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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eagle netters down Panthers for second fall win

The Pecos Eagles tennis team improved their fall season record to 2-0 on Tuesday with a win in their lone home match of the fall season, over the Fort Stockton Panthers.

The Eagles used a 16-2 advantage on the girls’ side to defeat Fort Stockton by a 21-10 final score. Coach Bernadette Ornelas said both of the girls’ losses came in the lower part of the bracket, while Fort Stockton won eight of the 13 boys’ matches on the afternoon.

“It looks very promising for the springtime, since Fort Stockton is in our district,” Ornelas said. “We have a young strong team, and we should be in better shape for springtime.”

The Eagles will be paired with Fort Stockton, Clint, Fabens, Anthony and Tornillo in both team and individual tournament play this spring.

All of the Eagles’ Top 8 girls won their singles and doubles matches on Tuesday. On the boys’ side, Geronimo Ornelas was the only double-winner for the Eagles, as he took his singles match at No. 2 seed after teaming with No. 1 seed Derick Barron for a doubles victory to open the match.

Pecos’ next match won’t be until Oct. 4, when they travel to Odessa High to take on the Bronchos. The Eagles will have one more match against Fort Stockton during their fall schedule, on the Panthers’ home court.

Boys Singles

Derick Barron lost to Josiah Purzynski, 8-5; Geronimo Ornelas defeated Alec Milam, 8-0; P.J. Castillo defeated Anthony Agundez, 8-4; Eddie Pando lost to Ramon Mendoza, 8-2; Teg Lozano defeated Raul Rodriguez, 8-5; Juan Carlos Munoz lost to Vernon Gosset, 9-8; Avery Valeriano lost to Alexis Villarreal, 6-4; Mateo Tarango lost to Sebastian Renteria, 6-4; Allen Medina lost to Mikey Lujan, 8-3.

Girls Singles

Meagan Fuentez defeated Amy Baiza, 8-3; Dakota Long defeated Leslie Bliznak, 9-7; Priscilla Sotelo defeated Rachel Gaylor, 8-1; Janette Perea defeated Desiree Navarette, 8-2; Jessica Munoz defeated Lanlii Delan, 8-1; Mareen Maneje defeated Ashley Castaneda, 8-3; Andrea Rodriguez defeated Sayra Fierro, 6-3; Meagan Lopez defeated Regina Cardenas, 6-1; Amanda Renteria defeated Alex Franco, 6-3; Rocio Munoz defeated Melissa Calzada, 6-4; Saray Vargas lost to Sayra Natividad, 6-4; Alley Morales defeated Natasha Ortiz, 6-0.

Boys Doubles

Barron and Ornelas defeated Milam and Purzynski, 8-4; Castillo and Pando lost to Magee and Reyes, 8-2; Valeriano and Lozano lost to Mendoza and Rodriguez, 9-7; Tarango and Munoz defeated Howell and Gasset, 8-3.

Girls Doubles

Fuentez and Long defeated Baiza and Bliznak, 8-0; Perea and Sotelo defeated Navarette and D. Natividad, 8-1; J. Munoz and Maneje defeated Delan and Castaneda, 8-4; A. Rodriguez and M. Lopez defeated Franco and Cardenas, 8-0; Renteria and R. Munoz defeated Calzada and Ortiz, 6-0; Vargas and Morales lost to Gaylor and Fierro, 6-1.

Bears host ‘Horns after 56-32 win over Faith Christian

The Balmorhea Bears completed their three-game stretch of road games this past Friday night with their third win in four games this season, as they defeated El Paso Faith Christian by a 56-32 final score.

The Bears will now begin a stretch of three straight games at home this Friday night, when they host the Buena Vista Longhorns in a 7:30 p.m. start. It will also be the team’s 2008 homecoming game and will be part of this weekend’s 100th anniversary celebration for Balmorhea.

