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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, August 17, 2007

PHS swimmers preparing for defense of district titles

The regular season opener is still six weeks away, but the Pecos Eagles swimming team is wrapping up their second week of pre-season workouts at the Pecos High School pool, with both teams looking to defend their District 4-4A titles from a year ago.

Coach Terri Morse said she’s got about 21 swimmers working out right now at the pool. The majority of those are boys, where the Eagles will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode after capturing both the district and Region I-3A titles from a year ago. However, Morse said, “I feel good about the boys. I’m not sure if we’ll stand out like last year, but I think if all of them work hard we’ll be all right.”

The boys have three state qualifiers returning in diver Hector Roman and swimmers Matt Elliott and Matthew Florez. “We have to fill Kyle (Winkles) and Matt Oglesby’s shoes, but I think we’ll be all right,” said Morse, who said the Eagles are awaiting the return of swimmer Frankie Morin, who suffered a broken arm during the summer.

Meanwhile, the girls will be looking to get back to Austin in 2008, after failing to send a swimmer to state this past spring for the first time since the Class 4A state finals were created in 2000.

“The girls have got some really strong freshman who should help us out,” Morse said. “We’ve only got eight out right now, so we’re not huge as a group, and that could hurt us as far as Monahans goes, but I think we have the quality, if not the quantity.”

Morse did say one meet originally on Pecos’ 2007-08 schedule, the Andrews Invitational, has been scratched because the new Andrews High School swimming pool won’t be ready in time.

“They said it won’t be ready until December or January,” she said. “I hope it’s ready in time for district. We can host district this year, but I’d rather wait until we’ve had time to fix up the pool.”

Pecos will open its 2007-08 season with a dual meet at home on Sept. 27 against Fort Stockton. Their first invitational meet will be Oct. 20 in Big Spring and the District 4-4A meet is scheduled for Jan. 25-26 in Andrews.

Pecos-Seminole scrimmage to feature reworked offenses

The Pecos Eagles and Seminole Indians will both have different looks on offense Saturday, when they face each other at Eagle Stadium in the first of their two preseason scrimmages.

Pecos and Seminole will start their varsity scrimmage around 10 a.m., after the freshman and junior varsity teams face each other at 9 a.m. Coach Chris Henson said the first team units would run 15 plays each on their opening drives, followed by two series each of 10 plays.

The Eagles and Indians were district rivals for two years, and faced each other in their first scrimmage last season, won by Seminole, 4-1. Pecos got their only touchdown thanks to a pair of long runs by Luis Ortega on their opening series, while the Indians’ quarterback Eric Boyd both ran and passed his way through the Eagle defense in leading Seminole to three of their four TDs.

Both players have graduated, and the Eagles will be looking to spread out their offense a little more in 2007, after Ortega accounted for 2,046 of Pecos’ 2,511 yards rushing. The Eagles did throw for over 1,000 yards a year ago, and have both quarterback Paul Zubeldia and most of their receivers returning from last year’s 5-5 team, but along with Ortega will be looking to replace most of their offensive line from last year.

Henson said Hector Ramirez at fullback and Timo Reyes at wingback would be the Eagles’ main runners this season. On the line, he said Justin Contreras would start at center, Travis Gomez and Levi Cobos at the guards and Daniel Sotelo and Bryan Navarette at the tackles.

Defensively, the Eagles will also be trying to improve on their efforts of the past several seasons. Pecos has allowed around 30 points per game for each of the past five seasons, which is also how long it’s been since the Eagles last advanced to the playoffs.

Henson said Pecos would be without one of their regular starters on defense for Saturday’s scrimmage in Brian Mora. “He has his leg hurt right now, but that’s or only injury. He rolled it a couple of days ago, but he should be good to go by the first game,” he said. “We also have had a few illnesses. I don’t know if there’s a bug going around, but the kids are working through it.”

Seminole comes in off an 8-3 season, and like Pecos, will have a number of juniors in their starting lineup this year. Among the seniors, the Indians do return one of their top receivers in Corbin McDaniel, and will have back a pair of offensive linemen in Brad Moriel and Hadley Mann. All three saw playing time both last year and in Seminole’s 35-0 win over Pecos two seasons ago.

