Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 29, 2008
Frenship final stop on Eagles’ long road trip
The Pecos Eagles’ month-long swing across West Texas is finally nearing the finish line, with this weekend’s Frenship Tournament set to wrap up a string of 20 road matches to start the 2008 season.
The Eagles, who have yet to play a game within 200 miles of Pecos this season, go into the tournament with a 7-8 record, after splitting two matches on their latest long road trip, Tuesday at Sweetwater. The Eagles defeated Water Valley by 25-13, 25-18, 25-20 scores, before losing to the host Mustangs in their home opener, 25-19, 25-20, 28-26.
Coach Ruth McWilliams said her team made the trip only expecting to face Sweetwater. “We kind of had a little trouble getting up for the Water Valley match. They played us a little closer as things went on because we made a few errors.”
“Against Sweetwater, our confidence got better as the match went on. We had some good plays, but we just need to get a little more consistent in the games we play.”
Pecos rallied from a seven point deficit late in Game 3 to grab a 24-23 lead and had a chance to win the game, but were unable to close things out and Sweetwater was able to come back for the victory to close out the match.
The Mustangs improved their record to 11-4 on the season with their victory. “They have some girls who are very good, and we played them pretty tough, but we just made some errors and they didn’t make any,” McWilliams said.
Pecos’ freshman and junior varsity players will be staying closer to home this weekend, as they go to Fort Stockton for their third tournament of the season. The JV and ninth graders played at home last weekend in the Cantaloupe Classic, while the Eagles’ varsity will finally get a match on their home court this coming Tuesday against Midland Christian, which is also the final match for the Eagles before their District 4-3A opener, on Sept. 6 at home against the Clint Lions.
While the Frenship Tournament will be held just outside of Lubbock, the Eagles will open pool round play on Friday against the team they scored their first win of the season against back on Aug. 12 in El Paso, when they face Americas High School in a 10 a.m. match. Pecos will follow that up with back-to-back matches at 1 and 2 p.m. against Brownfield and Canyon Randall, with the top two finishers from each of the three pools advancing to the championship bracket, while the third and fourth place finishers go to the consolation bracket.
Eagles look to avoid mistakes against Bucks in opener
The road wasn’t a very kind place to the Pecos Eagles football team in 2007. Friday night in Alpine, they’ll see if they can make things better in 2008, when they face the Bucks in the teams’ regular season opener, starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles went 0-5 away from Pecos last season, as part of a 2-8 season record, though things started going wrong in last year’s home opener against Alpine. The Bucks took advantage of five Eagle fumbles and six turnovers overall, along with penalties that wiped out two Pecos touchdowns to score a 41-12 victory, and Eagles’ coach Chris Henson said he expects Alpine to run the same type of defense on Friday night.
“They fly to the football. One thing we’ve got to stress to our running backs is turnovers. We’ve got to hold onto the football,” said Henson. “They like to get in their and grab for the football when you’re trying to get an extra yard, so our backs have to know when it’s time to get down, we’ve got to get down.”
Aside from avoiding turnovers, Henson said the Eagles would have to do a better job picking up the Bucks’ blitzes than they did a year ago.
“Alpine has had the same defensive coach for years, and he had some success with stunts last year, so we’re expecting them to do pretty much the same thing this time,”said Henson, who added that the Eagles have been working on mixing up their snap counts on offense to keep the Bucks from timing the plays.
The Eagles had success doing that on the road last week. They were able to control Greenwood’s defense most of the way and scored a 4-3 scrimmage victory over the Rangers. That came despite playing without three of their starting backs and their starting wide receiver on offense. Henson said most of his starters would be back for Friday’s game, but they were still not sure about senior tailback Hector Ramirez, who suffered tightening of the achillies tendon early in the scrimmage and sat out the rest of the way.
“It will be a game-time decision,” he said. Ramirez ran for 229 yards in last year’s loss to Alpine, as the turnovers caused the Eagles to get just two touchdowns despite over 450 yards in total offense.
Aside from the turnovers, passing was the big difference in last year’s game. Pecos completed just five attempts while the Bucks connected on 21, four of those going for touchdowns.
The Eagles have given up four TD passes in their two scrimmage games, but also have thrown for four, including three last week by Paul Zubeldia. Henson said that was also the way Fort Stockton scored on Alpine two weeks ago in the teams’ season-opening scrimmage.
“Fort Stockton hit a lot of long plays. They scored three on long passes, along with a couple of rushes,” he said. Henson added that the Bucks allowed one touchdown this past week in the timed quarter of their scrimmage against Van Horn, but it came following a long run to set up the score.
On offense, Alpine’s Bobby McWilliams and Moises Estrada did most of the damage last season against Pecos. Both have graduated, and a couple of players who were in different roles a season ago have taken their place.
Dominic Scott moves over from receiver to quarterback, while Skylar Green takes over as the Bucks’ tailback.
“Green’s their huge fullback. They try to get him the ball as much as they can,” Henson said. He added the Bucks also like to run the ball with Scott, while their other quarterback, Emilio Lopez, will see time at receiver. “He’s probably the better thrower of the two,” he said.
Up front, Henson was happy with the play of both the offensive and defensive lines against Greenwood. This week, they’ll be facing several of the same players they did a year ago, and will try to improve on 2007’s effort, when the Bucks gained almost 420 yards on the ground and through the air.
“They’ve got some big kids. Their offensive line will be a whole lot bigger than us,” Henson said. “No. 79, (Travis) Prasua is 6-3 and 365. He’s a three-year starter, and he’ll be huge on the offensive line and the defensive line. Everett Morrow is 6-3 and 220 and he’s their big defensive tackle. He had right about 40 tackles a year ago.”
Aside from Ramirez’s status, Henson said defensive lineman Martin Jasso would miss Friday’s game. Jasso has been out since the start of pre-season workouts after being injured in a car accident.
While the Eagles are going to try and avoid the turnover problems they suffered in last year’s game with the Bucks, the weather on Friday night in Alpine may not co-operate. Forecats call for a 50 percent chance of rain in the Big Bend area through Sunday, which could make conditions at Jackson Field muddy and slippery for the season opener.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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