NMMI Sports Press
It was by no means a perfect game — the third quarter was a nightmare for the home squad — but the Colt football team (6-0, 1-0) got its sixth straight victory and first District 4-4A win Friday, 28-20 over defending state champ Ruidoso (2-5, 0-1).
“I’m just proud of the way these kids finished the game,” said Colt coach Randy Montoya. “I’m disappointed in the way we had undisciplined penalties. Those penalties killed us. Just jumping off sides. Hitting people out of bounds. It’s just undisciplined. And I was very disappointed in that fact.”
The penalties — 14 for 106 yards for NMMI — started stacking up early, as the Colts had three offsides calls in the first four plays. But through most of the first half, it didn’t seem to matter much, as the Institute overcame those mistakes to take an early lead.
It looked like the Warriors had scored first when a long drive ended in a pass from Kyler Woodul to to Isiah Otero, who ran the ball 46-yards to the end zone. But a Ruidoso penalty nullified the TD, and two plays later the Warriors were forced to punt.
The Colts scored on that next possession, getting big runs from Penghui Dong and Julian T. Recio for first downs, with Dong carrying it in at 5:32 for the first score. A good kick by VIctor Salame and NMMI led 7-0.
A long Ruidoso possession ended at their own 25 when Woodul tried a hand off and fumbled, with Luke Johnson recovering the ball for the Colts. On the very next play, a quarterback Gavin Maloney passed to Christian Padilla, who ran it in for a 73-yard TD.
Another good kick, and it was 14-0 with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
That’s where the first quarter ended, and, after Fausto Baranzini almost got an interception on a Woodul pass, Padillia picked off the very next toss to give the ball back to NMMI. And again, it didn’t take long for the Institute to score, as five plays later, Dong again brought the ball in for the touchdown. Yet another good kick, and the Colts led 21-0 with 7:49 remaining in the half.
But that would be the last NMMI score until the fourth quarter, and the Warriors never quit. They took advantage of big Colt penalties to get out of some sticky situations and a long drive ended with an 11 yard run by Cisco Mayville to make it 21-6. Ian Curnett blocked the kick, and that’s where the scored stayed until half.
Maybe it was the last play of the second quarter — Maloney threw an interception that was picked off by C.J. Ogden — but the Warriors were on fire after the break.
A fumbled NMMI punt early in the third quarter was picked up by Santiago Rojo in the end zone, the the gap was narrowed to 21-14 after a successful 2-point conversion.
Ruidoso then pulled within one with 3:20 left in the third when big Warrior carries combined with more Colt penalties and Mayville ran the ball in from the 26 to make it 21-20. The home town fans breathed a big sigh of relief as the kick was blocked, but the whisker-thin margin held through the third quarter.
The Colts looked more like their first-quarter selves as the final stanza dawned. After a Warrior punt, NMMI used an 11-play drive to score what would be the final points of the game. Dong ran the ball in from the 4 and after the kick, the Institute had some breathing room. They possibly could have added another TD after Zachary Goldstein intercepted another Woodul pass, but after the final Warrior time out with 1:03 left in the game, as the rains fell, Maloney took a knee to seal the victory.
Montoya was pleased with the finish his team had.
“We could have easily gone south and that’s kind of been our Achilles heel,” he said. “Several years ago, if it would get tied or we’d get behind, we’d start going south easily. But these kids just dig deep. We ground it out defensively and finished the game the way I knew we were capable of playing.”
Three Colts each had more than 60 yards rushing — Dong 73, Baranzini 68 and Recio 63 — but while Montoya was pleased with their efforts, he was more happy with the OL.
“Our offensive line did a great job at the end. When we needed points. When we needed to control the game and control the ball, our offensive line did a hell of a job,” the coach said. “So our starting offensive line, to be able to do that, just keep grinding; keep pounding; keeping the ball in that position, it all starts up front so I’m very proud of the offensive line.”
Next up for NMMI is St. Mike’s in the City Different, and Montoya knows his squad will have to clean up the mistakes to continue to win.
“Our district is tough as hell so we’re going to have to be better disciplined than what we were tonight, and be able to control the ball a little bit better,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some good weather and take care of the ball a little bit better.”
NMMI Sports Press
Every organization has someone who represents that institution to the public; the “face” of the company, so to speak.
NMMI athletic director Jose Barron is that face for the Colts and Broncos, and Wednesday, he received an award that he says belongs not only to him, but to everyone in the Institute athletic department.
