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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 14, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Sports Thursday, February 14, 1991 Major Miner Mary Lou Erben watches her daughter Holly sign a letter of intent to play college volleyball at the University of Texas at El Paso. (Photo by Erik Karlsson) Herald-Ze/fi/ng, New Braunfels, Texas Attitude the key for Unicorns But experience could help baseball team repeat as district champ Miners sign NB’s Erben, one of their top 2 recruits By JOE BELK Staff Writer Holly Erben is making the jump from big time high school volleyball to big time college ball, signing Wednesday for a five-year athletic scholarship at the University of Texas at El Paso. Erben, a two-year starter for the New Braunfels Unicorns, was a top recruit for UTEP, as Coach Binny Canales said she was one of two players the Miners signed on the first national signing day. “I visited the campus and liked it a lot. It seems like a good school, and it has a good program,” Erben said. “I wasn't real scared to go away from home — I wanted to.” After playing in a high-profile Unicom program that was in tough 4A and 5A districts, Erben finds herself in one of the most competitive college conferences. Canales said the Western Athletic Conference, which only incorporated volleyball a year ago, is one of the two toughest conferences in the country along with the Big West. The WAC has four top 20 teams and a potential for more, with UTEP finishing 16-9 last season. Erben, who was a middle hitter for New Braunfels, said she will be playing outside for the Miners, and has been working at her new position in junior league play. “Holly has really made great strides in junior ball,” Canales said. She has been a full-time volleyball player for the past few years, saying that the experience in league play helped her "tremendously.” “I’ve gotten to see a lot Utter competition,” she said. “It’s no secret that junior ball has a lot tougher teams.” She said most of the players are college bound, with her mother, Mary Lou, adding that the primary topic of conversation the past few weeks has been who is signing where. Erben said her high school years also helped her improve as a player, being the lead hitter on two Unicom playoff teams. “It gave me mobility because I had to play the middle, which is tougher because you have to move a lot quicker. Coach (Claudia) Perry is a good coach. She said (my freshman year) that she didn’t like you unless she yelled at you. She must have liked mc a Iou” she joked. “I think Holly had a lot of leadership skills her junior and senior years, probably her junior year as much as her senior,” Perry said, also rephrasing Erben’s statement about yelling to say she pushed her because she was aware of her potential. Erben said she enjoyed her senior year the most, because of the intense battle for the playoff spots between the Unicorns, East Central and Seguin. New Braunfels beat East Central on the road in the last district game to capture the runner-up berth. “That was just a battle,” she said. “I liked that a lot belter than knowing you were going to win 15-1,15-2.” Since then, she has seen the level of competition rise even more in junior ball, and expects it to increase a few more notches in collegiate play. "I am looking forward to the conference, it’s going to be neat,” she said. Canales said Erben may redshift a year, if UTEP also signs some junior college players. “I don’t want to bum a year for her lo gel limited playing lime,” he said. “I think she’ll be a lot more valuable as a fifth-year senior than as a first-year freshman.” By JOE BELK Staff Writer With a large number of starters returning from last year’s District 28-4A champion, the New Braunfels Unicorns are a confident baseball team. Now Coach Peter Garza is trying to convince them that confidence alone won’t win games. “I was real high on what we had coming back, because we had a great number of starters and quite a few of the kids were returning lettermen,” Garza said. "But right now, I feel like somehow or other, for lack for a better word, we’ve got a real bad case of senioritis.” Six starters return from last year’s squad, and most of the players have at least some varsity experience. Garza said the team has a lot of potential, but must work to achieve it. “They seem to think that they’re going to be good without having to work hard,” he said. “That happens to young kids, and it can happen easily because they all want to be good. Tliese kids know they can be good, but there’s a difference between that and being good. We’re at the ‘can be’, but they think they’re already