Category Archives: Athletics

Broncos go 2-2 at NMMI Classic VB tourney

NMMI’s McKalya Landreth got this attack past the block by CV’s Cali Odom.

NMMI’s McKalya Landreth got this attack past the block by CV’s Cali Odom.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Taylor Fritz gets ready for the kill during Game 3 vs. Cedar Valley.

Taylor Fritz gets ready for the kill during Game 3 vs. Cedar Valley.

The Bronco volleyball team had a rough start at their tournament Saturday but turned things around in the finale to close the NMMI Classic with a 2-2 record.

After losing the early-morning game to Hutchinson 25-13, 25-17, 25-14, the Lady Broncos topped Cedar Valley 25-15, 25-13, 25-11 in the tourney closer.

“That was a consistent game from start to finish,” said coach Shelby Forchtner. “That’s kind of what our practices are like, where there’s not one side that’s scoring four and five straight points, and we finally did that in a match. Even our first match, we didn’t do that. So it felt good to be consistent for a whole entire match.”

NMMI did have some runs of its own.

Valeria Gutierrez goes up for a big serve.

Valeria Gutierrez goes up for a big serve.

Game 1 was back-and-forth early, then after ties at 11-11 and 12-12, Hannah Davis put together a four-point serving string and the Bronco offense held the Suns to only three defensive points the rest of the way.

Game 2 again was back-and-forth through a 5-5 tie, but McKayla Landreth served three straight — getting help from a solid kill by Aleksandr Biliс́ — and after a CV time out stopped the NMMI momentum briefly, Valeria Gutierrez served six straight to make it 15-6.

Kills by Biliс́ and McKayla Landreth helped rack up points, with a Biliс́ tip closing the game.

And after another Biliс́ kill gave NMMI the first point in Game 3, libero Violeta Konculiс́ served seven straight to put NMMI up 8-0, with an ace by Landreth closing out the game, set and match.

Aleksandra Bilić with the block.

Aleksandra Bilić with the block.

“There’s still a few little glimpses of things that we need to work on, but those were happening in the other three games, too,” Forchtner said. “It’s just an accumulation of a few key things that if we can really work on those and get them fixed and get them straightened out, we could probably see that kind of consistency against everybody.”

And while the Broncos didn’t end this year’s tourney undefeated like in 2015, Forchtner said it’s a good time to work out some of the kinks.

A hard hit requires all hands on deck, as well as backup.

A hard hit requires all hands on deck, as well as backup.

“With the transition of 11 freshmen coming into the program and having a few people injured, we kind of knew that this would happen,” she said. “Its really good for kids to go through this a little bit, especially in the beginning of your season and kind of experience this. They’re going to get better because of it.”

The only undefeated team in the tourney was WJCAC rival Odessa, but Forchtner isn’t too concerned at this time in the season.

Libero Violeta Konculić gets the dig as her teammates watch from the sidelines.

Libero Violeta Konculić gets the dig as her teammates watch from the sidelines.

“We kind of knew that they were going to be like that, just based off the sophomores that they had returning and who they had signed,” she said. “But I think we’re going to be right there with them. I think we’ll be really competitive with that group that we have out there. And we don’t play them until October so it doesn’t really matter.”

The tourney overall was well received, the coach said.

“Everybody said they’re coming back and everybody talks about how much they like coming here,” Forchtner said. “We have the same nucleus of people almost every single year and even Cedar Valley, this is the first time they’ve ever been here and she was telling me prior to the match that she wanted to come back, too. I think it’s enjoyable for everyone just because it’s competitive to start the season off and we do all the work. They don’t have to do anything. They just show up.”

NMMI Classic, Saturday results:
Hutchinson def. NMMI, 25-13, 25-17, 25-14
Odessa def. Pima, 25-19, 25-11, 25-16
Pima def. Garden City, 25-18, 26-24, 19-25, 25-22
Seward def. Eastern Arizona, 20-25, 25-15, 27-25, 25-20
Odessa def. South Mountain, 25-19, 25-15, 25-20
Hutchinson def. Cedar Valley, 25-12, 25-16, 25-10
Eastern Arizona vs. Garden City, 26-24, 25-16, 25-17
South Mountain def. Seward, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 16-25, 15-11
NMMI def. Cedar Valley, 25-15, 25-13, 25-11

Broncos run and pass all over Air Force Prep in season opener

With just 23 seconds left in first half, NMMI wide receiver Edward Kea, Jr. hauls in a 38 yard touchdown pass from QB Jordan Ta’amu, putting the Broncos up 48-17.

With just 23 seconds left in first half, NMMI wide receiver Edward Kea, Jr. hauls in a 38 yard touchdown pass from QB Jordan Ta’amu, putting the Broncos up 48-17.