“I thought we played well, and got a lot of our younger kids a chance to play,” said Bears’ coach Debiasie Mendoza, as both starters Gabriel Jurado and Nigel Lozano missed Friday’s game with injuries. “That allowed us to look at our second string quarterback (Alvaro Beltran), and he did a good job.”

The Bears received the opening kickoff, which was returned by Jeremy Baeza for 36 yards. Balmorhea’s offense took the field the first play of scrimmage and Adam Roman broke for a 34-yard touch down run. Kicker Ryan Mondragon added the PAT kick to make it 8-0 and was 7-fot-7 on PATs for the night.

El Paso Faith answered back, as they also scored on their first play on offense, a 60-yard pass that made the score 8-6.

The Bears next possession ended with a punt, but after Faith Christian started at their own 10, the Bears defense forced a fumble on first down. Balmorhea recovered and Beltran then hit Andrew Mendoza for a 10-yard score. Mondragon’s kick made it a 16-6 game.

El Paso cut the margin their next possession, using a short 3-yard pass that turned into a 70-yard score on 3rd and 18. Faith Christian ran in the extra point to make it 16-13.

The Bears next possession started strong with a 27-yard pass from Beltran (7/Jr.) to Mendoza. The eight-play drive was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by Baeza, upping the lead to 24-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Faith Christian’s next possession would fall 2 yards short of a first down on 4th-and-20. Balmorhea then put together a seven-play drive covering 38-yards, and ended with a 3-yard TD run by Baeza to put the Bears up 32-13.

Faith’s offense would put together the longest drive of the night after that (9 plays), but it would fall short giving Balmorhea possession on their own 16. The Bears then completed a 58-yard pass from Adam Roman to Mondragon, who then added the kick to increase the Bears lead to 40-13

With a minute before halftime El Paso started a sound drive with a 42-yard pass to put them deep in Bear territory. Faith Christian then found the end zone on a 4-yard run with one second left, to put the halftime score at 40-19.

Faith Christian then got the second half kickoff and marched down to the 19-yard line, only to once again be stopped by the Bears’ great defensive effort. Balmorhea would have to make another stand, after their first drive of the half was plagued by a fumble inside the 20 and another 10 yards in penalties.

This time, Balmorhea was able to stop El Paso and get the ball back on their own 11, and Roman would carry the ball 2 plays for a combined 63 yards, scoring on 41-yard run to put them up 48-19.

The Bears would add one more touchdown in the fourth quarter to put them up 56-19, before allowing Faith Christian their final two touchdowns for the 56-32 final score.

“Defensively, we put up a great effort and had a lot of defensive stands,” Mendoza said. “Offensively, we picked up on our blocking and made good reads. We need to continue our great effort in practice and keep playing hard.”

Buena Vista easily won their game on Friday over Valentine, by a 74-0 score. “They’re big team and have a big running back who’s going to be hard to stop,” Mendoza said. “If we make a mistake, he’ll break it.”

Pecos playing for first after sweep in Alpine

The Pecos Eagles upped their winning streak to 10 matches in a row Tuesday night in Alpine, and will now try and remain unbeaten in District 4-3A play on Saturday when they go for win No. 10 and sole possession of first place in Fabens, against the Wildcats.

Pecos and Fabens, both 3-0 in district, will meet starting about 3 p.m. CDT, following the Eagles’ freshmen and junior varsity matches. Pecos will go in after struggling in their opener on Tuesday before sweeping Sierra Blanca, 25-22, 25-18, 25-23; and then having an easier time with the host Bucks, winning by 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 scores. “When we got up against Sierra Blanca it was a combination of things,” said Eagles’ coach Ruth McWilliams. “We believed we were going to win against Sierra Blanca, but we also believed we weren’t going to have to play to do it.

“In the third game they had us through the last five points,” she said. “We just got too relaxed, and believed we didn’t actually have to play hard to beat them. We let them score a lot of points on hitting errors and serving errors.

