Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
Bears’ squads hoping to begin playoff runs
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Balmorhea Bears will have about half of their starters back in both basketball and football this season, and will get their first pre-season tests over the next two weeks, their coaches said on Monday.
Workouts for all high school football and volleyball teams in Texas got underway Monday, with the first scrimmages set for this Friday in volleyball, while the first contact workouts for football also will be that day.
Both Balmorhea teams missed the playoffs last season, losing late-season district contests. The volleyball team will be trying to end a long playoff drought this year with a new coach, Cherry Villanueva, who played for the Bears several years ago.
She said there are 13 girls out for volleyball right now, all but one of them freshmen through juniors. “Larissa Rodriguez is my lone senior, but she’ll probably be one of my top players,” Villanueva said.
Other returning players include Amber Cook, Savannah Matta and Sabrina Lopez. Matta was an all-district selection last season, while Rodriguez, Cook and Lopez were honorable mention selections, and Villanueva said she is also hoping to get some help from one of the team’s freshmen, Sarah Lujan.
Regular season play starts next week for the volleyball team, while the football team will play the first of their two scrimmages next Saturday at home and open their 2004 season on Aug. 28 in Lake Arthur, N.M.
Sanderson and Fort Davis have beaten out the Bears for the playoffs in six-man football each of the past two seasons. This season, Sanderson is the pre-season favorite to win the District 6-A title, while the Bears are picked second, ahead of the Indians.
Coach Adolfo Garcia said he has three defensive starters back, while only two of his six starters on offense from a year ago return. However, he said while he has no returning starters at running back, “All of the running backs would be in there by the second or third play. We lost two, but we still have six who were in the rotation.”
Garcia said the Bears’ new quarterback will by Michael Dominguez. “He played a couple of games for us on the varsity level, so he has some experience.”
Dominguez was an all-district pick last year as a punter, while Brandon Mendoza at running back and Ismael Rodriguez at receiver were all-district choices. Defensively, the Bears have one returning all-district player, in senior cornerback Barry Bordayo.
Overall, Garcia said Balmorhea had 24 players out for the opening day of practice. “We have about five others who haven’t shown up yet, so we should have about 29,” he added. That’s enough players for a junior varsity team, and the Bears will have two JV scrimmages and then face Marathon’s varsity in their season opener on Sept. 3.
Turnout good for Eagles’ volleyball teams
By JON FULBRIGHT
Pecos Eagles’ coach Becky Granado finds herself short on height again among her volleyball players for 2004. And while she said some of the players were a little short on endurance as well at the start of preseason practice, the Eagles are long on numbers, as they prepare for their first scrimmages games later this week.
The Eagles will open their season a week from Thursday and will hold their first scrimmage this Friday at the Pecos High School gym, before scrimmaging in Monahans on Saturday. Going into those games, Granado said she’ll have more than enough players for varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams.
“We’ve had a pretty good turnout. We had 18 juniors and seniors, 11 sophomores and 21 freshmen, so we have around 50 girls,” she said on Tuesday. “Everyone has shown up, plus extras, so I can’t complain about the numbers.”
While she was happy with the turnout, Granado did have problems with some of the Eagles’ workouts on Monday.
“A bunch of them are out of shape, and it’s going to take a couple of months to get them back into shape,” she said. “Some of them did work out, and some just sat around all summer. You could tell which ones worked during the summer and which ones didn’t.”
Junior and seniors worked out together during the first two days of practice, while the freshmen and sophomore girls had their own workouts. But since several sophomores played on the varsity last season as ninth graders, Granado said the players would be split up by teams for the rest of the week, in preparation for the scrimmage Friday against Wink, Alpine and Fort Davis.
“I’ll send some junior girls down and bring up some sophomore girls who played with me last year,” she said. “I have a lot of girls skills-wise who are not yet ready for the varsity. They may need another year of playing time on the JV.
“I’m probably going to break some hearts, but that’s part of coaching. You can’t please everyone,” she added.
Height always has been a problem for Pecos, and what size the Eagles have this season is mostly in their underclassmen. Two of the three freshmen Granado had on the varsity last year were used as front-line blockers, and she said, “I’ve got some height among my freshman girls,” though she didn’t want to say on Tuesday which players would finally end up on the varsity squad.
“I know I won’t have more than 12. I’m trying to even it out where I have front line players and back line players,” she said. “The girls have an idea of who it will be, but I want them all to continue working.”
Granado said Friday’s scrimmages will start at 10 a.m. at the PHS gym. The varsity teams will scrimmage 30 minutes apiece, while the JV and freshmen teams will hold 20-minute scrimmages against Wink, Alpine and Fort Davis. They’ll face Wink and Fort Davis again on Aug. 12 in Wink to open the regular season, then play their home openers the following day against Alpine and Odessa High.