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Eagles look to rebound against San Elizario

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 5 -- They're not going to make the playoffs, and
they're not going to have a winning season. But considering
where they've come from, the San Elizario Eagles' 1998
football season can be considered as big a success as almost
any other team in District 2-4A.

San Elizario would like to cap off their year by coming
into Pecos and coming away with a win over the host Eagles,
who will be trying to clinch at least a share of the
district title while awaiting the outcome of two games in El
Paso to decide who their bi-district playoff opponent will

Pecos is enjoying their most successful season in terms of
the playoffs in 23 years. That's the last time the Eagles
advanced to post-season play, and they can clinch their
first winning season since a 7-3 mark in 1986 by defeating
San Elizario in Friday's 7:30 p.m. game.

The visiting Eagles are only 3-6 on the season, but after
years of struggle in Class 3A and then 4A, San Elizario has
been competitive in all but one of their games this season,
and owned pre-district victories over Demming, N.M. and El
Paso Bowie. They were competitive in their first three
district games, rallying each time after falling behind
early, and were more than competitive last week, putting a
major blow in Clint's post-season hopes with a 25-20
homefield win.

"We hadn't ever beaten Bowie, and we hadn't ever beaten
Clint, so things are changing out here," said coach Joe M.
Carrillo, whose relying mostly on underclassmen for his
team's success this season.

"They're small, but they're quick and they get after it and
they don't quit. They come after you from the get-go,"
Eagles' coach Dan Swaim said.

Quarterback Mike Perez has been the key to San Elizario's
offense. The junior has thrown for 726 yards and seven
touchdowns and is also second in the district in rushing,
with 584 yards and seven more TDs.

"If he can scramble and get some completions it opens
things up," Carrillo said of Perez, who has been on the
varsity since his freshman season. "He's playing more within
himself this season. If the play is not there he doesn't
force it. If it is, then he goes for it."

"They try to get him the football on some quarterback runs.
When he takes off running, he's pretty good," Swaim said.

Overall, San Elizario will be the closest thing to a
Permian Basin team Pecos has seen in the past month, in that
they actually prefer to keep the ball on the ground. The
Eagles have run the ball an average of 43 times per game
this season, gaining 1,703 yards.

They got 303 of that in last Friday's victory. Perez and
Eddie Figueroa both ran for over 100 yards last week, and
Perez also had 100 yards through the air against Clint,
including two touchdown passes to tight end Rod Rojo.

While San Elizario will run the ball, Swaim said they do
mix things up more than most teams Pecos will face.

"They came out against Fabens in a~ (wish)bone, and they
may do that against us. They give you some shotgun and some
unbalanced (line) and just run a lot of different sets," the
Eagles' coach said.

Carrillo said he has three sophomores starting on the
offensive line, and they've improved as the season has gone
on. "The key for us on both sides, offense and defense, is
to play physical. If we do that we'll be O.K."

Pecos was burned through the air last week for 212 yards by
Canutillo, with the killer coming on Jesus Navarette's
35-yard touchdown pass to Israel DelaRosa as time expired,
giving the district's other Eagle team a 26-23 victory and a
share of first place with Pecos.

Swaim said the team has come back well in their first
workouts after the disheartening loss. "We probably had two
of our better workouts all year long this week. The kids are
focused and are ready for Friday night to get here and to
get after it. They realize they have to win the ballgame to
give ourselves a chance at the district championship," he

Along with improving their pass rush and pass defense, the
Eagles will look for better play from their special teams
this week. They gave up touchdowns off kickoff and punt
returns last Friday, after Clint scored on a kickoff return
two weeks ago.

Pecos will also try to score in the third period --
something they've yet to accomplish in 1998 despite a
17-point-per-game average.

"We've got to find a way to come out and be productive in
the third quarter, that's all,' said Swaim, after Pecos ran
for 200 yards in the first half last week, but were held to
just 60 in the final two periods, most of that in the fourth

Quarterback Oscar Luna did throw for 115 yards including a
touchdown pass to Manuel Contreras and two passes to the
tight end late in the final period that set up Mark Abila's
touchdown with 25 seconds left that appeared to give Pecos
the victory.

San Elizario likes to put their defense close to the line
and last week held Clint's D.J. Check without a touchdown
pass and to only 86 yards through the air. "We had good
pressure on Check, and we double covered Jeremy Arnold all
game. One would hit him at the line, then another would get
after him. He caught three passes, but we made him earn it,"
Carrillo said.

"(Linebacker) Adrian Vivar, if he's in the game he leads us
on defense, and we do all right. He makes the adjustments
for us out there," he said, adding that senior Omar Pena has
also played well at free safety for San Elizario.

"Defensively, they like to bring it, and after watching the
film of us against Canutillo they'll probably bring it some
more," Swaim said.

