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Wednesday, September 22, 1999

Eagles claim 2-4A opener over Wildcats

PECOS, Sept. 22, 1999 -- The El Paso area continued to be a favorite place for the Pecos Eagles volleyball team to play, though coach Becky Granado said the Eagles will still need to play better over the next five weeks of District 2-4A matches than they did in Fabens on Tuesday.

Pecos opened the district portion of their schedule with a 15-8, 15-6 win over the Wildcats, as they remained unbeaten on the road since moving into District 2-4A last year. But looking ahead to the playoffs in late October, coach Becky Granado said, "I've got to find a way for us to play better than we have.

"Our girls were not happy with the way they played last night, even though we won, because they know they didn't play as well as they can," Granado said, after the Eagles had a sluggish finish to a game in which they held an 11-1 lead.

"Overall, we played good enough to beat Fabens, but I've seen our girls play much better," she said. "Once they saw they didn't have to work too hard to beat Fabens, they kind of slacked off."

Fabens led only twice in the match, at 3-2 and 4-3 in the opening game before the Eagles ran off eight straight points to take an 11-4 lead. The Wildcats did narrow that margin to 11-8 but were unable to get any closer.

"Philly (Fobbs) had a good defensive game. She had six solo blocks, which I think is her high for the season," Granado said. Ashley Salcido also came up with several kills in the opener, while Pecos contained Fabens' hitter Cynthia Arrieta in Game 1.

"Their big girl had only about one kill, and their coach apparently wasn't too happy with her, because she didn't play the second game," Granado said. Without Alarcon, Fabens fell behind 9-0 and 11-1, then cut the margin to 12-6 before the Eagles regained control.

"Our serves were good at the beginning, but towards the end we started missing," she said. "We were giving Fabens every opportunity to come back on us. After we had them down 11-1 we couldn't put them away."

The win lifted Pecos' record to 12-8 on the season, while Fabens fell to 4-7. Pecos also won Tuesday's junior varsity match by 15-12, 15-10 scores, while the Wildcats took the freshman contest, 15-3, 15-1.

The Eagles will play their 11th straight road match on Saturday when they go out to El Paso again to face Mountain View. Pecos finally gets a home game after that, as they face Clint next Tuesday.

Cross country has rocky time in Carlsbad

PECOS, Sept. 22, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles' cross country team had a rough time on a rough course Saturday, as they competed in the varsity, junior varsity and junior high divisions of the Cavern City Invitational in Carlsbad.

Coach Rudy Jurado said the Eagles had no girls entered on the varsity level, while the best finish overall in the crowded boys field was a 52nd place by Jacob Mora. Mora had a 19.46 time over the 2.8-mile course.

Pecos had all five of its other runners bunched up behind Mora. Mike Howard was 54th with a 19:46 time, Roy Marta was 56th at 19:55, Nolan Blount was 59th with a 21:45 timer and Jason Sanchez and Craig Wein tied for 60th and 61st, with 22:10 times.

"Jason got hurt on the course. It was real rocky terrain," said Jurado, who added the Eagles have had limited time to train so far this season. "We're sharing people with other things. We've got people in band, people in swimming, people in football and people in cheerleading, so that's what we're battling.

"I increased the (practice) run to 4 ½ miles yesterday and we're going to pick it up to 6 ½ miles preparing for district," he added. "We're going to have to to stand a chance of going anywhere in district."

In the JV division, Abel Lopez ran a 19:27 and was 25th and Mark Gomez was 44th with a 22:20 time. On the girls side, Kathy Holtz ran a 23:06 to finish ninth, while Shiloh Martin was 26th, with a 31.29 time.

On the junior high level, Pecos' girls had one runner, Mari Martinez, who finished 10th with a 24:37 time. On the boys' side, Jurado said Ricky Barreno had the best finish, running 20:26 for 13th place. John Parent was 14th with a 20:27 time, Lionel Abila was 17th in 20:50, Jeremiah Mora was 29th in 23:06, Joseph Lujan was 35th in 25:45 and Joe Marruffo was 37th with a 27:47 time.

Knee injury ends Anderson's year

AP Sports Writer
SUWANEE, Ga., Sept. 22, 1999 If the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons are going to bounce back from an 0-2 start, they'll have to do it without their best player.

From Super Bowl to super disappointment, the Falcons received another devastating blow Tuesday: All-Pro running back Jamal Anderson is out for the season because of a knee injury.

Anderson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Monday night in a 24-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, crumpling to the turf on his third carry of the game without being touched.

"That is the way life is," coach Dan Reeves said. "You are not going to get a lot of sympathy from anybody. People aren't really interested in anything other than results."

Anderson rushed for a franchise-record 1,846 yards and set an NFL mark with 410 carries last season. His punishing style and remarkable durability set the tone for a ball-control offense that helped the Falcons reach the Super Bowl for the first time in their 34-year history.

Now, Atlanta will hand the ball to third-year back Byron Hanspard, who missed last season with an injured knee after rushing for 335 yards as a rookie.

"I'm extremely upset and saddened by this turn of fate," Anderson said. "I will do everything in my power to return better than I was before, as quickly as I can."

He won't be returning this season. The personable, 26-year-old Anderson, whose "Dirty Bird" dance became a symbol of the Falcons' improbable run to the Super Bowl, is expected to undergo surgery in about two weeks.

Under the best of circumstances, he would be recovered in time for the start of training camp next year.

"It is one of those deals that it happens, and you hate it, but you can't dwell on it," Reeves said. "We have got to move forward and try to get the job done."

This season, Anderson missed two weeks of training camp in a contract dispute, finally reporting two days before the first exhibition game after receiving a five-year, $32 million contract including a $7.5 million signing bonus.

Anderson was held to 50 yards on 16 carries in a season-opening loss to Minnesota, and managed only 9 yards against the Cowboys before his season came to an end.

"Everybody has got their opinions and so forth, but you don't know and you never will know," the coach replied. "It is just unfortunate that it happened. It happens a lot. It seems like when a guy holds out, he comes back in and has injuries. That is the tough part."

Against the Cowboys, Atlanta already was missing quarterback Chris Chandler, who strained a hamstring against the Vikings.

Without their two best offensive players, the Falcons failed to move inside the Dallas 30 until the fourth quarter. They avoided their first shutout since 1993 when third-string quarterback Danny Kanell threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Tim Dwight with four minutes remaining.

Chandler is questionable for Sunday against St. Louis.

Anderson was injured on a seemingly harmless play, raising more questions about the effects of playing on artificial turf.

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Pecos Enterprise
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