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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eagles hurt by absences, injuries in track opener

The Pecos Eagle track teams opened up their 2008 seasons missing a few performers, and Pecos’ girls were even more shorthanded by the end of the day on Saturday, at the Comanche Relays in Fort Stockton.

Pecos’ boys ended up with 22 points on the day, while the girls scored 28 points in their first meet of the season.

The girls got 10 of their 28 points on a first place finish from Jasmine Rayos, who won the triple jump by one-half inch, with a 32-foot-0 1/2 effort. But that came after Rayos had injured the patella tendon in her knee warming up between her first and second jump, according to Eagles’ coach Donna Gent.

“She hurt her knee in the preliminaries of the triple jump, and her preliminary jump still allowed her to win it, but she couldn’t jump in the finals or compete in any of the other events.”

Gent said Rayos’ injury wasn’t thought to be serious, but that she would be held out of the field events at this Saturday’s West of the Pecos Relays, and might not be entered in any running events, depending on how her condition is later this week.

Another returning regional qualifier also picked up a medal, but also had problems on Saturday. Allyson Salcido was third in the 300-meter hurdles with a 52.71 time, but failed to place in the 100-meter hurdles.

“She was in the lead after the first two hurdles, but caught her foot and went down,” Gent said. “She did finish, but it would have been real close.”

Pecos’ other points came from fourth place finishes by Kayla Natividad in the 3200 meter run and the girls’ 1600 meter relay team.

“Kayla was only three seconds out of third place, and 10 seconds off first. She’s just a freshman, so she’ll get better,” Gent said. “The mile relay I had to adjust because Jasmine wasn’t on, and we got second in our heat.”

Gent said Salcido, Brittany Quintana, Dakota Long and Trina Morales made up the 1600-meter team at Saturday’s meet.

The girls, who were short a couple of team members due to softball ended up eighth in the final standings, in a division won by Andrews with 112 points, while the boys were ninth overall in their division, won by Midland Christian with 126 points, and were also missing a few team members, due to baseball and the state swim meet.

Last year’s returning regional qualifier for the boys, sophomore discus thrower Robert Herrera, placed second in that event, just over a foot in back of Andrews’ Eric Kelton with a 137-foot-7 1/2 effort.

The Eagles also got a fifth place finish from Jeremiah Soto in the discus, while Chris Martinez picked up a third place medal in the high jump, with a 5-foot-6 effort. Their other field event points came from a sixth place finish from Jeremy Martinez in the triple jump.

In the running events, the Eagles were sixth in the 400-meter relay; German Rodriguez took sixth in the 800 meter run; and Edmundo Dominguez was sixth in the 110-meter hurdles. “I was very proud of the freshmen. They competed extremely well,” said boys’ coach Derek Price. “Mundo Dominguez made the finals in the 110s and got eighth in the 300 (hurdles), but they only have seven lanes, or he would have made it into the finals.

“Chris Martinez was a real surprise in the high jump, and that’s because coach (Jerry) Parent was there to coach him,” Price said. “Robert picked up where he left off last year, and our sprint relay was three second faster than at this time last year.”

This coming weekend’s West of the Pecos Relays will also be a one-day event, starting Saturday morning at Eagle Stadium. Most of the area Class 3A teams will be entered at the meet, which is the only one at home for Pecos’ varsity teams this season.

Pecos’ junior high teams were at home on Friday for their season-opening West of the Pecos Junior Relays, the first of two home meets for Pecos. Results of that track meet will be in Friday’s Enterprise.

Mistakes are costly for Pecos at start, finish of tournament

The Pecos Eagles had a bad start and finish to their first tournament of the season this past weekend in Crane, but did enough in the middle to come away with five wins in eight games and finished fourth over the three-days of tournament play.

The Eagles went 2-1 on Thursday, losing their opening game to Eldorado, 1-0, then beating Crane, 13-0 and Marfa by a 5-0 score. Pecos then won all three games on Friday, 5-0 over Marfa, 1-0 against Wall and 13-1 over Lamesa. But on Saturday, the Eagles dropped both their games in the championship bracket, falling by a 2-1 score to Seminole, who will host Pecos Tuesday afternoon, and then were beaten by Kermit, by a 9-2 score.

Gabby Garcia, who no-hit Crane last Tuesday in the Eagles’ season opener, but had to survive 11 walks to beat the Cranes by a 10-8 final score, got her pitches under control through the tournament’s first seven games. Coach Tammy Walls said the junior didn’t allow a hit in any of Pecos’ first six tournament games, while allowing two hits in the loss to Seminole.

