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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, January 26, 2007

New RCCRD Tai-Chi course Scheduled to start

The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department will be starting a weekly Tai-Chi (Taji) Quan Class beginning on Monday at the old Pecos High School gym.

The class will run on Mondays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. beginning on Jan. 29. For more information on the class, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

Tai-Chi is a form of martial arts which helps improve balance and coordination, increases strength and flexibility, decreases anxiety, depression, stress and muscle tension and improves circulation and lowers blood pressure.

Pecos’ slow start, bad finish helps Monahans earn victory

The Pecos Eagles’ District 2-3A girl’s basketball opener on Tuesday night in Monahans was a game of streaks, and unfortunately for the Eagles, the Loboes had the first and last runs of the night.

Pecos trailed after one period by a 13-4 score, and then saw Monahans score the first nine points of the second period, to grab a 22-4 lead midway through the second period. But then it was Pecos’ turn to go on a run, scoring the final five points of the half, before outscoring Monahans 14-5 in the third period to cut the 18-point deficit down to four, at 27-23.

However, that would be as close as Pecos would get. Monahans’ Bethany Willmon scored on a rebound basket after Dina Ortiz missed two free throws to start the fourth quarter for Monahans, and the Loboes would outscore the Eagles 18-6 the rest of the way to come out with a 45-29 victory.

“We’d get the ball over half court and then throw the ball away instead of being patient,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia. “I’m trying to get the girls to understand that pushing the ball downcourt doesn’t mean forcing it inside. We’ll do one thing that works, and then we try to do it over and over again instead of being patient and going someplace else.”

Ortiz and Jordan Latham were Monahans’ main scorers, both finishing with 15 points, Latham would foul out late, as would Loboes’ post Catherine Cutbirth spent much of the first half in foul trouble as well. Meanwhile, the Eagles failed to get a play in double figures for the second time this season against Monahans, though Adriana Armendariz finished with nine points.

“Adrianna got knocked around a lot. She had a good game and stepped up on defense, but they definitely went after her,” said Garcia, while adding that the other Eagle players tried to get the ball inside to Armendariz too much in the final period.

“In the fourth quarter, when she was really tired and out of legs, we still went back to her instead of someplace else,” she said. “We just stopped shooting the ball in the fourth quarter. I looked at the stats and Jasmine (Rayos) and Gabby (Garcia) are my two most likely to shoot outside shots, and they didn’t take a shot.”

Pecos was also hurt by poor foul shooting. The Eagles missed six straight free throws and seven of their first eight, including two following a technical foul call against Monahans for an illegal player substitution. Pecos was 5-for-20 from the line while Monahans finished 10-for-20, including 6-for-9 by Ortiz.

The win improved Monahans to 2-0 in district, after a win last Friday at Fort Stockton. Pecos’ game at home last Friday at Presidio was canceled due to bad weather, and the Eagles will make up that game against the Blue Devils on Saturday, with the junior varsity and varsity games at 1 and 2:30 p.m. at the PHS gym.

Before then, Pecos goes to Fort Stockton on Friday night to face the Prowlers in a 6 p.m. game. That will also be the District 2-3A opener for Pecos’ boys, who’ll take on the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Williams Center.

Tuesday’s game was in doubt due to the overnight snows that closed Interstate 20 west of Pecos, and Garcia said Pecos’ JV was short a couple of players due to parents’ concerns about weather conditions and ended up dropping a 46-42 decision to Monahans. Gia Lujan’s 13 points led the Eagles in scoring.

Eagles to go three rounds in district softball play

The Pecos Eagle girls’ softball team will be playing one more district game on the road than they will at home this season, as a result of the district going to a three-round set-up for District 2-3A play when it begins in late March.

Coach Tammy Walls’ team will be trying to advance to the playoffs after a two year absence, and will have a better chance this year with the dividing of area Class 3A districts into four-team alignments. The Eagles will still be in with Monahans and Fort Stockton, who qualified for post-season each of the past two years, but lost Greenwood, which also has qualified for the playoffs over Pecos the last two years.

