Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, July 20, 1999
Volleyball girls getting summer lessons
PECOS, July 20, 1999 -- Pecos Eagle eighth and ninth grade girls were in
the second day of their five-day volleyball clinic this morning and afternoon
at the Pecos High School gym, with the first day of pre-season practice
for freshmen through senior players set for two weeks from Wednesday.
Seventh graders participated in their clinic last week, with just over
a dozen girls involved. Eagles' coach Becky Granado said the numbers are
up a bit this week with the older girls.
"We had 17 ninth grade girls yesterday, and we've got a few more (eighth
graders) showing up today," she said. There were 17 girls at the gym this
morning, five more than on Monday.
As far as the number signed up for the start of workouts on Aug. 4,
Granado said there are currently 98 girls registered to participate in
grades 9-12, with 60 of those on the freshmen level.
Workout equipment will be handed out on Aug. 3, Granado said. Seniors
will pick up their equipment at 9 a.m., juniors at 10 a.m., sophomores
at 11 a.m. and freshmen at 1:30 p.m.
Hobbs hoop coach Tasker dies
HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Ralph Tasker, one of the winningest and most revered
coaches in high school basketball history, has died following a battle
with cancer. He was 80.
Tasker, who had his final birthday just four days before his death at
home Monday, was fighting pneumonia at the end, said longtime friend and
assistant Don Abbott of Farmington, who drove to the Tasker home Sunday
to be with the coach.
When he retired in 1998, Tasker had the third-best high school coaching
record in history.
"He basically changed the way the game of basketball was played," said
Abbott, who had known Tasker since playing for him at Hobbs High School
in the mid-1950s.
"He made better coaches out of all his opponents because of his ability
to get the best out of them as well as out of his own teams. He is well
respected all over — not only among high school coaches, but college coaches
have used some of his innovations," Abbott said.
And Tasker had a personal touch that fostered devotion in his players.
Ross Black was a junior in 1949 when Tasker coached Lovington to a state
"He was the ultimate in commitment and dedication, not only to the game,
but in particular to the players," Black said by phone from his Lovington
"I came from a broken home," Black said. "A lot of people find a way
to go bad in those circumstances. I was headed that way until I met Ralph
Tasker's teams were best known for their defense, especially the full-court
press, which forced countless turnovers and fueled the famous Hobbs fast
Russ Gilmore, who became the Hobbs basketball coach in May 1998 when
Tasker retired, said he had heard of Tasker's Eagles when he was a child
growing up in Kansas.
"It's because of him and what he built here, that's why I'm here," Gilmore
said. "The tradition is so long and storied here, most of these kids want
to grow up and be a Hobbs Eagle basketball player. It's just kind of expected."
Jim Hulsman, who coaches basketball at Albuquerque High School, says
Tasker was the first to push New Mexico basketball into the limelight.
"New Mexico was virtually unknown basketballwise up until Ralph Tasker
took that job at Hobbs," Hulsman said. "He started going into this type
of press-type defense and the rest of the state had a hard time handling
it. Tasker started putting stats on the board that you couldn't miss nationally."
It wasn't unusual for Tasker's teams to put more than 100 points on
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise