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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Thursday, February 5, 1998

UIL remapping saves miles

Superintendent Clifton L. Stephens estimates the new
University Interscholastic League realignment will save the
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote school district more than 40,000
miles and several thousand dollars in the next two years.

In addition, Stephens notes the UIL plan means Monahans High
School students will spend nearly a week more in classes
than they have in the past two years because they will not
be forced to travel so far for athletic and academic

These savings in dollars, class time and travel time are the
result of UIL officials placing Monahans in a new football
conference, District 4-3A. Under this plan, the Lobo is
scheduled to play closer to home than they have in the last
two years. For those two years, Loboes participated in the
now defunct 3-3A in which three of the schools were in the
El Paso metropolitan area about 250 miles west of Monahans.

Some of those treks to play Clint, Mountain View and Fabens
spawned legends among Lobo faithful on the travails of the
trail West. No more.

All three El Paso area schools have gone up to 4A under the
tentative UIL realignment which will not be official until
Feb. 24 - Clint and Mountain View by enrollment; Fabens, by

"I am very pleased to see that we are staying in the 3A
classification and excited that the travel to our district
events will be reduced to the point that fans can attend out
of town activities."

Monahans won two football district championships in the two
years in old District 3-3A.

Long trips past tense for Loboes

Monahans High School Athletic Director Larry Hanna looked at
the tentative realignment and redistricting and relaxed.
His Lobo athletic teams (except for Coach Doug Ward's
swimmers which still compete against 4A and 5A competition
in District 4) have said, "Good by, El Paso. We're going
home to the Trans-Pecos."

Hanna's football, basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, track
and other athletic squads no longer will be making those
long, tiring trips to the El Paso metroplex to compete in
high school athletics - at least until the 21st Century.
It was all the result of the University Interscholastic
League's action that set high school districts and
competition through the year 2000. It is unofficial until
Feb. 24. That's the deadline for protests and pleas by
schools who may have been placed somewhere they don't want
to be. Historically, tentative realignment changes little,
no matter how many pleas are filed.

Hanna likes what he sees in the year ahead under the UIL

"It's a tough district," says the athletic director and head
football coach. "We're going to have to play good football
to win this thing. It offers a great challenge."

That new conference in which Monahans finds itself after two
district championships includes Alpine, Crane, Kermit,
Midland Greenwood, Monahans and Presidio.

"This conference makes for competition and at least three,
perhaps four, natural rivalries," says Hanna. "The fans
will find it easier to follow the Loboes. This new district
is just a big plus for the whole program."

The three natural rivalries to which Hanna refers are
Midland Greenwood, Crane and Kermit. The possible fourth is

More from Hanna: "I think it's great for our community and
the high school. It's just good for football in general. We
now have the ability to establish some healthy rivalries
with the close proximity of these schools."

Hanna talked about Midland Greenwood (a bidistrict playoff
opponent for Monahans last season. The Lobo won 19-0),
Kermit and Crane, both of which were fighting for playoff
spots into the last week of the 1997 season; and Alpine, a
3-3A team that finished second to Monahans in 3-3A and also
went to the playoffs.

Old District 3-3A ceased to exist at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb.
2 Hanna's Loboes are now part of District 4-3A of Region 1.
They are now part of a football conference that might be
described conservatively as "competitive" and wildly as
"scary," especially if your football loyalties lie in oft
beaten and little respected Presidio.

Three of the teams were playoff contenders in the football
season just finished - Monahans, Alpine and Midland
Greenwood. Except for a foot here and there, Kermit and
Crane would have stood in the same company. And Crane, Hanna
notes, will have the most talent returning from a good solid
football squad in 1997. The new conference, except for the
journey to Presidio, finds the teams in the new District
4-3A within easy reach so they can all arrive rested and
ready to compete.

"Considering what it could have been," the Lobo athletic
director comments, "I don't mind making that trip to
Presidio at all."

Hanna hopes to have a tentative 1998 football schedule by
the end of this week but he cautions that everything remains
tentative until after the UIL appeal deadline of Feb. 24.
"Although our schedule will be full, it will not yet be
official," says the coach.

Cowboys keep 7-A berth

Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys, winner of two successive
football district crowns and long raids into the playoffs,
will compete against the same conference teams they have
faced for the past two seasons.

The conference: District 7-A of Region II - Six Man Football.

The teams: Grandfalls-Royalty, Balmorhea, Dell City, Buena
Vista of Imperial, Marathon, Sanderson and Sierra Blanca.
After two straight district six man football crowns, it is
possible the Cowboys might be favored in the 1998 seasons.