Karen Boehler

NMMI Sports Press

The Bronco defense gets some pressure on AFP QB Jacob Hennie.

The Bronco defense gets some pressure on AFP QB Jacob Hennie.

After a back-and-forth first quarter — which saw a lot more offense than defense from both sides — the Bronco football team put everything together, routing Air Force Prep 62-27 in the season opener.

“I’ll take it. I’ll take any win, so that’s a good way to start for us,” said NMMI head coach Joe Forchtner.

Neither team wasted any time in getting on the board Saturday.

On their first possession, the Broncos scored on a 23-yard field goal by Nicholas Litang, going up 3-0 with just 2-1/2 minutes gone in the game.

NMMI's Sanchez Lofton out jumps  a pair of Husky defenders for a 28-yard touchdown reception during NMMI's first possession in the second half.

NMMI’s Sanchez Lofton out jumps a pair of Husky defenders for a 28-yard touchdown reception during NMMI’s first possession in the second half.

The Huskies came back on their first possession, taking only four plays to go up 7-3. But NMMI beat that by one play on the next drive when Jordan Ta’amu passed to Sedarius Young on the third play, making it 10-7 after Litang’s kick.

Air Force tied it at 10-10 with a field goal of their own with 5:59 remaining in the quarter, but then the Broncos scored twice in succession: first on a 4-yard pass from Ta’amu to Will Hogan with 2:22 showing; then, after Jarvis Scott recovered the onside kick by Litang, he kicked his second field goal of the game, this one a 44-yarder with 41 seconds left to make it 20-10.

The Huskies scored on a drive continued from the last stanza, but that was their last score of the stanza.

NMMI, meanwhile, added another four TDs before the half: a 75-yard Ta’amu to Young pass at 10:35; a 23-yard Ta’amu to Jarvis Scott toss at 7:35; Another Ta’amu to Young pass, this one 38-yards, at 1:46; then, after a fumble recovery, a Ta’amu to Edward Kea, Jr. pass with :23 left in the half, making it 48-17 heading into the locker room.

Outstanding opening 8 TD performance for NMMI quarterback Jordan Ta'amu.

Outstanding opening 8 TD performance for NMMI quarterback Jordan Ta’amu.

AFP scored on its first possession of the third quarter, but again, that was all they’d get while NMMI, with a lot of reserves seeing playing time on the field, got another pair of TDs.

With 6:28 left in the quarter, Ta’amu tossed to Sanchez Lofton to make it 55-24, the Bronco Nate Anderson recovered a Husky fumble and five plays later, Ta’amu passed to Trevor Lyon.

Prep scored another field goal to open the fourth, a 30-yard kick, and that was the scoring for the game.

It was busy night for placekicker Nicholas Litang. The veteran NMMI sophomore turned in a perfect performance going 8 for 8 on extra points, along with 2 for 2 on fields goals from 23 and 44 yards.

It was busy night for placekicker Nicholas Litang. The veteran NMMI sophomore turned in a perfect performance going 8 for 8 on extra points, along with 2 for 2 on fields goals from 23 and 44 yards.

Ta’amu looked a seasoned vet at QB, going 20-for-26 with 423 yards in the air, 8 TD passes, and zero INTs. He also rushed for 31 yards.

“He played good,” Forchtner said. “This is the first game he started, so you never know until you know. We’ve got some stuff we need to clean up, but he came out and played a good game. A solid game, for sure.”

Ta’amu’s favorite receiver was Young, who picked up 189 yards, while A.J. Bolden picked up 83. Litang didn’t miss a scoring kick all night, tallying two field goals and eight extra points.

NMMI cornerback Shamar Busby seemed to make a great defensive play on this Husky long pass early in the third quarter, but was flagged for pass interference.

NMMI cornerback Shamar Busby seemed to make a great defensive play on this Husky long pass early in the third quarter, but was flagged for pass interference.

“He kicked well,” Forchtner said. “He had a couple of kickoffs that went down the middle that weren’t supposed to. He kicked a lot. Any time your kicker’s kicking a lot, that’s usually good.”

Of course, one game doesn’t make a season and Forchtner knows everything didn’t go perfectly.

“It wasn’t as good as we can play for sure,” he said. “I know defensively, in the first half, we had all sorts of stuff go wrong. Things we didn’t do right. Calls we missed. Assignments we missed. Things like that. So, in the first half, the offense carried us, pretty much.

“We’ve got a lot of things to clean up, but I’m happy. I’m happy.”

Running back Jarvis Scott moving forward for positive yards during one of his rushing attempts.

Running back Jarvis Scott moving forward for positive yards during one of his rushing attempts.

And the game will get a lot tougher Sept. 3 when the Broncos host Northeast Oklahoma A&M in the opening game of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.

“We start conference play next week, so everything has to pick up,” Forchtner said.

