NMMI Sports Press
It was a soggy home opener for the Colt soccer team Tuesday, but after the junior varsity won the lightning-abbreviated opener by a wide margin over Hatch Valley, the varsity came back with a close 3-1 victory over the Bears.
The rain — and thunder and lightning — moved in as the junior varsity match neared completion, and forced all athletes off the NMMI fields until the lightning moved on. While it did, the rain continued through the slightly-delayed varsity game, making the field very slick. And that, perhaps, was what led to NMMI’s first goal of the game, when senior German Corral Cubillas took advantage of a Hatch mistake.
“There was kind of a little blunder in the back, and we were able to stick one in,” said Colt coach John Barbour. “Sometimes it’s nice to have that luck on your side. It doesn’t happen too often for us, so we’re really happy to have that happen.”
The Institute continued to dominate the offense through most of the first half, but just seconds before the whistle blew, Bear Johnny Pavia took a pass from Hector Lombera, and shot the ball to the net. Colt Trent Foster tried to stop the ball, but it bounced off his leg into the net, tying the game at 1-1.
“It was an own goal from one of our guys, but in the rain like this, and it’s slick like this, that’s going to happen,” Barbour said. “You just know it’s going to happen and just hope that it’s not so often.
Foster redeemed himself with what turned out to be the game-winning goal early in the second, pushing the ball past Bear keeper Jose Luis Machuca in a crowd in front of the net. Everado Ahumada then added an insurance goal in the last seconds of the match, moving NMMI to 1-1 on the young season.
With the changes in districting this year, the Colts play in 4A, but just lost to now 6A Clovis in thjeir season opener on the road, and Barbour said he’s liking what he’s seen so far.
“It’s starting to come together,” he said. “But we’re still working. The machine is still coming together and we’ve still got some more surprises so we’re looking forward to that.”
NMMI now has a week off to work out some of the kinks before traveling to Artesia to face the Bulldogs, then compete in the annual Coyote Classic tournament Sept. 5-6.
NMMI Sports Press
The Lady Broncos had a tough opening day at the seventh annual NMMI Classic volleyball tournament Friday, falling to South Mountain Community College in four in their opening match, then battling hard, but making it two season-opening losses with a 3-2 loss to Hutchinson Community College.
In the opener against South Mountain, NMMI fell 25-14 in the first game, battled back to take a 25-23 win in Game 2, but then lost 25-22, 25-17 to go down to defeat.
Early on, the Broncos looked somewhat nervous, and coach Shelby Forchtner said that might have been part of it, despite the fact they played well in a Monday scrimmage, winning vs. Div. II Eastern New Mexico.
“You’re on your home floor. It’s your home tournament and we’ve got a lot of freshmen going in and out, so I definitely think it was a lot of that, for sure,” she said. “And, they’re playing in front of a lot of people. They want to impress them.”
They played in front of even more people in Match 2 — much of the NMMI corps was in attendance — and while they lost, they played better, taking No. 19-ranked Hutch to five games and extra points in the fifth, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 19-25, 17-19.
While Forchtner said there wasn’t much they don’t have to work on — “We have a lot to work on, still. Like there’s just a lot of freshmen out there and we’re making a lot of freshman mistakes,” she said — she saw highlights on the line and from the middle.
“Our serving was really good and our middles played really well,” she said. “They led the team in kills and they blocked well. Sheanna (Torio) did really well defensively, now we’ve just got to get everybody on that same page.”
The Broncos had to face some strong hitters and servers vs. South Mountain, and five players more than 6-feet tall vs. Hutchinson, which made for a lot of blocks. Still, Torio tallied 20 digs vs. the Blue Dragons, while Mere Serea notched 15 kills, a .400 hitting percentage and five blocks. Ashley Landreth tallied 12 kills, .320 hitting; MalShoniq Weston eight kills, .500 hitting; Elizabeth Muliaga 12 kills, .179 hitting and two blocks; Ashlei Swaim 20 assists; Gabriella Enriquez 17 assists, two aces and eight digs; and Dana Stepankova six digs.
