Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
USTA Tennis Block Party set at PHS courts
The U.S. Tennis Association will be putting on a Tennis Block Party on Tuesday, at the Pecos High School tennis courts.
The event is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m., and is open to all ages and all skill levels. It will feature 2 1/2 hours of tennis instruction, interactive games and attractions designed to help learn the benefits of the game, from fun and competition to lifestyle and fitness.
Skilled teaching professionals, along with the event’s special guests, will guide attendees through games and skills. The Tennis Block Party is a nationwide effort by the USTA to help eople get into shape, learn about the game of tennis and have fun while doing it.”
Time shifts for Saturday baseball playoff game
Fans who want to see both the Pecos Eagles baseball and softball teams play on Saturday will have to hope for a fast series in baseball or find a matter transporter to beam back and forth from Van Horn, as the baseball team’s bi-district series against the Anthony Wildcats could end up in conflict with the softball team’s area round series versus Andrews.
Pecos’ boys moved up their Saturday game by two hours, from 1 p.m. to 11 a.m. in Van Horn, in order to avoid a conflict with the radio broadcast of Game 2 of the Eagles’ area round softball series against Andrews, set for 1 p.m. at the Pecos High School field. Game 1 of the baseball series will be at 7 p.m. on Friday in Van Horn, while the girls open their best-of-three series against the Mustangs on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Andrews.
With Van Horn a little over an hour away, fans might be able to get back to Pecos in time to catch part of Game 2 of the girls’ playoff series, and all of Game 3, if a deciding contest is needed at 3 p.m. But if the boys’ playoff against Anthony goes the full three games, the Eagles and Wildcats will have to wait several hours to play, as athletic director Chris Henson said the Presidio Blue Devils and Fabens Wildcats will have the Van Horn field at 1 p.m. for their bi-district playoff game.
The winners of the Pecos-Anthony series will take on Lubbock Cooper in the area round Class 3A playoffs. The Pecos-Andrews winner will face either Lubbock Cooper or Clint in the Region I-3A softball quarterfinals next week.
Pecos routs Tornillo, faces Andrews next
Back-to-back games where the runs come easy definitely figures to come to an end for the Pecos Eagles Thursday night in Andrews, when they take on the District 3-3A champion Mustangs in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.
The Eagles opened the playoffs this past Thursday the same way they ended the regular-season, with a high-scoring five-inning victory. This time, the victim was the Tornillo Coyotes, whom the Eagles defeated by a 23-0 score to advance to the area round of the playoffs for the sixth time in the past nine seasons.
Pecos and Andrews will play a best-of-three series, starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Game 2 will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Pecos, with a third game, if needed, to follow at about 3:30 p.m. on the PHS softball field. It will be the first time ever the Eagles have played a best-of-three, instead of a single game series in the playoffs.
The Eagles weren’t expecting to have any problems with the Coyotes, the third place team out of District 1-3A, and they didn’t, scoring 13 times in the first inning, while pitcher Gabby Garcia tossed a one-hitter, getting all 15 of her outs by strikeout.
“It’s hard to say how we played. We really didn’t see much on the infield,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, whose team placed second in District 2-3A thanks to their 19-2 win at Presidio on April 20, to close out regular season play.
The Eagles scored all but one of their runs in their first two at-bats off pitcher Mary Ann Valenzuela, and by the third inning Walls had some of her hitters turning around and batting left-handed. The Eagles also got out of the inning by having runners leave bases early, and automatic out in softball.
“We didn’t want to humiliate them, but at the same time, we didn’t want to pick up bad habits at the plate and in the field,” Walls said. “We had some batting left handed and we pulled some off the bases, but I tried to be mindful of who was batting. If I felt like they needed some cuts, I had them bat regular.”
Valenzuela and the Coyotes allowed eight of Pecos’ first nine batters to reach base without benefit of a hit in the first inning. She saw Jenny Palomino reach on an error by Lucy Calzada at third base, hit Brittany Palomino with a pitch, walked Diana Parada and then hit Amalie Herrera to force home the first run of the game. Two-run errors by Calzada and shortstop Lotty Carrillo on grounders by Claire Weinacht and Kristen Ikeler followed to make it a 5-0 game.
