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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, September 12, 2008

Pecos runners win division at Concho cross-country

The Pecos Eagle boys cross country team came in first in their division at the Concho Valley Cross Country Classic this past Saturday, while Pecos’ girls were fifth in their division of the meet, held at the Carlsbad State School northwest of San Angelo.

The boys and girls competed in different levels. Pecos’ boys won out over Forsan by one point, in a division that featured 12 teams and 114 runners. Gus Mendoza took first individually in the 5000-meter run, with an 18:38.3 time, while German Rodriguez was eighth with a 19:22.8 time.

Pecos had 10 runners overall competing on the boys’ side. Jesse Juarez was 17th with a 19:47.8 time, and was followed by Alonzo Contreras, 30th with a 20:34.7 time; Darlo Morales, 42nd wit a 21:17.8 time; Edgar Madrid, 45th with a 21:23.4 time; Maruice Johnson, 54th with a 22:05.4 time; Allen Medina, 59th with a 22:22.5 time; Joshua Hernandez, 91st, with a 25:21.2 time; and Carlos Villarreal, 94th with a 25:31.0 time.

Pecos’ girls ran one level higher while finishing fifth out of seven teams, in a division won by defending Class 2A cross country champ Wall. Pecos’ highest finish was from Krystal Carrasco, 24th out of 106 runners with a 15:08.3 time for the 3200-meter course. She was followed by Ashley Carrasco, 27th with a 15:15.3 time; Monique Rodriguez, 46th with a 16:10.4 time; Aileen Rayos, 49th with a 16:13.7 time; Lilly Gutierrez, 54th with a 16:24.1 time; and Antoinette Vanegs, 64th with a 17:25.2 time.

The Eagles are off this weekend, and will have their next meet on Sept. 20, in the Wink Invitational at the Winkler County Golf Course. It will also be the first meet of the season for the Eagles’ junior high cross-country team.

Bears prepare for Trojans after loss to Indians

The Balmorhea Bears six-man football team is 1-1 after last Friday night’s drubbing at the hands of the 5th ranked Fort Davis Indians at Fort Davis.

From the opening play, nothing went the Bears’ way.

“We came out and that number five ranking got to us,” Head Coach Debiasie Mendoza said. “We were not focused, we knew we would get forty-fived, and we did not give ourselves a chance to play.”

When the first half ended the score was 48-0 and the game was ended on the 45-point rule.

In six-man football if a team leads by 45 points or more at the end of the first half, or at any point in the second half, that team is declared the winner.

The Indians earned only two first downs on drives during the game, but for all the wrong reasons.

Except for one lost fumble Fort Davis scored on nearly every possession without needing to gain first-down yardage for an extra set of downs.

The Bears rushed 11 times for 18 yards but did manage to complete 5 of 8 passes for 36 yards.

If there was a bright spot it was the performance of Punter Ryan Mondragon who punted four times with an average distance of 37 yards.

“They (Fort Davis) are a good team. They have good speed, but we should have been able to at least play them close. We have the talent to stay with them, and we just didn’t,” Mendoza said.

A key to the Indians’ success was downfield blocking. On nearly every touchdown run, the Indians’ ball carrier picked up a downfield block from one of his teammates.

“They are great at downfield blocking. But we were looking to get blocked instead of making the play,” Mendoza said.

“They are good team and we wish them the best. Out here in West Texas we will play each other hard, but we pull for each other the rest of the season,” he said.

Friday night the Bears will take on Midland Trinity in a rematch from last year where the Bears pulled off a 72-71 victory over the Trojans in the final moments of the game.

The Bears will be traveling to Midland to take on the Trojans on their home field, with the kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Two weeks ago the Trojans played Fort Davis a suffered a similar fate at the Bears, loosing on the 45-point rule at the end of the first half.

“They played Rankin tight, and I expect them to play very well against us,” Mendoza said.

Midland Trinity’s offense is their strong point.

Mendoza said that they will change up their sets play-to-play and can do it all — run, pass and block.

“If they have a weakness it is their defense. It can be exposed,” he said.

“To win we will have to block better, and tackle. You cannot do anything if you cannot block and tackle. If we can block some good things will happen.”

Eagles look to open up offense, slow Mustangs’ attack

The Pecos Eagles will be in just about the same position the were last season, and will be going up against just about the same team they faced a year ago in the Denver City Mustangs, when the Eagles travel to Denver City on Friday in search of their first victory of the season.

The 0-2 Eagles will take on the 2-0 Mustangs in a 7:30 p.m. start. Pecos went into last year’s game winless and minus one of their starting running backs, and saw a couple of mistakes in the first half allow Denver City to score 17 first half points, which they made stand up in a 17-14 victory.

This year, the Eagles will again be without one of their starting running backs in Hector Ramirez, who is out after suffering a broken foot in the Eagles’ 41-21 season-opening loss at Alpine. Sophomore Arturo Munoz took his place last week and ran for 108 yards and a touchdown in Pecos’ 35-20 loss at home against Kermit.

However, the Eagles have struggled overall running the ball in their first two games, and coach Chris Henson said for Friday’s game, “We’re looking at opening up the offense a little bit.