Barron was named the Rookie Athletic Director of the Year by the New Mexico Athletic Director’s Association, a part of the New Mexico Activities Association. And he wants to give credit where credit is due.
“It’s always nice to get accolades, but really what it means is that not only myself, but NMMI is recognized for what we do,” Barron said. “This type of award doesn’t go to a person, really. Although my name is on it, the award goes to the department. I think that we’re recognized by the NMAA as an organized school that has its stuff together, as you might say. And there’s a lot of credit to a lot of folks.”
Barron said Randy Montoya, the high school associate AD, “probably deserves as much of it as me. Maybe I’ll cut this award in half. No, I won’t,” he laughed. “He deserves as much recognition as I do, because he’s my right hand man as far as the high school is concerned, so I certainly wouldn’t have done this without him.”
He also credited his support staff, including administrative assistant Terry Blake and all the coaches.
“Everybody has to do their job and do it well to allow somebody like me to look good,” Barron said. “As they say, if your organization looks good, then the top’s going to look good. More than anything, I’m proud to receive it personally but I’m proud really to receive it on behalf of this department and of this school.”
Founded in 1978, the New Mexico Athletic Director’s Association has 225 members across the state, from both high schools and middle schools. The group is a part of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, an organization that “preserves, enhances and promotes educational-based athletics through the professional development of interscholastic athletic administrators.”
The annual rookie award gets its nomination from the membership, with the winner voted on by the New Mexico board of directors.
Roswell Daily Record Sportswriter
Whether he’s on the soccer pitch or football field, Hans Von Bertrab Madero is getting a kick out of his senior year at the New Mexico Military Institute.
The cadet from Coahuila, Mexico, has been a defender for the Colt soccer team the past two years. This year, he began moonlighting as a kicker and punter for the high school football team.
Von Bertrab Madero has been playing soccer since he was 3 years old, but the other sport is a whole new ball game.
“Soccer has been my passion my whole life so I’m usually up for soccer, but I also like football,” he said.
He’s learned his football skills on the field, and now has four games under his belt.
“After I started playing football, I (realized I) like both because it’s not the same thing,” the senior said. “People think it’s easy if you play soccer to kick a football, but I’ve learned it’s not. I like football in some traits and soccer in other traits.”
There’s not much of a scheduling conflict between the two sports. Thursday he spends with the football team practicing for a game Friday; the rest of the week he works with the soccer team. If there are soccer and football games the same day, Von Bertrab Madero sticks with his natural game of soccer, but that has happened just once this season.
“It’s not hard for him to juggle both sports,” said Colt soccer coach John Barbour.
Von Bertrab Madero finds an interesting comparison and contrast of the two games. Football and soccer are comparable in that he kicks in both. Where they contrast is in terms of the sport’s physical nature.
“In football, it’s more of a contact sport, the team unites more, defending each other. There’s more restrictions in soccer,” Von Bertrab Madero said. “Also, every player in soccer kicks the ball as opposed to just one in football.”
The actual motor skills of kicking a football and a soccer ball are different as well, he pointed out. Usually, soccer is more finesse-oriented when kicking, while football is more about force.
“A soccer ball is a sphere. You can hit it from many angles and still get it to where you want. In football, it’s a cylinder, so it’s harder; you have to hit it in the right place for it to go as far as you want,” Von Bertrab Madero said. “In soccer, you can put more english on the ball, for different spins. You can put torque on it.
“In football, that’s possible but it’s harder. My (football) coaches here don’t like when I accidentally put torque on it. There’s been times when I mishit the ball and put torque on it. They don’t like it,” Von Bertrab Madero said.
Then there’s getting hit hard and tackled in football, which is not the same thing as getting tackled in soccer.
“There’s contact in soccer, too. I’m not really scared because I prepare myself and I know I’m big, so the coaches don’t worry about that,” Von Bertrab Madero said. “The coaches tell me ‘Don’t worry about hitting,’ during practice, because during the game, if I have to make the tackle, that means we are making a mistake.”
As far as statistics, Von Bertrab Madero is racking up points in both sports.
He’s has converted 17 of 19 extra-point attempts in the Colts’ four games. He’s 1-for-3 in field goals, with a 40-yard punch vs. Hot Springs, and has punted once, with that ball sailing 43 yards.
In 12 soccer games, he’s had five shots find the net. And that’s pretty good for a burly defenseman who measures 6-foot-1 and weighs close to 200 pounds.
