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Tuesday, August 17, 1999

Netters adds players to boys' side

PECOS, Aug. 17, 1999 -- Pecos Eagles' tennis coach Bernadette Ornelas has gotten a few more players out with the start of school, and will have a few more days to work them out before the Eagles begin their 1999 team tennis season.

Ornelas said Pecos' scheduled opener this Saturday at Odessa High has been canceled, "so out first matches will be at the Fort Stockton Tournament Aug. 27-28."

OHS beat Fort Stockton this past weekend in those teams' season openers by a 19-0 score.

After graduating almost all of their boys team, Ornelas was worried she'd be short on players this season. But on Monday she said, "We've got nine boys out and a good set of 15 girls. With the first day of school the kids are coming back and signing back up on the team."

"The team is extremely young. We're only going to have three seniors on the team," she said, but added "We should be strong on the girls side and semi-strong on the boys side."

The Eagles won the District 2-4A title last season, beating out Clint due to the strength of their boys' squad. They'll open 2-4A play on Oct. 2 against Clint at San Elizario, and will play the team tennis tournament there later in October.

Pecos faces Alpine, OHS in openers

PECOS, Aug. 17 -- Pecos versus Alpine and Odessa High has been tough enough for the Eagles the past few years when they've played at home.

This evening, the Eagles will open their 1999 season on the road against the Bucks and Bronchos, playing a pair of matches at Odessa High, starting at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

In each of the past two seasons, the Eagles have begun the year with a home win over OHS and a loss to Alpine. Last year, Pecos beat Odessa High by 15-12, 15-7 scores, but then fell to the Bucks, 15-7, 15-3, while two years ago they had a three-game win over the Bronchos and a three game loss to Alpine.

As far as this year goes, coach Becky Granado said, "I don't really know anything about either of those teams," going into today's matches.

Alpine has won two straight district titles, but graduated all but two of their varsity players. Odessa High, meanwhile, has finished 1-11 in District 4-5A play each of the past two seasons, though they do return one first team all-district player in junior Lindsey Casey.

The Eagles return just about half their starters from last year's team that started off the season 4-8 before going on to win the District 2-4A title and finish 17-10 overall, losing to eventual state champion Dumas in the Class 4A playoffs.

Granado said the Eagles lost their scrimmage matches on Saturday to Odessa High's district rival, Odessa Permian, but swept matches from Monahans and Kermit on the Loboes' home court. After today, the Eagles will be back in Monahans on Friday for the Sandhills Tournament, opening up against El Paso Americas and Fort Stockton.

Docs call Elliott's transplant successful

AP Sports Writer
SAN ANTONIO Aug. 17, 1999 Doctors say Sean Elliott's dream of returning to the NBA after kidney transplant surgery is in the realm of possibility after a successful operation.

Although the 31-year-old Elliott will be on medication the rest of his life, his doctors said he should be able to return to a normal life, maybe even basketball. The NBA season starts in November.

"It's clearly unprecedented, but he's a very motivated individual," said Dr. Francis Wright, the surgeon who performed the transplant surgery Monday at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.

"I'm certainly not going to be the one who tells him he can't play basketball again," Wright said.

Elliott, a 10-year NBA veteran and starting forward on the San Antonio Spurs championship team, could leave the hospital within a week and start his workout regimen within the next two months if he's up to it, Wright said.

Doctors have said it will take 2-3 months before they'll know if he can play again.

"We recommend some limitation on activity for six to eight weeks to allow the incision to heal properly," Wright said.

Elliott was in stable condition after Monday's surgery and was expected to be moved out of intensive care into a regular recovery room by today.

The Spurs are thinking only of Elliott's recovery and are not worried about his return to the court, coach Gregg Popovich said.

"None of us gives a damn about basketball right now," Popovich said. "If he never played another game, as long as he had his health and the rest of his life, that would be fine. We go forward as if he's not going to be playing for us."

Elliott received the kidney from his 32-year-old brother, Noel.

Urologist Sammy Vick, who removed Noel's left kidney, said Noel might be able to go home in 3-5 days.

Wright said Noel matched five of the six antigen markers.

"It should be an extremely good transplant for Sean," Wright said. "His brother is a better-than-average match. ... That bodes well, in particular, for the long-term results of the transplant."

Doctors left Elliott's two kidneys in place while inserting the donor organ on his right side, down in the pelvis area near the bladder, Wright said.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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