“To our defense, any time you can play like that and still win is good, but against Alpine a different team showed up,” McWilliams said. “Alpine is improving, but we handled them pretty well.”

She said the Eagles’ defense was better in the second match against the Bucks.

“Kristen Ikeler, Ally Salcido, Leia and Aileen (Rayos) had some good defensive plays. Alpine was used to getting kills with some of those shots, but we were able to pick up the ball and keep it in play.”

The wins improved the Eagles’ season record to 20-12 going into Saturday’s match against Fabens, which is 14-10 on the season following a 25-7, 25-10, 20-25, 25-16 win over El Paso Jesus Chapel on Tuesday.

“I haven’t seen them, but they’ve told me they’re a scrappy type that keeps the ball in play and works pretty hard,” McWilliams said. “Last night against Sierra Blanca was an indication of what we need to be prepared for.”

Eagles renew rivalry against Tigers

The Pecos Eagles and Snyder Tigers will renew their football rivalry for the first time in 19 years on Friday night, when the Eagles travel to Snyder for a 7:30 p.m. game, to close out the first half of their 2008 season.

The 0-4 Eagles take on the 3-1 Tigers in Pecos’ final game before the start of District 4-3A play in two weeks against Fort Stockton. It’s the first time the teams have faced each other since 1989, and things have been going a lot better over the past two decades for the Tigers than when Snyder and Pecos were yearly rivals in the late 1970s and though the 1980s.

Snyder, which normally shared the basement with Lamesa when they were paired with Pecos two decades ago, was just beginning their rebuilding under head coach David Baugh in the late 80s, and have been one of the region’s top Class 4A, and now 3A programs since the early 1990s under Baugh and now coach Chad Rogers. That includes advancing to the Class 3A state semifinals last season, when the Tigers finished with a 12-3 record.

This year, Snyder started off with a loss to Big Spring, but since then have won three in a row, the latest a 38-17 win last Friday over Lubbock Estacado at Lowery Field. “We never seem to start off very fast. Last year we lost our opener to Monahans and then we came back and beat them in the playoffs,” Rogers said. “We seem to get better and better as the year goes on.”

Snyder came into this season having to replace both quarterback Lance Day and running back Will Clay, but last week ran for over 400 yards in their victory over the Matadors. That included 125 yards by quarterback Jesse Conner and another 101 yards by halfback Kelton Garcia, who ran for two touchdowns and caught a third from Conner.

Snyder has had some turnover problems – the Tigers fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions last week before rallying from a 10-0 deficit. But Eagles Coach Chris Henson said after that, “They scored 31 unanswered points before Estacado got back on the board.

“Snyder has a huge offensive line. They come out in a four-point stance and they’re not trying to fool you,” Henson added.

He said the Tigers run out of both the I-formation and do a lot of mid-line veer plays, to take advantage of Conner’s running. Along with Conner and Garcia, Henson said Snyder also could run Kenneth Turner, who picked up 74 yards a week ago.

“He won the 100 and 200 at state last year,” Henson said. “If he hits the gap, there’s no chasing him down.”

Running the ball is also the Eagles’ main game plan for Friday. While Pecos is winless on the season, after their 42-13 loss last week to Monahans, the Eagles did rush over 233 yards in the losing effort, 191 by Timo Reyes, who was moved to fullback following injuries to Hector Ramirez and Arturo Munoz.

Henson, who served as an assistant coach at Snyder back in the late 1990s, said Ramirez would be out with a broken foot until mid-October, while Munoz is also unlikely to play in Friday’s game.

“We’re going to keep Timo at fullback. Hector won’t be back until sometime in district,” Henson said. “Right now he’s doing some light running, but he can’t cut on it, so he’s still several weeks away.”

Defensively, Henson said the Tigers are both quick and use a variety of sets that can cause problems for the line. “They’re very, very aggressive on defense. Their starters all wear eligible numbers (receivers, running backs, quarterbacks) so they’re all really good athletes.”

“We try to adapt to the team every year. We change the offense and defense to adapt to what we have,” Rogers said. “Sometimes we have a five-man front, sometimes we’ll go with a three-man front, and sometimes we’ll try to let them go to do what we ask them to do.”

He said linebackers Clay Hirt and Dustin Brown have played well for Snyder this season. Henson said the Tigers like to move their linebackers towards and away from the line, to create confusion on blocking assignments.

“Their linebackers jump around on defense, and their nose guard will shift around and their defensive tackles will do the same thing,” Henson said. “Our offensive line has got to execute against their defensive scheme, because if they don’t, we’re going to miss them coming through.”

The Eagles only managed 22 yards passing last week, after getting just 13 yards passing following an opening play option pass TD by Reyes to Luis Morales covering 86 yards in Pecos’ Sept. 12 loss at Denver City. Henson said Pecos will try to get a little bit more out of their passing game this week, but planned to stay on the ground as much as possible.

“We’re going to try and control their defense and control the clock. We’re going to try and pick up some first downs and move the ball down the field as much as we can. “A lot of the problem with passing game is we’ve got so many people we need moving around right now due to injuries,” he said, both from Pecos’ scrimmages and early games, and from the tougher workouts the Eagle coaches put in following the loss at Denver City.

“We will use our open week to try and get healthy. We’ll just be doing some light workouts during the open week, mostly conditioning.”

Swimmers opening season against Wylie on Saturday

The regular season will open on Saturday a few days later than scheduled for the Pecos Eagles swim team, as they host the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs in a dual meet starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Pecos High School natatorium.

The Bulldogs were a late replacement for Fort Stockton on Pecos’ schedule, and forced the meet to be pushed back from Tuesday to Saturday. “We’ll have diving after the 50 free. We’re doing that so Wylie doesn’t have to leave so early on Saturday,” Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said.

The delay in the season opener comes after the Eagles were delayed getting back into their pool by construction to repair damage caused by a sinkhole underneath the southwest side of the pool, which marks its 25th anniversary this fall. Almost all the work is completed, with the exception of the new windows on the south side wall and replacement of the vent tube where the damaged wall was replaced and the new windows put in.

The work forced Pecos to practice outside at the Town of Pecos City pool for the first three weeks of preseason, though they’ve been inside for just under a month now. “We’re doing better now that we’re inside,” Morse said. “Our intervals are not at the times they were last year, but overall we’re doing OK. I’ve definitely seen some improvement since we’ve moved back in.”

Pecos will be defending both the boys and girls District 4-4A titles this season, and Morse said she’d have almost all her swimmers for Saturday’s meet.

“There are one or two in football where the freshmen have a game, but they probably wouldn’t have swam in this one because they haven’t been out very long,” she said. The meet will also be the first for senior Hector Roman since his automobile accident injury last January. Roman was impaled in his left shoulder by a 30-foot long fence pole when his van ran off the road on West ‘F’ Street, four days after he won his first district title in the 1-meter diving competition with a 401.35 score.

Roman has been undergoing rehabilitation of the injury since then. “He had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, but he’ll be back Saturday for the meet,” Morse said. “I’d say he’s not where he was when he got the injury last year, but I’d say he’s closer in diving than he is in swimming,” she said. “He’s still got to get some of his upper body strength back in swimmer, but he looks fairly good on the boards.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised at his progress. It’s just going to probably take most of this season to get back to where he was at the top of his game, but he’s doing real well.”

This will be one of three home meets for Pecos this season. They’ll host Monahans in a dual meet in October, followed by the Pecos Invitational a month later. The Eagles had been scheduled to host this year’s district meet, but swapped years with Andrews last season when the Mustangs’ pool was not completed on time. In addition to hosting the 4-4A meet, Andrews is now also scheduled to host the Region I-4A meet on Feb. 13-14, the first time the regional meet has been held outside of Lubbock in 20 years.

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