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Area Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Ward County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Wednesday, December 24, 1997

Girls get head start in diamond business

PECOS, Dec. 24 -- Diamonds are a girls best friend. Softball
diamonds that is, and the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of
Directors recently recognized this fact -- one already known
by at least five local girls.

Two sets of sisters who are making their names known on
softball diamonds throughout West Texas were elated to hear
that their efforts will be pay dividends in the future, when
they sign up to participate in P-B-T ISD's recently approved
University Interscholastic League girls fast-pitch softball

School board members approved the high school program Dec.
11 during their regular school board meeting. P-B-T athletic
director Mike Belew will soon select a coach and work out
other details to begin preparing Pecos for UIL competition
for the upcoming spring season, according to school board
president Frank Perea.

Last fall, trustees voted to consider a girls softball
program for the Spring of 1998 after a thorough presentation
by current board member Freddy Lujan and Peggy Salcido. The
action came after the other District 4-4A school added the
program during the past four years, with one -- Andrews --
advancing to the state tournament in Austin last May.

The proposal included cost estimates for uniforms and
equipment and a commitment by Reeves County for the use of
Martinez Field, which is located just south of town on
County Road 118. Commissioners made their commitment
official in October when they voted to approve the use of
the field by the high school teams and coaches for practices
and hosting local games.

Both entities resolved to share the expense of the lighting
system and its maintenance.

While many girls in Pecos have played slow-pitch softball,
few have participated in fast-pitch, where the ball can be
delivered to home plate at over 70 miles per hour by some
high school pitchers.

Anyone from Pecos wanting to play fast-pitch until now has
had to go out of town, which is what the five girls did this

Stephanie and Amalie Herrera and Rebecca, Sara and Michelle
Wein are setting their sights on the high school program.
For now, they'll settle for state competition, division
championships, skills camps and participating in the
Monahans "club ball". Most would agree this constitutes an
impressive agenda for a 12, 8, 14, 10, and 9-year-old,

Both groups of girls participated in the Monahans Club Ball
league for girls fast-pitch softball this spring and summer.
Sara and Michelle helped their team earn a division
championship, while Rebecca, Stephanie and Amalie caught and
pitched for their teams all the way to state.

Amalie pitched for her Division I All-Star team and Rebecca
played short stop and "mostly catcher" for her Division III
All-Star team.

Stephanie played catcher for the Monahans Division II
All-Star team who garnered themselves a State Fast-Pitch
Softball Championship at the Abiline tournament in July.

Her coach, Richard Hawkins of Monahans, called the state
title a first for Monahans in more than 20 years.

The local sixth grader gained all-tournament honors.
Umpires dubbed her "the police" for her impressive throw
outs for 16 out of 18 runners. The team fared a .466 batting
average, figuring in Stephanie's .667.

Dually proud sets of parents, Alvaro and Connie Herrera and
Pat and Becky Wein, said they didn't mind the hundred of
miles traveled for the girls to participate in the Monahans

The Herreras continued coping the long highway drives when
they opted to enter Stephanie in a Midland league whose
teams compete throughout Central and West Texas. The league
ran well into November, said Connie.

Unlike the Monahans program, which upholds UGSA rules, the
Midland league abides by ASA regulations, Connie said, which
are more competitive and offers teams the opportunity to
advance to the national level.

Connie said she and Alvaro have begun to get with Monahans
coaches to initiate a Monahans-based "traveling team",
modelling it after those of the Midland league.

During the off-season, both sets of sisters remain active
with extra-curricular activities and school.

Stephanie and Amalie were back in Midland last week for a
batting and defensive camp; they'll head back to the Tall
City early next year to attend a pitching camp. Both events
will last three days.

Stephanie said she's excited about the high school program,
but for now she hopes Pecos could host a club ball like that
of Monahans. This sentiment is shared by both sets of
parents and siblings.

Both the Herreras and Weins have coached Pecos girls
softball teams in the past. Connie said she'd like to see a
local program, "so that they (girls) have somewhere to go
after T-ball."

Both parents and daughters are looking forward to the
interlocal efforts to establish a county-wide recreational
program and selfishly long to see a local, girls softball
program flourish.

Broken-down Shaq needs further repairs

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 -- Slowly but surely, Shaquille
O'Neal's strained abdominal muscle is getting better. Now,
he's got a hairline fracture of his shooting wrist to worry

O'Neal will be sidelined at least two more weeks because of
the fracture in his right wrist, an injury he sustained two
weeks ago from punching a heavy bag.

The fracture wasn't discovered until Monday after pain
persisted. The Lakers said O'Neal has not been fitted for a

``The fact is, he probably wasn't going to come back sooner
anyway because of his abdominal injury,'' team spokesman
John Black said Tuesday. ``This is a freak injury. It's not
like this guy did anything bad or did anything wrong. Of
course we're not happy that he's hurt, but he didn't do
anything wrong and these things do happen.''