“We lost that in the bottom of the seventh when we had an error in left field,” Walls said. “They had a runner on second with two outs and a fly to left, and we just had problems with it.” Walls said a mistake also cost Pecos in their loss to Eldorado, when the only run of the game scored on a passed ball. She said in the wins over Crane and Marfa, “We hit the ball really well,” with Aileen Rayos and Brittany Palomino collecting doubles and Kristen Ikeler a triple in the win over Marfa, which shut out Pecos last season.

Walls said the Eagles scored early against Lamesa. “Gabby pitched the first inning and then Crystal Ramirez pitched the rest of the game, and she did real well.”

She said the Eagles collected some hits in their loss to Seminole, but weren’t able to score more than one run, and in the loss to Kermit, “We just played awful. We absolutely didn’t hit.”

Pecos played minus two starters on Friday and Saturday in centerfielder Ally Salcido and second baseman Jasmine Rayos, due to the Comanche Relays, but Walls said, “I got a chance to look at everybody and saw some good things, and some things we need to work on … We need to work on our short game, and we need to work on bunting. That was pretty non-existent for us this tournament.”

“Marlene Salgado came in at second base and played really well, and Ashley Baeza did a really good job in centerfield and hit the ball well,” she added.

The weekend results left Pecos with a 6-3 record going into their 5 p.m. game on Tuesday in Seminole. After that, the Eagles will travel to Lubbock for the Prairie Dog Tournament, this Thursday through Saturday.

Golfers struggle in tourneys in Midland, Ft. Stockton

The Pecos Eagles girls golf team placed fourth on Saturday at the Fort Stockton Invitational Tournament, while Pecos’ boys were 11th in the Class 3A division of the Tall City Invitational in Midland.

The girls shot a 403-402-805 on the Desert Pines Golf Course, while Andrews won with a 657 score and District 2-3A rival Monahans was second, 40 strokes back at 697.

“They’re just not performing yet,” said Eagles coach Tina Doan. “They’ve got to get out of the 100s.”

Rica Pino was the lone Eagle golfer to break 100, shooting 98-92-190 for the tournament. She was followed by Samantha Sparkman with 102s both days for a 204 total; Katrina Hinojos with a 101-105-206; Tatum Windham with a 104-103-207; and Ari Alligood with a 102-110-212.

Pecos did play without senior Carolina Briones, who was out due to illness. “She was out Thursday with that stomach bug, so I didn’t take her at all,” Doan said.

The host Prowlers, Pecos’ other district rival, only had three golfers, not enough for a team score. Pecos had one other golfer playing as a medalist, Heather Matta, who shot a 113-117-230.

Pecos’ JV girls did not make the trip, but will host their own tournament on Tuesday at the Reeves County Golf Course, while the varsity will go to Midland this weekend.

“We’ve got to get back to basics and get out mechanics right to try and get our scores down,” Doan said. “We’ve got to get into the 350s before we can even think about competing with Monahans, Snyder or anybody.”

The boys shot a 342-348-690 for 36 holes of play, in a division won by Graham with a 603 score.

Individually, Richard Dutchover led the Eagles with an 81-80-161 total, finishing one stroke out of a tie for ninth place in the medalist standings. He was followed by Heath Armstrong, with an 84-91-175, and Nathan Duke and Coe Duke, both with 177s, as Nathan had 88 and 89 rounds and Coe had the reverse totals for Friday and Saturday. Mateo Tarango, Pecos’ other golfer, shot an 89-94-183.

“Richard played really well. Out of the whole tournament Richard was probably the most consistent kid out there,” said boys’ coach Gaylon Doan. “Some of the others shot in the low 70s on Friday, and then came back and shot in the mid 80s the next day.

“Nathan and Heath just weren’t consistent, and they’ve got to play more consistent for us to be any good,” he added. “The kids are working hard, they’re just frustrated with their game right now.”

Monahans was the only other District 2-3A team at the tournament, and the Loboes placed three spots and 12 strokes ahead of the Eagles, with a 678 score.

“I really believe by district they’ll be all right. We made up ground against Monahans on Saturday, so they know they can do it,” Doan said.

The boys also have a JV tournament this week, on Wednesday in Lamesa, while the varsity will go to Andrews for a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Netters take 4th overall in Pecos tournament

The Pecos Eagles’ tennis team came up with a couple of runner-up finishes and fourth place overall on Friday, during the annual Pecos Tournament.

