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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Rec volleyball, grid sign-ups end this week

Registration ends this week at the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department for the youth volleyball, pee-wee football and flag football programs for this fall.

Sign-ups end on Friday for both the Pee-Wee football program, which is for boys and girls entering grades 3-6 this year, and the flag football program, which is open to children ages 5 through 7. Saturday is the last day to register for the youth volleyball program, which is for students in second through sixth grade.

Entry fee for Pee-Wee football is $20 per player, while sign-ups for the flag football and volleyball leagues is $10 per child. Registration forms must have both parents’ signatures along with a copy of the child’s birth certificate when returned to the recreation department office.

Sign-up forms are available at the recreation department office in the old Pecos High School gym during regular hours, from 4 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. For further information, call 447-9776.

Eagles, Mustangs expect better offenses in opener

Staff Writer

Defenses dominated last year’s game between the Pecos Eagles and Midland Christian Mustangs, even though both teams were able to move the ball at times during the season opener, which originally had been scheduled as a scrimmage game between the two schools.

This year, the offenses could have the upper hand on Saturday, when the teams kick off their 2004 football seasons with at 4 p.m. game at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

The Eagles, who have had success running the ball in both their pre-season scrimmages, will take on the Mustangs, who had some success moving the ball against Sweetwater in their only pre-season scrimmage, as both teams look to improve on overall disappointing offensive efforts from a year ago.

The numbers from last year’s game offensively for the Eagles weren’t bad - in fact, they sound a lot like the numbers the Eagles put up in their scrimmage last week against Coahoma. Booker Fobbs ran for 93 yards, Rashad Terry had a pair of catches for 70 yards and Saul Pina threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns in what turned out to be a 13-8 win.

But the Eagles didn’t clinch the victory until they stopped Midland Christian late in the final period, after they had used a blocked punt to set up a 1st-and-10 from Pecos’ 12-yard-line. The defense was able to stop Thomas Minihan on a couple of key plays, while containing the passing of quarterback Corey Culp for most of the night.

Minihan is gone, but Culp returns and Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis said the Mustangs would be helped by a couple of transfers from Midland’s Class 5A schools.

“Courtney Greer is a kid they got from Lee. He’s not fast, but he’s evasive and he runs hard,” said Willis. “Another kid they got from Midland High, Tim Hamittt, is a fast, speedy type of receiver.”

“They run an I-formation power-smash football. They’re going to try and run over you,” he added.

Midland Christian coach Greg McClendon’s team had their final pre-season scrimmage against Wall rained out. But he was happy with the offensive in their match-up with Sweetwater.

“We moved the ball downfield on them. We weren’t able to score, but we moved the ball,” he said. “Courtney Greer and (fullback) Branden Kalt had OK days, our quarterback threw the ball well and our offensive line did a good job.”

Pecos has been able to run the ball against both Andrews and Coahoma, and while they weren’t able to come up with any big plays through the air in their first scrimmage, last week Terry caught touchdown passes of 60, 70 and 46 yards in a 3-1 scrimmage victory.

Defensively, Willis said Midland Christian runs “pretty much the same defense we do, and they’re pretty aggressive.” McClendon said that while Sweetwater was able to score on the Mustangs, the defense did have some high points.

“Jon Bail had a couple of interceptions and Brent Cunningham had an interception, and Alan Pender had a good day at linebacker,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense has had problems defending the pass in their two scrimmage games, and allowed several quarterback option runs up the middle for big gains last week by Coahoma, after the Eagles did a good job stopping the run the previous week against Andrews.

“It’s going to be a question which offense can stop the other,” Willis said. “Hopefully our offense can keep our defense off the field.”

Staying off the field could be important for both teams on Saturday. With a 4 p.m. start and playing on Grande Communications Stadium’s artificial turf, temperatures figure to be hot on the field throughout the game.

“We’ve got several going both ways and I understand Pecos has got several going both ways, so either we’re going to get in shape or we’re going to hurt our ballclub,” McClendon said.

“It’s going to affect both teams. We’re going to work hard keeping the kids with lots of fluids in them all week long,” Wills said. “Hopefully, we’re going to step up to the challenge, because it’s going to be a hot day.”

