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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Soccer, volleyball sign-up start

Registration has begun at the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department for youth spring soccer and volleyball programs, with entry deadlines on March 17 for both leagues.

Youth soccer is for boys and girls between 4 1/2 and 9-years-old, while the youth volleyball program is for children in grades 2-8. Entry fee for each league is $10 per player before March 17, with a late registration fee of $25.

Signatures from both parents and a birth certificate are required for registration. Forms can be picked up at the RCCRD office from 4-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 4-6 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. For further information, call the recreation department office at 447-9776.

Eagle netters get 16th at El Paso tourney

The Pecos Eagles tennis team placed 16th this past weekend out of 20 teams entered in the El Paso Americas Tournament.

Amarillo High ended up winning the tournament, which featured 10 teams from El Paso and 10 others from as far away as the Panhandle and northern New Mexico. “This was a big tournament. It was mostly 5A schools and very few 4A or 3A schools,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “I thought we did fairly well considering we were competing against 5A schools.”

She said this weekend’s matches were the first for sophomore Paul Zubeldia, junior Chris Sotelo and senior Francisco Ornelas after the end of basketball season last week. Ornelas ended up with the best finish of any Pecos player, getting 19th in the boys singles. “Considering it was their first meet, I thought they did pretty well,” the Eagles’ coach said.

Cody Zamarippa, the Eagles’ other boys singles player, finished 28th in the field. Ornelas said there were up to 32 entries in each of the divisions. “That meant everyone was guaranteed five matches, which is why I like this tournament.”

After Ornelas, the next best finishes for the tournament came in mixed doubles for Pecos. Priscilla Sotelo and Derreck Barron finished 20th, while Jessica Munoz and Elias Alvarado took 24th place.

In girls singles, Amber Pando finished in 26th place and Kristal Ikeler was 28th, while in girls doubles, Doni Marquez and Hope More placed 26th and Janette Perea and Yesenia Munoz were 29th, while in boys doubles, Jerris Rayos and Jesse Hanks took 28th and Sotelo and Zamarippa placed 31st.

Pecos will be at home this coming weekend for their own invitational tournament. Ornelas said District 2-3A rivals Monahans and Fort Stockton also will be entered, along with Wink, Fort Hancock and Midland Trinity.

Tigers break free in 2nd half, claw Eagles out of playoffs

The Pecos Eagles’ first-ever trip to the area round of the state basketball playoffs started off bad, got better for a while and then fell apart Thursday night at Midland Christian High School, as the Snyder Tigers pulled away from Pecos over the final three quarters of their game and defeated the Eagles by a 59-23.

Snyder’s Terann Ragland and Jordan Stansell combined to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead over the first three minutes of the game. But the Eagles would rally after that, and a rebound lay-up by Claire Weinacht to start the second quarter would pull Pecos to within two points, at 10-8.

But that was went Snyder’s Audrey Jones began finding the range from outside. She hit the first of her five 3-point shots to stop a six-point Eagle run, and would add another later in the period, which ended with the Tigers leading 25-13. Snyder then shut down Pecos completely in the third period, outscoring the Eagles by a 22-2 margin to grab a 47-15 lead and then coasting to victory in the final period.

“Snyder’s a very good team. They forced us out of our game and shot the ball very well,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia. “They’ve got a lot more playoff experience, and it showed.”

Snyder, which upset Canyon in advancing to the Region I-3A finals last year, had struggled on offense some over the past few weeks, due in part to Jones’ shooting problems. But her 3-pointers opened things up inside for Ragland and Stansel, the Tigers’ two returning all-region players. The trio combined for 49 of Snyder’s 59 points, with Stansell leading the way with 19.

“I talked with Greenwood, and they said she (Jones) was afraid to shoot, so we played off of her, and then she just went on fire,” Garcia said.

Six of Stansell’s points came in the opening 8-0 run, and all from inside, but then the Eagles started getting openings on the inside as well. Chantel Mazone banked home Pecos’ first basket wit just under five minutes to play in the period, and after Jones hit a lay-up she would score off a pass from Jasmine Rayos, who would then get a lay-up late in the quarter off a feed from Gabby Garcia to cut the lead to 10-6.

“We haven’t played in a week, and I think we were a little rusty at the start,” said Tigers’ coach Mike Martin, while adding, “Our man defense gave them problems.”

