Category Archives: Athletics

Colt soccer still unbeaten in district, but not untied

NMMI Sports Press

ColtSoccer2014RUIDOSO — The Colts are still unbeaten in District 4A-4A soccer, but they no longer have a perfect record there.

Playing in Ruidoso Saturday, the Colts (5-7-1, 2-0-1) and Warriors (6-8-1, 3-0-1) battled to a 4-4 tie after two overtime periods, meaning both teams remain unbeaten in district.

“Now wait,” you might be asking. “What happened to penalty kicks?” That was the question on the minds of spectators and officials at the White Mountain Complex, but apparently the NMAA decided that PKs will no longer be used in anything except state tournament play, and after a call to Albuquerque, the game ended knotted at 4-all.

On the pitch, it was a back and forth battle for the whole game, with Everardo Ahumada scoring the first goal with 37:26 on the clock.

But the Warriors fought back as Andres Aguirre tied it at 1-all with a backwards kick while facing away from the NMMI goal, then Brian Ramirez sent a shot from right side, which Alejandro Arguellas slammed home.

Luis Avedillo Perez tied it up for NMMI on a wide open shot to the net, but Arguellas got his second goal before the stanza ended, and the Warriors led 3-2 heading into the break.

The second — and third and fourth — periods belonged mostly to the defense.

Ahumada tied it at 3-3 just four minutes into the second, then put the Colts on top 4-3 at 17:53 despite being tripled teamed. But Warrior Brian Ramirez sent a free kick into the net late in the stanza, and that’s where the score stood through regulation and two overtimes.

Asked how the Colts played, coach John Barbour was succinct.

“We had moments, but lacked consistency,” he said.

Sophomore Luis Castillo was in goal for his first game of the season, which was why some of the Warrior shots got through, and while Barbour said his squad played more as a team, it wasn’t by much.

NMMI will stay in Roswell, but travel to Goddard Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. non-district match vs. the 5A Rockets, then come home Thursday to play the district match against East Mountain that was washed out in a downpour several weeks ago.

JV boys run strong, close races at NMMI Invite

Byron Mitchell gives it all he's got at the finish of Saturday's race, just edging Hagerman's Jorge Martinez.

Byron Mitchell gives it all he’s got at the finish of Saturday’s race, just edging Hagerman’s Jorge Martinez.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Joel Suro Villalobos edged Artesia's Umeko Ponce at the line.

Joel Suro Villalobos edged Artesia’s Umeko Ponce at the line.

The Colts played host at the NMMI Invitational cross country meet Saturday, and while other teams took home the top hardware, the Institute runners had some strong performances and close finishes, with the Colt JV runners the most pleasant surprise.

Not surprisingly, Sierra Walker was the top Lady Colt varsity runner, finishing third, while Juan Estremadoyro took the same finish for the boys varsity.

The only two runners faster than Walker were Kelsey McNaughton from Clovis — the Wildcats ran away with the team title — and eighth-grade Coyote Maritza Martinez.

Sierra Walker gets advice from her coach as she starts the second lap of the course.

Sierra Walker gets advice from coach Jan Olesinski as she starts the second lap of the course.

“She ran a good race,” said coach Jack Batson, noting Walker’s 20:15 was a solid time. “I think she was a little disappointed that she wasn’t closer, because she beat the Roswell High girl earlier in the year, and she was not close to her today.”

Walker was the lone Lady Colt in the varsity race.

Estremadoyro finished behind the same two runners who beat him in earlier races: Lovington’s Alexis Mata and Roswell’s Bryce Olvera. but there was only a 45 second difference between the top three runners. But between the top Colt and second place NMMI runner, the margin was much wider.

Trevor O'Byron nipped Wildcat Christian Casa by a nose Saturday.

Trevor O’Byron nipped Wildcat Christian Casa by a nose Saturday.

“Juan ran well,” Batson said. “Only problem is, we’ve got a really huge gap before our second-place finisher. From third to 27th, that’s way too many people.”

Byron Mitchell was that 27th-place finisher, then Joshua Piñon and Nicholas DuBois were 35th and 36th, with Alvaro Garcia — who fell face down in a giant puddle of water on the course — in 39th.

Mitchell battled Hagerman runner Jorge Martinez down to the line, beating the Bobcat with a last second surge that drew cheers.

Desiree Benally was all smiles during most of her race.

Desiree Benally was all smiles during most of her race.

Those finishes were only good enough for a fifth-place team finish, but the JV boys were a very pleasant surprise, both individually and as a team.

“Sophomore, sophomore, sophomore, sophomore, sophomore,” Batson ticked off the grades of the JV boys. “This is a complete sophomore team, and we finished fourth. And we were three points out of second.”

Ben Clemens led the young Colts with an eighth-place finish, followed by Alan DeGroot — competing in his first race in three weeks — in 10th and Joel Suro Villalobos in 12th. Dimitri Maloney was 29th, but because many of the faster runners didn’t count in the team tallies, only added 22 points to the NMMI total. And Trevor O’Bryon, who came in 40th, picked up 25 points.