Pecos’ first hit, a single by Jenny Palomino, would score the Eagles’ next two runs, and that was followed by an RBI single by Brittany Palomino, and a two-base error by Queenie Fortelza that made it 9-0. Another Calzada error on a Parada grounder made it 10-0, and after Herrera was hit by another pitch, Weinacht singled home two more runs, with Herrera also scoring on another error by Fortelza.
Tornillo, which was 2-7 in district and ended 7-16 on the season, did have a chance to score in the second, when Valenzuela walked and Denise Rayos reached on an error by Brittany Palomino at second base. Both runners reached second and third on a wild pitch, but Garcia came back to strike out Jazel Rayos and Ivonne Calderon to end the threat. The Coyotes’ only hit came in the fourth, a leadoff single by Edith Reyes down the left field line.
This Thursday’s area round playoff will be the second-ever playoff meeting between the Eagles and Mustangs. The teams met back in 2001, when both were still in Class 4A, and Andrews came away with a 2-0 win over Pecos. Andrews comes in as the District 3-3A champion, and had a first round bye.
Walls had wanted to play a one-game series in Crane this week against the Mustangs, but lost a coin-flip with Andrews head coach Holly Tippin for a best-of-three series. The games were then changed to home-and-home.
In the other bi-district game, Fabens surprised Fort Stockton, 6-5, in a game played Friday night in Pecos. The Wildcats will return to Pecos for their area round match-up, on Friday and Saturday against Levelland. District 2-3A champ Monahans drew a first round bye and will begin the playoffs against Snyder, which won two out of three games this past weekend from Seminole in their bi-district series.
Eagles’ Mazone earns return trip to state
The Region I-3A Track and Field Championships in Odessa produced the expected results for the Pecos Eagles, though not in the expected ways, as for the second year in a row, the Eagles will be sending one person to the Class 3A championships in Austin.
Senior Chantell Mazone, last year’s Region I-3A champ in the discus and sixth place finisher at state, will be going to Austin again in that event, though this time as the runner-up finisher following Friday’s competition. But Mazone also will be going to the state finals for the first time in the shot put, despite some up-and-down moments for Pecos’ coaches and others on Saturday afternoon.
Mazone threw 121-foot-7 in the discus on Friday, second to Bridgeport’s Kassie Daugherty’s 124-foot throw and below her winning throw a year ago in Odessa. Then on Saturday, she finished second to Sanger’s Katie Sanderson in the shot put, but for a while it appeared that Monahans’ Bethany Willmon had earned the No. 2 state berth behind Sanderson when she threw a 38-foot-10 1/2 effort on her final attempt.
That was half an inch short of Mazone’s best throw, but most of the crowd, including Willmon, Pecos’ coaches and Monahans’ coaches, heard a 38-foot-7 throw announced earlier for the Eagles’ senior, instead of 38-foot-11.
“I think all of us misheard it,” said Eagles’ coach Donna Gent. “Coach (Monahans’ Chris) Simpson and I went up to the press box and checked with the meet director. He pulled the results and checked and they had the throw at 38-11, and the Monahans girl had thrown 38-10 1/2.”
Gent said while the coaches from both schools had left the shot put ring on Saturday thinking Willmon had placed third, “Chantell knew all along she had thrown 38-11. She thought coach (Robbie) Ortega and I were pulling a joke on her when we said she had thrown 38-7. But the Monahans coaches heard 38-7 also, and all of them were high-fiving and their fans were celebrating, because they thought she had beaten Chantell.”
Mazone had beaten out Willmon to win district in the shot put, and also had taken first in the discus. But on Friday her two longest throws landed out of bounds, and she had to settle for second place with her 121-foot-7 effort on her second of six attempts.