Colt soccer ties East Mountain in season opener

NMMI Sports Press

ColtSoccer2014SANDIA PARK — The Colt soccer team only managed a 2-2 tied in its opening game of the season Saturday, but there was one very bright spot: the goaltending.

“It was outstanding,” said coach John Barbour. “That was probably the one highlight to really take away from this game. Luis Ortiz did a fantastic job.”

Facing former district rival East Mountain, Ortiz only allowed two goals in the first half of the match, and none in the second. But while Ivan Gonzalez and Daron Hernandez put balls in for NMMI in the first, no Colts could score in the second half either.

“It definitely gave us an idea of what we need to work on and what we need to improve on,” Barbour said. “For our first game, we could have done worse, but we also could have done better.”

NMMI comes home to face 5A Lovington Tuesday, which Barbour knows could be a challenge.

“We’re going to do our best on that one,” he said.

They then face Goddard Friday in the first game of the Coyote Classic at Cielo Grande.

“We learned we have a lot of work to do. We hope to iron these wrinkles out this week before the Coyote Classic.”

Strong Colt start fizzles against former state champs

NMMI's Gavin Maloney finds some running room on a QB keeper in the first half.

NMMI’s Gavin Maloney finds some running room on a QB keeper in the first half. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.


Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Nice open-field tackle by Dillon Reynolds on Fort Sumner's big fullback. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

Nice open-field tackle by Dillon Reynolds on Fort Sumner’s big fullback. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

Fort Sumner came to Colt Field Friday as the defending AA state champs. And they quickly showed why they could retake that title this year, holding NMMI scoreless in the second half while scoring 20 points of their own to win, 34-20.

“Hats off to Fort Sumner,” said Colt head coach Randy Montoya. “There ain’t no doubt they’re a very good team and we just made too many big mistakes to really do anything. We shot ourselves in the foot several times. We’ve got a lot of young kids and it’s a process we have to go through.”

Louis Villanueva's 29-yard TD scamper to end the first half was set up by great downfield blocking by Fausto Baranzini and other NMMI backs.

Louis Villanueva’s 29-yard TD scamper to end the first half was set up by great downfield blocking by Fausto Baranzini and other NMMI backs. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

The Colts didn’t look bad early, shutting the Foxes down in the first quarter while going up 7-0 on a 4-yard carry by Fausto Baranzini with 5:17 left in the first. The kick by Ivan Brewer was good.

The Foxes came back on their first possession the second quarter on a pass from Noah Maxwell to Jude Segura, but the kick was no good, and NMMI retained a slim 7-6 lead.

The teams then traded possessions until 6:32, when Baranzini again took the ball in, and, with another good kick by Brewer, they stretched the lead to 14-6.

Jake Guerrero delivers a bone-crunching hit early in the game on a Fox running back. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

Jake Guerrero delivers a bone-crunching hit early in the game on a Fox running back. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

But Fort Sumner came right back with a 12-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a pass from Segura and a two-point play to knot the game at 14-all.

The Colts closed out the stanza with a no-time-left 29-yard TD pass from Gavin Maloney to Luis Villanueva to make it 20-14, but Brewer’s kick was blocked and those were the last points NMMI could manage in the game.

“I think our biggest thing is we’ve got to get in shape,” Montoya said. “I think we were tired there at the end and obviously, when you’re tired, you get mentally fatigued and we’ve got to do a better job at that.”

The Colts started the second half with a Maloney interception of a Segura pass, but nothing came of the possession, and Fort Sumner made it 27-20 at 5:31 in the third then added two more TDs in the fourth as the bigger, brawnier Foxes simply ran under, over and through the Colts.

Fausto Baranzini gets a seam up the middle for one his big rushing gains on the night. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

Fausto Baranzini gets a seam up the middle for one his big rushing gains on the night. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

“Fort Sumner, they’re always a great team,” Montoya said. “They’re always a competitive team and they just built a tradition down there that year in and year out they’re a tough competitor. So the fact that they just came right down and ran right down our throat just puts a spotlight on what we need to do better and what we need to fix.”

The Colts combined both passing and running, with Maloney throwing eight completions for 109 yards while Baranzini ran for 106 yards and Maloney another 41.

Team tackle by the Colt defense. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

Team tackle by the Colt defense. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe.

“We’re trying to spread it out a little bit more, trying to see what kind of weapons we have and we don’t have,” Montoya said of the more rounded offense. “Again, it’s a process both sides have got to go through. Definitely saw some bright spots, but obviously we’ve got to be a more balanced team. A better balanced team and quit making the mistakes that we did.”

And he was especially unhappy with mistakes by the returners.

“It’s just frustrating when some of the older guys still make the same mistakes,” he said.

The Colts will be back in action Sept. 2 at home vs. Capitan, and win or lose, Monyota is just happy to be on the field.