Carrillo said his Eagles will be without one cornerback on
Friday after Adrian Areilano suffered a concussion last
week. Pecos, meanwhile, gets back sophomore linebacker
Daniel Terrazas after three weeks due to an infected thumb,
and Swaim said he would also start Luna at one of the
cornerback spots, where played during the final 2½ quarters
of last week's game.

"This will be the first time the defense has been intact
since the Fabens game," said Swaim, who'll hope to keep
everyone healthy for next week's bi-district matchup.

Swaim said there is an outside chance the Eagles could face
either undefeated El Paso Riverside or 2-7 El Paso Burges in
the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, though El Paso
Parkland remains Pecos' most likely bi-district opponent.
Pecos would face Burges if the Mustangs beat Parkland on
Friday, while, depending on the District 1-4A tie-breaker
system, the Eagles could face the 9-0 Rangers if the
Matadors beat Burges and Riverside loses to El Paso Ysleta,
creating a three-way tie in the final 1-4A standings
beatween Ysleta, Parkland and Riverside.

Pecos' final JV grid game canceled

PECOS, Nov. 5 -- There are split junior varsities and then
there are `split' junior varsities.

As far as the Pecos Eagles are concerned, their JV team is
being split up this week not to play two games, but because
their own season-ending contest tonight against the Crane
Golden Cranes has been canceled. Some of the team will join
Pecos' freshman squad tonight, when they go to Wink to face
the Wildcats' junior varsity, in a 7 p.m. start, while
others will be on the sidelines Friday, for Pecos' final
regular season varsity game against the San Elizario Eagles.

Although the JV's game with Crane has been canceled, Pecos'
junior high teams are still scheduled to take on the Golden
Cranes this afternoon. Zavala's seventh graders will be at
home for `A' and `B' games at 4:30 and 6 p.m., while
Crockett's eighth grade team is scheduled to close their
season with one game, at 4:30 p.m. on the Cranes' home field.

The JV closed out its season last week with a 28-20 win
over Fort Stockton, while the ninth graders will try to end
with a win tonight, after a 32-14 loss in Fort Stockton a
week ago.

Pecos' seventh graders will take one last shot at their
first win, following a 12-6 loss to the Panthers, and the
eighth graders need a victory to finish above .500, after
losing by a 20-0 score in Fort Stockton.

Stern blames agents for lack of deal

NEW YORK, Nov. 5 (AP) -- Commissioner David Stern blames
agents David Falk and Arn Tellem for the lack of a
settlement in the NBA lockout.

In a surprising and seemingly calculated move, Stern
pointed the finger away from union director Billy Hunter
after the sides held their shortest bargaining session -- 1
hour and 45 minutes -- since the lockout began July 1.

``I'm flattered they think I'm running the union, but
clearly what David Stern is trying to do is tactically
divide us -- the agents from the players, the high-salaried
players from the middle class,'' Falk said. ``This should be
a wake-up call to the union to stay unified and not let them
divide us.''

Another 11 games were supposed to have been played
Wednesday, and with each passing day the likelihood
increases that the season will not start until late December
or early January.

The league has already canceled the first month of the
season, although many agents and union officials believe
Stern is bluffing when he threatens to cancel the entire

Asked point blank Wednesday if he'd really do it, Stern
avoided a ``yes'' or ``no'' answer.

``It's not about whether we cancel the season,'' he said.
``You can keep counting (the canceled games), and at some
point, based upon the negotiating posture of the union, it
will not be possible to play the season.''

Stern announced one change in lockout policy, saying the
league will soon authorize teams to talk to their players.

``We had prohibited them in the past because we didn't want
there to be any misunderstanding of our proposals,'' he
said. ``At this point with the season potentially hanging in
the balance, we're going to tell teams that they will be
able to talk to players who call and ask questions. It's
important this not be viewed as either undermining the union
or disparaging our players.''

From early in the day Wednesday, when Stern and Hunter
arrived minutes apart on a chilly morning and immediately
started sniping at each other, it was apparent that the mood
was negative and the prospects for progress were remote.

Stern began his attack on agents before he even entered the
building, while Hunter blamed deputy commissioner Russ
Granik for the breakup of the previous round of talks

Less than two hours later, Hunter and his negotiating team
were exiting the building.

``I believe the people we met with today would like to make
a deal,'' Stern said of Hunter and union president Patrick
Ewing. ``Whether they'll be allowed to or not is going to be
another issue.''

Stern began his post-meeting remarks by pointing out that
the league had offered increased minimum salaries for
veterans, including a $1 million minimum for 10-year
veterans, and a gradual phase-in of the union's proposal for
an average-salary exception to replace the old $1 million

He also explained that owners want to establish a maximum
salary equal to 25 and 35 percent of the salary cap.