The varsity match-up between the Eagles and Mustangs to start the season will come two days after the junior varsity teams from Pecos and Midland Christian start their 2004 seasons. That game had been scheduled for Pecos, but has been changed to a 6:30 p.m. start at Midland Christian, due to the delays in installing the artificial turf surface at Eagle Stadium.

Pecos sweeps matches going into tourney

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team will be in action early and often on Friday, as part of an eight-team round-robin format to start the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic Volleyball Tournament.

The Eagles will face Marfa, Van Horn and Kermit in the morning, and El Paso Parkland, district rivals Presidio and Fort Stockton and former district rival Fabens in the afternoon of the tournament, which will set up the seedings for the tournament’s Saturday matches. The morning matches will be at 9, 9:45 and 11:15 a.m., while Pecos’ afternoon matches will be at 1:30, 3, 4:30 and 6 p.m. at the Pecos High School gym.

The results in Friday’s games will set up Saturday’s matches, with the top-seeded and bottom-seeded teams, along with the No. 3 and 5 seeds, facing each other in the quarterfinals at 8 a.m. Those matches will be followed at 9:15 a.m. by quarterfinals featuring the No. 2 and 7 seeds and the No. 4 and 6 seeds. Semifinals will be at 1 p.m., with the third place and championship matches at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., while the consolation semifinals will be at 11:45 a.m., with the consolation finals and seventh place matches at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Pecos will go into the tournament with an above-.500 record for the first time this season, after sweeping Van Horn and Fort Davis on Tuesday in matches at the PHS gym. The Eagles won three straight games from Van Horn by identical 25-17 scores, then defeated Fort Davis by 25-18 scores in the first two games of that match, before edging the Maidens by a 25-22 score to complete the sweep.

The sweep was a step up from two weeks ago, when Pecos had to go five games to beat Fort Davis on the opening night of the season, and despite the closer score against the Maidens, Eagles’ coach Becky Granado said, “We played a little better game against Fort Davis than we did against Van Horn. Against Van Horn, we weren’t into it.”

“We got a couple of good hits in both matches, and we did enough on defense to keep it from hitting floor, but some moments we had trouble passing the ball. We’re really going to have to improve in that area,” Granado said.

“We also had problems with our serves in both matches. We had about five missed serves, and we’re going to have to cut down on that,” she added.

Pecos jumped out to an 11-0 lead on Fort Davis in their opening match, and led by as much as a 21-6 score before the Maidens went on a 12-2 run that narrowed the gap to 23-18. Pecos was able to close out the match on a tip by Brittany Rodriguez and a bad spike by Denicia Salcido, but struggled to pull away from Fort Davis in the final two games. The Eagles used some errors by Fort Davis to win the second game with a 7-2 run at the finish, after the Maidens held an early 5-1 lead. In the third game a kill by Danielle Garcia with Pecos leading 22-21 helped Pecos hold off a late rally by Fort Davis, which at one point earlier in the game was up by an 11-6 margin.

“We come down to the wire and we don’t know how to keep the same intensity in the match,” Granado said. “We need to maintain our focus.”

The win over Fort Davis, which lifted Pecos’ season record to 7-6, came in a match that wasn’t originally on the Eagles’ schedule. “It was just supposed to be Van Horn, but Fort Davis called up Monday and they had us on their schedule,” said assistant coach Veronica Valenzuela.

Pecos’ sub-varsity team also swept Van Horn and Fort Davis, while the freshmen Eagles won their only match over the visiting Eagles. The JV downed Van Horn by 25-4 and 25-8 scores and took Fort Davis, 25-9, 25-18, while the freshmen defeated Van Horn, 25-23, 25-17.

Both the ninth grade and freshman teams will have their own brackets this weekend in the Cantaloupe Classic, and both will be trying to improve on last weekend’s results at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans. The Eagles’ freshmen lost to Alpine on Saturday after falling into the consolation bracket of their pool last Friday, while the JV was beaten by both Lubbock Trinity and Odessa High in their only two matches of that tournament. The ninth graders will get another shot at Alpine on Thursday, in their opening tournament game at 4:30 p.m., and will then either play Fort Stockton or Odessa High’s ninth grade ‘A’ team at 6:20 p.m. Play in the championship and consolation brackets of the tournament will take place on Saturday at the Crockett Middle School gym.

