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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, August 23, 2004

Long scoring plays get Eagles scrimmage win

Staff Writer

The first series for both teams in the Pecos Eagles’ final pre-season scrimmage looked a lot like the series for the Eagles in their first pre-season scrimmage. Pecos was able to run the ball well, but couldn’t get into the end zone, and then were burned by a big play on defense by the Coahoma Bulldogs on Thursday night in Coahoma.

But after that it was the Eagles who made the big plays on offense, while the Bulldogs were the ones who moved the ball well but couldn’t get into the end zone.

Rashad Terry scored twice during the second series on back-to-back TD catches of 60 and 70 yards, then during the timed portion of the scrimmage caught a shorter pass and turned that into a 46-yard score,. Meanwhile, Coahoma was stopped twice inside Pecos’ 10-yard line and two other times inside the 25, as Pecos closed out their preseason with a 3-1 victory.

Terry was out of town with his family in the early part of the week, coach Patrick Willis said, and as a result, didn’t play on offense with the first team on the opening series. He got behind the defense twice to catch Eddie Vela passes for scores with the second team offense, and then took a short pass from Saul Pina on the second series for Pecos during the 12 minute quarter and got around the right end for the lone touchdown during the period of regulation play.

“We were trying to take advantage of Rashad, but at first we couldn’t do it,” Willis said. “We knew we could run on them, but we weren’t taking advantage of the pass when they started lining everyone up on the line. So I was getting frustrated early because we were taking our shots, but we couldn’t take advantage.”

Unlike the Eagles’ first scrimmage against Andrews, when there was only one turnover on the day for both teams, Pecos and Coahoma both had problems holding onto the ball in the early going. A fumble by Pina on a quarterback option helped stop the Eagles’ initial series, while Booker Fobbs was able to recover his own fumble a few plays later on Pecos’ second drive, during which the senior running back gained 69 yards on nine carries.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t get yard 70 on his next two carries. Fobbs and Pina collided on a third down handoff from the one, and then Fobbs was stopped for a two-yard loss on fourth down, on what turned out to be the final play of the first series for the Eagles. “We haven’t worked on goal line yet, so the kids were kind of sloppy. They’ve got to understand in that situation it’s man-on-man down there and you’ve got to get your blocks,” Willis said. “But we’re going to work on it this week and we’re not going to have the same problems as last year.”

Things got worse for Pecos after that. Quarterback Adrian Abrego ran for 13 yards on the Bulldogs’ first two plays, then connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass over the middle. A few plays later, he connected on passes of 16 and 24 yards though this time the Eagles were able to stop the Bulldogs on downs at the 10 yard line.

“It was not a good defensive job, but it’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Willis said. “Even though we’re a one-back team we can’t throw like that.”

On Pecos’ first scoring series, the Eagles overcame a nine yard loss on a bad snap to Vela, as Luis Ortega ran for 19 yards on two carries before Vela hit Terry for the 60 yard score. On the next play, Vela rolled to his right before pulling up and lobbing a pass over the defense too Terry, who took it to the end zone.

Pecos’ second team defense fared better against the Bulldogs than they did against Andrews, allowing only one big play, a 28-yard pass completion, and two first downs in their 15 plays.

In the timed quarter the Bulldogs hit a 25 yard completion over the middle right off the bat, and got inside the 25 before a delay of game call helped the Eagles get the ball back on downs. Another delay call stopped Coahoma’s next series, and after taking over on the 46, Pina hit Terry for the touchdown. Abrego came back with an 18-yard completion and three runs of 37 yards to set the Bulldogs up with a 1st-and-goal from the 9, but a 3rd-and-5 interference call at the goal line was offset by a motion call on Coahoma, and Pecos’ defense was able pressure Abrego on his ensuing pass, then dropped him for a 4-yard loss on fourth down.

Both Willis and Coahoma coach Robert Wood held back on several plays on offense, with both teams opening their seasons this week, the Eagles on Saturday at Midland Christian and the Bulldogs on Friday against Reagan County.

Pecos’ freshman and junior varsity squads alternated scrimmage series against Coahoma’s JV, which ended with the Eagles scoring the only touchdown, on a 70-yard run by Victor Alonzo on the Eagles’ second series.

Herrera set to start college softball career

Staff Writer

A former Pecos Eagle is getting her first college softball experience this week, after competing last month in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s all-star softball tournament.

Stephanie Herrera will be playing for the New Mexico State University Lobos after four years as pitcher for the Pecos Eagles’ varsity, during which she earned all district honors each season.

“We’re leaving Sunday, and we’ll have the first softball meeting on Tuesday at 5, so I’ll see how that goes,” she said on Thursday.

Herrera signed with New Mexico State last spring, and said she met some of her teammates during her trips to the Las Cruces campus. She said unlike the high school seasons, which don’t start until February, the NMSU team will have a fall and spring season.

“We’ll play a couple of tournaments in New Mexico in October. In the fall the season is only five weeks long. When January hits we’ll begin playing, but the only Texas places we’ll be is El Paso and Denton.”

Herrera started as a freshman at shortstop for the Eagles, but ended up pitching by the end of that season, and continued as the No. 1 pitcher for Pecos the next three years. She pitched Pecos to its first-ever playoff victories this past spring in the Class 3A Tournament, against Lubbock Cooper and Muleshoe before the Eagles fell to district rival Monahans in the Region I-3A quarterfinals. The Eagles also advanced to the playoffs in her freshmen and sophomore seasons, losing those years to Andrews and San Angelo Lake View.

