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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shots fail to fall as Eagles drop hoop opener

The Pecos Eagles’ 2007-08 basketball season opened with shooting problems from both the field and the free throw line on Thursday night in Alpine, which helped the Bucks come away with a 44-36 victory.

New Eagles’ coach Donna Gent said Pecos had problems shooting from the field, while going 1-for-12 from the foul line, compared with 10-for-15 shooting by the Bucks. “That’s the ballgame right there,” said Gent, who added that some of the bad shooting could be blamed on the short week of workouts for her team.

“Considering we only had five hours of practice this week with the new group, I thought we did extremely well,” she said. “Our shooting was a little off, but that will come with time.”

Six of Pecos’ 11 players just completed play in volleyball last weekend, which Gent said hurt her team’s ability to finish off plays. “We missed quite a few shots under the basket. We were shooting too hard,” she said. “We did a great job moving to the ball and cutting to the basket, but we’ve just got to learn to put a better touch on our shots.”

Jasmine Rayos led Pecos with 13 points, while Veronica Tarin had eight for Pecos. Alpine was led by Ruby Gonzales and Ashley Muniz, who both finished with 14 points, including 7-for-8 shooting from the line.

“Defensively we did not let anyone get on the inside, but Alpine has some very good outside shooters,” Gent said. Rayos had eight rebounds and Gabby Garcia added five, while Diana Parada had six steals in the game, she said.

Pecos led by a 9-8 score after one period, and trailed by just one at the half, 15-14, and by two after three periods, at 26-24, before the Bucks outscored the Eagles 18-12 in the fourth quarter.

Gent said the Eagles have added a game Tuesday night not on their original schedule. Pecos will host Van Horn in junior varsity and varsity games, starting at 5 and 6:30 p.m. The Eagles also will be home this coming Friday against Kermit, in freshmen, JV and varsity games.

Pecos’ JV also opened their 2007-08 season on Thursday, losing to the Bucks by a 31-21 score. Andrielle Martinez led the Eagles with 11 points.

Sub-varsities fall, JHers split final games

The Pecos Eagles’ sub varsity high school football teams ended their 2007 seasons on Thursday with homefield losses to the Monahans Loboes, while Pecos’ junior high teams split their games on Thursday in Monahans to wrap up their seasons.

Pecos’ freshmen suffered through a series of turnovers, two of which set up Monahans touchdowns in a 14-0 win, while the JV dropped their final game to the Loboes by a 31-6 final score.

In Monahans, the eighth grade gold team ended its year with a 44-0 win over Monahans, while the purple team dropped their final game, 32-0. In the seventh grade games, the teams reversed their earlier results this season in Pecos, while the gold team winning by a 14-8 score while the purple team lost, 26-0.

Monahans scored two touchdowns in each of the first two periods of the JV game, then added one final score in the second half. The Eagles’ touchdown came in the fourth quarter, on a seven-yard run by German Rodriguez. The JV ended their year with a 2-8 record.

The ninth graders finished up 4-6, dropping their last four games after losing half their squad to grades. Monahans’ which beat Pecos on their home field earlier this season, 21-17, got one touchdown in the first period and one in the final quarter, both coming after two of the Eagles’ seven turnovers in the game.

In the eighth graders’ win, Pedro Cano had three touchdowns, on runs of 68 and five yards, and a 72-yard interception return. Jared Rodriguez scored twice, on runs of 46 and 24 yards, and Gregory Roman had the Eagles’ other score, off a 38-yard run. Roman also had a two-point conversion run, while Arturo Villa also had a two-point run. Ronnie Licon and Diego Ramirez scored on a two-point passes from Cano and Joel Jaramillo.

“Defensively Andrew Navarette had a great game at linebacker and Mark Quintana played a great game at cornerback,” coach Art Rios said. “Brandon Franco and Clay Teague did real well on defense.”

