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Friday, September 1, 2000

Eagles, Jackets test  changes in opener

Staff Writer
PECOS, Sept. 1, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles have a new offense. The Kermit Yellowjackets have a new defense, and both teams will test them out officially for the first time tonight, when the Eagles travel to Walton Field for their 2000 season opener against the Jackets.

Kermit also has a new coach and new quarterback to go along with their defensive changes, following their 1-9 season in 1999. Glen Jones come over from Lampasas to take over as head coach, and brought his son, Jason, to take over as the Jackets’ quarterback.

 Jones, who was the starter last season at Lampasas before a season-ending injury, is one of a handful of transfers that will join Kermit’s returning players in trying to change things around for the team, which has gone through four head coaches in the past six seasons after being a perennial Class 3A playoff qualifier in the 1980s and early `90s.

“They’re a basic wing-T team,” said Eagles’ coach Gary Grubbs. “They run the sweep, the bootleg and get into the I a little bit and run the counter. They execute well.

Jones said he team was “kind of up and down” in their scrimmages against Sonora and New Deal. “We’re having trouble getting everybody suited up and working out.”

“We don’t have a lot of numbers, but we have zero attitude problems and zero problems off the field,” said Jones, who coached at Ballinger before going to Lampasas.

He said there were no problems with his son coming in at quarterback. “He had a good spring. We came in March 1 and he was well received. There wasn’t any political quarterback situation.”

Kermit does return the same quarterback they had last year when Pecos scored a 20-0 win. But Jones said Norman Castillo was playing out of position that night.

“They had four or five kids suspended at that time, including the starting quarterback, so he was the quarterback then,” Jones said. Castillo was returned to a running back slot later in the season, which is where he’ll start tonight against the Eagles, while Allen Smithart returns at tailback for the Jackets.

Aside from Jones, who threw for over 570 yards before being hurt a year ago, Kermit also picked up defensive end Michael Sturgis from Midland Lee. “We’ve got another kid who played with us last year then moved to Monahans, but has moved back,” the Jackets’ coach added.

At receiver, Kermit returns tight end Manny Munoz, though Grubbs said he might also be seeing time at flanker this year.

“Defensively, they run the split-6 and are pretty big on defense. Their ends and tackles are real big,” Grubbs said. “That (Anthony) Glover kid is probably their best lineman”

“They were fairly aggressive against Sonora, New Deal and Ingram when we went to watch them. They’re going to be very basic,” he added, while Jones downplayed his team’s scrimmage results.

“We haven’t fared very well in our scrimmages against 2A schools,” he said, adding that the change to a different offensive and defensive scheme played a part in the problems.

“It’s new. We got a little better last week compared to Sonora,” he said, as the players try to adjust to the split-6 defense and wing-T offense Kermit will run. “We’re just having a tough time learning the system, and we’ve got to go real slow with these guys. But I think by the time we get around to district, the kids will be up to speed and ready to go.”

The Jackets will likely try to do what Carlsbad did to Pecos in their scrimmage two weeks ago - line-up and push the Eagles back on the offensive and defensive lines, since Jones said his team speed is not great this season.

“We’ve got quickness, but we lack speed, and there’s a difference there,” he said. “When you’re not sure of where your going, you’ve got to count on aggressiveness to make up for that lack of speed.”

“I don’t think they’re real fast. I feel our defense will have better speed than them, but they are real aggressive.”

The Eagles were short on aggression in their scrimmage loss to Carlsbad, though Grubbs said that’s improved over the past two weeks. “We didn’t get a lot of people to the football, bur we’re doing better in practice.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles will try to improve on their run blocking tonight, working out of the option attack. Richard Rodriguez will start and split time with Alex Garcia at quarterback. The two, plus Peter Juarez, threw for 158 yards and a touchdown against the Cavemen, but Pecos’ backs could only gain 41 yards rushing on the day.

The Eagles also are still dealing with their share of injuries on the offensive line. Center Chris Deishler remains out and will be replaced by Jose Loa, while Sebero Jaquez will handle the right tackle spot in place of Micah Huffman.

