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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Eagles race past Bucks in opener

Size has never been something the Pecos Eagles basketball team has had a lot of, and the 2007-08 edition is no exception.

But the Eagles did show off a lot of quickness last Monday, in their regular season opener, as they made new coach Sammy Soliz’s debut a successful one with a 61-46 victory.

“All in all what carried us tonight was not so much the offensive side as pressuring them on defense,” Soliz said, as Pecos was out-sized by Alpine, but took advantage of a series of turnovers to grab the lead in the second period and led the rest of the way.

“What we’re trying to do right now is go small, because we don’t have too much size,” he said. “The kids worked really well together on defense, with the back-and-forth switching.”

Soliz and his team will get a much tougher test Tuesday night, when they travel to Midland High to face the Bulldogs in freshmen, JV and varsity games, and they’ll have to do it without one of their starters, guard Chris Sotelo, who’ll be ineligible for the next three weeks.

Sotelo’s 3-pointer got Pecos on the scoreboard against Alpine, after the Bucks had taken a 4-0 lead and held the Eagles scoreless for the first three minutes of play. J.R. Lujan followed up that with a three-pointer of his own to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead, but most of Lujan’s game-high 24 points ended up coming from inside or from the foul line.

Sotelo would score off a steal for an 8-4 lead, but Alpine would rally over the final three minutes of the period to regain the lead, at 11-9, and would take the lead for good, at 15-13, following a side jumper by Sotelo and a steal and lay-up by the senior.

Lujan went 10-for-13 from the line after a 1-for-3 start. That included two shots early in the second period after a technical foul call on Alpine’s Carlos Mendoza. He had opened the period with a rebound lay-up off his own miss, and was part of a 9-4 run to start the half that turned a 24-20 Pecos lead into a 33-24 advantage.

The Bucks helped the Eagles out by committing seven quick fouls, putting Pecos in the bonus situation on the foul line with less than three minutes gone in the period. But the Eagles also had their foul problems, as Sotelo, Timo Reyes and Joseph Rodriguez would all pick up their third fouls in the quarter, and Sotelo would be whistled for his fourth late in the period.

The period ended with Pecos up 39-33, and the Bucks would close to within four midway through the fourth quarter, at 47-43, on a 3-point jumper by Adrian Salmon. But Rodriguez then hit a lay-up off a pass from Paul Zubeldia, Lujan scored off an offensive rebound, then hit two free throws at the three-minute mark, and followed that with a lay-up, with Alpine post Dean Wilkinson fouling out on the play. He then completed the three-point play and Sotelo followed with a lay-up off a turnover, and the Eagles had a 15-point lead, at 58-43.

“We didn’t have too many turnovers, but at the end we were rushing the ball and I think that comes due to a lack of experience,” Soliz said of some late shots by his team. “We were in attacking mode, and we’ve got to understand the difference between attacking and rushing shots when we’re in the lead.” Along with Lujan’s 24, Sotelo had 11 points and Zubeldia 10 for the Eagles, while Salmon led Alpine with 18.

Alpine did win the junior varsity and freshman games over Pecos, taking the JV contest 40-28 and winning the ninth grade game, 33-26. Luis Morales and Steven Apolinar led the JV with six apiece, while Larry Sparkman led the freshmen with nine.

Tuesday’s games will start with the Eagles and Bulldog freshmen teams at 4:30 p.m., with the JVs playing at 6 and the varsity at 7:30 p.m. Pecos’ varsity will then open play on Thursday in the Coahoma Tournament, while the freshmen will have their first tournament of the season this coming weekend in Crane.

Eagles place 10 on all-district football squad

Four members of the Pecos Eagles varsity football team were named to the first team All-District 2-3A squad, while six others received second team honors in voting by the district’s coaches.

Senior offensive lineman Daniel Sotelo, senior linebacker Wayne Sparkman, junior running back Hector Ramirez and junior defensive lineman Bert Sotelo were the Eagles’ first team selections, while senior tight end Jeremiah Soto, senior wingback Chris Sotelo, senior defensive end Quinton Roman, junior offensive lineman Bryan Navarette, junior defensive lineman Martin Jasso and junior defensive back Jonathan Dominguez were named to the second team, in voting by the district’s seven coaches.

