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Thursday, March 19, 1998

Junior high Eagles host relays Friday

PECOS, Mar. 19 -- The Crockett and Zavala junior high track
teams will host eight other squads on Friday, in the annual
West of the Pecos Junior Relays at Eagle Stadium.

The track meet will begin at 4 p.m. with the girls' discus
competition at the practice field west of the stadium. Boys'
field events and the girls running finals will follow at
4:15 p.m., while the other girls field events and the boys
running finals are set for a 7 p.m. start.

Zavala boys coach Jerry Parent said the seventh graders will
field `A' and `B' teams, and will be joined by Monahans,
Fort Stockton, Alpine, Crane, Presidio, Van Horn, Marfa and
Fort Davis. The girls' division will be the same except for
Marfa, while the eighth grade division will have all of
those teams except for the Eagles' `B' squad and Fort Davis.

The junior high teams have been off for two weeks, since the
Walker Junior Relays in Monahans. Fort Stockton's girls won
both divisions there, with Pecos tying for fourth in the
eighth grade division and finishing fifth in the seventh
grade bracket. San Angelo Lee took the boys' division, while
Crockett's boys placed third, and first among the teams
who'll be in Pecos, while Zavala was fifth, and third
overall among the teams entered on Friday.

Seventh grader Eddie Mata was the top individual winner at
Monahans, taking three gold medals in the high jump, long
jump and 200 meter dash. "I'm going to run Eddie in the 100,
200 and 300 this week and she how he does," Parent said.
"He's only been beaten once this year, in the hurdles."

UT's Penders faces player revolt

AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Mar. 19 -- Texas coach Tom Penders is standing by
his suspension of freshman guard Luke Axtell and says he's
sorry Axtell wants to transfer.

``I suspended Luke for academic reasons and academic reasons
only,'' Penders said Wednesday from a hotel in the
Caribbean, where he is on vacation with his family.

``I don't have any ill feelings toward Luke at all. You want
all your kids to be happy. In my 27 years of coaching, I've
never had a player who wanted to transfer whom I wanted to
stay and who I think has a great future. I'm sorry about it.
But we just have to move on.''

Axtell, the Longhorns' second-leading scorer this year, is
out of town on spring break and couldn't be reached for
comment Wednesday.

But his family released a statement criticizing Penders'
handling of the situation. It said Penders met with Axtell
last Friday but didn't mention any suspension.

``We heard about the suspension after it had already
appeared on the 6 o'clock news,'' the statement said.

``What appalls our family is that Tom Penders chose a public
venue to suspend our son. Luke was given no warning of
suspension, even though Penders had ample opportunity to do

``Additionally, someone in the athletic department has
chosen to make confidential information public regarding
Luke's grades and interim progress reports, some of which
are false.''

The statement said Axtell fulfilled school, Big 12 and NCAA
academic requirements during the fall semester and still has
plenty of time to work on his grades this semester.

``We were amazed by this unprecedented action by Penders,''
the family said. ``To the best of our knowledge, Luke is the
only player to be suspended ... when the athlete is not in
violation of NCAA standards.''

Axtell told the Austin American-Statesman that he had asked
for and received permission from Texas athletic director
DeLoss Dodds to transfer.

Axtell told the newspaper that freshman guard Bernard Smith,
sophomore Gabe Muoneke and 7-foot freshman Chris Mihm, a
high school teammate of Axtell's at Austin Westlake, also
were unhappy with Penders and were considering leaving.

Axtell accused Penders of verbal abuse, dishonesty and
failing to develop players.

Penders said, ``I won't even dignify those comments with an
answer. It's like asking someone, `When was the last time
you beat your wife?''

The four players met with Dodds on March 9 -- the day after
Texas, which struggled to a 14-17 record, was eliminated
from the Big 12 tournament.

Muoneke said Wednesday that he had become frustrated under
Penders, adding that he didn't think the coach had developed
him enough. He said he hadn't yet made up his mind whether
to leave.

``Maybe I'm the problem, but I don't think so,'' Muoneke
said. ``I'll probably make a decision in a week.''

Muoneke added that the players were not trying to force
Penders out.

``I want to make it clear that everything is on an
individual basis,'' Muoneke said. ``Four players didn't come
together and say, `Let's do this.' Everybody has their own

Smith, a starter at point guard, said he plans to return to
Texas next year. But if Mihm, Axtell and Muoneke left, he
would rethink his future, he said.

Mihm was out of town and couldn't be reached Wednesday. His
father, Gary, told the American-Statesman, ``Chris has said
he will consider transferring if the other guys left.''

Anthony Goode, a backup sophomore point guard on the team,
has already said he is leaving, unhappy with his playing

According to Penders, Axtell ``refused to go to study hall
or meet with tutors and his performance has been indicative
of that. Our players know they have to take care of the
academic side of things before they take care of

The 6-foot-9 Axtell was second on the team in scoring with a
13.3 points per game average; led the team in 3-point
shooting (39 percent) and was second on the team in average
minutes played per game (28.7).

Axtell talked to the American-Statesman shortly after
Penders issued a news release on Tuesday night announcing
Axtell's indefinite suspension.

``I think there's a lot of dishonesty in the program, and it
starts at the top,'' said Axtell, who called the newspaper
from West Texas, where he is on spring break. ``Most
everybody wants to get out. You can't play for somebody you
don't respect, and you can't respect somebody who lies to
you all the time.''

Penders said the team would meet next week following spring

De La Hoya title bout moved to El Paso

EL PASO, Mar. 18 (AP) -- WBC welterweight champion Oscar De
La Hoya was mobbed repeatedly as he made a brief stop in
Texas to announce he will fight Patrick Charpentier on June
13 in the Sun Bowl stadium.

More than 2,000 people met De La Hoya at the airport Tuesday
and hundreds more attended press conferences in El Paso and
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

He gasped as dozens of fans, mostly women, rushed the podium
at the Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso and began sticking
flowers, programs and hands in his face.

``I've done a lot of press conferences, but this is the
first one where I'm actually shaking,'' said De La Hoya.

The popular 25-year-old fighter, who has a record of 27-0
with 22 knockouts, is expected to attract a huge crowd to
the 52,000-seat Sun Bowl when he faces Charpentier, the
WBC's No. 1 contender.

The summer card also will include WBC lightweight champion
Stevie Johnston of Denver, defending his title against
Mexico's Cesar Bazan.

De La Hoya will start training in a few days in Big Bear,
Calif. He said he would arrive in El Paso about a week and a
half before the fight, which was originally scheduled for
Feb. 28 in Atlantic City.

The fight was switched to March 14 after De La Hoya tore
cartilage in his left wrist then postponed again until June.

Promoters did not release the fighters' purses.

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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
e-mail news@pecos.net

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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise