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Monday, May 19, 1997

Crockett athletes honored at banquet

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PECOS, May 19 -- Crockett Middle School athletes, along with school
cheerleaders and their coaches, were honored Friday night, at the
school's inaugural all-sports banquet at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Former Crockett and Pecos High School athlete Adrian Martinez was the
guest speaker, and recognition was also given to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
athletic direction Mike Belew, who approved the plan for the banquet
last month, and to PHS volleyball coach Nora Geron, who is retiring
after 37 years of coaching at the end of the school year.

While all participants in athletics received certificates, other awards
were given to the top performers in each individual sport.

Outstanding athlete awards went to Adria Walker and to Chris Bryant,
while Walker also shared girls track honors with Yvette Barreno. Cesar
Coria and Jacob Mora were the track honorees on the boys' side.

Receiving the top awards in football were Trent Riley and Julio Franco,
while in volleyball, the honors went to Dee Dee Molinar and Crystal
Garcia. Basketball awards were given to Alex Garcia and Martin Guzman
for the boys, and to Philonicus Fobbs and Maricela Arenivas for the
girls, while tennis awards were won by Rachel Pharoah and Salem
Mitchell, girls swimming by Jo Ann Wein and Sarah Flores, boys swimming
by Grant Holland and Ty Edwards, girls golf by Cindy Mauldin and Sarah
Flores and boys golf by Cortney Freeman and Riley.

Three cheerleaders were honored as well at the banquet. Donna Spivey
received an award for most improved, Crystal Davis for most creative,
while Jenny Alvarez received the Elsa Herrera Memorial Cheerleading
Award. It was presented to her by Joey Herrera and is named for his
wife, who died in the May 22, 1987 tornado that hit Saragosa.

Sub-par Woods still claims Colonial title

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AP Golf Writer

IRVING, Texas, May 24 -- The Masters. The Byron Nelson. What's next for
Tiger Woods?

The Colonial? Perhaps. Especially if he starts playing well.

Woods won his second consecutive tournament Sunday, adding the Nelson
to the Masters a month ago, and the most amazing thing about it was that
he played nowhere near as well as he did at Augusta.

In fact, Woods played very much like someone who had just taken four
weeks off, which he did.

``I really didn't have the swing in position where it was going to work
everytime, and I knew that,'' Woods said after a final-round 68 to tie
the tournament record with a 17-under-par 263, two strokes better than
Lee Rinker.

No one else made a serious run as Tom Watson and Dan Forsman finished
four strokes back at 267 and seven other players were at 268.

``I just had to trust my short game,'' Woods said following some deft
chipping and only 27 putts. ``My short game bailed me out. I got up and
down every time today.''

It all added up to his second consecutive victory on the PGA Tour,
following his record-setting win at the Masters. And he'll try to make
it three in a row at the MasterCard Colonial in Fort Worth later this

``People don't understand how hard it is to win out here unless you
play out here,'' Woods said when asked about the chances of making it
three in a row. ``It's not easy.''

But somehow Woods makes it look easy.

He started the day with a lesson from coach Butch Harmon, who drove
four hours from Houston after a late-night call from his pupil, and
ended it with an emotional hug from his mother, Tida, on the final

In between he hit all the right shots exactly when they were needed.

Woods took the lead for good while he was walking down the 14th fairway
and Rinker was making a bogey on the hole ahead of him.

A 240-yard driver off the fairway to the fringe of the 16th green for a
birdie put the tournament away, giving him a two-stroke lead.

The final two holes were then played in an unbelievable tunnel of noise
as many in a total gallery of 100,000 jammed around Woods. And Woods
responded with that winning smile and waved almost shyly to the adoring

``It was hard not to,'' Woods said about acknowledging the wild cheers.
``It kept getting louder and louder as I got closer to the greens.''

Woods is now the second-youngest person in the history of pro golf to
get five victories. Horton Smith, who played in the 1920s, had seven
wins before he was 21.

But Woods' five victories in his first 16 pro tournaments is unmatched.
Smith won only two of his first 16 starts.

And three victories in eight starts this year puts Woods on a path with
some of the best years ever. Jack Nicklaus won seven of 18 in 1973.
Jimmy Demaret won six of 12 in 1940. Smith's best year was eight of 22
in 1929.

The best year ever was by Ben Hogan, who won five of six tournaments in
1953, including the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open.

The $324,000 first prize gave Woods $1,294,591 for the year and put him
on a path to break the single-season money record of $1.7 million. The
victory also gave Woods $2,085,185 in winnings in just 16 tournaments --
making him the youngest and the fastest to get to the $2 million mark.

The previous record for money won in the first two years on tour was
$1.86 million by David Duval, and it took him 49 events.

(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press)

Heat makes Knicks sit out playoffs

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MIAMI, May 24 (AP) -- A fan's sign at Miami Arena said it simply:
``First the bullies, then the Bulls.''

In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Miami Heat merely had to
overcome a 3-1 series deficit and fight past the brawny New York Knicks.
The Heat earned the knockout Sunday with a 101-90 victory in Game 7.

A more daunting challenge awaits: the world champion Chicago Bulls, who
swept Miami in the first round of the playoffs last year. The conference
final begin Tuesday at United Center.

``We have to go in humble but go in strong,'' Heat coach Pat Riley
said. ``We can't show any fear against them, but we're playing one of
the greatest teams of all time.''

If Tim Hardaway plays the way he did Sunday, the Heat will at least
have a shot. Hardaway buried New York with a Heat playoff record 38
points, hitting six of 10 3-pointers.

The All-Star guard made five consecutive shots, the final three from
3-point range, as Miami's lead reached 71-50 in the third quarter.

``When I'm in that zone, you're at my mercy,'' he said.

``Hardaway shot the ball like he was on the playground,'' the Knicks'
Buck Williams said.

Alonzo Mourning added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who
became just the sixth team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit. The only
other team to do it in the past 16 years was Houston, which rallied to
beat Phoenix in 1995.

``All I know,'' Riley said, ``is the last team that came back from 3-1
won a world championship.''

Facing elimination after Game 4, Riley rallied the Heat against his
former team. He gave them a tongue-lashing but also encouragement.

``One advantage we had was that he coached a lot of those guys,''
Miami's Jamal Mashburn said. ``He said, `You're not out of it at all. If
you play well, you can win. When things get tight, you never know what
might happen with those guys over there.'''

New York never recovered from a Game 5 brawl that resulted in the
suspension of five Knicks, including starters John Starks and Larry
Johnson for Game 7. Johnson, Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston were
suspended for leaving the bench during the melee, while no players left
the Heat bench.

``They know the rules; we know the rules,'' Miami's Isaac Austin said.
``We didn't clear the bench; they cracked as a team.''

(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press)

State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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