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Friday, May 19, 2000

P-B-T sets summer schedules

PECOS, May 19, 2000 -- The final date for signing up for summer swimming lessons at the Pecos High School pool will be this coming Monday, while registration for the other Pecos-Barstow-Toyah summer athletic programs will begin following the end of school next week.

Swimming sign-ups will be Monday in the lobby of the Pecos High School pool from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Sessions will be from June 5-16 and from June 19-30 and are open to boys and girls at the preschool (ages 3-4) and school age (5 and up) levels. The cost for the two-week class is $25 per student. For further information, call coach Terri Morse at 447-7242.

Meanwhile, summer pool hours will begin on June 6 and run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with family nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On Tuesday, May 30, the first session of the USA 1-2-3 summer tennis program is scheduled to begin with registration set for opening day. There will be two sessions, with the first running through June 9 and the second from June 12-23.

Pecos High School tennis coach Bernadette Ornelas is course instructor, with each day's activities divided up by grades. Kindergarten and first graders will go from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m., second and third graders from 8:15 to 9 a.m., fourth through sixth grades from 9 to 9:45 a.m., junior high students from 10-10:45 a.m. and high school players from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

The program is open to all P-B-T students and fees are $5 for one child, $7 for two and $10 for three or more in a family. Racquets will be provided for students who do not own one.

On Wednesday, May 31, registration for the P-B-T summer golf program will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Crockett Middle School Gym. Classes begin on Thursday, June 1 with Tina Hendrick as instructor.

They will run and will run Monday through Thursday until the end of June at the Crockett Field. Times are 8-8:45 a.m. for Grades 1-2; 9-9:45 a.m. for Grades 6-7; and 10-10:45 a.m. for Grades 3-5.

Students in grades 8-12 will go from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday at the Reeves County Golf Course. Fees are the same as for tennis.

Summer basketball sign-ups will be on Thursday, June 1 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the new Pecos High School gym, with coach Tino Acosta as instructor. Classes will run from June 2 through June 30, with incoming fourth and fifth graders going from 9 to 10 a.m., sixth and seventh graders from 10 to 11 a.m. and eighth and ninth graders from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

For more information, contact Acosta at 447-7234 or 445-3822.

Registration for the summer track program is set for Monday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to noon. Practice will begin Tuesday, June 6 and run weekdays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon through June 30.

Varsity girls track coach Lily Talamantez will be the instructor, and the program is open to students between the ages of 7 and 18. Track meet dates will be in the upcoming days.

Summer weightlifting will get underway at the PHS field house on Tuesday, June 6 and will run throughout June and July with the exception of the Fourth of July weekend. Head football coach Gary Grubbs will be the supervisor, and the weight machines will be available from 6 to 8 p.m. each evening.

Summer volleyball is also scheduled to begin on June 6 and run on even-numbered weekdays through July 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., along with even numbered weeknights from July 18 through July 28. Becky Granado will be the instructor for the course and students can sign up the first day they participate.

The annual summer clinic for seventh and eighth graders will be the week of July 17 and the ninth grader clinic will be the weeks of July 24, both running from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Baseball tested for `extra juice' at factory

AP Sports Writer
LOWELL, Mass., May 19, 2000 - Baseball officials, trying to make sure the ball isn't juiced, hired an engineering professor to poke and prod it and even planned a trip to the factory in Costa Rica to see how it is made.

All they had to do was ask Ted Sizemore.

"We know what they're going to find out: The ball hasn't changed," said Sizemore, who played with Los Angeles, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Boston before becoming a senior vice president at Rawlings.

"Nothing's changed in the 16 years I've been here, and people that have been here before me tell me major league baseball has never asked them to change the ball. I'm not down at the factory every day, but I can tell you that everything is the same."

Batters hit a record 931 homers in April - 105 more than in the first month of the 1996 season. There was an average of 2.56 homers per game this April, up 15 percent from the 2.22 hit in the first month of the 1999 season.

Although the smaller ballparks, bigger hitters and expansion-era pitching explain much of the surge, there are also those who suspect that something more sinister is afoot, like a conspiracy to doctor the ball.

It's not sluggers such as Mark McGwire hitting 70 homers as much as it is Reds reliever Danny Graves hitting one - he got his first career hit last week with a 349-foot shot over the wall of one of baseball's new bandboxes, Enron Field in Houston.

While denying the ball has changed, baseball officials will be in Costa Rica on Monday to tour the Rawlings plant where it is made. The commissioner has also commissioned an engineering professor at the University of Massachusetts to see what he can find out.

"As a fan, it's exciting to see the home runs. But I guess you want to see the integrity of the game maintained as it had been in the past," said Jim Sherwood, who runs the Baseball Research Center at the UMass-Lowell campus.

"We're going to answer whether the ball is part of the problem or not, whether it's hotter than it's supposed to be."

Rawlings has been the major leagues' exclusive supplier of baseballs since 1977, making each one with a cork center surrounded by four different windings of yarn: four-ply gray wool, three-ply white wool, three-ply gray wool and finally a thinner cotton yarn that gives the ball a smoother surface. It is weighed and measured at each step.

The leather cover - the switch from horsehide to cowhide came in 1974 - is inspected for 17 potential imperfections, from stretch marks to scars, and then it is stitched on by hand. The ball is checked to make sure it fits the major league specifications of five ounces, and nine inches around.

The ball is also required to have a specific hardness, or "coefficient of restitution," which is measured by firing it at a piece of northern white ash, 2 1/2 inches thick. The ball's speed is measured as it comes out of the gun, and it must rebound at 54.6 percent its original speed, plus or minus 3.2 percent.

The ball also must hold its shape within 0.08 of an inch after being subjected to 65 pounds of pressure.

Although Sherwood did say that he will make sure the balls being used meet the specifications in the rule book, his deal with baseball requires him to keep his methods secret.

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