there. “lf we don’t improve our attitude and work habits, we won’t get any better and we won’t have the season we should have and would like to have.” He said he believes the players can still have a strong season, but stresses that the time has arrived for them to work towards that. He said it’s possible a tough preseason schedule could shock the team into working harder. “That could be true, but it’s dumb to have to get slapped in the face to learn something,” he said. “I hate to throw a few games away, and our schedule is tough.” After the difficult preseason slate, the Unicorns find themselves in a new classification and district, 25-5A, in which every team has the possibility to contend. "I think the district will have one big team to beat and the rest will probably be fairly even,” Garza said. “South San is definitely the team that will have the upper hand on everybody. That’s a good indicator for everybody else, something to shoot for.” The Bobcats, a perennial power for decades, return seven starters from a team that Garza said finished a close third behind Holmes and John Jay last season in an extremely competitive district. The core of the returners is the infield, which returns all four starters. "I think Harlandale and McCollum — they’re right in the area where South San is — all play the same kind of baseball,” he said, explaining that those teams should all have a strong command of fundamentals. “I think they’ll all hit well, and play defense well.” Seguin and San Marcos both lost some key players, and Garza said he didn’t know much about East Central but respected the Hornets because of the caliber of athletes at their school. For the Unicom team, last year’s pitching rotation of Grant Hodges and Leroy Gonzales — who combined for 18 of the team’s 19 wins last year — are back, as are two other pitchers with varsity experience. "I’m expecting bigger and better from (Hodges), but he’s already had some nagging injuries set him back a little,” Garza said of the senior, who has a sore shoulder. "Fortunately, it’s not a serious injury and it’s something he can work out. He’ll have to work harder to get in shape and be as effective as he was last year.” Gonzales, who was 10-2 last season as a sophomore, has a healthy arm but needs to work on his control. He is also working to lose weight in order to improve his quickness and stamina. "Right now, Leroy looks the best of the four,” Garza said. “But our schedule and our district are tougher, so all these guys are going to have to be better than they were last year.” Lorenzo Saucedo, Garza said, is bigger and stronger than he was last season. "He seems to be throwing the ball much harder. When he concentrates, his eurveball is doing much better,” he said of the left-hander Saucedo. "He’s having problems with his control, and he’s going to have to work real hard on getting ahead (in the count).” Brian Martinez is the fourth Unicom pitcher, and Garza said he has Schedule 1991 New Braunfels baseball Date Opponent Time Feb 22 SA Jefferson 500 Feb 23 Austin Bowie 2:00 Fret 26 at Uvalde 5:00 Feb 28 Mar 2 Clemens tourney Mar 5 Boerne 7:30 Mar 7 9 NB tournament Mar. 12 Clemens 7:30 Mar 14 Hays 7:30 Mar 16 at Boerne 200 Mar 19 'Harlandale 7:30 Mar 22 'at San Marcos 6 30 Mar 26 'South San 7:30 Mar 28 'at East Central 4:15 Mar 30 Houston Waltrip 2:00 Apr 2 'McColum 7:30 Apr 5 'at Seguin 7:30 Apr 12 ‘at Harlandale 4:15 Apr. 16 'San Marcos 7:30 Apr 19 'at South San 7:30 Apr 23 'East Central 7 30 Apr 26 ‘at McCollum 4:30 Apr 30 'Seguin 7:30 * Denotes District 25^ 5 A game Baseball ’91 First in a series been working hard and concentrating well. But Martinez is also the team’s starting shortstop, and thus the pitcher he hopes to use the least, and primarily in relief situations. “If those four can stay healthy and improve their weaknesses, we won’t need anybody else,” he said of the staff. "Those guys can carry us through.” Completing the battery is returning catcher Greg Overturf, who Garza said brings back experience and knowledge of the team’s system. “One thing we really need this year from him is improvement on hitting,” he said. "He has the potential of being a very good high school hitter, because he’s got power and he makes good contact.” The Unicom infield consists of two returning starters, and three players who saw varying degrees of varsity playing time last year. Martinez returns at shortstop as one of the team’s stronger defensive players. "He does a good job for us with the defense,” Garza said. "He’s got quick hands and a strong arm. Whenever he’s pitching, Raoul (Romero) can slide over.” Romero — a capable athlete who is only in his second year of baseball as a senior — is