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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 28, 2007

Eagles seek first win, first points off Wildcats

It really doesn’t matter what size your school is, or what size or level teams your opponents are – 158-0 is impressive.

That’s the margin the Anthony Wildcats have outscored their four opponents so far this season when they host the Pecos Eagles on Friday night, in the District 1-3A opener for both teams. And the Eagles will be trying to turn thing around after a 0-4 start to the season against a team that came into Pecos last season undefeated, and came out with a 31-21 loss, but not before putting a major scare into the Eagles.

The Wildcats rallied from a 13-0 deficit to take a 21-13 lead in the third period when they fumbled inside the Eagles’ 20-yard-line. Pecos capitalized on that break and went on to score 18 points in the final period against an Anthony team that had just 17 players on their varsity roster.

The Wildcats have a few more this season, but more importantly, coach Gary Rundell has almost all his key starters back from a year ago.

“They’re very, very quick, and t he key is he’s got players playing for him right now who started for him as sophomores, so they’ve been there their sophomore, junior and senior years,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “They’ve got a lot of experience. They’re not as big, but they’re quick off the ball.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles will be hoping to get back two-thirds of the starting backfield they played without in the final 1 1/2 quarters of last Friday’s 17-14 homecoming loss to Denver City. Tailback Timo Reyes sat out the game with a leg injury, while quarterback Paul Zubeldia suffered strained knee ligaments after he was yanked backwards on a run midway through the third period.

Chris Sotelo came on and led Pecos to their second touchdown of the game, early in the final period, but the Eagles were unable to score in the closing minutes. Henson said going into Friday’s game, “Chris is still penciled in as starter, but Paul is probable for the game.”

He said Zubeldia would do some work during practice this week. “He’ll probably be able to go on Friday, but it will depend on how much pain he’s able to take.”

He said Reyes would be back in the lineup for Friday. “He’s doing some work at wingback, if Chris does have to play quarterback,” Henson added.

Defensively, the Eagles shut Denver City down in the second half of last week’s game, but have been burned by big plays the past two weeks. That almost cost them a year ago against Anthony, as Saul Garcia scored twice, including on a 57-yard punt return, while he and Martin Anaya caught touchdown passes.

So far this season, the two have combined for 23 catches for 495 yards and seven touchdowns, three coming last Friday in the Wildcats’ 33-0 win over defending New Mexico Class 2A champion Lordsburg. Anthony’s other wins have been over Class A Fort Hancock, Class 2A Van Horn and Bernalillo, N.M., which would be a 2A school in Texas.

“Number 6 (Garcia) was the one that made the big plays on offense last year. Last week against Lordsburg he had about 240 yards receiving,” Henson said. “They do a lot of different formations, so we’ve got to keep track of him.”

The main change for the Wildcats has been at quarterback, where Luis Alvarez has taken most of the snaps the past two weeks, after splitting time with Hector Meraz at the start of the season. Alvarez has thrown for 522 yards and eight scores this season, while running back Marco Aguilar also has been used in receiving role. He’s gained 195 yards on only 18 carries and picked up another 184 yards receiving, on seven catches.

Defensively, Anthony will be led by Aguilar on the line and Oscar Fierro at linebacker. Both earned first team honors a year ago, along with Mike Guillen, who was a second team pick in the secondary. He’s also caught five passes for 62 yards as the Wildcats’ tight end.

Anthony almost made the playoffs two years ago in Class 2A, before opting to play a Class 3A schedule last season with the smallest enrollment of any 3A school in Texas. The Wildcats missed out on a playoff spot when they were forced to forfeit a victory in Kermit for using an ineligible player, and a win on Friday would put them in position to compete for a trip to post-season play in November.

“He’s been telling them about Permian Basin football and how much different it is. So he’s going to have his kids pumped up so they don’t overlook us,” Henson said.

The same applies for the Eagles, who have to face defending District 1-3A champion Monahans next Friday, in their district home opener. Even with an 0-4 start, a win would assure the Eagles of remaining in the playoff picture through their open date on Oct. 12, which would give some of their key players more time to heal.

The Loboes will be in Abilene to face Graham in their final non-district game on Friday. Last year’s 1-3A runner-up, Clint, goes to Tornillo while Fabens plays at Fort Stockton in Friday’s other district openers.

Netters open varsity play with home loss to Loboes

The Pecos Eagles tennis team had their problems with the Monahans Loboes in their 2007 fall season opener on Tuesday at the Pecos High School tennis courts. The Loboes swept all the varsity matches in singles play and took five of the six doubles matched to score an 18-1 win.

“Monahans has a lot of returning players. We have some returning players on the girls’ side, but a lot of our team is young,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “We’ve got a couple of people out doing other sports, so we’re missing about 4-5 players.”

The Eagles’ lone win was by Derek Barron and Elias Alvarado in doubles, where they scored an 8-4 win over Tim Forbush and Alan Marquez. Alvarado also beat Marquez, 8-5, at No. 7 singles, but that did not count in the overall varsity score. The Loboes won four of the five non-varsity matches.

