Category Archives: Athletics

Colt tennis takes two from Coyotes

Roswell High’s Gabriel Gomez and NMMI’s Jackson Hicks meet at the net prior to their match at No. 3 singles.


NMMI Sports Pres

The New Mexico Military Institute high school tennis teams each earned wins in a dual match against cross-town rival Roswell High at the NMMI Gene Hardman Memorial Tennis Courts on Monday afternoon.

The Colts downed the Coyotes 6-2, keeping their perfect match-play record intact at 5-0, while the Lady Colts picked up their second win of the season – the previous win was against the Lady Coyotes as well –  8-1.

“Everybody played well and they did well in their matches,” said head NMMI tennis coach John Barbour. “We did well in practice this week and everybody progressed well which is caring over into their matches, as the scores today reflect. It was a team win and everybody did their best.”

“We did okay,” said head Coyote coach Kelly McDonald. “We did about as good as I expected us to do. I was short a couple of boys one was due to an emergency and the other with a conflict. NMMI’s boys are always really tough. The boys got a couple of games and it looks like the girls will get a couple as well.

“We are getting ready to compete in our new district,” continued coach McDonald. “NMMI has been great for letting us use their facilities as much as they have and coach Barbour has always been a great host to us.”

NMMI will take their undefeated record on the road, taking on the Rams in Portales on Thursday, March 21, before taking off all of next week for Spring Break.

RHS won’t hit the courts again until after the break, when they’ll head to Santa Fe on Saturday, April 6th for the Capital Invitational.

Results:

Boys
NMMI 6, Roswell High 2

Singles
No. 1, John McIntyre, NMMI, def. David Gomez, RHS, 6-1, 6-2
No. 2, Samuel Johnston, NMMI, def. Daniel Avila, RHS, 6-2, 6-0
No. 3, Jackson Hicks, NMMI, def. Gabriel Gomez, RHS, 6-0, 6-0
No. 4, Jose Robles, NMMI, def. Trenton Johnson, RHS, 6-0, 6-0
No. 5, Ricardo Rebollo, NMMI, def. Sean Brackeen, RHS, 6-1, 6-0
No. 6, Ethan Shappard, RHS, def. Bryan Lee, NMMI, 6-4, 6-1
Doubles
No. 1, Espinoza/Inzunza, NMMI, def. Avila/Gomez, RHS, 6-1, 6-0
No. 2, Johnston/Robles, vs. Gomez/Brackeen, no score reported
No. 3, Johnson/Shappard, def. Pedro Armendariz/Lee, NMMI, 6-4, 7-5

Girls
NMMI 8, Roswell High 1

Singles
No. 1, Eliana Ward, NMMI, def. Kirsten Griffen, RHS, 6-0, 6-1
No. 2, Jingru Dou, NMMI, def. Adriana Carroll, RHS, 6-0, 6-1
No. 3, Morgan Lynch, NMMI, def. Kathia Hernandez, RHS, 6-1, 6-1
No. 4, Delainy Sanchez, RHS, def. Minnie DeGroot, NMMI, 6-1, 6-0
No. 5, Delinda Moore, NMMI, def. Elany Marquez, RHS, 6-2, 6-2
No. 6, Lauren Leonard, NMMI, def. Elsie Gedde, RHS, 6-3, 6-4
Doubles
No. 1, Ward/Lynch, NMMI, def. Griffen/Hernandez, RHS, 6-0, 6-1
No. 2, Dou/Degroot, NMMI, def. Carroll/Sanchez, RHS, 6-0, 4-6 (10-?)
No. 3, Moore/ Frida Ruizesparza, NMMI, def. Marquez/Gedde, RHS, 6-4, 6-4

Baseline forehand by NMMI’s Morgan Lynch during her match at No. 3 singles vs. Roswell High.

Sisneros ready to run like a Greyhound

Kalya Sisneros gets ready to sign her letter of intent to run cross country for Eastern New Mexico University next season. She is pictures here seated with her father Manuel and mother Angie, along with firends, family and former coaches in the background.