Cody Zamarripa in boys’ singles and Meagan Fuentes and Dakota Long in girls’ doubles placed second in their divisions, while as a team the Eagles scored eight points to 20 for Monahans, which won the tournament title. Wink, with 11 points, finished one point ahead of Crane for second place.

“Overall, I thought our freshmen did really outstanding,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “Cody also played extremely well in his matches.”

Zamarripa downed Tim Forbush of Monahans, 6-4, 6-4, and then Ramirez of Greenwood, 6-0, 6-2, before losing to Crane’s Valdez, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9. Fuentes and Long placed second in the girls’ doubles division, winning 8-2 over Wink’s Wolf and Richards and 6-3, 6-0 over Spon and Wade of Greenwood before falling to Derrick and Phillips in the finals.

The girls doubles team for Pecos of Janette Perea and Doni Marquez, took third place, winning their opener 8-6 over Venegas and Galindo of Crane and then beating teammates Amanda Renteria and Julie Licon, 8-3, before falling to Derrick and Phillips, 6-3, 6-0 in the semifinals. They then won third with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) win over Spon and Wade. Renteria and Licon won their opening match by an 8-3 score over Monahans’ Tester and Kesey.

Daniela Bustillos and Liliana Gutierrez, the Eagles other girls doubles team, lost their two matches on the day, while Pecos’ other boys’ singles player Elias Alvarado, won his opener over Jones of Wink, 8-4, before losing to Michael Derrick of Monahans, 8-2.

In girls’ singles, Hope Mora won her opening match over Fort Stockton’s Jessica Gomez, 8-1, then beat Evans Wolf of Wink, 8-2 before losing in the semifinals to Liz Truex of Monahans, 6-0, 6-2 and to Crane’s Korina Rubio, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the third place match. Amanda Rodriguez lost her opening match to Crane’s Miranda Lem, 8-0, then beat Emily Richardson of Monahans, 8-2 and Gomez, 8-1, before falling to Greenwood’s Dora Gomez in the consolation finals, 8-2.

Yseina Munoz fell to Rubio, 8-3, beat Sandra Prieto of Greenwood before losing to her teammate in the consolation semifinals, while Roccio Munoz lost to Kemp of Fort Stockton, and then to Greenwood’s Gomez in the quarterfinals.

In boys’ doubles, Derrick Barron and Tanner Hardwick lost in the consolation finals to Miller and Miller of Crane. They had opened play with a 9-7 loss to Figueroa and Velasco of Crane. Pecos’ other doubles’ team Eric Galindo and Alonzo Contreras, also dropped their opening match, 8-4 to Mendoza and Hildebrand of Wink, then fell in the consolation semifinals to Miller and Miller, 8-1.

Pecos’ two teams in mixed doubles, Derrick Abila and Jessica Munoz, Juan Carlos Munoz and Meagan Lopez, and Joe Gabaldon and Mareem Maneje, all fell in the opening round. The first two teams then had byes before Abila and Munoz defeated their teammates in the consolation semifinals, and then lost to Gonzales and Edding of Monahans in the finals, 8-2. Cranes’ Valles and Owens defeated Gabaldon and Maneje in the consolation quarterfinals.

Swimmers cut time at state after early troubles

The Pecos Eagles swim team had a few more problems than they hoped for on Friday and at the start of competition on Saturday, at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships

Pecos saw one of their entries disqualified on Friday, during preliminaries at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center at the University of Texas-Austin, and another disqualified during Saturday’s consolation finals. But the results improved for the Eagles after that, though they were unable to score a Top 10 finish at this years state meet.

Senior Matthew Florez went into the state finals as the only Pecos swimmer and the only swimmer for the boys out of Region I-4A seeded in the Top 8 in times, but was disqualified for a false start in the preliminaries on Friday.

“He had a false start, but he really didn’t false start,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. “But he was shaking, and because his leg was moving, he had a false start.”

Florez qualified in two events for state. In his other event, the 100-yard freestyle, he finished 12th with a 50.26 time, the highest finish for any Eagle swimmer at this year’s state meet. Florez had placed 14th in Friday’s prelims, with the exact same 50.26 time.

“He looked better in the water today. He looked more relaxed, and even though his time was the same, he moved up a couple of spots,” Morse said.

On Saturday, it was the Eagles’ 200-yard medley relay team of Florez, Josh Elliott, Carlos Navarro and Derek Teague that was hit with a DQ. Morse said the disqualification was for an illegal kick on the second leg of the relay by Navarro.

“They said when Carlos dove into the water his feet came apart and they called that a flutter kick,” she said. “He’s never done that before.”

