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Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Pecos, Permian girls hunt first wins

PECOS, Dec. 7, 1999 -- With an 0-5 record through the first three weeks of play, the Pecos Eagle girls' basketball team is struggling. But then so are the Odessa Permian Panthers.

Permian's girls will visit Pecos tonight for junior varsity and varsity games, with the Panthers looking for their first win after 10 straight losses to start the season. The teams will meet at 7:30 p.m., following the 6 p.m. JV contest.

The Eagles have had a week off after dropping their road opener in Crane by a 91-51 final score. Permian meanwhile, dropped three games this past weekend at the Polk Key City Classic in Abilene. They come off a 67-56 loss on Saturday to Andrews, following losses to Belton and Electra on Thursday and Friday.

Turnovers, poor shooting and rebounding problems have hurt Pecos in their first five games. Last Tuesday, the first two problems were the ones that cost the Eagles the most, as coach Brian Williams said his team averaged better than 1 ½ turnovers a minute in their loss to the Cranes.

Williams won't be at tonight's game, and missed this past weekend's Pecos sub-varsity tournaments due to a death in the family. Freshman coach Becky Granado will handle the varsity tonight, which is made up mostly of players off her varsity volleyball team.

"We'll just go out there and hopefully they'll do a better job," Granado said Saturday.

Andrews is the only common opponent so far for the Eagles and Panthers. Pecos lost at home to the Mustangs on Thanksgiving weekend by a 78-33 score, but were down by just a 36-20 margin at the half. In Saturday's game, the Panthers' scoring problems were in the opening quarters, when the Mustangs grabbed a 36-13 halftime lead.

Pecos' boys are idle tonight. They'll return to action with a 4:30 p.m. game Thursday against Lubbock High at the Monahans Sandhills Tournament, which will be followed by the Eagle girls against the Loboes at 6 p.m.

Permian coach Mayes is reassigned

ODESSA, Dec. 7, 1999 (AP) - The coach at Permian High School, long a football juggernaut, has been reassigned to a teaching position.

School officials said Monday they're moving Randy Mayes to an academic slot starting Dec. 17 because of a lagging record and dwindling support during his six-year tenure as the Panthers' head coach.

Superintendent of Ector County Independent School District Vernon Stokes said expectations on the coach are high, in part because of the pressure to maintain Permian's legendary football program. Permian has won the state 5A Division I championship six times since 1965 and won the national championsihip in 1989.

Mayes has a 45-21-5 record and the Panthers failed to make the playoffs this year. His teams reached the quarterfinals in 1998 but missed the playoffs in 1997.

This year's team finished with a 4-6 record and the 1997 team went 3-6, two of the three worst records in school history.

"In a lot of places that would be great, but here it's not because it is a long-established program," Stokes said. Members of a committee appointed to review the football program also thought now is the right time to remove Mayes, he said.

Calls to the school for Mayes and to a phone number listed for him were not returned late Monday afternoon.

"He's hurt and you can respect that," said Don Wright, an athletic director at the school. "All of us are hurt because there's a human element involved. Randy is a big man and he'll come out of it."

Permian High School football gained nationwide fame through H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger's book "Friday Night Lights," an insider look at the 1988 team. Bissinger's candid portrayal of the Panther football program has enraged Odessa residents for a decade.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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