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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Pecos faces tough games in Midland Tournament

The Pecos Eagles softball team will be one of the first teams on the field and one of the last ones off this weekend in Division I competition at the Midland Invitational Tournament, and they'll be hoping to improve both on last week's results in the Andrews Tournament despite opening and closing the tournament against two of the top-ranked teams in Texas.

Pecos went 2-3 this past weekend in Andrews, losing to district rival Greenwood twice on Friday and El Paso Burges, before beating Crane and El Paso Del Valle on Saturday to go to 3-4 on the season. Last year in Midland, the Eagles were 1-3 in tournament play, with losses to both Greenwood and Fort Stockton - the two teams that edged out Pecos for the final District 4-3A playoff berths - and Dumas, while defeating El Paso Amreicus.

Under the Midland tournament's formula, the Eagles already know they'll be facing the Prowlers and Americus again this weekend. Pecos takes on Americus at 1 p.m. on Friday and then faces Americus at 9 a.m. on Saturday. But before those games, Pecos will take on the host Midland High Bulldogs at 5 p.m. today, and then face the Snyder Tigers in a 9 a.m. game on Friday.

"I think it's going to be run on some type of points system," said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls of the tournament's format. The Eagles' final two games of the tournament will be on Saturday, against Merkel at 1 p.m. and Coahoma at 5 p.m. in the final set of tournament games.

All of the games will be at the MUGS Field Complex on the south side of Midland, where Pecos' scheduled doubleheader this past Tuesday against Snyder was rained out. Instead, the Eagles will be among six teams to start off the tournament there today when they take on Midland High, which was ranked No. 2 in the state in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A preseason softball poll.

Pecos' final opponent of the tournament, Coahoma, was the top-ranked team in Class 2A in the TGCA preseason poll, but the Eagles will face both teams at close to full strength for the first time since their season opener against Alpine.

"Jessica (Flores) I think is still going to be out, but other than that, everybody's going to be back," Walls said. Flores is out with a sprained ankle, while senior pitcher Stephanie Herrera and junior catcher Katie Lee missed last weekend's games in Andrews due to other activities.

Herrera figures to pitch today's opener against Midland High, but Walls said, "We're still going to look at Hillary (Hinojos) and Amalie (Herrera)." Hinojos, a sophomore has pitched five of Pecos' first seven games this season, while Amalie Herrera pitched last Friday's loss against Burges, in her varsity pitching debut.

Track teams run short of bodies for Comanche

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles track teams will start the 2004 season on Saturday coming off their most success two-year period in over 50 years. But they'll also be starting the season unsure of who'll be competing in several events, when they travel to the Comanche Relays in Fort Stockton.

Pecos will open its season with running preliminaries at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Field events will follow, and the running finals are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Fort Stockton is not only where the 2004 season will start, it will also be the site of the Eagles' final meet in April before this year's District 4-3A Track and Field Championships. Pecos' boys won the district title last season, while the girls placed second after taking the District 2-4A championship in 2002. But going into Saturday's events, coaches Jerry Parent and Roxie Chavez are only sure of regulars in a few events.

With the boys, Parent said it was due to grades that came out on Wednesday. "We're going to be short on athletes. Coach (Robbie) Ortega and I are going to have to sit down and revamp everything," he said.

"The good thing is if they fail they can still run during spring break, but they're going to have to pay it all back after the break is over," Parent said. "Rashad (Terry) will still be there, John (Parent) will still be there, and we'll still have Alex Orosco, Isaiah Juarez and Justin Mora, and I think Justin Lara is going to try and pole vault on Saturday along with Andrew Grant," Parent said.

Pecos qualified at least one runner for regionals in every event a year ago, with Terry capturing first in the 200-meter dash and placing second in the 100 meters. Juarez won the 800-meter run and placed second in the 3,200 meters at district last April, while Orosco earned a runner-up regional berth in the 400-meter dash.

Juarez and Parent were also members of the 1600-meter relay team that qualified for regionals, while Terry is the lone returning member of the 400-meter relay team that won first at district. However, for the Comanche Relays, Jerry Parent said, "I'll think about trying to load the 800 relay and see if we can set a record early this year, since it's a pretty high time."

In the field events, Lara is the only returning regional qualifier for Pecos, though not the only returning competitor. For Saturday, Parent said "We'll have Chad Evans in the shot and discus along with John in the discus and probably Adrian Ramon in the shot put.

"The jumping we're still working on. We've got Orosco and Peter Juarez, and we'll have Rashad in the long jump, and of course Rashad will high jump, too." Parent originally started with about 38 boys for this season before grades came out. Chavez, meanwhile, started out before grades with less than half that total, though that does include several returning regional qualifiers.

Jummy Akinyode and Alessandra Carrasco qualified in the 200 and 800 meter runs individually and as part of the 1600-meter relay team. "We've got two legs of our relay back that won second place with Jummy and Alex Carrasco. I'm just trying to find the other two legs right now," Chavez said.

Akinyode won the 200 meters at district, while Carrasco was second in the 800 at district in 2003. "We also have Jennifer Martinez back. She qualified for regionals in the mile, so we'll be looking at here there, and Stephanie (Herrera) is back. She got third in the shot at regionals, and we're looking to do even better this year," Chavez said.

Herrera will also compete in the discus, which she won as a freshman and sophomore and was leading at district last year, when Pecos' competitors were disqualified for looking at a videotape of their throws. However, she'll also be dividing her time during the start of the track season with weekend softball games for the Eagles.

Leslie Rodriguez placed fourth in the high jump and fifth in the 3200-meter run at district last year, though for now Chavez said, "I don't know where we're going to put Leslie yet. All I know is she'll be doing the high jump for sure." "We have a lot of new girls, and right now I'm just trying to find out what they'll be best at when I put them out there," Chavez said, adding that for now all of her girls would probably compete in the varsity division.

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