Juan Estremadoyro adds an extra bit of oomph at the finish.

Juan Estremadoyro adds an extra bit of oomph at the finish.

Three of the JV runners gave their fans something to celebrate, as they battled at the finish line.

Clemens raced Coyote Pedro Medina to the wire; Suro edged Artesia’s Umeko Ponce; and in the closest finish, O’Byron edged Lovington’s Christian Casa by a nose.

Looking at the times and the effort, Batson said some of those JV runners could move up to the varsity if they keep running as well as they have.

“I really think (some) might supplant some of the ones who were running varsity today,” he said. “You have to earn your position.”

The Lady Colts only had two JV runners, but both did well, with Andrea Anchondo finishing second behind Wildcat Arianna Telles, and Desiree Benally finishing fourth. Batson was especially pleased with Benally’s time, noting, “Desiree is closing the gap on Andrea every week.”

Andrea Anchondo led coming into the finish, but Clovis' Arianna Telles has just enough left to pass her at the finish.

Andrea Anchondo led coming into the finish, but Clovis’ Arianna Telles has just enough left to pass her at the finish.

The sophomore — both the Lady Colt JV runners are also only sophomores — cut her time behind Anchondo from three minutes to just 45 seconds. “So that’s a big one,” the coach said.

The Colts travel to Hobbs Thursday, then have two weeks to tune up for the District 3/4AAAA Championships, set for East Mountain High School Oct. 30.

NMMI Invitational results:

Boys varsity, team — 1, Roswell, 40; 2, Lovington, 53; 3, Clovis, 53; 4, Artesia, 83; 5, NMMI, 97; 6, Cloudcroft, 139

NMMI individual results — 3, Juan Estremadoyro, 16:51; 27, Byron Mitchell, 19:11; 35, Joshua Piñon, 20:16; 36, Nicholas DuBois, 20:53; 39, Alvaro Garcia, 22:40.

Boys JV, team — 1, Lovington, 18; 2, Clovis, 73; 3, Roswell, 73; 4, NMMI, 76; 5, Artesia, 85

NMMI individual results — 8, Ben Clemens, 19:04; 10, Alan DeGroot, 19:24; 12, Joel Suro Villalobos, 19:48; 29, Dimitri Maloney, 21:11; 40, Trevor O’Bryon, 23:33

Girls varsity, team — 1, Clovis, 24; 2, Lovington, 59; 3, Artesia, 67; 4, Gateway, 90; 5, Roswell, 94; 6, Cloudcroft, 133

NMMI individual results — 3, Sierra Walker, 20:15

Girls JV, team — 1,Clovis, 20; 2, Hagerman, 35

NMMI individual results — 2, Andrea Anchondo, 22:35; 4, Desiree Benally, 23:11

Personal bests highlight Bronco efforts at Hobbs XC meet

NMMI Sports Press

BrCoCoSidebarLogo2HOBBS — The New Mexico Military Institute Lady Bronco cross country team lined up to race 5,000 meters Friday at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational. Competing alongside about 80 runners from 11 colleges and universities from around New Mexico and West Texas, and despite nagging injuries and a muddy course, the NMMI runners did well.

Running the Hobbs course at Harry McAdams Park, the Broncos finished eighth as a team, with Katarzyna Rosikon finishing 17th and Valeriia Uvarova right behind her in 18th. And while those were the top finishes, coach Jack Batson was happiest with his last two runners, Amanda Hawkins and Lorish Puluspene, who each ran personal bests, shaving up to three minutes off their times.

“It was mainly those two deciding they were going to finish and run hard,” Batson said, noting they ran well in the final mile of the race.

Ealiza Villanueva knew the course well, having run well at the Region V meet in 2014, and was somewhat disappointed with her 54th-place finish. But she’s still running with injuries, and, Batson said, the course was both muddy and wet, with up to four inches of water in spots. That slowed everyone down somewhat.

Still, Batson said, “I told the girls I was really proud of them, because they ran well.”

The Broncos will have one last road meet, Oct. 24 at the South Plains College Invitational in Levelland, Texas. The week after that, NMMI will play host to the Region V championships, with the Lady Broncos hoping to earn a spot at the national championships in mid November.

NMMI individual results — 17, Katarzyna Rosikon, 20:33; 18, Valeriia Uvarova, 20:36; 27, Amy Farfan, 21:15; 54, Ealiza Villanueva, 24:51; 62, Lorraine Banimataku, 26:50; 64, Thea Minor, 27:24; 65, Amanda Hawkins, 27:54; 67, Lorish Puluspene, 31:04

Colts survive mistakes to top Ruidoso

Penghui Dong falls into the end zone for the second of his three touchdowns Friday.

Penghui Dong falls into the end zone for the second of his three touchdowns Friday.

Karen Boehler
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 the NMMI 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, Padilla 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 fumble of an 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 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.”

Barron named NMADA’s Athletic Director Rookie of the Year

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

NMMI Athletic Director Jose Barron posing with his Rookie of the Year award.

NMMI Athletic Director Jose Barron posing with his Rookie of the Year award.

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.