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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, May 5, 2000

Eagles look to keep season going against Bears

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 5, 2000 - The Pecos Eagles didn't win the District 2-4A title this year, the way they had a year ago, but the Eagles will go into the Class 4A playoffs today against the El Paso Bowie Bears off an even longer break than they had last season, when they teams meet for a doubleheader at 5 and 7:15 p.m. today.

Game 3 of the best-of-three series would be played at 4 p.m. CDT on Saturday at El Paso Bowie, though coach Bubba Williams is hoping his team won't have to make the 210-mile trip tomorrow.

"The kids are ready to play. They're ready to get after it," said Williams, who plans to start Josh Casillas on the mound in Game 1 this afternoon.

Casillas has been plagued by arm problems all season, but has had over two weeks rest since his last game, an 8-4 win over Canutillo on April 20. "Josh will start the first game," Williams said on Thursday. "I hope he's got some pop back in his fastball. We were working out this week and Mason (Abila) was catching him and said his ball was moving, so hopefully that's what he'll do tomorrow."

After their win over Canutillo, Pecos clinched second place by winning twice over San Elizario five days later while Fabens opted not to make up their suspended game against El Paso Mountain View. The Wildcats will face El Paso Ysleta in the other bi-district playoff series.

Ysleta clinched second in District 1-4A with a 5-1 win on April 25 over Bowie, but the Bears then avoided a third place playoff with El Paso Burges by rallying a week ago to defeat El Paso High, 9-5. It gave them a 6-4 record in District 1-4A, though the Bears are only 10-13 on the season.

"They played some tough 5A teams, so their record doesn't indicate how good they are," Williams said. One of Bowie's wins was by a 7-6 score over Clint, which outscored Pecos 24-5 in their two games on the way to the District 2-4A title.

Williams said Albert Torres had two home runs in the win over the Lions, and has been one of the team's pitchers this season. But Torres didn't pitch in either of last week's games, with Javier Gonzales getting the victory over El Paso High to clinch a playoff spot.

For Game 2 today, Williams said he was undecided on his pitcher. "In the second game it's between Richard (Rodriguez) and Capi (Magana).

"The Clint coach told me they've got three good hitters in the lineup, and they like to hit the fastball, so we'll just have to see what happens in the first game," he added.

While the Eagles failed to live up to expectations this season despite a 7-3 district mark and 15-6 overall record, Williams said, "I look at it this way, this is a new season, and the kids are looking forward to it."

The winner of this weekend's

Mata's jersey retired during sports banquet

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 5, 2000 - The jersey of a former Pecos Eagle killed in a Dallas robbery six years ago was retired Thursday night, and her uniform was presented to her brother and sister during ceremonies at the annual Pecos High School All-Sports Banquet.

The banquet was held for the first time at the Pecos High School gym and drew its largest crowd ever, with more space available for parents and others to attend the ceremonies. They included retiring the uniform of Norma Matta, prior to presenting the Norma Mata Fighting Heart Award to volleyball players Amy Chabarria and Monica Meza.

Volleyball coach Becky Granado presented a framed uniform to Mata's brother and sister, Ruben Mata and Rosalinda Payen, and told the audience another uniform was on display in the lobby of the gym. Mata, a member of the Eagles' 1987 state championship team and the last Class 4A volleyball team to go through a season undefeated, was shot and killed outside a Dallas restaurant in October, 1994.

Former Monahans head football coach and superintendent Jerry Larned was the guest speaker at the banquet, and he listed five things students needed to do to be successful in sports and life. They included spiritual soundness, setting goals, courage, and a burning desire to excel and respecting your own body.

"Don't satisfy yourself with being average. Average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best," Larned told the students.

He also told them they could win a lot in the district they are in, as long as they don't play down to a lower level of competition than the Eagles were used to in their old district with Monahans, Andrews, Fort Stockton, Big Spring, Sweetwater and San Angelo Lake View.

"Can you win a state title at Pecos, Texas? You can't if you don't think you can," he told the crowd.

The Norma Matta Award was one of four given out at the end of Thursday's Sports Banquet.

Seniors won all of the awards this year, with Orlando Lara winning the Doc Lunday Sportsmanship Award, Len Carson winning the Craig Woods Football-Track Award, while the Joe Bob Kelton Award for football and academic achievement went to Craig Wein. The other award for the girls, the Joe Shoemaker Award, went to Katrina Quiroz for her participating in athletics during her four years at Pecos High School.

Wein earlier had received an academic award in swimmer from coach Terry Morse, who had the longest list of honorees to give out this year, the first in which Class 4A teams competed in their own state meet. Senior Kevin Bates, who placed second at state in the 50-yard freestyle, also received All America honors in Junior National Swimming, which Morse said was one level below the Senior Nationals who compete for berths in the Summer Olympics.

Coaches for all other sports also handed out their all-district and honorable mention certificates to players on the 1999-2000 Eagle teams, with the exception of baseball. Williams said UIL rules prohibit release of the all-district lists until after all teams in the district have completed their seasons. The Eagles face El Paso Bowie in the bi-district round of the playoffs today at 5 p.m.

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