“That’s the good thing about playing a game.” he said. “Obviously you want to win. You want to do the best you can but as long as we can learn from our mistakes and move forward, we can do that. It’s a process we’ve got to go through.”

Bronco plusses, minuses add up to split on Day 1 of VB Classic

NMMI’s Aleksandra Bilić with outside attack past the double block by Pima. NMMI downed the Aztecs in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-21, to open up the ninth annual NMMI Classic.

NMMI’s Aleksandra Bilić with outside attack past the double block by Pima. NMMI downed the Aztecs in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-21, to open up the ninth annual NMMI Classic.


Karen Boehler

NMMI Sports Press

Back row one-hand save by NMMI libero Violeta Konculić.

Back row one-hand save by NMMI libero Violeta Konculić.

Three teams are perfect after Day 1 of the NMMI Classic volleyball tournament, but that doesn’t include the host Broncos, who topped Pima Community College 3-0 in the opening match, but fell 3-1 to South Mountain in the nightcap.

The three perfect squads include WJCAC foe Odessa, Seward County College and South Mountain, which topped NMMI 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16.

The closer was one of only two four-game matches Friday, and was tight all the way after an easy morning win over Pima, 25-19, 25-13, 25-21. But coach Shelby Forchtner wasn’t overjoyed with either game.

“There are glimpses of a lot of really good things that we have been working on, then there were glimpses of things that we have just gone over and over and over again and it’s still not happening,” she said. “We have all the tools to do it. We’ve got really good kids in each position. We’ve got backups that we can put in. We’ve got kids who dominate in practice. And then now, after watching two games, we’re not seeing that same domination in the games that we see in our practice. So we’ve got to really figure out a way to transition the aggressiveness and the intensity that we’ve got going on in practice to the game floor as well.”

McKayla Landreth goes up for a kill over the middle in the Lady Broncos' morning match vs. Pima.

McKayla Landreth goes up for a kill over the middle in the Lady Broncos’ morning match vs. Pima.

Game 1 vs. the Cougars started out with ties almost every point, but South Mountain slowly pulled ahead, getting offensive runs of two and three points while the Broncos could only manage one.

They closed the game to 22-20 Cougars on an ace by Cherish Sosi and two kills, but then a serve into the net ended the comeback.

Game 2 was more of the same with NMMI taking a slight lead early and South Mountain battling back. The game was tied all the way to 21-all, but the Cougars went on a 4-1 run to get the game.

Valeria Gutierrez gets low on a serve-recieve against the Cougars.

Valeria Gutierrez gets low on a serve-recieve against the Cougars.

The Broncos had to battle in the only game they did win.

The game went back and forth early until a big discussion by the officials over a Cougar rotation error took some of the momentum away from the visitors. NMMI stretched the lead to 18-13, and while South Mountain was calling time out, the corps of cadets began filing in from the football game next door.

Their support seemed to pick up the Broncos a bit, and they hung on for the victory.

The Lady Broncos celebrate after a hard-fought point against Pima.

The Lady Broncos celebrate after a hard-fought point against Pima.

The last tie in Game 4 was 6-6, and after that the Cougars quickly pulled away to get the game and match.

The two biggest problems for the Broncos, Forchtner said, were serve-receive and serving, which was “atrocious” in the nightcap.

“And those are two things we’re usually pretty good at in practice,” the coach said. “So that’s the thing we’ve just got to figure out. We’ve got confidence in quite a few kids. And maybe it’s just Day 1 of playing and we’ve just got to kind of get all that out of our system and just be done with that day completely and kind of start refreshed. But we’re going to start in the morning with a very tough team that’s just like that team that we just played. So we have to be able to make those changes literally overnight.”

Hannah Davis with a jump serve in the nightcap match vs. SMCC.

Hannah Davis with a jump serve in the nightcap match vs. SMCC.

NMMI opens Saturday’s play vs. Hutchinson — a team that’s better than their 0-2 record indicates — at 8 a.m.

Friday’s combined statistics showed Sosi with 72 assists and two aces. Aleksandra Biliс́ had 10 kills; McKayla Landreth nine kills; Violeta Konculiс́seven; Sosi seven digs and Katie Campbell six.

Saturday tournament results:
NMMI def. Pima, 25-19, 25-13, 25-21
Odessa def. Eastern Arizona, 25-17, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18
South Mountain def. Garden City, 25-13, 25-12, 25-19
Seward def. Cedar Valley, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21
Eastern Arizona def. Hutchinson, 25-23, 25-13, 25-17
Seward def. Pima, 25-21, 25-14, 26-24
Garden City def. Cedar Valley, 25-18, 25-20, 25-10
Odessa def. Hutchinson, 25-14, 25-21, 25-20
South Mountain def. NMMI, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16