NMMI Sports Press

Lady Bronco and former Rocket runner Kayla Sisneros will continue to grace the roads and tracks with her speed next fall when she heads to NCAA Division II Eastern New Mexico University.

The former Goddard track and cross country and NMMI JC runner signed with a school she feels is perfect for her needs.

“They have a very good program,” Sisneros said. “They’re one of the best teams in the Lone Star Conference. It’s very competitive and what I’m looking for.”

The Lady Greyhounds finished third in cross country in the conference last fall, behind only Midwestern State University and Tarleton University, with their top runner, graduating senior Mercy Rotich, taking the individual title. The ladies then finished 17th in the NCAA DII South Central Region championships, with Rotich earning a berth to the national championships.

Sisneros will be joining a fairly young team as a junior, and said another reason for the nearby choice is head coach Jeff Kavalunas, who, she said, brings a lot of experience with him.

After competing for Goddard at state for four years  — where her best finish was 51st in 23:17.8 as a senior — she continued to improve her times at NMMI and finished 112th at the NJCAA nationals last November, with a time of 22:07.9.

And getting better every time she runs is something she thinks is her best quality.

“I like being competitive,” she said. “I like going and doing a race and knowing that I gave it my best every time I was out there.”

Her parents agree with that assessment.

“We only expect the best out of Kayla, because that’s all she has ever done, is given her best,” said mom Angie Sisneros. “She’s always been focused, always been driven, and always manages to succeed.”

“I always told the kids to do better than their best,” echoed dad Manuel Sisneros. “And in each event, each competition, each race, she always tried. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Both Goddard coach Vernon Dyer and NMMI coach Jan Olesinski think she has a strong future ahead of her in Portales.

“I think she’s an excellent student and excellent runner,” Dyer said. “I even picked her as a team captain for the girls, because she was always there and on time and ready to help in any way.”

“She is a great runner,” Olesinski agreed. “She’s a great example of a person who has a goal in life and dedication and understands how to get there by hard work. We saw that in high school, and after that she came (to the Broncos) and really improved and got better and better, not just because she came to the college, but because of her personality and her discipline and dedication. And, of course, she has vision and goals which really carried her to the point where she is now.”

Sisneros will major in athletic training and kinesiology at ENMU, and had a chance to work with both John Carpenter and David Smith in the NMMI sports medicine and athletic training department.

Besides getting a jump on her future career skills, Sisneros said she “learned a lot about self-discipline and time management” while a Bronco, which will be a plus as a Greyhound.

“The key is motivating myself more and staying determined and having goals,” she said. “That’s what’s kept me going all of my time at NMMI.”

“What she learned here: the discipline; the dedication; the hard work will carry her in the new college and make her a better runner,” Olesinski said.

And, the well-spoken Sisneros said, she’s ready for the future,

“I’m excited to be a Greyhound next year.”

Schendt named first Bronco First Team All-American


NMMI Sports Press

For the first time in the program’s 18-year history, the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team landed a player to the NJCAA’s vaunted First Team All-American list, with Peyton Schendt selected as an outside hitter. She was one of only four freshmen in the nation to earn the top-team award.

It’s the second-straight year that NMMI has garnered All-American honors under head coach Shelby Forchtner: Karen Rivera-Herrera and Hannah Davis both were named All-American outside hitters in 2017, with Rivera-Herrera tagged for second team honors and Davis as an Honorable Mention.

“It was a really big surprise,” she said. “I woke up to a text from coach Shelby. She called me and we were freaking out. I’m super honored and excited, as is my whole family. It’s just a really good feeling.”

Forchtner, who surpassed 300 wins this season during her 13th year at the helm of NMMI’s juco volleyball program, said the honor was well deserved.

“Peyton’s just a very well-rounded athlete,” the coach said. “She does everything well. She’s a huge offensive threat. She was in our serve-receive pattern. She played defense and middle-back and swung out of the back row sometimes just as much as she did the front. She’s a great little server. She could hit spots. She’s just the total package. This is very much well deserved because she’s a very well-rounded kid.”

