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Aug. 9, 1996

Numbers, expectations up for Bears in 1996

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Staff Writer

BALMORHEA, Aug. 9 - The numbers are up, and the expectations may be a
little higher as well for the Balmorhea Bears as they prepare for the
1996 football season.

The Bears began workouts on Wednesday with 20 players out, four more
than a year ago when they earned their second straight trip to the
six-man playoffs. Balmorhea placed second to Buena Vista in the District
8-A standings with a 7-2-1 record, falling to then-undefeated Klondike
in the area round of the playoffs, 60-57.

"There are two or three more we may get out," Bears' head coach Michael
Barrandey said Thursday. "I know there's one who's still in Dallas right
Balmorhea made the playoffs last year despite graduating most of their
starters off 1991's state semifinalist squad. This season, they come in
ranked 13th in the pre-season six-man poll, and with most of their
players back from a year ago are favored to claim their second district
title in three years.

"We've got several kids with 4.6, 4.7 speed, and you've got to have
speed in six man," he added. "We've got 10 veterans back, so it looks
good right now."

Injuries hurt Balmorhea a year ago. They lost quarterback Zane Rhyne
late in the season to a knee injury, while sophomore Debe Mendoza had to
take on more offensive responsibilities when Junior Dutchover got banged
up midway through the year.

He scored two touchdowns and ran for 109 yards in last year's playoff
loss, and will again play a major role this season after Dutchover's
"Zane's looking good, Arturo (Miranda) has come back bigger, and he has
a deceptive stride, and Debe is bigger than he was last year," Barrandey
He's also hoping sophomore transfer student Vincent Calderon can play a
key role. "He moved in from Van Horn to live with his dad," said
Barrandey. "He's supposed to have 4.4 speed, and since we graduated
Junior, I hope he can step in.

"He's got to learn the six-man system, but he seems to have a good
attitude," the Bears' coach added. "He still has to work for it like all
the other kids."
Even with 10 returning players, the Bears will still be a young team in
1996, with wide receiver Scott Clark and linemen Ryan Stieg and Damon
Mellard the only seniors.

The Bears will get to see two of their District 8-A rivals two weeks
from today, when they play a round-robin scrimmage at home against
Marathon and Dell City. An intrasquad scrimmage is set the following
week, before regular season play opens on Sept. 6 in Marathon, with a
non-district game against the Mustangs.

Cowboys, charities score El Paso wins

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Associated Press Writer

EL PASO, Aug. 9 - The fans surged up in a blue wave, throwing up their
arms and emitting throaty yells to encourage their idols on the field.

And that was only for a passing drill.

The Cowboys got a true hero's welcome Thursday night as they trotted
onto the Sun Bowl turf to take on the Houston Oilers in a scrimmage, a
game won by Dallas 17-16.

The fact that the game was meaningless to the world champions didn't
matter one bit to the 51,118 fans in the stands.

``This is tremendous. Just take a look,'' Jaime Garcia, who was decked
out in a Troy Aikman jersey and Cowboys cap, said while gesturing toward
the first sellout crowd the Sun Bowl has ever seen.

The game was much anticipated in El Paso, a stronghold for Dallas fans,
and a boon for local charities, which will get a percentage of the
projected $1.3 million in proceeds from the game.

Garcia paid $220 for two tickets, the most expensive available, and he
said it was easily worth it.

The other fans, most wearing Cowboy blue, apparently agreed.

They began cheering the moment the Cowboys came on the field to stretch,
did the wave during early drills, and then cheered and hollered during
the game as though a Super Bowl ring was at stake.

``Awesome,'' said Cowboys safety Bill Bates.

Added Aikman, who had groused about the trip earlier in the week: ``The
experience of having to travel was well worth it.''

The Cowboys, who have been decimated by injuries, used the game to get a
good look at some of their backups.

Sherman Williams, running with the first team while Emmitt Smith rested,
rushed for 67 yards on eight first-half carries. He scored twice on runs
of 1- and 5-yards.

Chris Boniol added a 30-yard field goal to close out the Cowboys'

Wade Wilson went 4-of-6 for 86 yards after replacing Aikman, who played
only one drive. Aikman was 2-of-3 for 25 yards, including a 17-yarder to
Deion Sanders, in leading the Cowboys to their first score.

The Oilers' top prospects, quarterback Steve McNair and running back
Eddie George, did not play.

Instead, Houston rookie Mike Archie ran for 68 yards and a touchdown on
16 carries. Al Del Greco added a 26-yard field goal with more than seven
minutes gone in the third quarter.

A 25-yard TD pass from Donald Hollas to Brashant Carter with 27 seconds
remaining in the game made it close. But the Oilers failed to convert a
two-point conversion attempt.

The crowd, of course, cheered like it mattered.

``I would come to another one,'' said Alex DeLeon, another Cowboy fan.

He may well get a chance.

El Paso officials responsible for bringing the game to West Texas have
said they want to host a Cowboys preseason game, and they have even
suggested that they may try to get the team to bring its training camp
to the city for a week or so.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed receptive to the idea of returning next
year in some capacity.

``We're going to look into it,'' Jones said. ``We're really going to
look into it. I mean it.''

Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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