penciled in to start at second base, while returning starter Joe Faulkner moves over to first. Garza said Faulkner has the versatility to play first, second or third, and Saucedo will also see some time at first when not on the mound. Leroy Gonzales, who normally did not play on his otf days last season, will this year play third when not pitching. "He’s probably got the quickest hands on the team — he’s very confident and very comfortable over there," Garza said. "(Pitching and position playing) has got to affect him some, but it affects some kids more than others. He’s one of those kids that would rather be playing all the I time. And he’s got a good enough bat * that we need him on the field as much; as possible.” Jason Lyssy is Gonzales’ backup at * third, and either he or Faulkner could! play there when Gonzales is on the mound. The outfield is the biggest question marie, with only one returning starter and currently just four available players. “That’s probably our biggest weakness and shortcoming,” Garza said. The Unicorns do return Kyle Herman in left field, where he started -last season as a sophomore. "I think he's doing a much better job,” Im said. “He’s much more confident this year.” Wes Schriewer, who played some in right field last season before and after an injury, is projected as the starting center fielder. "Wes has good speed and a fair arm,” Garza said. "He should be able to play the position adequately.” Daniel Cantu was a starting outfielder for the junior varsity last season, and he and Jacob Leos could both play in right. Isabell Bustos, currently a starting guard for the basketball team, is an outfielder and pitcher who Garza believes can contribute to the baseball team. The addition of Bustos would make 13 players on the varsity, and Garza said plenty of room remains on the team for anyone who can contribute. New Braunfels returned several strong hitters from last year’s team, but the coach said in the first scrimmage hitting looked like the weakest part of the team. He said Hodges, j Martinez, Gonzales and Overturf are I all good hitters, and Saucedo and other players have the ability to hit well. The bats, he said, will have to come around, as the poor team speed will not be able to create many runs without hitting. “That’s always a weakness. New Braunfels has always been slow, and unfortunately, this year's no different. We’ve got to utilize our bat skills to move people around, because we’re not going to do it stealing.’' Garza said he remains optimistic about the Unicorns’ chances for a successful season, with the team containing many positive attributes. “I think we can’t do anything but get better,” he said. "I think we’ve got the potential to be right in the thick of things in district, if we can just find a way to get them to start playing to their potential.” Assault charge against Wingate dropped SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A Bexar County sexual assault charge against former San Antonio Spurs guard David Wingate was dismissed, and a civil suit against him here was settled. The legal moves rekindle the possibility of Wingate’s return to the NBA. The 27-year-old player still faces a criminal charge of sexual assault in Maryland, which an attorney said he is trying to settle out of court. District Attorney Steve Hilbig in San Antonio filed a motion to dismiss the criminal rape charge because of insufficient evidence. State District Judge Pat Priest signed the motion Wednesday. Marynell Maloney, the attorney representing the alleged victim in the San Antonio civil case, said a complete out-of-court settlement has been reached between her client and Wingate. She declined to reveal details. Hilbig said the decision not to prosecute the criminal case was not connected to the civil settlement. James Myart, one of Wingate’s San Antonio attorneys, said, "I can’t speculate about the case in Maryland, but I can say I’m very hopeful that David Wingate can return to the NBA soot." Wingate arrived in San Antonio Wednesday night to finish clearing up legal business. He greeted Myart with a beaming smile and a high-five. “I feel pretty good,” Wingate said. “This part is behind me. I’m looking forward to getting bsek to basketball.” In San Antonio and Maryland, two different women accused Wingate of sexual assault last sum mer. The women alleged the attacks occurred after they drank tequila with Wingate. Wingate’s Maryland attorney, Philip H. Armstrong, has said discussions have taken place that could dispose of the case without a trial. The criminal trial in Howard County is scheduled for Aug. 5. Wingate said he hopes to return to the Spurs.    