Garcia was happy with her team’s defense at the outset. “I think we frustrated them in the first quarter with our 2-3 zone,” she said, but added that Pecos’ problems rebounding helped Snyder regain control of the game, along with Jones’ outside shooting.

“We just got outrebounded. They’d come to the ball from the outside,” she said. “I tried to prepare the girls for what it would be, but they’re very aggressive, and it was hard for our girls to adjust.”

Eight of Snyder’s other 10 points were scored by post Kathy Crenwelge, which included a rebounded miss of a Jordan free throw and two of her own foul shots after that, as Snyder took a 20-8 lead midway through the second period. Mazone broke the streak with a rebound lay-up and free throw after being fouled by Ragland, but Jones connected on another 3 and Ragland would add a lane jumper after a pair of foul shots by Rayos, to put the Tigers up by 12 at halftime.

Ragland had more success driving inside for lay-ups in the second half as the Tigers pulled away, while the Eagles struggled with their shots and with Snyder’s pressing defense. They wouldn’t score until Rayos hit a lane turn-around jumper with 51 seconds left in the period, and that basket was immediately offset by another 3-pointer by Jones to give Snyder a 32-point lead entering the final period.

Rayos ended up leading Pecos in scoring with 10, while Mazone had seven of the Eagles’ other 11 points, as Pecos ended its season with a 7-16 record, which included a District 2-3A co-championship with Monahans and the Eagles first-ever playoff win in 5-on-5 girls basketball, last Monday against Tornillo. Snyder, the District 3-3A champ, improved their record to 18-7 and will face Lubbock, which defeated Clint on Friday, in the Region I-3A quarterfinals.

“I think our girls have achieved a lot,” said who graduates five of her 10 varsity players. “I told them 25 years ago when I left Pecos High School, I didn’t achieve what I wanted, a district championship. So this is my dream team. They gave me what I wanted.”

Monahans, which shared the 2-3A district title with Pecos and then beat the Eagles to earn a first round bye, also had a good start to their area game against Seminole on Thursday. The Loboes led the Maidens midway through the second period, 17-12, but were outscored 35-9 the rest of the way and lost by a 47-26 final score.

Balmorhea to face Grandfalls in opening round of playoffs

The Balmorhea Bears will take on the Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys and the Monahans Loboes will face the Tornillo Coyotes on Wednesday night at the Pecos High School gym, in bi-district round games in the Class 3A playoffs.

The Bears, the third place team out of District 9A-Division II, will take on Grandfalls, the second place finisher from District 10A, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the PHS gym in the first game, with the winner advancing to face Sterling City in the area round of the Class A-Division II playoffs. Following that, Monahans will face Tornillo at around 7:30 p.m. in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Loboes beat out Pecos last Tuesday for the third and final playoff spot out of District 2-3A, while Tornillo beat Clint for second place in District 1-3A. The winner will advance to the area round of the playoffs versus Brownfield this weekend.

Dell City takes on Buena Vista in the other bi-district playoff game involving District 9-A and 10-A, with the winner of that game playing Borden County, while the winner of the other game involving Districts 1-3A and 2-3A, Presidio versus Clint, will face Greenwood in the area round.

District 2-3A champ Fort Stockton drew a first round bye and will face the winner of the bi-district game between Snyder and Levelland. District 9-A winner Fort Davis is awaiting the winner of the Garden City-Ira opening round game. The Panthers and the Indians’ area round games will also be sometime this weekend.

Golfers grab fifth in Stockton tournament

The Pecos Eagle boys’ golf team wasn’t able to match their strong start on the opening day of the Fort Stockton Invitational during the final 18 holes of play on Saturday. But the Eagles were still able to finish in front of both their District 2-3A rivals and took fifth place overall in their third meet of the 2007 season.

Pecos shot a 325 on Friday and were in second place behind Andrews, then shot a 341 on Saturday to finish with a 366 score. That dropped them behind three Midland schools, but they were still able to place eight shots ahead of the host Panthers and 31 strokes up on Monahans, the sixth and seventh place finishers in the 17-team field.

“I guess the wind got up and the cold weather got to us on Saturday,” Eagles’ coach Pat Gent said. “We had more ‘others’ (double bogey or higher) on Saturday.”

“I know it’s disappointing for the second straight tournament to do this. The kids wanted to finish second and improve, but all we’re going to do is get better and better,” he added. Pecos placed fifth despite having no golfers finish individually in the Top 10 and playing with just four golfers, the minimum needed for a team score. No. 3 golfer Heath Armstrong had the low round for the Eagles, shooting a 76 on Friday and ending up with a 162 score. Drake Bradley was next with a 79-85-164, while Joseph Tarin shot a 86-83-169 and Nathan Duke shot an 84-87-171.