Black said the Lakers were unaware O'Neal was working out on
a heavy bag.

``We don't prescribe his workouts or his treatment, nor do
we personally monitor them,'' he said. ``We were told by
Shaquille how the injury occurred. ... He was working out in
a gym under the supervision of a well-respected trainer and
conditioning person.''

O'Neal, who has been sidelined since Nov. 19, was examined
Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia, by Dr. Andrew Seals
and Dr. Ross Davidson with respect to his abdominal injury.
Their diagnosis concurred with the earlier diagnoses of team
doctor Steve Lombardo and Dr. Miguel Velez -- that O'Neal is
suffering from an abdominal strain.

The Lakers said O'Neal's situation is continuing to improve,
and it is expected that he ``could rejoin the team in
approximately two weeks if he continues to improve.''

O'Neal will continue with a specialized rehabilitation
program under the supervision of Dr. Lombardo, the team

O'Neal, averaging 24.5 points and 11.6 rebounds in eight
games this season -- all Lakers wins -- has missed his
team's last 17 games.

The Lakers are 13-6 without O'Neal, who sat out the
season-opener because of the abdominal strain and was
suspended from the second game because he slapped Utah's
Greg Ostertag on the day of the opener.

The Lakers (21-6) completed a 4-1 road trip Monday night,
beating Houston 94-83. They also beat Minnesota, Atlanta and
Charlotte on the five-game, seven-day trip while losing to

Elden Campbell, replacing O'Neal at center, has averaged
17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in the last 17 games.

The Lakers are off until Friday night when, they play host
to the Los Angeles Clippers. They play their next five games
and 10 of their next 12 at the Forum, where they have a 10-1

Penn St. suspends Enis over gifts

Associated Press Writer

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Dec. 24. -- Penn State All-American
running back Curtis Enis admits he accepted gifts from a
Texas-based sports agent and then lied about it, coach Joe
Paterno said.

Enis was declared ineligible for the Citrus Bowl and has
probably played his last game for the Nittany Lions.

``I think that he realized he made a mistake,'' Paterno said
Tuesday on a conference call from Melbourne, Fla., where
Penn State is practicing for their New Year's Day game with
No. 6 Florida. ``He was trying to come clean with

Paterno met with Enis and his parents around 1 p.m. in an
``emotional meeting.'' After talking, the two men hugged and
Paterno wished Enis well.

``He said he was sorry,'' Paterno said, and then read from a
statement from Enis: ``I know I made a mistake. ... I
apologize to my teammates and my fans and ask for their

Enis, a junior, led the No. 11 Nittany Lions in rushing with
1,363 yards this season. He's third all-time at Penn State
with 3,256 yards.

He is the second Penn State star to be ruled ineligible for
the Citrus Bowl. Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius won't play
because of poor grades.

Paterno said he did not ask Enis how he got involved with
the agent or what gifts he accepted.

``Obviously I'm disappointed. I also want to be fair. He
made a mistake. It happened -- what time, when, we didn't
get into that,'' the coach said. ``I have a bad taste in my
mouth ... obviously I'm not very happy.''

Paterno said a university investigation found that the
charges, first raised by a Pennsylvania television station,
had merit. He then confronted Enis.

``All I was trying to do was get him to the point where we
could make a statement and get this behind us so he could
get on with his life,'' Paterno said.

WHTM-TV in Harrisburg reported Friday that Houston-based
agent Jeff Nalley bought Enis $400 in clothing on Dec. 6 in
a Harrisburg-area mall.

Enis denied the charge and said his girlfriend bought the
gray pinstriped suit he wore to ESPN's Doak Walker Award
ceremony on Dec. 11. Nalley backed him up, saying he
purchased a $75 shirt and $325 suit at John Craig Fashions
in Camp Hill for former client Lovell Pinkney, a tight end
released by the Green Bay Packers in August.

On Monday, the television station reported that several
Harrisburg mall employees said they were certain they had
seen Enis on Dec. 6. None of the workers would appear on

The station showed a ``Curtis Enis 39'' autograph, which a
security guard said the player signed for him that day. At
one store, the station reported, Enis signed one of his Penn
State jerseys.

The 1997 season started slowly for the Ohio native. In
blowouts against non-conference teams, Enis sat during some
second halves and appeared to be struggling when he was in.

But when the Big Ten season started, Enis, third on Penn
State's career rushing list, ran for more than 100 yards in
seven straight games -- including 211 against Ohio State.

Enis finished first in the conference in touchdowns (19) and
third in total rushing yards. He was named him co-offensive
player of the year with Tavian Banks of Iowa.

``He's one of the best backs we've ever had,'' Paterno said.

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