uavHJ Spurs owner Red McCombs has continqafti? said the team won’t consider bringing Wingate back until all charges against him are dropped or he is found innocent. BrieflyScoreboardPepperell Iselin wins hoop shoot WesiPoint Pepperell Iselin won the Corporate Challenge’s hoop shoot basketball contest on Sunday at the Lamia Recreation Center. Members of the winning team were Damon Milieu, Irene Zavala, Mike Pipper and Regina Martinez with 131 points. Millett scored an individual-high 44 points. New Braunfels ISD’s B team placed second with 102 points, with the school district’s A team taking third at 101. The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung’s A team was fourth at 95, followed by Detex in fifth at 92 and New Braunfels Utilities Office in sixth with 78 points. The next event in the Corporate Challenge series is a softball tournament, tentatively scheduled for March IO. For more information call 620-PLAY.American LL schedules tryouts Tryouts for the New Braunfels American Little League have been set for all boys and girls ages 8-12 (as of July 31,1991) with birthdates in the months of February, April, June, August, October or December. Tryouts and late registration will take place on Saturday and Feb. 23 from 10-a.m. until noon at the American League Field on Common Street. All equipment except for gloves will be provided. Pot more information call Fred Zinkgraf at 629-3464.Slow-pitch registration set The New Braunfels Girls Slow-Pitch Softball Association will have its signup for girls ages 7-18 at the Lamia Recreation Center. The first date to signup is Saturday from IO a.m. until 3 p.m. Registration will also take place from 6-7 p.m. on Feb. 18-22 and from IO a.m. until 3 p.m. on Feb. 23. The fee is $20, which includes insurance and uniform. For more information on the slow-pitch league, call Dr. Vernon Colvin at 625-6410 or 625-6074.SV varsity-alumnl game on Saturday The 1991 Smithson Valley High School baseball team invites all former players to take part in a varsity-alumni game at I p.m. Saturday at Ranger Field. The exes should bring a glove, cleats and suitable attire.T-Ball registration begins Saturday Registration for the New Braunfels 1991 T-Ball season will take place Saturday and again on Feb. 23 from IO arn. until noon at the American Little League fields across from the fairgrounds. All boys and girls who will be 6 or 7 by July 31 are welcome. The registration fee is $15 and a birth certificate is required. For more information call Fred Zinkgraf at 629-3464 or Greg Franklin at 629-4372.On The Air THURSDAY 6:30 p m. — College basketball Alabama Birmingham al South Florida. ESPN 6:30 p m. — Pro basketball Chicago at New York, WGN 7:30 p m. — College basketball Cincinnati al Memphis State, HSE 8:30 p m — College basketball: Minneso taal Iowa, ESPN 9 30 p m. — College basketball: DSC at Stanford. HSE. 11 p m. — College basketball: UCLA at Calilornia, ESPN FRIDAY 2 pm — Golf Aetna Sen tor Challenge first round. ESPN. 6:30 p m — College hockey Michigan at Michigan State, HSE 7 p m. — Pro basketball: New York at Cleveland, TNT. 9 p m. — Pro basketball Boston at LA Lakers. TNT. 9 30 p m. — Golf Australian Open, third round, HSELocal Sports FRIDAY 4:15 p m. — Boys basketball Seguin at New Braunfels 10th. JV. varsity 6 p.m. — Soccer Smithson Valley JV. var sity at New Braunfels 7 p m — Soccer Lockhart at Canyon varsity NBA All Times CST EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division W L Pct. GB Boston 36 12 .750 — Philadelphia 25 22 532 1014 New York 21 27 438 15 Washington 21 28 429 15*4 New Jersey 15 34 306 2114 Miami 13 35 271 23 Central Division Chicago 33 14 702 — Detroit 34 16 880 *4 Milwaukee 30 19 .812 4 Atlanta 26 23 531 8 Indiana 20 28 .417 1314 Cleveland 17 32 347 17 Charlotte 15 33 .913 ISH WESTERN CONFERENCE Midwest Division W L Pct. GB San Antonio 33 13 717 — Utah 32 IS 667 2 Houston 27 22 551 7*4 Dallas 17 29 370 16 Minnesota 16 31 .340 17*4 Orlando 15 33 313 19 Denver 14 32 304 19 Pacific Division Portland 40 9 816 — LA Lakers 36 12 ,750 3*4 Phoenix 31 16 660 8 Golden Stale 27 20 574 12 Seattle 22 24 478 164 LA Clippers 15 33 313 244 Sacramento 14 32 304 24*4 Wednesday's Gamas Cleveland 95 Dallas 93 Indiana 105. Detroit 101 New Jersey 140. Atlanta 106 LA Lakers 120. Minnesota 106 Today s Games Denver at Mian*. 6 30 p rn Chicago al New York. 6 30 p rn Seattle at Orlando. 6 30 p m Washington at Houston. 7 30p rn. Detroit ai Milwaukee 7 30 p rn Phoentk at San Antonio 7 30 p m Boston at Golden Stale. 9 30p rn Philadelphia at Sacramento 9:30 p mCollege Scores Wednesday's Cottage Basketball SOUTHWEST Arkansas 87, Texas Tech 69 Baytor 77, Texas Christen TS, OT Oklahoma St 77. Oklahoma 74 c..Ate    AIU    BG ;