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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 14, 2007

Construction delays in Andrews move district swim meet to Pecos

Construction delays in the swimming pool section of the new Andrews High School special events center have moved January’s District 4-4A Swimming and Diving Championships from there to Pecos, Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said on Wednesday.

Andrews’ new gym in the building is due to open in October, but work still remains on the pool and auditorium sections of the facility. As a result, Pecos will host the district meet on Jan. 25-26. The delays earlier had forced Andrews to cancel a fall invitational meet.

Morse said along with their final regular season meet’s site being changed, the Eagles’ opening meet later this month against Fort Stockton has been moved up two days, to Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the PHS pool, to avoid a conflict with Fort Stockton’s homecoming activities that weekend.

Pecos splits with Andrews, Denver City

As close as the first meeting between the Pecos Eagles and Andrews Mustangs was last month, it figured that any small change in the lineup would make a big difference on Tuesday night in Andrews.

The Eagles, who defeated the Mustangs in five games to win the Cantaloupe Classic Tournament title in late August, went to Andrews on Tuesday night without leading hitter Jasmine Rayos, who was out with an eye infection. And the result was a three-game sweep of the Eagles by the Mustangs, but that came after Pecos had scored a sweep of their own, beating Denver City in the opener of the dual meet.

The Eagles downed the visiting Mustangs, 25-17, 25-22, 25-23, before losing to the host Mustang squad, by scores of 25-16, 25-17, 25-13. But under the circumstances, coach Helen Kimbrough said she was happy with the matches, the first for Pecos’ varsity in two weeks.

“The deal is they played very well,” she said, and while the Eagles had problems against Andrews’ taller front line minus Rayos, they were able to overcome Denver City’s height advantage in winning the opener.

“Their girls were so tall, we had to work extra hard, and we were able to pick up a lot of their hits. But it’s hard to run a defense that relies on blockers when one of your blockers isn’t there,” she said. Gabby Garcia moved into Rayos’ spot, while Cheyenne Carrasco took Garcia’s place and Kimbrough went with three other players, sophomores Jamye Galindo and Veronica Tarin and freshman Destiny Simmons, to take Carrasco’s regular spot in the lineup.

“Gabby was hitting and doing everything, but by the time we played Andrews she was out of gas,” Kimbrough said. “She also had to help out with some of the other girls, and it’s hard to concentrate on your game when you have to tell somebody else where to go.”

Andrews pulled away in the middle of the first two games with Pecos, then broke out to an early lead in Game 3 to complete the sweep. Earlier against Denver City, the Eagles were the ones who jumped ahead early in Game 1, going up 5-0, and would lead by as many as eight. In Game 2 Pecos was able to maintain a narrow lead most of the way, while the Eagles finished the sweep by breaking a 23-all tie at the end of Game 3.

“All and all, I wasn’t disappointed. We will meet Andrews again, and it will be a different game,” Kimbrough said of the Mustangs, who could be an area round opponent for the Eagles in the Class 3A playoffs in November. “One of the things playing all my young kids, where it helps is giving them experience in game conditions. When they see them again, my freshmen and sophomores won’t be intimidated.”

Kimbrough said she hoped Rayos would be back on Friday, when Pecos opens play in the Sul Ross Invitational Tournament in Alpine. The two-day tournament will be run in bracket format both days, with the top eight finishers on Friday advancing to the championship bracket on Saturday.

Pecos, which is 12-4 going into the tournament, will take on Fort Hancock in their opening round game, at 11 a.m. on Friday. A win would move them into a pool round semifinal against McCamey or Van Horn at 3 p.m., while the losers of those matches will face each other at 1 p.m.

Eagles hope for better results, weather against improved Yellowjackets Friday

The Pecos Eagles and Kermit Yellowjackets will both be hoping for better weather Friday night, while the Eagles will be hoping for better results as well, when the teams face each other at Walton Field in Kermit, in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Pecos and Kermit both saw their scheduled second games of the season canceled by lightning last week. The Eagles’ game in Andrews ended just after the start of the third quarter, with Pecos trailing the host Mustangs, 14-0, while Kermit’s game in Lamesa didn’t even make it to the half before it was called, with the Jackets holding a 7-0 lead.

Those scores came after Pecos had dropped their season opener to Alpine while Kermit won their first game of the season, against Forsan. For the Jackets, it’s their best start in five years, including the past three under former Eagles head coach Gary Grubbs.

“We were young last year,” said Kermit assistant coach Junior Williams. “We’ve got four returning on the offensive line and two backs coming back.”

“They’re big and fast and have got a good group of kids,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “They’ve gone to a wishbone offense and have got a huge offensive line. They like to go foot-to-foot and are going to run the ball on you a bunch.”

“Austin Grubbs does a good job for them at quarterback, and their fullback Matt Wagner runs extra hard,” he added. Another Kermit back, Chris Pando, ran for 100 yards in their 30-7 win over Forsan. “We were in the spread and a lot of (shot)gun and changed this year. We went to more smash-mouth football,” Williams said.

Pecos’ run defense, which struggled in the opening game, only allowed Andrews 18 yards in the first half last week, but the Eagles’ pass defense was touched for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the first two quarters, after Alpine scored four times through the air the previous week.

Henson said some of that was due to Pecos’ defensive backs not reacting fast enough to some passes, but added, “A lot of that is not getting pressure on the quarterback. We’ve been letting them stand back there much too long.”

Kermit has only gone to the air a handful of times in seven-plus quarters this season, but Henson said. “They’ve got a pretty quick group that has good size. Andy Berzoza is very quick.”

Defensively, both Henson and Williams said lineman Cody Moore has been Kermit’s most effective player.

“Cody Moore’s our nose guard, and he’s been causing havoc,” Williams said.

“They’ll run an even front and run an odd front, and they’ll shift Moore. When they run an odd, they’ll have him at nose guard,” Henson said.

“Their linebackers are quick, and they probably blitz or stunt about eight out of nine times. If we pick it up, we should have some huge runs,” the Eagles’ coach said. He added that Kermit has several two-way players in the secondary, with Jonathan Mendoza lookin good in the Forsan and Lamesa games.

“We had a little spring (workout) with them, and they know their assignments better, and know what they’re going to have to do,” said Williams.

Pecos struggled on the ground in Andrews, gaining just 14 yards, after running for 370 against Alpine. But Pecos did cut down on turnovers a week ago, losing the ball just once after giving it up six times in their opener.

Williams said the Jackets may hold out several players from Friday night’s game, while the Eagles are hoping to get at least one back who missed playing in Andrews.

For Pecos, Henson said, “Heath Armstrong went through a light workout (Tuesday) with no pads, but he’ll be in pads later in the week. Israel Villescas is out another week, and Levi (Cobos) will be at full speed this week. He played part of the way last week.”

Henson said that, after at first planning to count last Friday’s suspended game as official, the Eagles will now list it as a cancellation, with none of the team or individual stats counting towards season totals.

“I talked to the Odessa American, and they said all the other teams whose games were suspended weren’t counting their games, so we’re not going to either. We’ll just end uo playing a nine-game schedule,” he said.

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