The July tournament was part of the Texas Girls Coaches Association clinic, and the game Herrera played in was for Class A through 3A teams. She was the only Permian Basin member of her team.

“We went on Sunday and Monday we had workouts in the morning and afternoon. Tuesday we had a workout in the morning and then we played the game in the afternoon, and on Wednesday we had a demonstration for the coaches and did different drills,” she said.

The All-Star game was played at the Birdville ISD field in North Richland Hills, just outside of Fort Worth, which is where the players stayed. Herrera ended up playing at third base in the game, a position she hadn’t played during her four years on the Eagles’ varsity.

However, she said, “I played short and third in the summer leagues. When I got there they asked me where I would like to play. Nobody was at third, so I went ahead and got that position.”

“We ended up losing, but I had a great time meeting girls from every area and seeing how everybody came through and put it together in two days,” Herrera added.

At New Mexico State, Herrera will start of in another new position, in the outfield. “I’m going out there for a starting position. There are 222 girls on the roster and my goal is to get a starting position wherever I play,” she said.

Pecos shows improvement at Sandhills

The start and finish of the Sandhills Volleyball Tournament didn’t go as well as Pecos Eagles’ coach Becky Granado would have liked, but the Eagles did play better to start the second week of the 2004 season than they did to open the first one, winning four of their six matches in Monahans on Friday and Saturday.

The Eagles blew a late lead in their opening match against Frenship, and lost to the Tigers by 25-14, 22-25, 25-23 scores. They came back later that day to defeat Kermit, 25-21, 25-15, and Plainview, 25-12, 25-22, and on Saturday edged district rival Presidio, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, and swept El Paso Bowie, 25-11, 25-12.

That put Pecos into the championship match of the tournament’s consolation bracket, but after being edged in their opening game by El Paso Yselta, the Eagles ran into problems in the second game, and fell to the Maidens by a 25-13 score.

“After the first game we stopped playing,” Granado said. “We didn’t play like we did against El Paso Bowie.

“Once we started making mental mistakes, it was mistake after mistake. El Paso Ysleta didn’t have to do much but just serve to us. We were making a bunch of mistakes, and that’s what really cost us the match.”

Overall, Granado said the Eagles did do better than in their first week of play, when Pecos got off to a 1-4 start. “We showed some improvement. We just need to improve some more,” she said.

“Brittany (Rodriguez) finally started hitting the ball. Brittany and Danielle (Garcia) both were more aggressive, and Brittany and Adriana (Armendariz) improved on their blocking, but that’s just something we have to keep working on,” Granado added. Presidio was the first district rival the Eagles have faced this season, and the Blue Devils took the opener before Pecos was able to rally for the win. “Number 7 (Yasmin Herrera) was just hitting the ball on us, but we played good defense. We were trying to find the open spots, but we had trouble at the beginning.

“Brittany and Adrianna had a couple of blocks, and I put Jessica Carrasco on the front line and she did a good job. She had a couple of hits. Defensively, our lineup was shorter, but we’re still getting blocks off it.”

The opening loss to Frenship dropped Pecos into the consolation bracket, though Granado said, “We should have won the game. We had them down 23-21 in the third game and then we missed our serve and couldn’t break their serve.”

“We had problems with Kermit at the beginning. Their big girl (Diana Quiroz) was hitting the ball, but once we started playing defense we beat them pretty handily in the second game,” she said. “Against Plainview, it was close in the first game, but in the second game Candace (Regelman) got back there and served nine or 10 straight points, and the girls played more relaxed and more as a team.”

The matches in the tournament were all best-of-three in order to speed up play, though even with the shortened matches, play was running about a hour behind schedule by the time the afternoon matches rolled around on Saturday. The 4-2 weekend left the Eagles with 5-6 mark for the season.

Lubbock Trinity went through the tournament undefeated, defeating Monahans on Friday in a seeding match for the winner’s bracket and then beating Midland High in the finals on Saturday. Monahans downed Big Spring in the third place game, while El Paso Montwood beat Seminole in the championship bracket’s consolation finals. In the consolation bracket, Plainview defeated El Paso Bowie for third place and Presidio won the consolation group’s consolation trophy with a win over Fort Davis.

Bears face Lake Arthur again after scrimmage win

The Balmorhea Bears will be hoping this week’s season opening football game turns out as well as last week’s final pre-season scrimmage did. And there’s a good chance of that happening, since the Bears will be facing the same team they took on this past Saturday, the Lake Arthur Panthers.

The Bears shut out Lake Arthur in their scrimmage by a 7-0 score in Balmorhea, and will face the Panthers at 11 a.m. CDT on Saturday in Lake Arthur.

“We were much bigger than they were,” said Bears’ coach Adolfo Garcia, which meant both size and numbers. “They only had one team so our varsity played them, and then our JV beat them 1-0.”

“They were real quick, but they were too small,” Garcia said. “Our offensive line and defensive line are all over 200 pounds. Their kids didn’t even come close to that, so the battle was won on the line.”

Garcia said Michael Dominguez played well for Balmorhea at quarterback, while Ryan Woodruff and Levon Barragan did a good job for the Bears defensively against the Panthers.

“They started off with a tight formation, and didn’t have much luck. Then they went to the spread and they had a little success there, but the quickness of our cornerbacks prevented them from scoring,” Garcia said.

Balmorhea’s junior varsity team doesn’t have a game this week, so Garcia said depending on the score, he’ll try and get as many of his varsity and JV players into Saturday’s game as possible. After facing Lake Arthur, the Bears’ varsity has Labor Day weekend off, while the JV will open their season against Marathon’s varsity on Sept 3 at Marathon.

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