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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, August 20, 1999

Eagles win opener at Sandhills

MONAHANS, Aug. 20, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles' volleyball team opened play this morning in the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans with a sweep of the El Paso Americas Trailblazers.

Pecos downed Americas by 15-6, 15-12 scores, and would try to sweep their four pool round games at 1 p.m., when they took on Fort Stockton. The top two teams would advance to the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday morning.

"I would say we should reach it (the championship bracket)," said coach Becky Granado, whose team will play at 9 a.m. Saturday if the defeat Fort Stockton, and will play at 11 a.m. if they place second in their three-team pool. The third place team will play in the consolation semifinals on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

Granado said the Eagles didn't get a lot of kills in their victory. "If the set was there we put it on the floor, if not we just tried to save it and hit it back, so they played smart ball today."

"We played good defense, and they had a tough time with our serves," she said. "We lost concentration for a couple of minutes in the second game and they caught up to us, but after a time out I got onto them and we picked it up."

The Eagles are in Pool III at the Sandhills Tournament, which will face teams from Pool I in the quarterfinals on Saturday. San Angelo Central, Clint, Denver City and Kermit make up that group, while Monahans, Anthony and El Paso Northeast Christian are in Pool I and El Paso High, Fabens, Tahoka and Marathon are in Pool IV.

Pecos' two freshman teams began play in the ninth grade division of the tournament on Thursday, with the Eagles' purple team placing second in their three-team pool, losing to Crane purple and splitting with Monahans green, while the gold team was beaten out by Fort Stockton and Lamesa.

The Eagles' junior varsity teams was scheduled to begin pool play in their bracket this afternoon at 1:50 p.m. against Northeast Christian, and will face Colorado City at 5:10 p.m. The JV will play at either 8 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. on Saturday, while the freshmen will play on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the championship quarterfinals and consolation semifinals.

Ayala returns to boxing after 16 years in prison

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 20, 1999 (AP) Tony Ayala Jr. will never know what might have been. Now, he's more concerned with what might be.

Ayala returns to the ring tonight for the first time in nearly 17 years, trying to resurrect at the age of 36 a career that once seemed destined to match him against the great fighters of his time.

Whether that time has long passed should be evident when the balding Ayala meets Manuel Esparza in his first fight since being sent to prison in 1983 for breaking into a woman's home and raping her.

"Throughout my prison sentence I wondered what could have been," Ayala said. "I imagined myself fighting whatever fighter was current. But did I believe I would be making a comeback at 36? The answer is no."

Ayala, released in April after serving more than 16 years, will get $200,000 to fight Esparza before a hometown crowd that Ayala hopes will see a changed man but not a changed fighter.

What Ayala will show in the ring is anyone's guess, including his own. But the fearsome puncher who once spit on an opponent after knocking him down is eager to find out.

"I won't say I'm where I was at when I was 19. But I never want to be the kind of person again that I was at 19," Ayala said. "I've made a lot of progress in four months since I got out of prison. And I certainly have enough to win this fight."

Outside the ring, Ayala has more confidence in himself. There, he hopes to prove himself as a man who finally takes responsibility for his actions, and is truly remorseful for a crime that sent him to prison for nearly half of his life.

"It seems society is willing to put the past aside and let me prove myself. That's all I asked for," Ayala said. "I expected a lot worse from people for what I did than what has actually happened."

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Pecos Enterprise
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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