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Photos 2000

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Rodriguez running in Juco nationals

PECOS, May 10, 2000 -- Former Pecos Eagles' runner Billy Rodriguez earned a berth in the Junior College National Track and Field finals recently, with a fifth place finish in the 800-meter run at the Tarleton State University Relays in Stephenville.

Rodriguez, who graduated from Pecos High School in 1998, is completing his freshman season at South Plains Junior College in Levelland this year. At the Tarlton Relays last month, Rodriguez ran a 1:54.72 to earn his spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association's Track and Field Championships, which begin Thursday at Southern Illinois University in Edwards, Ill.

He finished second during the fall cross country season in competition at Ranger Junior College, and was 50th in the NJCAA Cross Country Championships with a 27.28 time. As a senior for Pecos in 1998, Rodriguez placed third in the 800 meter run at the Region I-4A Track and Field Championships.

LL releases donation, expense records

PECOS, May 10, 2000 -- Pecos Little League officials say they're getting their financial house in order, and will be holding a fundraising golf tournament next weekend to help raise funds for the league.

Businesses and other sponsors around Pecos have asked for more accurate records on both monies taken in and spent by the Pecos Little League, and league treasurer John Salcido released a list last week of payments made by the league for various items, and donations received by the league's sponsors during April.

They showed $1,800 has been spent on uniforms for the 2000 season, while another $367 was spent on concessions and $73.50 on miscellaneous items last month. Sponsor donations to the league for April were $3,150, with player registration fees brining in an addition $1,895, and concession stand money totaling $411.

Donations to teams included $100 apiece from Tony Perez, James Clair and Guadalupe Regalado and for $125 from Mike Cuyer and Rudy Franco for the Dodgers; $200 checks from La Fiesta and Cisneros Welding Construction for the Phillies; $200 from First National Bank for the A's; $200 from Gibson True Value for the Yankees; $50 from DJ Burritos & More and $200 from Anchor West for the Cubs; $200 from the Downtown Lions for the Braves; $50 apiece from Rediger's Pharmacy, Dairy Mart and Rodriguez for the Astros; $200 from Pecos Nursing Home for the Bears; $200 from Sandell's Wrecker Service for the Mariners; $200 from Riverside Ballroom for the Tigers; $200 from HKA Corporation for the Diamondbacks; $200 from La Tienda for the Indians and $100 apiece from Gibson and Salcido Sand and Gravel for the Padres.

Little League play began last week for the 2000 season, while more players are still being sought among the 15-16 year-olds before Pecos Senior League play can begin. Along with the 15-16 year olds, the 13-14 year olds in the Junior League also have yet to begin play.

The District 4 Tournaments will again be held in July this year, but for the first time will be run in a tournament format, similar to the way District 3 has run its tournaments in the Midland-Odessa area for years.

"They're just going to pick names out of a hat, and that city will host the tournament," said league president Tony Aguilar of District 4 officials in San Angelo. But he added that because San Angelo says the light towers at Chano Preito Field are not high enough, Pecos cannot host either the 9-10 or the 11-12 year-old All-Star Tournaments.

"We could host them (the Junior and Senior League Tournaments), but that's about it," Aguilar said. Pecos had to play several home tournament games in Crane last year because of the light tower problems.

O'Neal near-unanamous MVP pick

LOS ANGELES, May 10, 2000 (AP) - Shaquille O'Neal loves coming up with nicknames for himself, and there have been some beauties.

"The Big Havlicek," he suggested one night after uncharacteristically making a bunch of foul shots.

"The Big Felon," he said on another after making a steal and breakaway dunk with 15 seconds left to force overtime of what would become a Los Angeles Lakers victory.

Now, he has a new one.

"From this day on, I want to be known as `The Big Aristotle,' because Aristotle once said excellence is not a singular act, it's a habit," O'Neal said with a smile Tuesday upon receiving his first NBA Most Valuable Player award. "You are what you repeatedly do."

O'Neal was repeatedly dominant this season, to the point where it was clear months ago he would be chosen the MVP, with the only question being whether he would be the first-ever unanimous selection.

He missed, by one vote.

A 7-foot-1, 315-pounder who led the league in scoring and field-goal percentage, O'Neal received 120 of 121 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters, with the remaining vote going to Philadelphia's Allen Iverson.

O'Neal's percentage of 99.2 was the highest for any player since the league introduced the award in 1955-56. Michael Jordan received 96.5 percent of the vote four years ago.

O'Neal received 1,207 points in the voting. Minnesota's Kevin Garnett was second with 408 and Miami's Alonzo Mourning was third with 367. Iverson was seventh with 132.

"He had a tremendous, tremendous season," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "He played at a high level every night."

O'Neal, 28, is the first Lakers player to win the award since Magic Johnson did so for a second straight time in 1990. O'Neal is in his fourth season with the Lakers after playing his first four NBA years with the Orlando Magic.

"This is the first time I've been knick-knack injury free in Los Angeles," he said. "The ultimate goal is to win the championship. This is the best team I've ever played on. If we can get it done this year, my plate will be full as a player."

Meanwhile, this past year's top two choices in the NBA draft validated their selections by earning a share of the NBA's Rookie of the Year award.

Eldon Brand, the No. 1 pick, and Steve Francis, the No. 2 choice, will share the award, a league source confirmed Tuesday. The award will be announced Thursday.

They'll be the first pair to share the award since Jason Kidd and Grant Hill in 1994-95, and just the third ever. Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie split it in 1970-71.

Brand led all rookies in scoring (20.1 points), rebounds (10), blocked shots (1.63), minutes (37) and double-doubles (42). The Chicago Bulls forward also led the entire NBA with 4.3 offensive rebounds a game.

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