They have been the underdogs in both the two past seasons
where they are undefeated in regular season play. In each of
those years, Balmorhea has been the pre-season favorite of
coaches and sportswriters.

Now that the UIL realignment furor is over, the Cowboys are
poised for three-peat.

Says Grandfalls High School principal Billy Collins:
"Realignment is pretty much what we had expected. We're more
than satisfied. We hope to keep on winning."

Is Collins talking three-peat?

The principal says Coach Dewaine Lee is getting the schedule
together for the season ahead. No suprises are expected.
Balmorhea will be good. So will Sanderson.

One of those two will be the pre-season favorite.
"We hope to keep winning," says Collins.

Realignment leaves Grandfalls-Royalty competing essentially
against the same teams in all the school's sports. There are
slight differences in the basketball conference in which
Grandfalls competes, according to the data relesed on
Monday, Feb. 2.

Superintendent Charles Carter says Balmorhea was lost to a
hoops league (District 1-1A) that includes Dell City,
Sierra Blanca and Valentine. Grandfalls basketball foes in
Hoops District 3-1A are Buena Vista, Marathon and Sanderson.
Says Carter: "Our alignment in football didn't change. Where
we are is not a problem. You just play the best you can when
you're supposed to play."

Green Wave swimmers go to regional

Fifteen Monahans High School Green Wave swimmers are on
their way to regional competition in Lubbock.

The Wave's super sophomore, Candice Teague, won gold in the
women's division 100 back, an event in which she already
holds the school record with two more years left to swim.
Monahans men swimmers finished fourth.

The women swimmers finished third in a meet expected to have
been dominated by the teams from 4A Pecos and Big Spring.
"Both the boys and girls did a fantastic job," says Lobo
Swim Coach Doug Ward of the way in which his charges swam in
the district competition.

Pecos won the women's division; Big Spring, the men's. But
Monahans girl swimmers challenged Big Spring for second.
It was all part of the District 4 swimming competition held
on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Monahans High School MultiSport

Preliminaries began at 10 a.m. and it was deep into Saturday
night before the final tallies were done on the team and
individual competition.

There was confusion at the end of the women's competition.
Numbers seemed to show the Lobo girl swimmers had finished

The second place trophy was in Lobo Coach Ward's hands. He
had been thrown in the pool by Green Wave swimmes who
thought they had upset favored Big Spring in the run for

Says Ward: "For several minutes, it was thought the Loboes
had won second in the girl's division. But when the points
for diving came in, Monahans had to return the trophy to Big
Spring and settle for third, six points out."

Boxers moved to new conference

KERMIT - Power lifters flexing their muscle and pumping iron
at the Kermit Invitational didn't know it when they faced
off on Saturday, Jan. 31.

But four of the teams there would be part of a new football
and athletic conference, District 4-3A, when the UIL Monday,
Feb. 2, announced its realignment to end the century.
It was sort of an unintended preview of what might happen
next school year.

The schools at Kermit who are part of the 4-3A conference
were Monahans, Kermit, Midland Greenwood and Alpine.
Monahans won. Kermit and Midland Greenwood tied for second
and third. Alpine was eighth in the team competition
finishing just ahead of several squads. Oh, the 5A entry,
Midland High School, finished fourth. Monahans had three
firsts, three seconds, two thirds and one fourth to finish
with 44 points. Kermit and Midland Greenwood had 37 points
each. Kermit had three firsts, one second, two thirds, two
fourths and a fifth. Greenwood had two firsts, three
seconds, a third, two fourths and a fifth.

Lobo Results
114 pound weight class - 2. Garrett Brown, total weight 590
148 - 1. Anthony Aguilar 1030.
181 - 3. Benny Rodriguez 1080.
220 - 1. Scott Lackey 1230 2. T.J. Bustos 1135 3. Joel Najar
242 - 1. Quint Melius 1215.
Super Heavyweight (more than 275 pounds) - 2. Aaron
Swartzfager 1175. 4. Jeff Ennis 935.
Lobo finish in Best Lifts
114-165 - 3. Anthony Aguilar 250
181-Super Heavyweight - 1. Scott Lackey, 355. 2. Quint
Melius, 325. 3. Joel Najar, 300.
181-Super Heavyweight - 3. Benny Rodriguez 430
114-165 - 2. Anthony Aguilar 380
Best Lifts Total Weight
114-165 - 2. Anthony Aguilar: 380 squat; 250 bench; 400 dead
for a total of 1030.
181 to Super Heavyweight - 3. Scott Lackey: 435; 355; 440
for a total of 1230.:

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