In the purple team’s loss, Rios said Pecos did have a 60-yard pass from Chase Price to Josh Aguilar and a 45-yarder from Price to Eddie Pando, while Aguilar and Ben Dominguez both ran for about 60 yards in the game, but the Eagles were unable to score and finished with a 2-4-2 record.

“These guys may have not won many games, but they’re one of the best groups I coached, and they will win games in the future,” Rios said.

In the seventh grade games, Zack Ramirez had both the touchdowns for Pecos’ gold team, while Damien Perea had the two-point conversion run for the Eagles.

Rios wanted to thank all of the junior high parents for their help during the 2007 season, “Not only making them play hard, but getting them to tutorials,” he said.

Eagles close season with route of Coyotes

When a team hasn’t won consecutive games at home in six seasons, they’ve had a little bit of losing to deal with. But none of the Pecos Eagles’ losses, home or away, during that time were as painful as what the Eagles inflicted on the Tornillo Coyotes Friday night.

Pecos racked up their highest point total in 61 years against a Tornillo team that started the game with only 14 players and finished with just 11 able to remain on the field, as the Eagles scored 43 points in the first half and another 29 with a continuously running clock in the final two periods, beating the Coyotes by a 72-14 score. “I couldn’t tell the kids to stop all the scoring,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “I didn’t want it to get out of hand, but I can’t tell the kids to stop playing.”

The 72 points was the most points in one game by a Pecos team since a 78-0 win over Stanton in 1946, and combined with the Eagles’ 41-8 win over Fabens two weeks ago, was the first time Pecos has won back-to-back games at home since the 2001 season.

That’s also the last time the Eagles faced a team as shorthanded as the Coyotes. They scored a 62-8 win that year in Presidio over a Blue Devils team that would abandon the sport in 2002.

Tornillo had several players quit the team over the past two weeks, and had five players sidelined even before the game started. “Tornillo had some kids who didn’t stop fighting, but I know they had two freshmen on the field because their two inside linebackers quit on them,” Henson said.

Pecos started the game at their own 40 and netted no yards after two consecutive runs, but on third down Chris Sotelo broke through for 33 yards on a counter play. Hector Ramirez followed with another first down run, and two plays later scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night, from nine yards out with less than three minutes gone in the first period.

Quarterback Carlos Ortiz, who caused Pecos’ defense all kinds of problems a year ago, in a 47-36 Eagle win at Tornillo, would draw Pecos offsides for a first down on the Coyotes’ first series, but came up a yard short on a 3rd-and-4 run. Robert Arras was then stopped at the Pecos 47 on a fake punt run, giving the Eagles the ball back at midfield. On the next play, Quarterback Paul Zubeldia dumped a pass off on the right side to Ramirez, and he weaved his way through Tornillo’s defense for a 49-yard score.

Ortiz had problems throughout the first half with the center snap out of the shotgun formation, and after two runs by Arras netted a first down, he lost the ball on a bad snap to linebacker Michael Tarin, who recovered at the Tornillo 24. Pecos would be hit with two holding calls on their next drive, but scored anyway, on a six-yard bootleg by Zubeldia, following his earlier 23-yard run.

Ortiz then coughed up the ball on the ensuing kickoff, with Joseph Rodriguez recovering at the Tornillo 42. Then on 3rd-and-8 Zubeldia hit Timo Reyes with a short screen pass, and he went 38 yards up the middle for the fourth touchdown of the first quarter.

The Eagles would force a punt early in the second period, and made it 36-0 on a 30-yard run by Sotelo followed by a 12-yard score for the wingback, who finished with 99 yards on only five carries.

The Coyotes then had their only highlights of the game over the next 2 1/2 minutes. Ortiz would pick up a double-fumble on the ensuing kickoff and get around the left side of Pecos’ defenders for an 82-yard touchdown. He then got off an onsides kick that Gustavo Torres was able to recover at the Pecos 46, and followed that with a 26 yard run. Then on 4th-and-5, Ortiz scrambled right before finding Jesus Duarte in the end zone.

“He was about all they had, and he did a good job of finding ways to make things happen,” Henson said of the Coyotes’ quarterback.