But the loss of Greenwood, along with Seminole and Lamesa, left Pecos, Fort Stockton, Monahans and Presidio with three additional weeks of games to fill. District basketball teams opted just to extend their pre-district schedules into January, but both softball and baseball have chosen to play three rounds, and the 2007 schedules for both have them playing four district games at home and five on the road. Next season, the Eagles will have five home games in district and four away from Pecos.

The softball team will make two trips to Monahans in district, starting with their 2-3A opener on March 20. They’ll host the Loboes 10 days later and then go back to Monahans on April 9. The Eagles also have two trips to Presidio in district, while they’ll host Fort Stockton twice, in their first and final 2-3A home games, on March 23 and April 13.

The Eagles will still play Seminole and Greenwood this season, in non-district play,

opening the season on the Maidens’ home field on Feb. 13, then going to Greenwood for their final pre-district game on March 16. Pecos will have only two pre-district home games, on Feb. 20 against Kermit and March 9 against Marfa, while they’ll go to two tournaments this season, the weekend of Feb. 15-16 in Andrews and the following weekend, at El Paso Jefferson.

Practice began for the softball team this week, though bad weather has limited workouts in the first few days. Pre-district baseball practice is scheduled to begin on Monday, with the regular season opener on Feb. 19 at Greenwood.

Swimmers score sweep of District 4-4A titles

It wasn’t a big surprise that the Pecos Eagle boys swimming team took their 16th district title in 18 years on Wednesday, scoring a 62-point win over Andrews in the finals of the District 4-4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Monahans High School pool. But Pecos’ girls did come up with a bit of a surprise, as they reclaimed the district title from Andrews, edging the Mustangs by 11 points to earn their 14th district title in the past 17 seasons.

Pecos’ girls won out over Andrews by an 89-78 margin, with Monahans placing third with 70 points, while the boys racked up 135 points to 73 for Andrews and 45 for third place Big Spring at the six team meet. They also set one new district record and senior Kyle Winkles earned Outstanding Swimmer honors on the boys’ side.

While the Eagle boys had placed well ahead of their 4-4A rivals in meets earlier this season, Pecos’ girls had finished both in front of and behind several other district teams at meets earlier this season, and coach Terri Morse said she was a bit surprised by the Eagles’ 11-point margin.

“I thought it would be a little closer. A couple of things went our way today,” said Eagles’ head coach Terri Morse, who earned Coach of the Year honors in both the boys and girls divisions.

Andrews had edged Pecos by three points to claim the district girls title last season, but this time the Eagles did well enough throughout the meet to survive an upset loss to Monahans in the final event of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The girls had one outright first place finish on the day, earned a tie in another race and missed tie for first in a third event by .01 second.

Niki Lindemann had the tie for first, as she and Big Spring’s Kelly Sage both swam the 200-yard freestyle in a 2:15.55 time. Lindemann had placed second in the event during Monday’s prelims. Anatalia Hernandez picked up the win in the 500-yard freestyle, as she held off Andrews’ Alison Mohr to win first place by six-tenths of a second, with a 6:12.63 time. And Hernandez earlier just missed tying Big Spring’s Lauren Sage for first in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing with a 1:11.33 time to Sage’s 1:11.32, after finishing nearly four seconds in back during Monday’s prelims.

“Niki did better tying for first. That was awesome,” Morse said. “Cassandra (Mata) cut her time in the IM (200 medley). All the girls did good in the 500 and Natalie (Hernandez) cut her time in the fly.”

Mata placed second to Lauren Sage in the medley, while teammate Jessica Dickenson took third. She also placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke; Lindemann earned a third place medal in the 100-yard freestyle, and Adrianna Roman was third in the 500 free, just .16 second behind Andrews’ Mohr.

