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Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Pre-season time short  for Eagles

PECOS, Aug. 2, 2000 -- Pecos Eagles volleyball coach Becky Granado hopes her  varsity players have kept themselves in shape during the off-season,  because pre-season practice time before the start of the regular season will  be shorter than ever this year. 

Practice doesn't start for another five days, and the Eagles' 2000 season opener is less than two weeks from today, on Aug. 15 against the Alpine Bucks and Odessa High Bronchos. Before, then, Pecos will host Wink, Fort Davis and Grandfalls in scrimmage games on Friday, Aug. 11, then will go to Monahans to face the Lady Loboes and Odessa Permian Panthers on Aug. 12.

"We have 58 signed up for (volleyball) athletics, but not all 58 have returned their physicals," Granado said Tuesday. "Right now, only two of my freshmen have returned their physicals, so I don't know what we'll do Monday if there are only two girls out there."

"Most of the upperclassmen have their physicals," she added, but said workouts may still be rough for them. "It just depends on if they worked out this summer. If they worked out this summer and got themselves into shape it will be OK, but if not, it's going to be hard.

"Most of them have been coming to open gym, and after open gym they've gone out running, but I don't know if they've all been lifting weights," she said. "We're only going to have four days to get ready for our first scrimmage on Friday."

Seven members off last year's varsity squad participated in a volleyball clinic last weekend at Texas Tech. Granado said the teams were divided by schools and had a mini-tournament, with the Eagles ending up in Division II, where they came in first.

"I haven't really talked to them a lot about it. All I know is they enjoyed it," she said.

Aside from a short pre-season, Granado said teacher in-service starts next week, which means practice times will be changed from past seasons. Workouts for the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams will be split into morning and nights next Monday and Tuesday and afternoon and nights the following two days.

Teams will practice twice a day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, Granado said. "Tuesday we'll probably go one section. The JV and freshmen will go 6 to 8 a.m. and the varsity 10 to 12 p.m. (midnight), only because we have to go to Odessa for in-service," she said.

Granado said coaches would be around during the day and evening today and Thursday for players needing to return their physical forms. Players cannot begin workouts next week without having their physical forms filled out and signed by a doctor.

Hereford receiver's catch gets North win

HOUSTON, Aug. 2, 2000 (AP) — L.J. Vallejo wasn't really expected to play a  major role in the game plan, nor did he come into Tuesday's Southwestern Bell  All-Star Football Game with much notoriety. 

But the Hereford standout left Rice Stadium with the satisfaction of knowing his touchdown was the highlight of a game that had very few of them.

Vallejo's touchdown catch off a tipped pass by The Woodlands' Chance Mock provided the North with the winning score in their 17-13 victory over the South.

"It just happened," said Vallejo, who will play defensive back at West Texas A&M next fall. "I just jumped up and grabbed it."

Vallejo, listed at 5-foot-9-inches, 175 pounds, was overlooked by most of the bigger universities because of a serious knee injury that kept him out of his school's playoff run to the Class 4A Division 1 state finals.

"It was kind of redemption for me," Vallejo said. "I was really nervous coming here. All of these guys are great athletes and they're going to Division 1 colleges. It was just awesome to be play to play again."

The game, which showcases 70 prep football standouts from across Texas, was held in conjunction with the 68th annual Texas High School Coaches Association coaching school. The school ends Wednesday.

Both teams combined for only 345 total yards, but it was the big-play ability of the North that catapulted them to a win.

Texarkana's Nathan Vasher caught the other Mock touchdown throw on a 36-yard bomb down the sideline with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter, which pulled the North within three points.

Mock, who will attend the University of Texas this fall, only completed five of his 15 passing attempts, but it was his two touchdowns tosses which earned him offensive player of the game honors.

"I got the MVP, but this is an award for the team," said Mock, whose father Mike was named the game's most valuable offensive player in 1974. "It's a great feeling to be given this honor, but I had some great receivers."

Post's Billy Crawford, a Baylor signee, was named the most valuable defensive player of the game. Crawford had four tackles, two of them for 18 yards in losses.

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