Tornillo then stopped Pecos on downs for the only time in the game, survived a fumble on the punt and picked up a first down on two runs by Ortiz. But the drive then stalled at the 32, and following another Ortiz punt, the Eagles upped their lead to 43-14 at halftime on a 27-yard touchdown run by Ramirez, who went ran for 116 yards and finished with 1,093 yards rushing for the season.

Tornillo’s first drive of the second half ended the same way their first drive of the game did, with a failed fourth down fake punt. Ortiz threw low to Duarte, giving Pecos the ball on the Coyotes’ 24 and four plays later Zubeldia hit tight end Jeremiah Soto with a three-yard TD pass, his first touchdown of the season.

Zubeldia’s only completions of the night went for touchdown, on 10 pass attempts, though he had several drops on the night. “We were trying to build a little bit on next year with our passing,” said Henson. “But with Hector Ramirez, Timo Reyes and Chris Sotelo in the backfield, we were probably going to score more running than passing the ball.”

Soto’s score came with 5:42 left in the third period, and Pecos would score again with 5.8 seconds left in the period on a 12-yard run up the middle by Ramirez.

By this time, Tornillo already had lost linemen Ricardo Esparza and Diego Matamoros, who collided trying to tackle Zubeldia on a run in the second period. They then lost Ortiz on their next series, when he was hit while trying to throw downfield and was intercepted by Reyes, who returned the ball 75 yards for his second TD of the night.

Luis Morales’ extra point made it 65-14 with 9:28 remaining. Arras came on to play quarterback after that, and with the running clock, Tornillo was able to burn off just under seven minutes. But when the Eagles got the ball back they added one more score, as Joseph Ontiveros went 45 yards for a touchdown on his first carry of the season with 1:58 left in the game.

The clock continued to run, and Tornillo got off two plays before the game ended. “What we did on the last minute on defense was we had all our seniors out there for the final buzzer. So all eight of them who suited up were in for the final play,” Henson said.

Pecos ended up outgaining Tornillo 450 yards to 89, while Reyes’ interception for a touchdown was only the second interception by the Eagles this season, and first since their season-opening game against Alpine. The consecutive victories at home were the first since Pecos closed out the 2001 season with back-to-back wins at home over Fabens and San Elizario, which also was the last season the Eagles advanced to the playoffs.

Pecos finished this season with a 2-7 record, 2-4 in District 1-3A play, while Tornillo ended up 3-6 on the season and 0-6 in district.

Fort Stockton completed an unbeaten district season with a 41-28 win Friday night at Clint, which also clinched the third place playoff berth for Anthony, which lost to Monahans by a 39-8 score. All three district teams will have this week off, with Fort Stockton awaiting the winner of the Andrews-Levelland Class 3A Division I playoff game, while Monahans awaits the winner between Snyder and Brownfield and Anthony faces the winner of this weekend’s Seminole-Greenwood playoff game.

Swimmers place 1st, 5th at Pecos Invitational

The Pecos Eagle boys swim team scored a big win in their home pool on Saturday, as they captured first place in a field of 20 teams at the Pecos Invitational. Pecos’ boys scored 267 points to win by a 116 point margin over second place Lubbock High, while the Eagle girls finished fifth in their division, only 12 points behind meet co-champions Clovis, N.M. and Odessa High.

“Most of our kids did all right. They either cut a little time or the cut a lot,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. “The same ones who the last couple of meets had stayed the same cut a little bit.”

The boys started and finished the meet with a win. Pecos’ Hector Roman won the 1-meter diving competition on Friday, with teammate Sammy Sandoval finishing third, and then swam the final leg of the 200-yard medley relay, which Pecos won with a 1:50.70 time. Josh Elliott, Derek Teague and Matthew Florez were the other members of that squad, and the four later captured the 400 yard freestyle, the final race of the meet, by over 10 seconds, finishing with a 3:36.69 time.