The medley relay did complete the race, and placed 16th with a 1:47.24 time before the disqualification, after also placing in the No. 16 slot in Friday’s preliminaries, with a 1:46.94 time. However, the other qualifiers all improved on their times from the first day.

“They swam better today,” Morse said. “They seemed less nervous and a little more settled.”

The best finish overall for Pecos again was in the 1-meter diving competition, where sophomore Sammy Sandoval placed 11th with 250.20 points in his first trip to Austin. Sandoval qualified for state as the No. 2 diver behind Andrews Colton Taff at the Region I-4A meet, after the Eagles’ Hector Roman was injured in a car crash following his win at district last month. His total at state was, in-between his third place score at district and his second place total at regionals.

?“The judging was a little bit tougher at state, but he did well for his first time,” said diving coach Joan Capshaw. “Some of those kids he was competing against have been diving for six years, and he’s been doing it for six months.

“He really didn’t have a set goal going in. He was just here, and I think that helped him relax a little bit,” she added. Taff who placed one spot ahead of Sandoval at both the district and regional meet, finished one spot behind on Saturday for Andrews with a 12th place finish and 235.55 points.

In the boys’ other individual event, Elliott was 16th in the prelims of the 200-yard individual medley, but he junior was able to move up two spots in the finals on Saturday, improving to 14th and cutting almost two second off Friday’s time, finishing with a 2:06.06 effort.

Elliott ended up 15th later in the meet in the 100-yard backstroke, after going into Saturday’s consolation finals in the same position. The junior did improve his time by a quarter second in Saturday’s race, finishing with a 57.18 time.

The only girl for Pecos to advance to this year’s 4A state finals, freshman Alyson Reynolds, came in on Saturday slightly slower than her first place time at regionals in Lubbock. Reynolds, the first Pecos girl to qualify for state in two years, finished 14th overall, with a 5:30.74 time, after placing 15th on Friday with a 5:32.55 time.

“We didn’t look bad, we just didn’t swim as fast as we swam at regionals two weeks ago,” Morse said. “We got off to a slow start yesterday … Things were kind of laid back in the prelims and I guess we weren’t as excited yesterday.”

As a team, the boys finished 29th with 16 points, in a meet won by Frisco with 223 points. Highland Park won the girls division with 226 points, while Reynolds’ 14th place was worth three points and put Pecos 50th in the girls’ standings.

The best seed of any Region I-4A swimmer going into the girls finals was Greenwood’s Jocelyn Drennan, who like Florez was seeded No. 8, in the 100-yard butterfly. The freshman ended up just missing the finals, swimming the ninth-best time in Friday’s prelims, and on Saturday, ended up 12th in the final standings. The top finish at the meet on the boys’ side out of the region was El Paso Andress’ 200-yard freestyle relay team, which placed eighth.

Comebacks carry Pecos past Snyder, Fabens

The Pecos Eagles missed their chance to make a late-game comeback stand up against the state-ranked Snyder Tigers last season. But on Friday night, they took advantage of Snyder’s late-game mistakes, avoided any errors of their own and were able to close out a 7-5 victory over the state’s fifth-ranked Class 3A team.

The game was the first of two weekend contests for the Eagles, who followed up Friday’s win with another comeback victory, this one a five-inning, 16-6 win in Fabens against the Wildcats.

Pecos had rallied last year in the seventh inning in Snyder to grab a two-run lead, only to see the Tigers use the Eagles’ fielding and control problems in the bottom of seventh to rally for a 5-4 victory. This time, it was the Tigers who made the mistakes in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Eagles three unearned runs to wipe out a 5-4 Snyder lead, and pitcher Geno Leos then retired the side in order in the top of the seventh for the victory.

“Geno pitched an excellent game,” said Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia. “He had one bad inning, but other than that he shut them down tonight.”

Defensive problems hurt Pecos in all three innings that Snyder scored. The Tigers picked up single runs in the first and second innings then scored three times in the top of the fifth, after Pecos had tied the game at 2-2.

“We had a couple of mistakes, and the bad throw from Timo (Reyes) hurt us in that inning. But this is a different team from last year,” Garcia said. “When they picked up those runs the kids didn’t let it affect them. After we got down 5-2 we didn’t get our heads down and came right back.”

Reyes would end up with the big hit in the bottom of the fifth, after his error around a pair of walks in the top of the inning by Leos loaded the bases with none out. Snyder regained the lead when third baseman Isaiah Vela couldn’t cleanly field a grounder to third by Riley Davis. He was able to beat Jesse Conner to the bag for the force out, over the protests of Tigers’ manager Charles Bollinger, but Lance Day then re-loaded the bases with a single and Ryan Claxton followed with a two-run single to give the Tigers a 5-2 lead.