The Broncos had some help from the corps in their second match, and while they weren’t always as loud as they might have been, Forchtner said she likes having them on hand.
“I think any time we can have the corps here it’s going to be an advantage to us, because our kids are used to playing in that in a few games throughout the year, and those schools don’t have that ever,” she said. “In fact the Hutch coach likes to play here.”
The Broncos will be back in action Saturday at noon vs. Air Force Prep, then follow that with the tourney’s final match vs. Pima at 2 p.m.. Forchtner knows the improvements she’s looking for won’t come immediately, but that they will come.
“I think we’ll definitely get there, but there’s not going to be anything that’s going to drastically improve tomorrow, unless we can just kind of get over the freshmen (mistakes). Because we didn’t play like that on Monday. We didn’t have a lot of these errors and mental mistakes and just certain people who are just kind of shutting down. That didn’t happen to us. So we know that our team can play at a much higher level, consistently, throughout an entire match. We just need to prove it to ourselves and do it.”
Except for Yavapai, which took victories over Pima and Air Force Prep, and Hutch, which beat NMMI and Odessa, no one really dominated on Saturday, with several matches going to five games and only two were won in three.
Day 1 Tournament results:
Yavapai def. Pima, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18
Hutchinson def. Odessa, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 17-25, 15-7
South Mountain def. NMMI, 25-14, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17
Pima def. Air Force Prep, 25-18, 25-12, 25-17
Odessa def. South Mountain, 19-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 15-8
Yavapai def. Air Force Prep, 25-18, 25-20, 25-19
Hutchinson def. NMMI, 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 25-19, 19-17
Thirty-four year coaching veteran James Kelt has been picked to succeed Pilar Carrasco as the new head coach of the Colt boys’ basketball program. Coach Kelt got his start as a three-year letterman for the Clovis Wildcat basketball team, before attending New Mexico State University and obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He’s coached just about every sport there is at almost every high school level, from six-man football and girls’ volleyball at Lake Arthur High to basketball at Hobbs High under legendary coach Ralph Tasker.
NMMI has been fortunate to have had Coach Kelt as the assistant Colt basketball coach for the last seven years. He hopes to put his own mark on Colt basketball, with a keen focus on being competitive and honoring the military traditions and excellent educational opportunities that have made NMMI great. His ‘mind, body, and soul’ approach to coaching seems to mesh extremely well with NMMI’s three pillars of leadership development, academic excellence and physical preparedness.
For more information on Coach Kelt, listen to the audio interview by clicking on play button on the media player bar below:
By Karen Boehler
The annual Bronco volleyball camp, designed for players from second grade through high school, kicked off Tuesday for four days of learning and fun.
“They get three days of camp, kind of everybody doing the exact same thing, then on Friday, there’s like a little specialty day, that’s kind of broken down into their own preference,” said Bronco coach Shelby Forchtner, who, along with assistant Pam Grano, high school assistant Katie Dollahan and former Goddard standout Tara Sweet, runs the camp.
The day is broken into two sessions, with the younger athletes— grade two through seven — working out in the morning both at the Cahoon Armory and Godfrey Athletic Center.
“There’s a lot of kids who’ve been involved in the Yucca Center,” Schooley said. “There’s a lot of kids who haven’t really played volleyball before, but they have an interest in playing. Then obviously, there’s a few middle school kids who are in with that group. Then the older group, eighth grade through 12th grade, and it seems like we have a pretty wide representation.”
The older players, who come from Roswell, Goddard and Gateway high schools, take over in the afternoon and despite not getting the word out quite as much as she would have liked, Schooley said, “This has been one of our bigger turnouts.”
This year’s camp also features two high-profile coaches.
Marilyn McCready is a former Pan American and Olympic player who’s coached four DI colleges to 10 national championships and is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame. She moved to Roswell a year ago with her husband, and has been helping out with area teams since her arrival.
Victoria Metzger is a junior board member of the USA Volleyball North Texas region and the former Sul Ross State University coach, who volunteered because of this year’s large turnout.
“They’ve been helping out a lot,” Forchtner said.