Henson said Pecos has 41 players on the varsity right now. “We’re going to try and get that number down to 36 or 38 to carry permanently, with a few others getting moved to the JV. That’s the great luxury to have with the numbers we’ve got this year, being able to move kids around and evaluate them.”

Forecasts for the are currently call for about a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday and Saturday, but Henson said with the artificial turf at Eagle Stadium, “We’ll play through it, as long as there’s not lightning.”

The Pecos Eagle Booster Club will have a stand set up at the south end of the field during the game, where they’ll be selling bagged lunches with hamburgers, chips, a drink and a candy bar for $6 each. A watermelon feed is also scheduled for Saturday, starting after the completion of the freshmen and JV scrimmages.

Eagles head for Canyon tourney after opening win

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team started off their 2007 season on Tuesday with a home win over the Wink Wildcats, and were headed for the Amarillo area on Thursday, to begin play in the Canyon Invitational.

The Eagles, 25-11, 23-25, 25-11, 25-18 winners over Wink, will face Dumas and Perryton in pool round play at Canyon on Friday morning, and then face one of the other teams from their half of their bracket that afternoon, at Randall High School.

Wink’s problems setting up shots allowed the Eagles to win the opening game without much trouble. But the Wildcats got their offense going and held off a series of comeback errors by Pecos in Game 2, before the Eagles improved their defense in the final two games of the match to earn the victory.

“Where we’re having problems is near the net,” said Eagles’ head coach Helen Kimbrough. “We’re not working the net the way we should. We’re not being aggressive enough there, and we’ve got to get in and get the big blocks.”

Pecos did get a couple of blocks for points, by Gabi Garcia and Veronica Tarin on Wink’s Bristen Creech in Game 1. But Trinity Walker found holes in Pecos’ front line for a series of kills in Game 2, and the Eagles also had problems with the jump serves of Lydia Shakelford, which helped the Wildcats run off five straight points in a 9-1 run that turned a 13-8 deficit into a 17-14 lead.

The Eagles would rally to tie the game four times after that, but never could take the lead. But in Game 3, Pecos trailed just once, at 1-0, and took the lead for good at 5-4 on a spike into the next by Wink’s Jasmine Solis. That started a 15-3 run for the Eagles, which included kills by Garcia and Allyson Salcido and was finished off by an ace serve by Ashley Ornelas.

Pecos also never trailed in Game 4, went out to a quick 7-2 lead and were up 23-14 before Wink was able to cut the lead down to five. That led to a timeout by Kimbrough, after which the Eagles ended the game off a bad spike by Solis and a spike of an overset by Garcia.

“Allyson played very well for us. She had a good game, and Jasmine (Rayos) is always going to play well,” Kimbrough said. “Claire (Weinacht) had some good defensive moves, and Gabby, once she toned down her back line hitting, had some good hits.”

This weekend’s Canyon Invitational replaces the Sandhills Tournament on the schedule for Pecos’ varsity, though the JV will go to Monahans this weekend for tournament play. Along with Dumas, Perryton and host Canyon Randall, the other teams on the Eagles’ side of the bracket are Plainview, Houston San Jacinto, Lubbock Trinity, Amarillo Palo Duro and Amarillo Bushland. Defending 3A champ Canyon, who eliminated Pecos in the Region I-3A semifinals last November, heads up the other side of the bracket, and are joined by Pampa, Dallas Highland Park, Hereford, Amarillo River Road, Denton Guyer, and three other private school teams, the Amarillo Rockets, Anton Christian and Lubbock Home School.

“We’re going to have to get ready for some speed ball, which is going to help us out a lot,” Kimbrough said. “It’s going to help us understand more what each of them has to do. We’re just like at the start of last year, where we’ve got to learn to trust each other more.

“Our first game is against Dumas, so we’re going to have to be sharp. But it will give us a lot of experience, and we’ll see where we are on defense and offense.” Pecos’ JV and freshmen teams also won their season openers on Tuesday. The ninth graders, who are off this weekend, swept Wink, 25-10, 25-10, while the JV had to go three games before pulling out a 24-26, 25-16, 25-23 win over the Wildcats.

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