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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, May 24, 2004

Old, new awards added to sports banquet

Staff Writer

Two longtime awards and one new award were added to the list of honors given out Friday night, during the Pecos High School All-Sports Banquet, held in the new Pecos High School gym.

The Bill Dean Award and the Letha Prewit Award were given out for the first time at the sports banquet. The two awards are actually the oldest handed out to athletes at Pecos High School, but in previous years had been awarded during the PHS scholarship awards ceremony, which is for all PHS students.

PHS senior Mari Mendoza won the Letha Prewit Award, which goes to a member of the Pecos Eagles’ girls basketball team, while Saul Pina won the Bill Dean Award, which is presented to a junior PHS football player.

The new award was named for Neddie Molinar, a longtime Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD employee who died of cancer last year. PHS volleyball coach Becky Granado spoke about Molinar’s support for the Eagles’ athletic programs and said the award was to honor community members who lend their support to sports programs at Pecos High School.

The inaugural award was given to Pecos Eagles’ booster club member Ruvel Carrasco, a year after his son received the inaugural Johnny V. Mata Award. That honor, which was named after the PHS grad who was killed in the early days of the war in Iraq last March, was shared this year by two Pecos Eagle seniors, Jamie Muela and Victor Reyes.

Two other Eagle seniors also were honored at the end of the banquet. Oscar Parada received two awards, the Doc Lunday Sportsmanship Award and the Joe Bob Kelton Award, while John Parent received the Craig Woods Award, which goes to a senior who excels in football and track.

Another Eagle senior also received two awards during the presentation of honors to Pecos girls athletics. Leslie Rodriguez won the Norma Mata Fighting Heart Award, and shared the Joe Shoemaker Award with senior Stephanie Herrera. Rodriguez signed last week to play volleyball at Midland College, while Herrera signed last month to play softball at New Mexico State University, and was also recognized for her bronze medal in the shot put at the Class 3A Track and Field Championships on May 14.

Along with Rodriguez and Herrera, Eagle coaches said three other seniors would be continuing their athletic careers in college. Coach Mike Ortiz said Natalia Ornelas and Trent Graham, who won the District 4-3A singles titles in tennis last month, received scholarships respectively to play at St. Edward’s University in Austin and Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, while softball coach Tammy Walls said senior Brittany Lobstein would play next year for Odessa College.

Walls was unable to announce the all-district selections for Pecos in softball, after Monahans advanced to the Region I-3A finals against Snyder with a win on Friday night over Iowa Park, but all-district selections for all other teams were recognized during the banquet.

Included in those awards were all-region and all-state honors for a number of Pecos Eagle swim team members, and an All-American diving honor for PHS senior Michael Juarez. Prior to the announcement of this year’s awards, those at the banquet heard from new Midland Lee head football coach Randy Quisenberry, who served as head coach at Abilene Cooper when current Eagles’ head coach Patrick Willis was an assistant there, and whose wife, Laura is from Pecos.

Quisenberry talked about nine steps to being a success, which included thinking the right thoughts, saying good words, setting specific goals, accountability, choosing real friends, handling your hurdles, going the second mile, never giving up or losing hope and living the faith.

“Reality is altered by your viewpoint,” Quisenberry said. “We’ve been given the opportunity to change the kind off viewpoint we have in our lives.”

Willis, who got those in the audience to do the “Eagle Clap” - a single clap when a player’s name was announced, said the 2003 PHS football squad, “was a special team for me this year, since this was my first team as head coach. We didn’t have the year I hoped we’d have, but one thing I can say about these kids is they never stopped fighting.”

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