Metzger was impressed with the talent she saw from the young athletes.
“Excellent talent. A lot of competition,” she said. “Good attitudes. Respect, sportsmanship already in bred. So we’ve already got that going. So it’s good to work off a good platform and foundation.”
And Metzger was equally impressed with Forchtner and the Bronco team she took to national last November.
“She’s an awesome coach, and we’re trying to support her and recruit players for her.”
The camp continues through Friday, and Forchtner hopes that as word gets out, the camp will only continue to grow in future years.
By Karen Boehler
A trio of Bronco volleyball players are headed to the next level, both for education and athletics.
Veronika Baric, Lea Boras and Cristal Quinonez will each play at a four-year college, with Baric headed to DII Texas A&M in Commerce, Texas, and both Boras and Quinonez to Peru State College, an NAIA school in Peru, Nebraska, about an hour outside Omaha.
“We went on a visit and I really liked it, and all the girls and the coaches, too,” Baric said of her choice. “And out of all the visits that I had, and all the schools, that was the one I really liked.”
Baric will play for the Lions while studying physical education.
Quinonez said the Bobcats gave her the best offer, and has a good program in her major, criminal justice. Boras, who’ll study physical education with an eye on becoming a coach, hasn’t visited the school yet, but both Quinonez and Baric did, and “they told me all about the school and they liked it and we have the same view of things we like so I think I will like it, too. …
“I’ve been talking with this coach for a long time now, and I just decided that’s the school that I like and I want to go.”
Baric, an outside hitter, and Quinonez, right side hitter, signed on the same day, and Bronco coach Shelby Forchtner had nothing but praise for her big hitters.
“Having one as an All-American (Baric, second team) and one as an all conference player, you know that’s going to be difficult to replace that leadership on the floor,” Forchtner said. “And just statistically, able to put up numbers. They obviously carried us into the national tournament and helped us win games at the national tournament, so I hope that’s something they’re proud of, because they’re both able to say that. I really think that if they continue the same work ethic they’ve had here, at NMMI, they should be able to do the same thing at the schools they’re both attending.”
Both Baric and Boras, who’ll move to outside hitter at her new school, came to the Institute from Croatia, while it was a shorter trip for Quinonez, who graduated from Gadsden High School in New Mexico. But all three had similar feelings about their alma mater.
“I improved with playing a lot since I came, and conditioning and lifting and all that,” Baric said. “I never had that before I came here. That’s something that’s really, really high with me right now.”
“I made a lot of friends,” Quinonez said. “I met a lot of different people from a lot of different places. Two good coaches, coach Pam and coach Shelby. Good teachers, that actually became more than my teachers. They actually helped me out. like with personal stuff. Advice that I needed.”
“it helped me in everything,” Boras said. “I worked really hard with both of the coaches and all my teammates both last year and this year. It was hard but I worked on my skills, like I was working on my blocking and my hitting, and I think I improved myself during those two years.”
And all three agreed that the academic rigor of NMMI helped them with time management, laughing that some got better at it than others.
But while there was laughter on signing day, there were sentiment and tears, too, especially when it came to the friendships made.
“I thank coach Pam (Grano) and coach Shelby for giving me the opportunity to play here, and if it wasn’t for them, i wouldn’t have the opportunity to go somewhere else to play,” Quinonez said. “Thanks to my teammates. They were always there for me, too. Thank you to coach Franklin, too. He was a supporter too and was there to help us out in everything we needed to.”
“From my perspective, it’s been a really good two years with these girls,” Grano said with a catch in her voice. “I’m going to miss them and I’m proud of what they’ve done while they’re here and the growth that they’ve made, I hope that they do continue to do that and I hope that they enjoy their time in college and get the most out of it and just keep growing as people and players and I wish them luck.”
“I want to thank both of my coaches who gave me a chance to come here, especially coach Pam,” Boras said,choking back tears. “Especially to her, because she really helped me a lot. She spent every single day with me in the gym, working with me individually, both of those two years, and i’m really thankful for that because I know it helped me. And I’m thankful to my teammates for being there for me when I had my hard days. I really thank everybody.”