Elliott and Florez would earn the Eagles’ other first place finishes, with Elliott taking the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:58.39 time and Florez winning the 100 freestyle, with a 50.75 time. Elliott later finished second in the 100-yard backstroke, while before his win, Florez took third in the 50-yard freestyle. In their individual swim events, Teague placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th in the 50 free and Roman was eighth in the 100 free.

Gus Mendoza also earned points for the Eagles in the 200 free, finishing eighth overall. Luke Serrano was fourth, Carlos Navarro fifth, Brian Carrasco eighth and Oscar Machuca 14th in the 200 medley; Carrasco was 14th and Abraham Lujan 18th in the 100-yard butterfly; Edward Navarro was fourth, Frankie Morin fifth, Mendoza eighth, Serrano 12th and Lujan 19th in the 500 free; Morin was seventh in the 100 backstroke and Carlos Navarro was sixth and Machuca 11th in the 100 yard breaststroke.

In the other relay finishes, the boys ‘A’ 200 freestyle team of Mendoza, Serrano and both Navarros was 11th and the ‘B’ team of Carrasco, Sandoval, Lujan and Machuca was 14th; the 200 medley ‘B’ team of Morin, Carrasco, Machuca and Carlos Navarro was 10th, and the 400 freestyle ‘B’ relay team of Morin, Mendoza, Serrano and Edward Navarro finished seventh.

“The (100-yard) fly is probably our weakest event right now. Josh is probably my best in the fly, but I need him in the backstroke and the 200 free,” Morse said. “I’ll probably pull someone from the 500 to swim the fly in Monahans, probably Luke.”

The girls’ best relays were also the 200 medley and 400 freestyle, while their best individual results came from freshmen swimmers on Saturday. But Morse said the Eagles needed better overall results later in the meet to have a chance to win the team title.

“We don’t have enough people at the end of the meet to finish it off,” Morse said, as the girls ended up with 130 points, just points behind fourth place Lubbock High, 10 in back of third place Lubbock Coronado and 12 behind OHS and Clovis, who ended up tied with 142 points.

Alyson Reynolds had the Eagles’ lone first place finish, winning the 200-yard individual medley with a 2:25.32 time, and later was third in the 100-yard breaststroke. Conner Armstrong took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and was sixth in the 100-yard backstroke. The two were also members of the medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, along with sophomore Adrianna Roman and junior Anatalia Hernandez, which finished second.

Roman was seventh in the 500-yard freestyle ninth in the 200 free, while Hernandez was sixth in the 100 fly and 13th in the 500 free.

The girls’ ‘A’ 200 free relay team of Neyva Rodriguez, Tiffany Hunter, Maggie Hernandez and Stephanie Lucas, finished 11th, and the only ‘B’ relay for Pecos’ girls, made up of Hunter, Hernandez, Lucas and Niki Lindemann, finished 10th in the 400 freestyle race.

Rodriguez and Lindemann were competing in their first meets of the season. “I thought they did pretty good for just working out for a few days,” Morse said. “I’ll probably change some relays up, depending on how they look, so that should help out the girls’ side a little bit.”

Individually, Lucas was 10th in the 200 medley and 12th in the 100 fly; Rodriguez was 13th in both the 50 and 100 free; Lindemann was 15th in both the 50 and 100 free; Hunter was 19th in both the 200 and 500 free; and Maggie Hernandez was 15th in the 100 fly.

Pecos’ girls ended up a half-point in front of Midland Lee for fifth place. Aside from Pecos, Class 5A schools took the other Top 8 spots on the girls’ side, with Pampa placing ninth with 90 points. For the boys, after Pecos and Lubbock High, Coronado was third with 127 points, and were followed by Odessa High with 113 1/2, Pampa with 108 points and Monahans with 103 points.

Pecos will be in Monahans this Saturday for the annual Monahans Invitational, and will get their first look at a couple of other Class 4A schools they’ll see in February at the Region I-4A meet, including two-time girls regional champion El Paso Chapin and Amarillo Caprock.

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