“He’s got size,” Barbour said. “He knows how to win balls in the air, which is important for a defender, but this year he’s actually scored a few by getting space in the open field after winning the ball and moving it forward.
While football is definitely an American-influenced game, soccer is more of a global-friendly game for the young man with a German father, Hispanic mother and a host of teammates from Mexico. Still, he’s taken a definite liking toward the new sport
“I’ve learned it’s not a Mexican sport, it’s not a European sport. It’s a sport for everyone.”
NMMI Sports Press
It was not a good return home for the Bronco volleyball team Wednesday, as Western Texas College (21-10, 3-2) pummeled the Institute 26-24, 25-9, 25-20 in a WJCAC matchup.
Coach Shelby Forchtner started a decidedly different lineup in Cahoon Armory than what she had last weekend on the road, and in Game 1, it looked like it might make a difference.
In their best game of the night, NMMI led 2-1 early, and even though the Westerners slowly pulled away — getting points off huge blocks, solid kills and strong floor coverage — the Broncos stayed close. Forchtner called a time out with her team trailing 18-13, and the Institute slowly battled back, closing to 18-16 on serves by Cherish Sosi.
WTC retook a five-point lead, then, after a visitor hitting error cut that edge back to four, Lexaris De Jesus came to the line. She served for two points, then, after another pair of side outs, Aleksandra Bilic tied it at 24-all with the help of a big kill by Katie Campbell.
But NMMI couldn’t hold the serve, and the Westerners scored the final two points for the Game 1 victory.
Game 2 was all West Texas, as a 2-2 tie turned into a 12-2 WTC lead on the strength of nine straight serves by setter Victoria Garcia. Even a NMMI time out at 10-2 didn’t help, and the only Bronco offensive point of the game came on a serve by Breann Baca.
Game 3 started off the way Game 2 ended: looking bad for the Institute.
Westerner Tabitha Williams served five straight before the Broncos even got on the board, but this time, at least, NMMI battled back.
Blocks by Bilic and Elizabeth Muliaga, a Bilic kill, a tip by Campbell and an ace — the only one for the Broncos all night — by Bilic, and the score closed to 6-5 West Texas.
But as in Game 2, the home team couldn’t hold serve, only getting three more offensive points the rest of the way, while WTC added enough here and there to get the win.
While West Texas covered the floor well, and hit and blocked strong, the Broncos (6-14, 1-4) weren’t where they needed to be when the ball came down, and while there were fewer service errors than in recent games and some solid hitting and blocking by Campbell, Muliaga and Bilic, it was far too little, either on offense or defense.
NMMI will try to put the pieces together in one final non-conference tour. Friday and Saturday, they’ll travel to Trinidad and La Junta, Colo., for games against the Trojans, Otero JC and Northeastern JC.
NMMI Sports Press
Soccer is a team sport, and Tuesday, the Colts didn’t keep that in mind. That led to a 3-0 non-district loss to Hatch Valley, an 11-5 team that’s beaten NMMI (5-7, 2-0) twice this year vs. one win by the Institute.
“It was just a matter of a lot of individual efforts and losing balls because we were trying to go individually through traffic,” said coach John Barbour, who singled out only one player for praise. “We had a few individuals who stood out, most importantly (Jesus) Acuna (Rodriguez). He played an exceptional game. He did his job and won a lot of balls and distributed. But unfortunately, we had a lot of individual effort today, and a little less of a team effort.”
NMMI only trailed 1-0 at the half, on a corner kick sent into the net by freshman Bear Jose Lopez on an assist from senior Luis Balcazar with 16 minutes left in the stanza.
The Colts dominated the offense much of the game, getting three or four times as many shots as Hatch, but none went in. Even late in the second, when NMMI pulled most of its defenders up from to try to score, nothing went into the net.
Barbour said that was because of the solo efforts.
“When three people are covering a player (as Hatch did to Everado Ahumada all night), that means at least two other people are open,” he said. “You’ve got to find the open players and switch the ball and that’s something that we’ve worked on, but we obviously need to work on some more. So we’re going to hit that tomorrow.”
The game stayed in range until the Colts pulled their defense, then the Bears added another two goals. A pass from Johnny Pavia to Luis Gonzales made it 2-0 Hatch with 13 minutes remaining in the game, then Pavia added an insurance goal with five minutes left.
NMMI will try to get back on the winning track — and stay perfect in district — when they travel to Ruidoso Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.