“Heath had an eagle on Friday. He started out really good,” said Gent. “Nathan was consistent on his scores. Joseph Tarin had a tough time on Friday, but improved the second day.”

Gent said the Eagles placed in front of the Panthers for the third week in a row, while beating Monahans after finishing behind the Loboes at their tournament two weeks earlier. However, he said, “Fort Stockton’s working hard. Their second day score (329) was lower than ours, so we can’t overlook either opponent.”

Andrews won the tournament with a 312-308-620 score, while Midland Christian (331-324-655), Midland Trinity (330-331-661) and Midland Lee (329-334-663) were the teams that passed Pecos on Saturday. Monahans, like Pecos, saw their second day score go up, shooting a 357 after an opening round 340 for their 697 score. Andrews’ Dylan Dockery shot a 74-75-149 to win medalist honors at the tournament.

Gent said he would take five players this coming weekend to Midland for the Tall City Invitational, Friday at Ranchland Hills and Saturday at Nueva Vista, site of this year’s Region I-3A boys tournament.

“Overall as a team we’re going to work more this week at finishing it off, because we’re going Midland and will be playing on tougher courses over there,” he said.

Pecos’ girls were off this past weekend, and will resume play on Friday and Saturday with their tournament at Fort Stockton.

Pecos girls down Seminole, Lamesa in softball openers

The Pecos Eagles’ softball team opened up their 2007 season with a pair of road victories over a couple of former District 3-3A rivals on Saturday, as they defeated the Seminole Maidens by a 9-1 score and edged the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes, 1-0.

Pecos scored twice in the first inning off Seminole, added a run in the second and broke things open with a four-run third against the Maidens, who had taken the Eagles to extra innings last season before Pecos was able to pull out a victory.

“Gabby (Garcia) pitched the first three innings and Amalie (Herrera) pitched the last four,” Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls said. Herrera was also 2-for-5 with a double, while leadoff hitter Jenny Palomino went 3-for-5 with two doubles in the win.

Jasmine Rayos, Kristen Ikeler, Claire Weinacht and Brittany Palomino also had two hits apiece in the win. But against Lamesa, the Eagles had just five hits overall, two by Jenny Palomino, who drove in the game’s only run in the fifth inning.

“Lamesa was much improved,” said Walls, who added that the teams only played five innings.

Half of the Eagle starters played just two days after being eliminated from the Class 3A basketball playoffs by Snyder, and Walls said, “Considering we’d only been out for one day, I was pretty pleased with the way things went.”

The Eagles will play their home opener Tuesday afternoon against the Kermit Yellowjckets, then will be in pool round play on Friday at the El Paso Jefferson Tournament. Play Tuesday will start at 5 p.m., and will be followed by the Eagles’ junior varsity game against Kermit.

Walls said Pecos will take on El Paso Chapin, Cobre, N.M. and Amarillo Caprock in their three pool round games, which will determine seeding for Saturday’s opening round games. A total of 16 teams are entered in the tournament.

Pecos’ JV played only one game on Saturday, opening their season with an 8-0 win over Seminole.

Fast field leaves Eagles in 16th at state swim meet

The times in the Class 4A state swim meet are getting faster each year, Pecos Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said, going into this past weekend’s 4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Lee & Joe Jamail Swim Center at the University of Texas at Austin. And the tougher field produced a disappointing opening day of the 2007 state meet for the Eagles.

Pecos finished 16th out of 45 teams competing at the meet, with 57 points at the meet, which was won by Richardson Pierce with 239 points to 214 for Frisco. The Eagles did have the highest point total of any of the sub-Class 4A school entered, but the growth in the number of metropolitan area schools in Class 4A meant a deeper field of swimmers. The deeper field and faster times were a problem for the Eagles, especially on the opening day of the meet.

“We didn’t have a very good day yesterday,” Morse said on Saturday about the preliminaries. But she later added, “I don’t know if it was so much we didn’t have a good day as everybody’s really, really fast.”

