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Friday, February 09, 2001

Eagles' flock small for first scrimmage

Staff Writer

Where have all the players gone?

That's what Pecos Eagles' baseball coach Bubba Williams would like to know, as the team prepares for its first preseason scrimmage, at 4:30 p.m. today against the Odessa Permian Panthers.

The Eagles will host the Panthers in a game switched from Odessa. It's the first of three pre-season scrimmages for Pecos, as Williams and his coaches will get a chance to look at 25 players under game conditions for the first time this season.

That's a lot of players for one team, but not many if you're trying to come up with varsity, junior varsity and freshman baseball squads.

"We've got 42 signed up overall, and we've still got some out in basketball," Williams said. "But this is the lowest number of kids we've had come out since I've been here."

Basketball season for Pecos doesn't end until Tuesday, and as a result, Williams said the Eagles' junior varsity scrimmage scheduled for that day has been cancelled. "We don't have enough kids. We'll go to Fort Stockton (for the varsity scrimmage), but the game here has been cancelled."

For this afternoon, Williams said he planned to look at several pitchers against Permian, as the Eagles look to decide on their varsity staff for 2001.

"Angel Villalobos is going to pitch some, Barney Rodriguez, Capi Magana, Rigo Ramirez will pitch and then we'll just see," Williams said.

Pecos went 18-8 last season, finishing second in the District 2-4A standings to Clint. They swept El Paso Bowie in the bi-district round of the playoffs by were ousted in three games by Pampa in the area round, as senior Josh Casillas was the Eagles' only effective pitcher against the Harvesters.

At the plate so far in practice, Williams said, "The kids have been swinging the bat pretty good, and they'll get to look at live pitching for the first time today. Permian should be pretty good; their kids have been out all year while we just got out, so our bats may be a little slow, but I want them to get a look a good pitching."

"Barney and Alex Garcia have been hitting the ball pretty well," Williams said. Rodriguez was brought up from the freshman team in mid-season last year, while Garcia is working out in baseball, after shoulder problems suffered during football season kept him from finishing out the year in basketball. "His shoulder seems to be all right. It's still kind of sore, but he'll just have to play with that."

Aside from Garcia's shoulder, the other main health problem right now for the Eagles is the appendectomy junior pitcher/shortstop Richard Rodriguez had to undergo in late December. Williams said Rodriguez would be out until March while he recovers from the surgery.

After Tuesday's trip to Fort Stockton, the Eagles will host Greenwood on Feb. 17 in their final scrimmage. Regular season play opens six days later, at home against Monahans.

Eagles close out home hoop schedule

The home portion of the 2000-2001 boys basketball season wraps up this evening for the Pecos Eagles, as they take on the Clint Lions in a 6 p.m. game.

The Eagles will try to break out of their offensive slump against the Lions, who got back into the District 2-4A playoff picture on Tuesday with a victory over the Canutillo Golden Eagles. Pecos is 0-8 in district and 4-21 on the season after Tuesday's 64-29 loss to the San Elizario Eagles, while Clint is 4-4 and 16-12 following their 61-38 win over Canutillo, which left them a game behind the Golden Eagles in the race for the final 2-4A playoff berth.

Last month in Clint, the Eagles were outscored by the Lions in the first period, 27-8, and ended up losing by an 83-44 final score. Clayton Webb, Bobby Morales and Luke Caraway combined for 51 points for Clint, while Ezra Varela had 13 points and Joey Ortega 10 in the loss.

No Eagle managed to get into double-digits in scoring on Tuesday, and Pecos has surpassed 50 points only once so far during district play. "We're having trouble shooting the ball," coach Tino Acosta said, with part of the problem due to the loss of guards Alex Garcia and Richard Rodriguez for the season.

Overall, Acosta said, "The way we count it, we've lost six guards since the first of the season. That's really hurting us, plus we're having to go back and teach the guys how to shoot properly, and that's hurting us. Our shooting is going to go down for now, but it should come back up in the long run.

"What we have accomplished as a goal we most wanted as a coach staff was we've got the kids playing hard all the time. They're not going out there and giving up at the end, the way we've done for the last couple of seasons," Acosta said.

Tonight's game will also be Parents Night for the Eagles' varsity, and some of the Pecos Pee Wee basketball players are also scheduled to perform between games and at halftime. The Eagles' regular season closes out on Tuesday with a game at Fabens.

Pecos LL tryouts Saturday

Pecos Little League tryouts and sign-ups will be held this Saturday at the old Pecos High School gym between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to Lee Serrano of the Pecos Little League. Registration fee will be $15 per player and $20 per family.

A meeting also has been scheduled for all Little League, Junior League and Senior League coaches this Monday at 7 p.m. at Saragosa Hall 7 p.m. Serrano said the league is in need of more coaches for the 2001 season, and anyone interested in helping out this season is urged to attend the meeting.

Alvarez third at regional diving

Pecos Eagles senior Jenny Alvarez placed third on Thursday in the girls' one-meter diving competition at the Region I-4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

Alvarez scored 195.10 points to finish behind Hayles Hall of Abilene Wylie (270.70) and Andrews' Larena Partain (244.65) in the day's only finals event. No Pecos diver placed in the Top 3 on the boys' side, where Jerred Totchermann of Andrews won with 299.65 points, followed by Wylie's Kevin Darby (283) and Andrews Tanner Jackson (275.20).

Swimming preliminaries at the regional meet began this morning while finals will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Lubbock. Pecos is favored to win their second straight Region I-4A boys title, while the Eagle girls will battle Pampa for the regional title.

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