Schendt wasn’t as certain of her “all around” abilities as was her coach. “My front row is definitely better than my back row,” she laughed. “My back row needs some work still, but I think I was a big offensive threat for the team –  with hitting and getting some kills.”

But her stats show she truly earned the honor.

She played in all 38 games for the Broncos this season, sitting out only five sets. She finished seventh in the nation in kills with 491 (a 3.58 average per set) on 1,354 total attack attempts.

And while the kills column alone justifies Peyton’s All-American honors, it is her ability to play in the backcourt that really makes her stand out and got her selected to the first team. Most big-hitters get subbed-out after their time on the front row ends, replaced by a defensive specialist. But Schendt was second in digs for the Broncos this season with 388, behind only libero Hula Crisostomo (who finished No. 7 in the nation in digs with 654).

Schendt was also a terror at the service line, dropping in 41 aces – good for 49th in the NJCAA and second on the Bronco squad – and was a capable blocker when called upon, with 48 total blocks.

But, even though she’s only a freshman, Schendt isn’t planning on being back at NMMI next season as a sophomore. She came to NMMI as an academy prep student, and is hoping to make it into West Point.

In fact, the choice to come to NMMI last season was a bit of a last minute decision. But despite the hurried process of attending NMMI, coach Forchtner said she fit right in at the military school.

“The whole beginning was really quick: she didn’t know a whole lot about NMMI but she has adjusted really well to this environment,” said Forchtner. “She’s doing really well in the Corps of Cadets, she’s handling her business academically, and she was great for us. She was by far one of the most competitive kids in our gym, so I think moving on to the Division I level is going to be an easy transition for her.”

And Schendt agrees NMMI helped her in her future plans.

“Definitely coming here has helped me so much,” she said. “Everyone I’ve met. The opportunities I’ve had here. Shelby has been wonderful and has given me the opportunity to play at the next level as well.”

NMMI Athletic director Jose Barron was also happy for Schendt, coach Forchtner and Bronco volleyball program.

“We are very pleased to have Peyton Schendt selected for this ultimate honor by the NJCAA. To have somebody selected as a freshman is outstanding. It is a testament to her abilities and to the coaching and mentoring she has she received under coach Forchtner,” stated Barron.

Schendt is the sixth Bronco volleyball player selected as an All-American since the program’s start in 2001. Along with Herrera-Rivera and Davis (listed above), the other NMMI All-American are:

  • 2014 – Mere Sera, Honorable Mention, middle blocker
  • 2013 – Veronika Baric, Second Team, outside hitter
  • 2009 – Delores Alaimaleata, Second Team, middle blocker

Braves best Colts in first round of State

Colt post-man Clay Stroh reaches out to clear a long rebound during the first half of play against Santa Fe Indian School. Photo courtesy of Laura Brown.


NMMI Sports Press

Second half blues plagued the Colts as fourth-seeded Santa Fe Indian School topped No. 13 NMMI, 57-40, in the first round of the NMAA Class 3A Boys’ Basketball State Championships.

The Institute survived nine turnovers in the first half at the Pueblo Pavilion in Santa Fe, as the host Braves had troubles hitting open shots in their own gym. That combined with 12 points from sophomore shooting guard Daniel Xibille, and five points off penetration moves by senior point guard Hector Reyna, allowed NMMI to build up to a seven-point lead midway through the second quarter.

But SFIS finally got their offense back on track, hitting the last two buckets before halftime, to cut NMMI’s lead to three, 27-24.

The Braves continued the run as the third period started, posting the first five points and taking their first lead, 29-27, since the opening tip-off.

NMMI struggled against the press, committing several turnovers which more-often-than-not ended in easy baskets for the Braves, and found themselves down by 12 at the end of the period.