Pecos qualified for state in eight of 12 boys’ events, with Kyle Winkles, Matt Oglesby and Matt Elliott qualifying in both their individual events, along with Matthew Florez in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays. But Winkles was the lone finals qualifier for Pecos, securing the seventh of eight spots on Friday in the 100-yard backstroke with a 55.54 time. On Saturday, the senior placed eighth with a 55.80 time. “I thought our backstrokers looked pretty good,” Morse said of Winkles and Elliott, who qualified in an at-large spot. “I don’t know if that was reflected as far as where they wanted to be, but I thought they had a good meet.”

Most of the Eagles’ times this weekend were faster or about the same as Pecos’ state times three years ago, when they placed fourth at state. Winkles had set a new regional record two weeks earlier in the 100-yard backstroke, but had gone into the state finals with a higher seeding in the 50-free. However, he was unable to match his 22.01 time at Lubbock and had the 10th best time in the preliminaries, finishing with a 22.29 time. On Saturday, he finished sixth in the consolation finals, with a time of 22.41, and Morse said the problem was with his starts.

“There’s something wrong. He’s coming up from behind and not getting everything out of it, and that was the same problem yesterday,” she said.

Winkles had the second-highest finish overall for the Eagles, with the other regional qualifier, sophomore Hector Roman, having the best result of the meet, placing seventh in the finals of the 1-meter diving competition, with 333 points.

Roman stood seventh after the opening round of eight dives on Friday, and on Saturday held that spot in his final three attempts.

“I’m proud of him. He did a good job,” said diving coach Joan Capshaw. Roman did have problems with one of the six judges who scored him about 1.5 points lower than the next lowest score on all three attempts Saturday, though it didn’t hurt his overall placing. “When he comes off, he comes off flat-footed a little,” Capshaw said. “Those are just little things he needs to work on.”

Andrews’ Matt Culberson, last year’s Class 4A state runner-up, ended up second again this year with 460.65 points.

The Eagles’ 200-yard medley relay placed 11th both days, and ended up third in Saturday’s consolation finals, with a 1:42.91 time after a 1:43.69 on Friday. The 400-yard freestyle relay team was two seconds off its record-setting regional time on Friday, with a 3:26.58 that was 13th on the day. They followed that up on Saturday in the consolation.

Oglesby came in off setting a new regional record in the 200-yard individual medley, while also winning the 100-fly. But the senior missed a couple of days of workouts last week due to an eye injury and placed 11th both days in the medley, and third overall in the consolation finals, with a time of2:04.68 on Friday, which he was able to cut to 2:03.90 on Saturday.

That was about a second slower than his winning time at Lubbock, and Morse said after Saturday’s finals, “He looked really good today. His breaststroke and fly were better than at regionals, he just didn’t have enough to finish. I don’t know if those two days of being out hurt him.”

In the 100-yard butterfly, Oglesby also cut some time of his Friday finish, but placed eighth in the consolation finals after a 16th place in the prelims. He improved from a 57.28 time on Friday to a time of 56.61 on Saturday.

Elliott was the lone at-large qualifier out of Region I on the boys’ side, placing second behind Winkles in the 100-yard backstroke. At the state meet, his 57.98 time on Friday in the prelims was 13th on the day, and in the consolation finals on Saturday, he placed 7th, with a 58.22 time.

Elliott had won the 200-yard freestyle at Lubbock, but was seeded lower in that race at state, and ended up 15th overall both day and seventh in the consolation finals. The sophomore swam a 1:54.11 on Friday and cut just over a second off that time the following day, finishing with a 1:53.03 time, which Morse said was his personal best time in the event.

Pecos failed to qualify any swimmers for state on the girls’ side for the first time in the eight years of Class 4A state competition. The only female swimmer out of District 4-4A to advance to Austin, Monahans senior Catherine Cutbirth, failed to make the finals in either of her events, the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. But after finishing with the 12th best time on Friday in the preliminaries, Cutbirth moved up two spots to 10th on Saturday, and second in the consolation final with a 25.72 time, after a 25.78 on the opening day of the state meet. in the 100 free Cutbirth placed 16th both days, and eighth in the consolation finals on Saturday, going 57.59 after a 57.19 time in the preliminaries.

The Eagles will lose only Winkles and Oglesby to graduation out of the five state qualifiers. But Morse said the returning swimmers and divers will have to improve in 2008 due to the increasing level of competition at Austin.

“Those (big 4A schools) are going to go as deep as they want to,” she said. “We’re going to have to get tougher, because to get picked up (for state) they’re probably going to have to win their events.

“We’ll be a lot younger next year, and we’re going to have to get a lot faster. We’re going to have to do the work to get a lot faster, if we want to compete at this level at state.”

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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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