The JV will play in the old PHS gym beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Friday against either Midland High or Odessa High’s sophomore squad. They’ll then play either Alpine, Kermit or Presidio in a seeding match at 3:15 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s matches will begin at 8 and 9:15 a.m. in either the old or new PHS gyms.

Eagle netters begin season in Stockton

The Pecos Eagles tennis team will begin their abbreviated fall tennis season with an abbreviated team this weekend, when they travel to Fort Stockton for tournament competition.

With both team and individual tennis competition occurring during the spring in Class 3A,, coach Mike Ortiz’s team will only have a few dual matches and tournaments during the fall season, and only one at home. As a result, Ortiz said he’d have a few players absent during the fall portion of the season, but still enough to fill up the available singles and doubles spots this weekend.

“We’ll have at least six and six,” for this weekend, he said, with most of the Eagles moving up in their seeds for the 2004-05 season.

Pecos graduated district singles champions Trent Graham and Natalia Ornelas, along with several other players. To start off this season, Ortiz said Ornelas’ sister, Imari, and her brother Francisco, would probably be the top seeds in singles at Fort Stockton.

“For the girls, I’ll probably have Mimi at No. 1, Catherine (Garcia) at No. 2, Crystal Ikeler at No. 3, Sara Natividad at No. 4 and then we’ll have Delicia Ramirez and Amanda Dunivan at No. 5 and No. 6,” he said. “For the guys, we’ll have Francisco at No. 1, and probably Jesse Hanks at 2, Jerris Rayos at No. 3, Curtis James at No. 4. Cody Zamarippa will be No. 5 and then we’ll probably take Chris Sotelo at No. 6.”

Ortiz said for the fall season, some of his players have limited practice time due to other extracurricular activities. “I’ve got three playing football, so I’m sharing with then, and I’ve got three or four girls in volleyball and one in cheerleading. I think in the spring we’ve got about 20 overall, but right now we’re barely making 12.”

Despite the fall player shortage and the graduation of his top two players, Ortiz thinks the Eagles have a good chance to advance to regional competition for the seventh time in the past 10 seasons this coming March.

“Looking around at the teams in the district, we should still be playing for first, because everybody lost their No. 1s,” he said. “On the boys’ side, our oldest player is a sophomore, and we’ve only got two senior girls, but I expect if we work hard, we can have a fine season.”

Turf installation expected to be done by Sept. 10

Outside hopes that the new artificial turf football field at Eagle Stadium could be in place in time for the Pecos Eagles’ home football opener on Sept. 3 were put to rest on Tuesday, and talks were underway on Wednesday to confirm Monahans as the site of the Eagles’ scheduled game against the Denver City Mustangs.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Ray Matthews and P-B-T head football coach and athletic director Patrick Willis said early this week there was a possibility that the field would be ready in time to play next week’s home opener, after crews began work last Thursday to redo the top base on which the field is scheduled to be placed beginning later this week. However, Matthews said this morning that while the field might be in place by next Friday, there were other things that can’t be set up in time to keep the Sept. 3 contest in Pecos.

“They’ve still got to get the Eagle (midfield logo) on and put the goalposts up, so they don’t think they can get it done by the 3rd,” Matthews said. “Right now we’re shooting for the 10th, and we’ll play our first home game in Monahans.”

Pecos and Monahans both open their 2004 football seasons this weekend, but the Loboes have next week off, leaving their stadium available for use by the Eagles on Sept. 3. “We’ll be the home team, and I’m going to talk to Monahans today (Wednesday) about playing on their field,” Matthews said. “They’re OK about that, and we’re at a district meeting here in Fort Stockton, so we’ll get with them about setting things up.”

The installation of the FieldTurf surface was originally scheduled to be completed on Aug. 15, but problems with the base forced crews to redo the dirt, rock and gravel work twice in the past six weeks. The problems with the dirt and gravel related to drainage from the field and stability of the subsurface, a problem encountered last year by Andrews when it had artificial turf installed at the Mustang Bowl.

Along with installation of the turf, the track at Eagle Stadium is supposed to be redone as part of the $517,000 project. However, the delays in the turf work mean that work on redoing the track will probably have to wait until after the completion of the 2004 football season.

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