Tonight is the first of five straight games for Pecos against District 4-3A teams. The Eagles will go to Fort Stockton next week, then host Alpine on Sept. 15 in their home opener.

Granado back for Seminole tourney

PECOS, Sept. 1, 2000 -- After getting their absent coach a first place trophy last Saturday, the Pecos Eagles are trying to see if they can do the same thing this weekend for coach Becky Granado with her at the games.

The Eagles began play this morning at the Seminole Invitational in what figures to be their toughest matches so far this season. The Eagles began pool round play at 9:30 a.m. against the Midland Lee Rebels, then took on the Pampa Harvesters at 12:30 p.m. before closing out wit a 2:30 p.m. match against former District 4-4A rival San Angelo Lake View.

Pecos will play at 8:30 or 9:45 a.m. Saturday if they finish first or second in their pool, and will play at 8:30 a.m. if they place last today. The third place team draws a first round bye in the consolation bracket because there are only three teams in one of the pools, featuring Lubbock Coronado, Odessa Permian and Amarillo River Road.

Pecos comes into the game with a 13-2 season record, though Granado was not around to see any of those games due to the illness and eventual death of her father a week ago. While she has been in touch with assistant coach Veronica Valenzuela, who ran the team for the first 15 matches, Granado said as far as the other teams are concerned. “I haven’t been keeping up with it, but I’ll get back into to tomorrow (today).”

The Eagles defeated Midland Lee 10 days ago in three games on the Rebels’ home court, but haven’t faced Lake View in two years and haven’t gone up against Pampa in over a decade. The Maidens have dominated the Eagles’ former district the past couple of seasons, and started off fast this year, but were beaten at home last Saturday in the San Angelo Invitational by El Paso High, the team Pecos ousted from the Class 4A playoffs a year ago.

The Eagles were then eliminated themselves by Hereford, which went on to take the state title. The Whitefaces are also in the tournament, paired with Big Spring, Monahans and Midland High today, while Seminole is matched up with San Angelo Central, Andrews and Lubbock Estacado.

“Coach (Jackie) Horton from Seminole said Hereford is kind of struggling right now, but I said they always struggle at the beginning and then pick it up at the end,” Granado said.

Aside from getting Granado back, the Eagles were also hoping to get setter Jessica Rodriguez back this weekend, after she fractured her nose in the first pool round game in the Pecos tournament last Friday. Dee Dee Molinar handled the sets for the Eagles in the rest of the tournament and in the victories Tuesday over Alpine and Odessa.

Pecos, Kermit sub-varsities split openers

PECOS, Sept. 1, 2000 -- Two shutouts and two goal line stands decided the four sub-varsity season opening football games in Pecos Thursday night, as Pecos’ eighth grade teams split their afternoon games against Kermit, while the freshman and JV did the same later in the evening against the Yellowjackets.

At the Crockett Middle School Field, the Jackets stopped the Eagles on a two-point conversion attempt with just over a minute left to place to preserve a 14-12 victory in the season-opening `A’ game, after the Eagles’ scored an 8-0 shutout win the `B’ team contest.

At Eagle Stadium, Pecos’ junior varsity stopped Kermit on the two-yard-line on the final play of the game and held on for a 20-14 victory, after the Jackets’ freshmen had blanked the Eagles by a 16-0 final score.

Defensive lapses in the first half set up both of Kermit’s scores in the JV game, before the Eagles rallied with three straight touchdowns to get the win. The Jackets used an 80-yard run to set up their first score, and a 98-yard touchdown run one play after Pecos fumbled the ball away in the second quarter.

After that, the Eagles did score on their next series, off a 22-yard run by Roy Jimenez, who then added the two-point conversion run. Jimenez tied the game on the opening series of the second half, on a four yard run, but the Eagles missed the conversion and didn’t take the lead until the final period, when quarterback Freddie Torres scored on a nine-yard option keeper following a Jackets’ turnover.

A 57-yard TD run by Torres later in the quarter was called back by a penalty, and Kermit then got one last chance to win the game off a fumble by Torres a few plays later. The Jackets got as far as the two-yard line, but ran out of time and downs as the game ended.