The team was released on Saturday, following district champion Fort Stockton’s 14-7 loss to Andrews in the Class 3A-Division I regional semifinals. On Friday, district runner-up Monahans lost to Snyder, 40-14 in the Region I-3A-Division II quarterfinal round, while Anthony was defeated by Seminole, 49-13, in their quarterfinal game, played Friday night at Eagle Stadium.

Pecos finished the season with a 2-8 record, 2-4 in district play. The selections were the first for nine of the 10 players, while Sparkman was a repeat selection on the first-team 1-3A squad from a year ago.

Pecos struggled on offense for much of the year, but did score 126 points in their final three games, while Ramirez surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, finishing second in the district with 1,093 yards and 13 touchdowns. Daniel Sotelo and Navarette were the Eagles’ starting tackles this season, while Chris Sotelo started at both running back and quarterback for Pecos during 1-3A play, and was chosen to the squad as a utility player.

Defensively, Bert Sotelo and Jasso started at tackles for Pecos, while Dominguez at cornerback was the lone Eagle starter in the secondary to make it all the way through the season.

Head coach Chris Henson said Pecos had seven players receive honorable mention on the 1-3A team. They included senior center Justin Contreras, senior linebacker Elias Valenzuela, junior linebackers Michael Tarin and Joseph Ontiveros, junior wide receiver Luis Morales, junior offensive lineman Levi Cobos and junior Efrian Soza, who earned honorable mention as a utility player.

While most of Pecos’ selections this year were juniors, the 2007 all-district team was dominated by seniors, led by Fort Stockton’s Sergio Corral, who was named Most Valuable Player for 1-3A this year. The Panthers did have junior Francisco Jaquez, the district’s leading rusher, earn offensive MVP honors, while a trio of seniors – Fort Stockton’s Renee Corral, Monahans’ Clay Anthony and Clint’s Anthony Aguilar – shared the defensive MVP honors.

Monahans sophomore defensive back/quarterback Quincy Titus was named as the Newcomer of the Year for the district, while Fort Stockton’s Tom Howard was selected as Coach of the Year.

Fort Stockton, which only lost to Andrews in a 9-2 season, had 11 first-team selections, while 6-5 Monahans had eight players chosen to the first team and third place Anthony had nine players chosen.

2007 All-District 1-3A Football Team

MVP – Renee Corral; Sr. ,Ft Stockton Offensive MVP – Francisco Jaquez, Jr., Ft Stockton Defensive MVP – Clay Anthony, Sr., Monahans; Renee Corral, Sr., Ft. Stockton; Anthony Aguilar, Sr., Clint Newcomer of the Year -- Quincy Titus, So., Monahans Coach of the Year – Tom Howard, Ft Stockton

First Team Offense

Quarterbacks – Sergio Corral, Sr., Ft Stockton; Luis Alvarez, Jr., Anthony Running Backs –Francisco Jaquez, Jr., Ft Stockton; Michael Lujo, Jr., Anthony; Hector Ramirez, Jr., Pecos; Jamie Garcia, Jr., Fabens; Edward Martinez, Jr., Clint Tight Ends – Aaron Castro, Sr., Ft Stockton; Mike Guillen, Sr., Anthony; Eddie Soto, Sr., Clint Wide Receivers – Saul Garcia, Sr., Anthony; Anthony Aguilar, Sr., Clint; Adrian Estrada, Sr., Fabens; Tanner Owens., Sr., Monahans Center – Chase Williams, Sr., Monahans Offensive Line – Jesse Montoya, Sr., Ft Stockton; Ruben Rodriguez, Sr., Monahans; Kevin Coldewey, So., Monahans; Daniel Sotelo, Sr., Pecos; Jorge Lujan, Sr., Anthony; Abraham Raygoza, Sr. Clint Kicker – Carlos Ortiz, Jr., Tornillo

First Team Defense

Defensive Ends – Adrian Leyva, Sr., Ft Stockton; Trevor Owens, So., Monahans; Ernie Soliz, Jr., Anthony Defensive Line – Renee Corral, Sr., Ft Stockton; Bert Sotelo; Jr., Pecos; Matt Cowley, So., Anthony; Thomas Witter, So., Clint; Ray Lee Ramos, Sr., Ft Stockton; Mikie Gonzales, Sr., Ft Stockton Linebackers – Clay Anthony, Sr., Monahans; Anthony Aguilar, Sr., Clint; Jorge Arriola, Sr., Monahans; Wayne Sparkman, Sr., Pecos; Adrian Olivas, Sr., Ft Stockton; Edward Martinez, Sr., Clint; Andy Perales, Sr., Anthony Defensive Backs – Hunter Stennett, Sr., Ft Stockton; Jeremy Martinez, Sr., Ft Stockton; Martin Anaya, Sr., Anthony; Adrian Estrada, Sr., Fabens; Oscar Ruiz, Sr., Monahans. Punter – Carlos Ortiz, Jr., Tornillo

