “They have a lot of defensive sets, depending on your formation.”

“They run a couple of different fronts, an even front and an odd front. They like to mix things up on you,” Henson said. “No. 8 (McCullough) is their big stud and No. 54, Bevan Moody, does a really good job for them at linebacker.”

Greenwood improved to 6-4 on the season with their overtime win, but ended up as the No. 2 seed behind the Loboes on the points tie-breaker. Last season, the Rangers defeated Anthony in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

This is the Eagles second time ever to play at Grande Communications Stadium. Their first was a 2004 loss to Midland Christian, while Greenwood opened their season at Grande with an 18-14 win over Fort Stockton. The winner goes on to face either Sweetwater or Dalhart in the area round of the playoffs. Those two teams face each other on Friday night in Plainview. Advance tickets for Thursday’s game are available at Pecos High School or the PHS business office, and are $4 for adults and $2 for students. Tickets will be $5 at the gate, Henson said.

Pecos runs miss state spots, cut times from district meet

Pecos Eagle cross-country runner Gustavo Mendoza had the best finish of the day for Pecos on Saturday, at the Region I-3A cross-country meet in Lubbock, though none of the Eagles were able to score a Top 10 finish to advance to the Class 3A state meet later this week in Georgetown.

District 4-3A boys champ Fred Cordova claimed the Region I-3A title as well on Saturday at Mae Simmons Park, while Mendoza, who finished eighth at the previous weekend’s meet in El Paso, was 29th out of 152 runners as the lone runner on the boys’ side for Pecos. Mendoza ran the three-mile course in 17:31.67, three seconds behind his time at district, while Cordova won the race with a time of 15:54.36.

Pecos’ girls team qualified for regionals with a third place finish in El Paso, but ended up running minus junior Aileen Rayos due to the Eagles’ area round playoff match later on Saturday in Big Spring, and were one runner short of the five needed to earn a team score.

Rayos had placed eighth at district. Kayla Natividad and Krystal Carrasco, who finished fifth and sixth at the 4-3A meet, were 50th and 58th out of the 144 runners covering the girls’ two-mile course, with Natividad running a 13:30.47 and Carrasco a 13:40.88. Both times were faster than their efforts over the Chamizal National Memorial Park course the previous weekend, when both finished at just under 14:13.

Pecos’ other two runners, Sabryna Moya and Ashley Jasso, placed 127th and 140th with times of 15:25.04 and 16:31.43. Moya cut two seconds off her time at district, while Jasso’s time was slower than at the 4-3A meet.

Decatur’s Cynthia Carrillo won the girls’ race with an 11:56.3 time, and Decatur also took the girls’ team title, while Burkburnett and Lubbock Cooper finished first and second on the boys’ side, with Clint third. District 4-3A girls’ champ Sarah Rayas of Clint also earned a trip to state with a fifth place finish, running the course in 12:23.56.

Andrews Tomilee Loyd took third with a 16:08.9 time and was the only other area runner on the boys’ side to advance to state, while on the girls’ side, Greenwood’s Savannah Morales advanced to state, placing eighth with a 12:29.14 time.

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