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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, August 31, 2007

JV, freshmen start in Alpine, Fort Stockton

The Pecos Eagles junior varsity and freshman purple teams will start off their 2007 seasons on the road tonight, while the ninth grade gold team is scheduled to start its 2007 season with a game on Saturday.

Pecos’ JV will head to Alpine tonight, where they’ll face the Bucks JV in a 6:30 p.m. game. The JV will be trying to win their opener over the Bucks after falling in their preseason scrimmages against Seminole and Greenwood, the latter by a 3-0 score last Thursday.

Pecos’ freshmen won both of their scrimmages, beating Greenwood last week by the same 3-0 margin, and will take on Fort Stockton this afternoon in a 5 p.m. start on the Panthers’ field.

Because of the large number of freshman players this season, Pecos has added four ‘B’ games to their 2007 ninth grade schedule, two against Iraan and two versus Kermit. The first one is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday, when they’ll travel to Iraan to face the Braves.

Regular season play for Pecos’ junior high football teams starts next Thursday, with games in Andrews against the Mustangs.

Pecos extends win streak with victories in Alpine

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team will be taking a break for the Labor Day weekend, after extending their winning streak to eight matches on Tuesday with wins in Alpine over the Bucks and Fort Davis.

The Eagles swept the Bucks by scores of 25-12, 25-17, 25-10, and then downed the Maidens by 25-5, 25-17, 25-20 margins to improve to 11-3 on the season. “We missed some little bitty serves, but all in all we did really well,” said Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough, whose team came into Tuesday’s matches off a long five-game victory over Andrews in the finals of the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic.

Jasmine Rayos had 16 kills and five blocks against Alpine, while Danielle Garcia had 12 in the victory. The Eagles also got strong games early out of hitters Cheyenne Carrasco and Claire Weinacht, while Kimbrough said she was able to move her lineup around later in the match and in the win over Fort Davis. “I brought up a couple of players, Carissa Cerna and Veronica (Tarin), and they did a good job, but we still have to iron out some things,” she said. “I mostly played my second group against Fort Davis, and we ended up beating them. We had a lot of long rallies, and we ended up winning most of them.”

Along with the two new additions, Kimbrough also used Jamye Galindo and Diana Parada on the front line in the match against the Maidens. “When they all got in the game, they did a really good job.”

Kimbrough said Pecos also won Tuesday’s junior varsity and freshman matches. Both those teams will be in action this weekend, with the ninth graders playing at the Sandhills Freshman Tournament, while the JV will be the only team headed west on Friday to Dell City for a late afternoon match against the Cougars. Dell City played Pecos last season on Labor Day weekend on the Eagles’ home court, in a match Pecos swept in three games by identical 25-9 scores. The Eagles will now have only one varsity match over a two-week stretch, next Tuesday in Van Horn. They’ll get back into a regular schedule on Sept. 11 with a rematch with Andrews on the Mustangs’ home court, along with another match against Denver City.

Bucks’ passing attack tests Eagles in opener

Neither the Alpine Bucks nor the Pecos Eagles got to play at home last season, in the teams’ regular season opener. The Eagles do in the season-opening rematch on Friday night, but that doesn’t bother Bucks’ coach Shad Hanna, as long as the temperatures are a little bit cooler at game-time. Pecos and Alpine start off the 2007 season with a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday at Eagle Stadium. Last year’s game was the debut for both Hanna as Bucks head coach, and for Eagles’ head coach Chris Henson, who said that despite getting the home field advantage, Pecos should be facing a team that’s improved from a year ago.

“They’re going to be tough,” Henson said. “Alpine’s got a good team and a tremendous amount of team speed.”

Hanna downplayed that aspect of his team.

“We’ve got a little bit of speed, but as far as overall quickness, I don’t think there’s much of that,” he said.

Still he added that outside of one knee injury in workouts, things have been looking good for the Bucks this season.

“So far, so good,” Hanna said. “We’re still pretty young on the offensive line, and it’s not gelling that well, but it’s going to be good, and could be a lot of fun, depending on how we gel.”

Last season, the Eagles and the high temperatures on the artificial turf at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa combined to wear down the Bucks in the second half, and Pecos ended up with a 21-14 victory behind Luis Ortega’s 267 rushing yards. But while Ortega has graduated, Alpine has most of their key players returning. “They lost some linemen, but they’ve got almost everybody coming back,” Henson said, including quarterback Moises Estrada and running back Marcos Ramos.

Estrada was 7-for-14 for 118 yards last year against Pecos, most of that in the first half, while Ramos ran for 74 yards and a touchdown before being plagued by leg cramps in the second half. Hanna said that hurt the Bucks, who went in at halftime tied with the Eagles, but that giving up a home game to play at Ratliff was worth it in the long run.

“The main reason we did it last year was we were going to have to play some playoff games on turf, and I wanted to go over there and let the kids see the difference,” he said. “This year, we said why go all the way over there when we can just go to Pecos.”

While game-time temperatures figure to be a lot better than they were in Odessa last year, which should cut down on players suffering leg cramps, Henson said he’s hoping the Eagles will still have an advantage on the Bucks due to more overall depth.

“One of the advantages we have is right now most of our kids are playing one-way, while most of their kids are playing two-way,” he said.

Some of the Eagle offensive players may see added time on defense in the secondary, where Pecos may need to have some added players to deal with the Bucks’ pass-oriented offense and Estrada, who threw for 2,223 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2006.

“Their quarterback throws the ball extremely well,” Henson said. “He didn’t play in the Fort Stockton scrimmage, but against Seagraves he threw the ball extremely well.”

The Bucks won their scrimmages against Fort Stockton and Seagraves, while Pecos lost theirs to Seminole and Greenwood, with most of the touchdowns coming via the pass in both games. It’s something the Eagles will have to improve on in Friday’s game.

“Alpine runs the spread offense and they’ll have three (receivers) wide, four wide and sometimes even five-wide, so the secondary has got to make some great adjustments,” Henson said. “They’re going to try and get us into defensive formations where they can get us in mismatches, so we’ve got to get into defensive coverages where we can disrupt what they’re doing.”

Aside from using Ramos as their main rusher, defensively, Henson said the Bucks also like to use him as one of their main pass rushers from the weakside linebacker’s spot.

“What they like to do is move their will (weakside) linebacker around and time their blitzes. The strength of their defense is their linebacker corps.”

Hanna downplayed last week’s scrimmage results, saying that Seagraves had problems getting started. But he said defensively, middle linebacker Jerod Heinatz had a strong game. “He was our leading tackler from last year,” the Bucks’ coach added.

Including the two scrimmage games, this will be the third week in a row the Eagles have played at home. They’ll follow that up with trips to Andrews and Kermit the next two Fridays before hosting Denver City for their 2007 homecoming game on Sept. 21.

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