``We estimate that we will pay out over a billion dollars
(in player) salaries. And the representatives that sat in
the room with us on behalf of those 400 players seem intent
to have that billion dollars, along with the sand in the
hourglass, just drip away,'' Stern said.

``My focus is trying to make the deal, not trying to cancel
the season. But we're just worlds apart, and NBA players are
losing an average of $14 million per game,'' Stern said.

The sides said they may meet again Friday, although they
did not sound hopeful that they can make any progress.

Falk said the proposals on the table for a ``luxury tax''
on contracts signed under the Larry Bird exception and a 10
percent ``escrow tax'' of 10 percent on player salaries
beginning in the 2000-01 or 2001-02 season would further
polarize salaries and penalize the middle class.

McGwire's record year earns top honors

AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK, Nov. 5 -- Mark McGwire's record-setting season
captivated the nation, reinvigorated baseball and earned him
The Associated Press Major League Baseball Player of the
Year award.

McGwire beat out Sammy Sosa in the race to break Roger
Maris' homer record and wound up hitting an
impossible-to-imagine 70.

The St. Louis star shattered the 37-year-old mark of 61, a
number that had become part of American history. And he did
it with remarkable humility, paying respect to Maris' family
and Sosa throughout the pursuit and celebrating with his
10-year-old batboy son, Matt.

``I still can't figure out how I hit 70,'' McGwire said
during the World Series. ``It's hard enough to hit 62; 70
was incredible.''

McGwire received 103 votes in balloting by AP newspaper and
broadcast members released Wednesday. Sosa, who hit 66
homers for the Chicago Cubs, was second with 80 votes.

Seven other players tied for third with one vote each --
outfielders Ken Griffey Jr. of Seattle, Albert Belle of the
Chicago White Sox and Eric Davis of Baltimore; pitchers
Roger Clemens of Toronto and Trevor Hoffman of San Diego;
and shortstops Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Nomar
Garciaparra of Boston.

McGwire led the majors in slugging percentage (.752) and
on-base percentage (.470), helped by an NL-record 162 walks.
Playing his first full season in the NL, the Cardinals first
baseman had 147 RBIs, scored 130 runs and batted .299.

Sosa led the majors with 158 RBIs and 134 runs scored. The
Cubs right fielder batted .308 and also stole 18 bases.

Despite McGwire's accomplishments, the Cardinals finished
just 83-79, 19 games behind Houston in the NL Central. Sosa
helped the Cubs go 90-73 and win the wild-card spot in a
tiebreaking game with San Francisco.

Leading the Cubs into the playoffs might give Sosa an edge
over McGwire in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player
award, which the Baseball Writers' Association of America
will announce on Nov. 19.

``He had a better year than I did,'' McGwire said recently
of Sosa, ``because he went to the playoffs.''

Even with expectations high for big totals in this expansion
season, McGwire managed to exceed them.

He began his record run with a grand slam on opening day. On
Sept. 8, with Sosa standing in right field at Busch Stadium,
McGwire broke Maris' record with plenty of games to spare.

Big Mac closed out his amazing year with two home runs on
the final day, including No. 70 on his last swing of the
season. He turned 35 a few days later, on Oct. 1.

``I've amazed myself that I've stayed in such a tunnel for
so long throughout what I had to deal with as far as the
media, the expectations, almost every eye in the country
watching,'' McGwire said.

Along the way, McGwire had to deal with a controversy about
androstenedione, a muscle-enhancing supplement that he uses.
Baseball is now considering a ban on the substance, which is
banned in the NFL, Olympics and the NCAA.

McGwire held a 27-13 lead over Sosa in the homer race
through May. Yet Sosa set a major league record with 20 home
runs in June, and the race was on.

McGwire took a 62-58 edge with his record-breaking shot, but
Sosa came back with a burst that tied it at 63 on Sept. 16.
Both hit their 66th home runs on Sept. 25, starting a
stretch in which McGwire pulled away by homering five times
in his last 11 at-bats.

``We both had unbelievable years,'' McGwire said. ``No one
in the game of baseball has done what he and I did.''

Said Sosa: ``I always say that he was the man and he
motivated me. We had no jealousy.''

Invited to throw out the ceremonial first ball before Game 4
of the World Series in San Diego, McGwire provided one more
highlight to his season. Sitting in a front-row box down the
third-base line, he barehanded a foul ball hit by Chuck
Knoblauch of the New York Yankees and flipped it into the
stands behind him.

Sosa threw out the first ball before Game 1 between the
Yankees and Padres. He later received a hero's welcome in
his native Dominican Republic, both for his home runs and
for raising funds for his homeland, hit hard by Hurricane

``I feel very happy and honored that my people are on their
feet, waiting for me,'' Sosa said.

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Pecos Enterprise
Ned Cantwell, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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