No. 1 boys seed Cody Zamarippa lost in three sets to the Loboes’ Michael Derrick, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2. The girls had one split set match loss, at No. 6 singles, where freshman Dakota Long was beaten by Peggy Huber, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Pecos will play again on Saturday at Fort Stockton, in their first road match of the fall season, starting at 9 a.m. “The kids are talking it out more and putting it down on paper to see what we need to get accomplished,” Ornelas said.

Ornelas said a scheduled junior varsity match on Thursday between the Eagles and Panthers was cancelled due to conflicts with homecoming activities in Fort Stockton.

Monahans (18/22) at Pecos (1/2)

Boys Singles

Cody Zamarippa lost to Michael Derrick, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2; Derek Barron lost to John Witucki, 6-2, 6-1; Elias Alvarado lost to Damien Nichols, 6-0, 6-2; Joe Gabaldon lost to Tim Forbush, 6-1, 6-1; Avery Valeriano lost to Matthew Gonzales, 6-1, 6-4; Tanner Hardwick lost to Justin Smith, 6-1, 7-5.

JV – Alvarado defeated Alan Marquez, 8-5

Girls Singles

Janette Perea lost to Madison Murray, 6-1, 6-1; Jessica Munoz lost to Liz Truex, 6-0, 6-0; Yesenia Munoz lost to Hannah Beth Cater, 6-1, 6-2; Meagan Lopez lost to Hollie Derrick, 6-0, 6-1; Meagan Fuentes lost to Laura Phipps, 6-4, 6-3; Dakota Long lost to Peggy Huber, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

JV – Julie Licon lost to Emily Richardson, 8-2; Amanda Renteria lost to Katelan Johnson, 8-0.

Boys Doubles

Zamarippa and Gabaldon lost to Derrick and Witucki, 8-4; Barron and Alvarado defeated Forbush and Marquez, 8-4; Hardwick and Valeriano lost to Gonzales and Smith, 8-1.

Girls Doubles

Perea and Y. Munoz lost to Murray and Truex, 8-1; Long and Fuentes lost to Derrick and Phipps, 8-4; J. Munoz and Lopez lost to Huber and Johnson, 8-5.

JV – Licon and Renteria lost to Eddings and Richardson, 8-2.

Mixed Doubles

Barron and Y. Munoz lost to Nichols and Cater, 8-0.

JV – Zamarippa and Perea lost to Witucki and Truex, 6-1.

Eagles sweep past Stockton to start season

Pecos Eagles’ swimming coach Terri Morse got her first look at the 2007-08 Eagles swim team on Tuesday, and plans to continue making some adjustments over the next few weeks after both the boys and girls squads scored easy wins over the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Pecos’ girls defeated Fort Stockton by a 111-39 margin, while the boys had 136 points to 33 for the Panthers in their match, winning 22 of the 23 events.

“I was kind of looking to see what we’ve got, plus some different combinations,” said Morse. “Some things I liked, and some things I didn’t like.”

The Eagle girls, who failed to send a swimmer to state last year for the first time since the Class 4A division was created in 2000, won all 11 of their individual and relay events. The 200 yard medley relay team of freshmen Conner Armstrong and Alyson Reynolds, sophomore Adriana Roman and junior Anatalia Hernandez had a 2:09.42 time, and later the same four took first in the 400 freestyle relay, with a 4:16.47 time. In the 200 freestyle relay, freshmen Tiffany Hunter and Maggie Hernandez, sophomore Jessica Dickenson and junior Stephanie Lucas won with a 2:14.97 time.

In the individual events, Roman won the 200-yard freestyle with a 2:18.03 time, with Hunter second and Maggie Hernandez third; Reynolds won the 200 individual medley with a 2:26.53 time, with Dickenson second; Armstrong won the 50-yard freestyle with a 28.46 time, with Dakota Hegar second; Anatalia Hernandez took the 100-yard butterfly with a 1:15.31 time, while Lucas was second and Maggie Hernandez fourth; Roman won the 100 free with a 1:03.91 time, with Hegar third; Anatalia Hernandez won the 500 free with a 6:32.87 time, while Hunter placed second; Armstrong won the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:10.78 time, with Lucas second; and Reynolds won the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:17.33 time, with Dickenson second. The girls’ lone ‘B’ relay, the 400 free team of Dickenson, Hunter, Lucas and Maggie Hernandez, was second.

“I thought all the freshmen looked pretty good. I think we’re in a little bit better position than we’ve been the last few years, but they also still have a long way to go,” Morse said. The boys have three state qualifiers back from a year ago, and all won their events. Diver Hector Roman, who earned All-American honors while finishing seventh at state in 1-meter diving, took that event prior to the start of the swim finals with a 242.05 score, with Sammy Sandoval second. Josh Elliott, who qualified for state in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke last season, also took both of his events. Elliott won the 200 free with a 2:02.65 time, with Carlos Navarro second and Abraham Lujan third, and later won the 100 back with a 1:00.03 time, with Frankie Morin third.

The two were also members of the 200 medley relay team, along with Pecos’ other state qualifier from last year, Matthew Florez. The three along with Navarro, took the race with a 1:52.80 time, while the three teamed with Derek Teague for a win in the 400-yard freestyle, with a 3:40.40 time. In his individual events, Florez won the 50 free with a 23.23 time, with Teague second and Edward Navarro fourth; and won the 100 free in 50.93, with Roman second and Navarro fourth.

“Matthew Florez looked excellent. His times were pretty close to his best. Some of the others were decent, but in some of the longer races I would have liked to have seen better times,” Morse said. “But this was the first meet, so overall for a first meet, it wasn’t so bad.”

Pecos’ other relay win was from Teague, Morin, Gus Mendoza and Luke Serrano in the 200 freestyle. They won with a 1:45.01 time, while Oscar Machuca, Brian Carrasco and both Navarros placed second. The Eagles’ 400 ‘B’ relay, of Morin, Edward Navarro, Mendoza and Serrano, were second, while the 200 medley ‘B’ team of Carrasco, Machuca, Lujan and Sandoval, were third.

The boys’ other win came from Serrano, who took the 200 individual medley with a 2:24.68 time, with Carrasco second and Machuca third; Morin in the 500 freestyle, as he edged Serrano by .93 second with a 5:59.05 time, while Mendoza was third; and Carlos Navarro, who edged Teague by .18 second to win the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:14.90, while Machuca placed third.

Fort Stockton’s only win came from Jordan Oglesby in the 100-yard butterfly, while Mendoza was second and Carrasco placed third.

Pecos’ next meet won’t be until next weekend, when the travel to Lubbock for the Lubbock Relays. Their first regular invitational meet will be two weeks later, in Big Spring.

Pecos sweeps Kermit despite net problems

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team got their first chance in almost a month for a home match on Tuesday night, though for a while the home court didn’t look as though it was much of an advantage for Pecos against the Kermit Yellowjackets.

Pecos trailed Kermit for most of their opening match, before rallying at the finish for a 28-26 lead. The Eagles were then able to pull away late in the next two games, scoring 25-19 and 25-20 wins to complete a three-game sweep and their second victory over the Jackets this season.

The Eagles struggled with unforced errors in the opener, including several missed serves and net violations. “We were into the net more times than I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough.

Those errors allowed the Jackets to go up by as many as seven points, at 13-7, on a spike by Brittany Heiser. The Eagles were able to stage a rally after that, eventually tying the game at 16-all on a block of Heiser by Jasmine Rayos, but would never lead until after the Jackets had one shot at game-point, after a net violation by Rayos.

“It seems like that’s what we do,” Kimbrough said. “I don’t know if it’s my coaching or other stuff, but it seems like they’re thinking too much in the first game and are not relaxed enough.”

Rayos would tie the game with a spike, and Pecos would take a 25-24 lead on a bad set by Kermit’s Kaeyce Bedell. But the Jackets then got a spike by Rudy Garcia and used bad relay by Cheyenne Carrasco to regain the lead. Pecos avoided defeat once more, when Diana Parada scored off a back line hit, and then won the game on a block of Garcia by Claire Weinacht and a spike by Gabby Garcia.

“We played them in the (Sul Ross) tournament, and it’s hard to beat a good team like that again. They’re a very talented team, and they match up with us real well,” Kimbrough said.

Pecos would go ahead to stay in Game 2 at 12-11 on a Rayos back line spike and would go up later by a 17-13 margin. But Kermit cut that lead to one, 19-18, on a Rudy Garcia kill, before the Eagles closed out the game with a 6-1 run, with some unforced Jacket errors, a block and a spike for points by Gabby Garcia, and a spike by Allyson Salcido closing things out.

Pecos would hold the lead most of the way in Game 3, but were up only 18-16 when they got kills from Garcia and Carrasco to open up a four points lead. Garcia would add another spike a few minutes later, while Rayos would come up with two kills before another game-ending spike by Salcido.

The win improved Pecos’ season record to 21-4 going into their final pre-district match, this Saturday afternoon in Crane, starting about 2:30 p.m. The Eagles defeated the Golden Cranes in a best-of-three at the Sul Ross Tournament two weeks ago before downing Kermit in the tournament finals. The Jackets are now 17-9 on the season.

Crane won their match on Tuesday at Fort Stockton against the Prowlers, whom the Eagles will open up District 1-3A play against this coming Tuesday, 13-25, 25-19, 28-26, 21-25, 15-9 and are 17-6 on the year.

“Crane is very quick, and they can place the ball where they want to,’ said Kimbrough, who added the Eagles still are trying to make adjustments in preparation for the start of district play.

“Our offense is still trying to adjust to our skill level. We don’t want to get too fancy, but we want to be able to score,” she said. “It seems like when I do that, it takes them a few days to understand, but it all comes with practice. We’ve got to be able to change, and have got to be able to get better, or we’re going to be in trouble.”

Pecos also won Tuesday’s freshman and junior varsity matches over Kermit, the ninth graders by 25-16, 25-20 scores and the JV by a 25-23, 25-15 score. The JV will also play in Crane on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m., while the ninth graders will be at home on Saturday to face Monahans, starting at 4:30 p.m.

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