In the fourth, Santa Fe Indian used a combo of ball-control offense – to take time off the clock – along with flurry of points by Brave Virgil Valencia, including four treys.

“The first half, we played great,” said head Colt coach Connor Williamson, “and in the second the wheels just kinda fell off.”

“At halftime I just told the guys ‘We won the first half by three – we gotta go out and do it again.’ We drew up how to break their trap, but it still gave us trouble,” explained coach Williamson.

“No. 14 hit some threes,” continued coach about Valencia’s offensive outpouring in the fourth, “but it wasn’t just those threes that won it. Those were daggers, but it was defensive breakdowns that really hurt us in the second half.”

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the Colt basketball program under first-year head coach Williamson, who brought NMMI back to the State Playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

“We got some good minutes out of the freshman Jaikayo [Brown] – that’s promising for the future. Plus both [Ricardo] Mata and Dainiel [Xibille] are sophomores and we have them coming back as well, and then junior [Clay] Stroh,” said Williamson. “So we’ve got four guys returning who played significant minutes – that’s great to build on for next season.”

Colts take two from Bears in baseball season opener

NMMI sophomore second baseman Rilan Maloney fields a high-chopper before throwing to first to record the final out in Game 1. Maloney went 2-for-5 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and a run scored during NMMI’s season-opening doubleheader against Hatch. Photo courtesy of Laura Brown


NMMI Sports Press

The Colt varsity baseball team swept their season-opening doubleheader against visiting Hatch Valley on Friday at the NMMI Ballpark.

Game 1 was a close affair, with the Institute holding on to an early lead for the 6-3 win.

All of NMMI’s runs came in the first three innings, with a quartet crossing the plate in the bottom of the first. Sophomore centerfielder Alejandro Barcenas lead off with a single between short and third, junior shortstop Andres Bleizeffer drew a base on balls, senior pitcher Alejandro Lopez reached on an error to load the bases, and junior catcher Martin Ayon drove in the first run of the season on a ground out to the right side. Junior third baseman Luke Taylor then singled to left to bring home two more Colts, and later scored on another Hatch error.

Those four in the first were all that NMMI would need for the win, but Hatch made the game interesting with single spots in the second, four and fifth innings, against relief pitch Bleizeffer, who got credit for the win with four innings of work. Only one of those three runs was earned and ‘Blaze’ gave up just two hits to the Bears while striking out six.

Barcenas took the mound for the final two innings, earning the save while allowing just one more Hatch hit.

In Game 2, NMMI posted crooked numbers on offense in every stanza, ending the game early after four-and-a-half innings due to the mercy rule, 16-1.

The double-digits in runs came from a combination of both power and patience at the plate as the Colts slapped seven hits – including an in-the-park home run by Bleizeffer – and elicited eleven walks.

Taylor threw all five innings to record the win, giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out seven.

“Adversity hit us early when our ace starting pitcher Alex Lopez went down with an injury in the first inning,” said head Colt coach Charlie Ward. “But we preach a mentality of ‘next man up’, to always be ready. But in this case, it was next woman up – Rilan Maloney came in and did her part. We put her in the three-hole and she had a couple of base hits, a couple of RBIs and played well at second base.

Coach Ward was also pleased with the performance of his pitching staff, especially this early in the season. “Blaizeffer stepped up with really no warm up to replace Lopez,” explained the coach. “He is normally our catcher, but he did a great job on the mound. And then Taylor pounded the zone in Game 2 and pitched really well.”

Five players hit over .400 for the Colts in the twinbill: junior Carlos Retamoza went 1-for-1 with a pair of runs scored; Barcenas crossed the plate four times and went 4-for-6; Bleizeffer also had four hits in six at-bats with three RBIs and six runs; Taylor was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of runs; and sophomore Maloney was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs and 1 run.

With the season-opening wins, NMMI stands at 2-0. They’ll have ten days to work out any kinks coach Ward saw in their games vs. the Bears, before travelling to take on the Warriors in Ruidoso for a single game slated to start at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, March 11.