“We’re still looking at running the ball about 60-40, but our plan originally was controlling the clock with long drives, and that just isn’t happening. So we’re going to try and push the ball more downfield,” he said.

Henson said in contrast to the workouts before Pecos’ first two games, the Eagles have had all their players out this week, including the five suspended for skipping two workouts after the opening loss to Alpine.

“I don’t want to speak to say everything’s fixed, but right now it seems like everything I wanted to see fixed is better,” he said.

The Eagles will also be trying to fix their defense against the spread offense for Friday night’s game. Pecos was slow to react to Alpine’s short passing attack in their season opener and fell behind at one point by a 28-0 score. Denver City, meanwhile, scored 21 points in the first quarter of their 39-26 win over Lamesa two weeks ago, then routed Tahoka last Friday, by a 59-0 score.

“I’d compare Denver City to Alpine. They’ve got a lot of big kids who move well,” Henson said.

While the Eagles had to rely on a number of new faces from their sophomore class against Kermit last week, Denver City has been using most of the same players they had a year ago when they defeated the Eagles, including senior quarterback Colt McDowell and sophomore wingback Alberto Alarcon.

McDowell threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in Denver City’s win over Lamesa. Last season against Pecos he threw for 117 yards and a TD to Alarcon, who scored both touchdowns for the Mustangs in last year’s win. Alacon had one TD catch against Lamesa and McDowell hooked up with Quade Adams for two scores.

“They throw the ball a lot out of the spread. You won’t see him (McDowell) under center until they get to the goal line,” Henson said.

“We’re going to try and get as much speed on the defensive side as possible,” Henson said. That will include the return of a couple of players who missed the Kermit game, but he added that the sophomores moved up last week, including linebacker Larry Sparkman, would remain on the varsity for this Friday.

Pecos got their scores against Denver City last year on runs by Ramirez and Paul Zubeldia, but lost despite outgaining the Mustangs by almost 100 yards. The Eagles have been outgained in both their games so far in 2008, but Zubeldia threw for over 200 yards in last week’s loss to Kermit.

“Their defense is pretty solid,” Henson said. “They have a huge nose guard (Juan Martinez), who’s 6-2, 252. They use him and another (Thomas Rich) who’s 6-foot, 215, so Lomas (Gonzales, Pecos’ center) is going to be giving up 40 to 90 pounds again.”

Aside from the Mustangs’ threat on offense, Henson said the Eagles will have to be careful against Denver City’s special teams.

“They’ve blocked punts in both games this year, and that’s what scares me,” said Henson, as punter Junior Carrasco has been forced to chase down a couple of bad punt snaps in Pecos’ first two games. “We’ve had the special teams working extensively on punt protection this week.”

Both teams’ passing plans could be affected by the weather on Friday. Forecasts call for a 50 percent chance of rain in the South Plains on Friday night, which could make the ball hard to grip or catch. The rain shouldn’t have any major effects on the field, since Denver City was one of the first schools in West Texas to install an artificial turf surface seven years ago.

Eagles face ‘Cats after sweep of Devils, Maidens

The Pecos Eagles’ junior varsity and freshmen volleyball teams had to endure rain-outs on Tuesday, after long drives to Presidio, but the Eagles’ varsity was able to get in a pair of matches against the Blue Devils and Fort Davis Indians.

The Eagles increased their current winning streak to five with a 25-5, 25-9, 25-13 win over their former district rivals, and then defeated Fort Davis by 25-11, 25-21, 25-12 scores to put them at 14-11 on the season going into Saturday’s trip to Anthony to take on the Wildcats.

Flood advisories have been out for the Presidio area since the start of this week, and coach Ruth McWilliams said, “It was raining pretty bad there. Both schools sprung leaks, and I don’t know if Presidio was able to get in their games with Fort Davis.”

The wins were easier for Pecos than their four-game victory over Clint had been, in the District 4-3A opener for both teams. “They are 1A and 2A teams, so I don’t want to say t he competition was weak, but it was just stronger (against Clint),” McWilliams said. “everybody got some quality minutes and we came out on top.”

“Both teams have unorthodox styles, just because you never know when the ball’s going to be coming over,” she added. The match was the first of two against Presidio over the next week. The varsity and freshmen will host the Blue Devils next Tuesday, while the Eagles’ JV travels to Dell City to take on the Cougars’ varsity.

Pecos did get in one sub-varsity game, with the freshmen defeating Presidio, 25-15, 27-25, before the leaking roofs cancelled the remainder of the sub-varsity matches.

Saturday’s matches will start with the ninth graders at 1 p.m. CDT, followed by the JV around 2 and the varsity around 3 p.m.

Of the four El Paso-area schools in the Eagles’ district, Anthony is the only one Pecos hasn’t faced in recent years, and McWilliams said she didn’t see the Wildcats, either, when she was coaching in Marfa.

“I don’t know anything about them. I haven’t seen them play in years, so I don’t have any idea what they run,” she said. The Wildcats placed fourth in District 1-3A the past two seasons and dropped their district opener a week ago at Fort Stockton, 25-18, 25-8, 16-25, 25-22. They came back on Tuesday to score a 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 win over Fort Hancock to improve to 4-7 on the season.

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