Second Team Offense

Quarterback – Adrian Solis, Jr., Fabens Running Backs – Marco Aguilar, Sr., Anthony; Victor Villabos, Sr., Clint; Manny Rodriguez, Sr., Tornillo Tight Ends – Mark Miller Jr., Fabens; Julian Hernandez, Sr., Monahans; Jeremiah Soto, Sr., Pecos Wide Receivers – Enrique Nunez, Jr., Fabens; Joe Daniel Granado, Jr., Ft Stockton; Travis Garay, Jr., Fabens; Jesse Cardiel, Sr., Tornillo. Center – Adrian Olivas, Sr., Clint Offensive Line – Zach Rodriguez, Sr., Ft Stockton; Isaac Chavez, Jr., Ft Stockton; Bryan Navarette, Jr., Pecos; Jaziel Rosas, Jr., Anthony; Jacob Lopez, Jr., Clint Utility Players -- Juan Cisneros, Jr., Anthony; Joseph Castro., Jr., Clint; Santos Portillo, Jr., Fabens; Frankie Ruiz, Sr., Ft Stockton; Ryan Laymen, Jr., Monahans; Chris Sotelo, Sr., Pecos; Robert Arras, Sr., Tornillo Kicker – Hector Meraz, Sr., Anthony

Second Team Defense

Defensive Ends – Quinten Roman, Sr., Pecos; Rudy Hernandez, Jr., Tornillo; Mark Miller, Jr., Fabens; Shay Sanchez, Sr., Ft Stockton; Willie Chavez, Jr., Clint Defensive Line – Hector Venegas, Jr., Monahans; Martin Jasso, Jr., Pecos; Mike Weyenberg, Sr., Anthony; Jesus Martinez, Sr., Clint; Tony Rosas, So., Fabens Linebackers – Allen Bustillos, Jr., Anthony; Dillon Cordero, So., Fabens; Tony Rivera, Jr., Clint; Angel Martinez, So., Ft Stockton Defensive Backs – Victor Villalobos, Sr., Clint; Jonathan Dominguez, Jr., Pecos; Desi Urias, Sr., Ft Stockton; Aaron Armendariz, Jr., Monahans. Punter – Jaime Garcia, Jr., Fabens

Pecos grabs big early lead in 46-38 win

Jumping out to a big early lead last Tuesday night in Presidio allowed Pecos Eagles basketball coach Donna Gent to get her reserves a lot of playing time, as the Eagles scored a 46-38 victory over their District 2-3A rivals in a non-district game.

The win put Pecos back at .500 going into Tuesday night’s home game against the Jal Panthers. The Eagles will host Jal in junior varsity and varsity games, starting at 5 and 6:30 p.m.

No Eagle player had more than three field goals on the night, while all but two of Pecos’ 12 players ended up making at least one trip to the foul line in a game that featured 47 fouls and 52 overall free throws between the two teams.

“We only had two officials, and they were two young officials,” Gent said. “They were letting a lot of things go, and then they would try and get control of the game back, because it was getting pretty rough.”

The Eagles held the Blue Devils scoreless in the opening period, jumping out to a 9-0 lead after the first quarter and to a double-digit margin early in the second period.

“We were ahead 15-0 going in the second quarter, so I put my second group in,” Gent said. “Everyone pretty much played equally through the night.” Gabby Garcia and Jasmine Rayos both scored nine points to lead Pecos in scoring. “Gabby pretty much was being triple-teamed all night, so she hardly got off any shots,” Gent said. She added that Rayos also had six rebounds two steals and two blocks, while Diana Parada had four steals a rebound and two assists.

Gent said Pecos did improve on their foul shooting from their first three games. “Our free throw percentage was 63 percent, which has been increasing every game,” she said.

Presidio, which had four players foul out in the game, was led by Nicky Ortiz, who finished with 21 points.

The Eagles also took last Tuesday’s junior varsity game against the Blue Devils, by a 36-28 final score. Adrielle Martinez led Pecos with 11 points.

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