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Friday, February 25, 2000

Eagles open season in Monahans

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 25, 2000 -- Expectations are high, but the numbers are low, at least for the Pecos Eagles' opening games of the 2000 baseball season, Saturday afternoon in Monahans.

After reaching the Region I-4A semifinals a year ago while ending a seven year playoff drought, the Eagles will be looking to improve on their 24-8 record of 1999 when they take the field for their season-opening doubleheader against Monahans, set for 1 and 3:30 p.m. starts.

Pecos swept a pair of games at home from the Loboes a year ago, and have several players back from that team. But they also have several who'll be absent from the opening games, according to Eagles' coach Bubba Williams.

"I'm only going to have 11 players," said Williams, who'll be without two starters, second baseman Toomi Lara and outfielder Kevin Bates. "Toomi's going to power lifting, and Kevin's going to be at state (swimming)."

Williams said one of his newer players, Daniel Terrazas, would also miss Saturday's games, though he'll just be across the street, running in the Monahans Sandhills Relays.

Capi Magana will take Lara's spot at second base, while Bates' absence will leave Pecos with an entire new outfield _ Jerry Trujillo, Joey Garcia and Alex Garcia _ to start Saturday's games. The Eagles' other returning outfielder, sophomore Mason Abila, will be taking over from his brother Mark at catcher this season.

The Eagles also lost one of their two returning starting pitchers during the off-season, when Oscar Rodriguez moved. The Eagles still get back their No. 1 starter, Josh Casillas, who was 11-2 a year ago, and also get back their No. 3 starter, Pifi Montoya, who had a win and a save for Pecos during last season's playoffs.

"I'm probably going to start off with Pifi and then probably come back with Josh," Williams said. "If they get in trouble I've got Luis (Salgado) and I've got Capi."

Salgado will start at shortstop again this season, while Ricky Herrera returns at third base. Williams said his two lefthanders would alternate at first base, "whichever one's not pitching."

Casillas picked up a win in the opener last year against Monahans allowing 10 hits and three earned runs in seven innings. He beat the Loboes' Roy Porras, who allowed 10 hits and 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings, and who figures to start one of Saturday's games. Like Pecos, Monahans figures to be a little shorthanded on Saturday, with a couple of players still in basketball right now.

The Eagles defeated Fort Stockton in a pre-season scrimmage, but struggled at the plate. "They look better now. They're concentrating more on what they're doing," Williams said. "They've taken a lot of live hitting, but we're going to have to wait until the game to see what they can do against live pitching."

One of the things that also helped Pecos a year ago was an absence of injuries and grade problems they had suffered through during the seasons they missed the playoffs. "Nobody failed, nobody got hurt, we hit the ball and we played good defense, that's why we had a successful year," Williams said. "That's what we're going to have to do again this year, or we're not going to be as successful."

Bates, relay team earn finals berths

PECOS, Feb. 25, 2000 -- Pecos Eagles’ swimmer Kevin Bates and the Eagles’ 200 yard medley relay team qualified for the finals of the Class 4A Swimming and Diving Championships, during preliminaries this morning in Austin.

Bates placed by finishing third in the 50 free, while he, Tye Edwards, Jason Lopez and Cortney Freeman also finished third in the medley relay. The top 6 finishers advance to the finals, while the next six will swim in Saturday’s consolation finals.

Two other swimmers, JoAnn Wein in the girls’ 200 yard freestyle, and Grant Holland in the 200 medley, failed to make Saturday’s finals, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the University of Texas Aquatic Center.

Junior highs give track first test

PECOS, Feb. 25, 2000 -- The new track and field facilities at Eagle Stadium will get their first official test today, when the West of the Pecos Junior Relays opens up the area track season for seventh and eighth grade students.

Track conditions at Eagle Stadium had deteriorated to the point that no high school meet had been held here in a decade, and the condition of the track, along with the long jump and pole vault runs and the high jump area, made it impossible to hold a junior high meet in 1999.

That changed, following nearly $100,000 worth of improvements to the facilities last fall, as part of a combined effort of the school district, Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City. A new shot put ring was just installed last week, while fencing was also put up around the track, and drainage was improved to avoid the problems of cracking from subsurface erosion that plagued the old track.

Events open today with girls running finals and boys' field events at 3:45 p.m. The running finals for the boys and the girls field events will follow, starting at 6 p.m.

Along with the Eagles, teams from Fort Stockton, Monahans, Kermit, Crane, Greenwood and Presidio will be at the meet, though not all schools will have both girls and boys teams in each of the two divisions.

The meet is the first of four this year for the junior high track squads. Crockett and Zavala teams will go to Kermit next weekend, and also have meets at Monahans and Fort Stockton in March.

Pecos hosts Midland High, Andress

PECOS, Feb. 25, 2000 -- The Midland High Bulldogs will take on the El Paso Andress Eagles tonight at 8 p.m., in a Class 5A area round boys basketball playoff game at the Pecos High School gym.

Midland High won two playoff games in Pecos two years ago, on the way to the Class 5A state title. The Bulldogs come into tonight's game with a 27-6 season record and drew a first round bye after winning the District 4-5A title, while Andress is 21-12, including a bi-district playoff victory over El Paso Del Valle on Tuesday. The Eagles shared the District 1-4A title with El Paso Franklin, but lost out on the first round bye due to a tiebreaker.

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Pecos Enterprise
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