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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Eagles struggle in tourney; head to Van Horn Tuesday

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team went through a 1-3 weekend up in the Texas Panhandle, as they split a pair of matches on Friday while dropping two matches on Saturday at the Canyon Invitational.

Playing at Canton Randall High School on Friday, Pecos lost to Dumas, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A, by scores of 25-7, 25-13 in their opening pool round match, then came back after a 25-22 opening loss to Perryton to defeat the Rangerettes by 25-7, 25-17 scores.

That moved Pecos into the quarterfinals of the Gold Bracket on Saturday at Canyon High School, where they were defeated by Canyon Randall, 25-16, 25-17. It dropped the Eagles into the consolation semifinals of that bracket, where they then lost to Amarillo High’s junior varsity by scored of 25-21, 25-18.

The Sandies’ JV would end up winning the consolation title by beating Denton Guyer in two games, 25-21, 25-13, while Dumas ended up losing in the title game to district rival Hereford, 25-17, 25-14, and Randall lost to Canyon, the team that eliminated Pecos and Monahans in the Region I-3A Tournament last season, by 25-20, 25-23 scores in the tournament’s third place match.

The 1-3 weekend left the Eagles with a 2-3 record going into their Tuesday night matches in Van Horn against the host Eagle team and the Marfa Shorthorns. Matches for the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams are scheduled to begin at 4 and 5:30 p.m. at the Van Horn High School and Junior High gyms.

The Eagles then return home for the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic Tournament, which will open with freshmen matches on Thursday followed by the start of junior varsity and varsity play on Friday.

Seminole’s speed causes problems for Pecos

The Pecos Eagles’ defense at their problems at times with the team speed of the Seminole Indians, while the offense had its moments, but not as many as Seminole came up with, which allowed them to come away from Eagle Stadium on Saturday with a win in the first of two preseason scrimmages for both teams.

Seminole’s Cal Moring ran 70 yards on the opening play of the scrimmage, and the Indians’ first team outscored Pecos 3-1 in both the opening 20-play series and the final 15-play series, while the Indians’ second team got a 70-yard TD run on their next-to-last play and were then able to shut down the Eagles’ second team in their 15-play series.

“It took us a while to get the wheels going,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson, whose team started slowly in several district games last season. “That’s something we’re going to work on in practice, getting them more fired up when we come out.”

Moring alternated at quarterback with Steven Garcia, and the two juniors accounted for five of the first team’s six scores. He scored on the quarterback keeper to open the scrimmage, and then caught a 58-yard TD pass from Garcia a few plays later. Garcia would get the third TD, on a 1-yard run just before the end of the Indians’ first series.

“We had some problems with their speed, but that’s why we like to scrimmage people like Seminole,” Henson said. “They’ve got team speed like we’ll see from other teams, and we can’t mimic that kind of speed in practice.”

Pecos’ juniors also accounted for the bulk of their offense in the first team series. The offense had a few problems with the exchanges between quarterback and center during the scrimmage, which hurt the Eagles at the outset of their 20-play series. They failed to take advantage of an early 13-yard run by Hector Ramirez, but after a later first down run of 16 yards by Ramirez, quarterback Paul Zubeldia hooked up with Jeremy Martinez on a 49-yard completion to the Seminole 2-yard-line. Ramirez scored on the next play to close out the opening series.

“I thought our offense looked good passing the ball. Paul did a good job and he had a couple of drops, but they also had a couple on interference calls against them where if it had been a real game, I think we could have gone in and scored,” Henson said.

The second team unit was able to stop Seminole on downs three times, before giving up the long TD run after a series of missed tackles. On offense, Joseph Ontiveros had an early first down run and quarterback Nathan Duke would hit a couple of first down passes, but problems with the exchange killed a couple of Pecos series.

Seminole’s final 15 play series included two scores by Moring, off a 59-yard reception and a 1-yard TD run. Pecos’ score again came on the final play of the series, a 4th down pass of 6 yards by Zubeldia to Martinez, after the two had hooked up on a 47-yard completion earlier in the drive.

“Overall, there are some things we need to work on, but I was pleased with the team,” said Henson, who added the Eagles were short two starters on defense for Saturday’s scrimmage. “They worked hard and gave a good effort.”

The Eagles will be at home again this Thursday for their final preseason scrimmage against Midland Greenwood, and will face another running quarterback in Colton Wilbur. The Rangers are ranked 20th in the preseason Class 3A high school football poll, three spots ahead of Seminole, which is ranked 23rd out of the Top 25 teams.

Henson said the Rangers won their first scrimmage on Saturday against Monahans, 3-2, with the first team outscoring the Loboes, 2-1.

“They’re going to bring the wishbone against us. They’re going to do a lot of options and mid-line options, so we’ve got three days to prepare for that,” Henson said. He added that the Rangers will be without quarterback Colton Wilbur for the second year in a row, after he suffered another early-season knee injury last week.

Thursday’s scrimmage will start with the freshmen at 5 p.m., followed by the junior varsity at 6 and the varsity at about 7 p.m. Henson said the teams will start with two 15-play series for the first and second teams, then end with a 12-minute quarter under game conditions.

Prior to the varsity scrimmage, the sub-varsity teams played at the same time Saturday morning and split their games against the Indians. Seminole shut out Pecos in the JV scrimmage by a 5-0 score, while the Eagles’ ninth graders defeated the Indians, 7-1.

Seminole scored three times with their first team offense and twice with the second team in the JV series, while the Eagles did have four interceptions during the second and third series. The ninth grade first team squad scored three times in their first series and twice in the final series, while both the second team units scored once during the second 15-play series. Isaiah Patino and Arturo Munoz scored twice for the freshmen, while Mundo Dominguez and Mark Martinez had TD runs and Daniel Bejarano passed to Larry Sparkman for the other Pecos score.

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