The girls relay teams earned two second place finishes and one third in the finals. Monahans’ Catherine Cutbirth, who earned outstanding Swimmer honors on the girls’ side and set a new district record in the 50-yard freestyle, was able to catch Lindemann in the final 100-yards and give the Loboes the win in the 400 freestyle, while the Eagles made up three seconds on Andrews from the prelims in the 200 free, but weren’t able to close a five second gap and placed second overall in that race. Lindemann, Mata, Neyva Rodriguez and Cynthia Marmolejo made up the 200 freestyle team, while Marmolejo, Rodriguez and Hernandez were the other swimmers on the 400 freestyle team and Hernandez, Mata, Dickenson and Roman were on the 200 medley relay.

The six finalists in each event qualified for the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships next Thursday through Saturday in Lubbock. The girls’ other qualifiers included Rodriguez, fourth in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free; Stephanie Lucas, fourth in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 100 fly; Cynthia Marmolejo, fifth in the 500 free and 100 back, and Mata, fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Winkles took the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke to earn the boys’ top swimmer award. He was also was part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team, along with Matthew Oglesby, Matthew Florez and Josh Elliott, that broke Pecos’ 16-year-old district record in that race. Their 3:25.36 time beat the former record by over two seconds, while the same four fell .24 seconds short of the district record set by the Eagles in 1998 in the 200-yard medley relay, while winning with a 1:45.38 time.

“The 400 free set a new district record, and I was hoping to do it in more events, but with all the delays and postponements, I thought it made it tougher,” Morse said. Wednesday’s finals were postponed a day due to snow, after the meet was postponed from last Friday and Saturday due to fears of winter weather that never materialized.

“Even though we didn’t get the district records, we swam well. I think there’s only so many times you can get up and down for an event,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Winkles had set the district record in the 50 free last year with a 21.92 second time. He didn’t match that on Wednesday, but won with a 22.29 time, while Florez was second with a 23.28 time. In the 100 backstroke, Winkles won with a time of 56.67, while Elliott was second, with a 58.66 time.

Elliott and Florez won their other individual events, while Oglesby took both his individual events in the finals. Elliott swam a 1:54.81 time to win the 200-yard freestyle, while Florez took the 100-yard freestyle with a 51.49 time. Oglesby took the 200 individual medley with a 2:06.51 time, and then won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.41 seconds.

Hector Roman placed second on Monday in the 1-meter diving competition behind Andrews’ Matt Culberson, who broke his own district record by scoring 547.95 points, but his 413.50 score was a new school record, diving coach Joan Capshaw said.

“He did break the school record and did get All-American honors,” she said. Roman also qualified for regionals on Wednesday with a fourth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. Luke Serrano also picked up two medals on the day for the Eagles, as he placed second to Andrews’ Tyler Harris in the 500 freestyle after finishing third in the 200 medley. Pecos also got a third place medal from Frankie Morin in the 100-yard freestyle, and a third from Gus Mendoza in the 500 free. The boys’ 200 yard freestyle relay team of Morin, Serrano, Roman and Derek Teague also finished third.

Morin also earned regionals with a fourth place in the 100-yard backstroke, while Mendoza was fifth in the 200 free, and Teague placed fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 50 free. The Eagles’ other regional qualifiers were Brian Carrasco, fourth in the 200 medley and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke, Austin Vernon, sixth in the 50 and 100 freestyles, Adam Medina, fourth in the 100 fly, and Edward Navarro, fifth in the 500 free. The four-day delay in the district finals gives the Eagles only a week before they leave for the regional meet, which will have 1-meter diving next Thursday at noon, while the swimming preliminaries and finals will be Friday and Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center.

“We’re just going to have to bring the yardage up, as far as less days of practice before the regionals go,” Morse said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see how it goes. The good thing is everybody’s in the same boat, and the El Paso schools won’t finish up until this weekend.”

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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