Mazone was the only Pecos girl to score a point at the regional meet, and one of just two to qualify for the finals. Allyson Salcido earned a finals spot in the 300 meter hurdles, finishing eighth on Saturday, while the Eagles had a couple of ninth place finishes in the two-day meet.
“Ally got to the first hurdle quicker than she’s ever gotten to it, but that put her on the wrong leg and that threw her off and she wasn’t able to recover,” Gent said. “But she’s just a freshman so I expect her to improve next year and believe she’ll be going to state.”
Pecos’ boys came close to earning their first state berth in three years, as Larry Johnson placed third in the finals of the 400 meter dash for the Eagles’ only points and medal of the day. Johnson was seeded third going into the finals and ran his best-ever time, a 49.92, but was beaten out by Fort Stockton’s Adrian Navarez, who cut three seconds off his Friday time to win with a 48.88 time.
Johnson got off to a slow start, over the first 150 meters, but caught the rest of the field over the final 250 meters, except for Navarez and Argyle’s Garrett Hughey, who earned the second state berth, edging Johnson with a 49.51 time.
“Larry’s a little disappointed about not making it out to state,” said Ortega, who is hoping to take the senior to Austin as a state alternate. “He was a hard worker, and it’s going to be hard to replace him on the team next year.”
Ortega and Gent said several of their regional qualifiers came up with their best-ever results on Friday and Saturday in the running preliminaries and field event finals, but those numbers weren’t enough to make it to the final eight.
“We cut seven seconds off our time in the mile relay, and were two-tenths of a second off qualifying with our fastest time, a 4:13,” said Gent, who added all three relays ran their best times of the season on Friday. “The first two legs ran really good times. Allyson and Bianca (Baeza) had personal best times, and my last two legs didn’t run bad legs, but they have had better times.”
Gent said Jasmine Rayos was the other Eagle who just missed qualifying for the finals, after going 33-feet-10 1/4 in the triple jump. “She did well, but fell back on one that would have been at least 34 feet. Brittany (Palomino) had some great jumps, but she scratched by a toe.”
Ortega said Eli Valenzuela was able to clear the 10-foot mark in the pole vault for the first time despite suffering from an illness over the weekend. That did keep him out of both the 100 meter dash and the 1600 meter relay prelims on Friday, though he was part of the 800 meter relay team.
“Our sprint relay ran a 45.4,” said Ortega, who had to replace junior Drake Bradley off that team from district. “The 4-by-200 was disqualified because we had a bad third handoff, but that one was made up of all freshmen, and we just wanted to get them some experience.”
Another freshman, Robert Herrera, failed to make the finals in the discus competition. “He didn’t throw as well as he did at district,” Ortega said, as Herrera went 126-foot-1, after throwing 134-foot-6 at district.
“I think our freshman kids got a little taste of regionals this year, and they’ll come back and do a lot better next year,” Ortega said, while Gent is also expecting better results from her team in 2008, though she will lose Mazone to graduation.
“We’re young. We’re only losing Bianca, Chantell and Jenny Palomino, so we should be strong next year,” she said. “I thought our seniors showed great leadership this year pulling the team together, and Bianca and Jenny have had to split time with softball along with some of the others, so they’ve had to work hard on everything this year.”
Overall, Monahans’ boys placed second at regionals to Sanger, qualifying four individuals and one relay for state. Seniors Michael Murphree and Arnold Rodriguez won the shot put and long jump competitions, and the Loboes got second place finishes from Russell Covington in the triple jump, Jarred Till in the high jump, and from their 400 meter relay team, while the 800 meter relay team took third, along with Murphree in the discus. Fort Stockton also saw Navarez place second behind Rodriguez in the long jump to earn a state berth, and he was a member of the first place 1600 meter relay team, while another member of that squad, Sam Franklin, qualified with a second place finish in the 800 meter run.
On the girls’ side, the only other state qualifiers besides Mazone out of District 2-3A was the Loboes’ Katie Holley, who placed second based on missed out of four who tied for first in the high jump, with 5-foot-4 efforts.
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