Leos was then helped out by Claxton, who was hit by a Clint Wall grounder for an automatic out, which also kept another Snyder run from scoring. He then got Chad Franks to line back to the mound to end the inning.

Pecos then got their first two runners on in the bottom of the fifth off Brett Bollinger, on a bunt single by Isaiah Patino and a hit-and-run single by Vincent Palomino. But Bollinger came back to strike out Leos and Gerald Saenz, and got two quick strikes on Reyes before he lined a two-run single back up the middle to cut the lead to 5-4.

“Timo got two strikes on him when he didn’t swing on both curves, and I thought he’d come back with another curve, but he came with a fastball and Timo ripped it up the middle,” Garcia said.

Pecos tied the game in the bottom of the sixth after J.R. Lujan led off with a single. Chris Sotelo pinch-ran for the catcher and stole second, but with one out and a 3-2 count on Tony Reyes he was picked off second, only to make it to third when Wall let Day’s throw get past him, and then scored when Bollinger’s throw back to third got by Day.

Bollinger then struck out Reyes and fanned Patino, but the ball got by catcher Dan Hernandez and Palomino reached safely. He then stole second, went to third on another passed ball, and after a walk to Palomino, scored when Leos beat Day’s throw to first on a high chop single to shortstop. Palomino would give Leos an insurance run to work with when he scored after two more curveballs by Bollinger got past Hernandez.

Snyder’s Dustin Mitchell opened the game by reaching on a passed ball, but he was later thrown out by Timo Reyes trying to score on a Conner grounder to shortstop. However, Conner would go to third on a Bollinger infield single and throwing error by Reyes, and scored on a passed ball by Lujan.

Snyder took a 2-0 lead in the second when Wall walked with one away, stole second and scored on Hernandez’s two-out hit to center.

Meanwhile, Bollinger went through Pecos’ first nine batters allowing only two baserunners, on a walk and error by Day, while striking out five of the first nine batters he faced. But with one out in the third Palomino lined a triple into the left field corner and scored on a sacrifice fly by Leos.

The Eagles’ pitcher then survived a lead-off double by Claxton in the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning Pecos tied the game on Justin Contreras’ one-out double and a bloop single down the right field line by Lujan.

Leos ended up striking out 12 while allowing eight hits, while Bollinger also allowed eight hits while fanning 13 Eagles in taking the loss.

On Saturday, Pecos fell into a 5-1 hole after two innings, then rallied for six runs in the third inning and would add nine more runs in their final two at-bats against the Wildcats, whom the Eagles will see at least once more this season, at the Greenwood Tournament.

“It was very windy, and there was a lot of sand,” Garcia said. “It was kind of what I was hoping we wouldn’t do – have a letdown after a big game, but we had three errors in the outfield that allowed them to get some runs.”

Fabens scored twice in the first inning off Vela, who lasted only two-thirds of an inning before being replaced on the mound by Timo Reyes. He got the final out of the first, but then saw the Wildcats score three more times in the second. Ben Loya, who had an RBI single off Vela, added a two-run double in the second. Jaime Carrasco followed with an RBI single before Reyes settled down and allowed just one run the rest of the way.

Pecos stranded five runners in the first two innings, getting only one run on a Lucas Chavez single in the second. But in the third Timo Reyes opened with an infield hit, and Pecos would take advantage of two errors and walks by starter Steven Estrada, who was replaced by Freddy Vega after Pecos tied the game on a bases-loaded walk by Leos.

The Eagles would take the lead for good when second baseman Travis Garary threw away Saenz’s grounder, and Fabens’ pitchers would then help the Eagles break open the game over the next two innings.

“We just settled down. We were patient with their pitchers and got several runs when their pitchers helped us out. They walked a lot of batters, and I think at one point they hit three batters in a row,” Garcia said.

“Isaiah only made it through two-thirds of an inning, but the defense didn’t help him out any,” he added. “Timo came in and got the last out, but then had a bad time in the second, again because the defense didn’t help him out. But after that he pretty much settled down in the third, fourth and fifth innings.”

The 3-0 Eagles will be home for the third time in their first four games on Tuesday, when they host Kermit in a 7 p.m. start. But that will be Pecos’ last home game for almost a month.

They’ll play the first of as many as 17 straight games on the road beginning Thursday morning, when they’ll face Big Spring in an 8 a.m. game at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament. A win there would keep the Eagles on the field to face district rival Presidio, starting at 10:30 a.m.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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