At Crockett, Kermit took a 14-6 lead with three minutes left on a 16-yard touchdown run, before Pecos came back and scored on a 14-yard run by Adam Ybarra. But quarterback Robbie Saldana was stopped short of the end zone on the tying conversion attempt.

Kermit had taken a 6-0 lead in the first period on a 19-yard run after a Pecos fumble, but the Eagles tied the game before halftime on a 28-yard pass from Saldana to Gilbert Gonzales.

The `B’ team got the only touchdown of its game on a run by Jacob Marquez, with Mark Navarette adding the two-point conversion. In the freshman game, Kermit got one touchdown in each half, and used a pair of interceptions to stop Pecos’ second half scoring chances in their shutout win.

Pecos’ seventh graders were scheduled to open their season on Thursday at Kermit, but instead played a pair of scrimmage games against the Jackets. The seventh graders instead will start their 2000 season next week on the road against Fort Stockton.

Pecos’ varsity will open their season tonight in Kermit at 8 p.m. against the Jackets, the first time the Eagles have begun play on the `zero week’ which was instituted by the University Interscholastic League in 1996 and allows teams 11 weeks to play their 10-game regular season schedules.

Four of the Eagles’ five District 2-4A opponents are also opening their seasons tonight on the road, while Clint opens play on Sept. 8. Scores are available tonight after 11 p.m. over the Internet via Real Audio or Windows Media Player links at and

The other district openers have Canutillo hosting Santa Teresa, Fabens at Tularosa, N.M., El Paso Mountain View at El Paso Cathedral and San Elizario at El Paso Parkland.

San Elizario (8-3 in 1999) at El Paso Parkland (10-2): The two defending district champions from the El Paso area Class 4A districts meet up, in a battle that should match Parkland’s offense against San Eli’s defense.

The Eagles do have running backs Mike Tapia, Andy Arrellano and tight end Albert Jacobo back, and will be hoping one of their three quarterbacks can do the job Mike Perez did for San Elizario the past two seasons. Perez was District 2-4A’s MVP a year ago in leading the Eagles to their first-ever post-season berth.

Parkland returns Matt Austin, who averaged nearly nine yards per carry last year in rushing for 1,519 yards and two touchdowns and Artiese Cheeks, who gained 750 yards despite being injured part of last season. Like the Eagles, the Matadors will be breaking in a new quarterback, Mike Schure, tonight.

Fabens (3-7) at Tularosa (1-0 in 2000): The Wildcats return last year’s District 2-4A rushing leader, Vicente Macias, who gained 1,568 yards in 1999, along with quarterback Rigo Estrada, who threw for almost 1,100 yards. Where they and the rest of the team will be looking to improve is inside the 20 yard-line, where Fabens had problems at key moments last season in going winless in 2-4A play.

Tularosa has a one-week head start on the Wildcats, having opened their 2000 season last Friday with 10-0 victory over Hot Springs, N.M.

Canutillo (2-8) at Santa Teresa (2-9): Another District 2-4A team looking to bounce back from last season, the Golden Eagles will have eight players back on defense and the biggest offensive line in the district to work with. Outside of running back Noel Rios, they will have new faces in the backfield on offense, so tonight will be their first official game test.

However, last week’s scrimmage against Del Valle should have gotten the Golden Eagles more than ready for Santa Teresa, which also has Fabens, Mountain View and San Elizario on its pre-district schedule. The Desert Warriors lost two-thirds of last year’s team to graduation, and are calling 2000 a rebuilding year.

El Paso Mountain View (5-4) at EP Cathedral (4-6): The pre-district favorites for 2000 get to start their season against another team that has four 2-4A schools on their pre-district schedule. Mountain View’s quarterback Arturo Muniz will have to adjust to new receivers this season, but other than that, the Lobos return almost all their starters from a year ago.

According to the El Paso Times, Cathedral’s Rhian Madrid owns the honor of having won the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition for 2000 this past January. He may punt and kick tonight, but passing out of the defensive end spot is unlikely, and the Fighting Irish do have last year’s quarterback, James Costanzo, returning.

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Pecos Enterprise
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