Category Archives: Athletics
NMMI Sports Press
The top three slots in the WJCAC volleyball standings are in total flux, as No. 1 Odessa (24-5, 8-1) fell to Midland (17-13, 6-3) Saturday, then, after, beating West Texas in five the same day, the Broncos (7-2, 17-16) came back to edge the Chaparrals 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 15-7 in Wednesday’s penultimate conference match.
Following Saturday’s five-game barn-burner, Wednesday’s close match should have had coach Shelby Forchtner going totally grey.
“I kind of technically do, but it’s like one or two or three, so then I just pull it every game,” she laughed.
NMMI looked brilliant in the first two games, winning on an ace by Katie Campbell after tying at 8-8 and never trailing again. The Broncos had to battle back a little more in Game 2, getting the sixth tie of the game at 12-12 on an ace by Cherish Sosi, going up 15-12 on two more serves by the setter, then winning on Sosi’s third ace of the game.
But then came games 3 and 4, where, Forchtner said, “We went in the tank. And really, the only thing that happened is our passing just broke down. In Game 3, we were just moving our setter all over the place — 12 foot, 15 foot — and it’s really hard to run your offense effectively when you’re that far off the net. We still had people taking some good swings, but it’s just so hard to get around the block when you’re setting the angles like that. We just needed to pass. And we started doing it a little bit better in the fourth game, when we were kind of getting into our groove. Then Game 5, we just passed really, really well.”
The consistency of the first two games came back, as NMMI allowed only two Midland offensive points; got six straight serves from Campbell, including another ace; and won on a big kill by the sophomore.
That was appropriate, as before the last home game of the season, the team’s six sophomores — Violeta Konculić; Destiny O’Kane; Sosi, Campbell; Aleksandra Bilić; and Maluhia Taula — were honored for their time at the Institute.
Campbell led the team in kills with 13, while Hannah Davis and Gali Sanchez had 10 each; Bilić nine; and McKayla Landreth five.
Sosi had 37 assists; Campbell five aces and Sosi three; and, on defense, Konculić 11 digs with Campbell, Sosi and Sanchez tallying nine each. The team had nine total blocks.
After a season in which the Broncos have rarely won a match in three games, Forchtner said she knows every match will most likely go long.
“We just love to go four and five,” she said. “It’s just kind of going to be the story of our lives, I think. It’s just not going to change. We’re just going to have to get used to it, and we kind of have already. We very rarely can go out (and win in three.) It’s been a little bit of a struggle, too, even when we’ve won in three, to play well and consistent.”
So, with the final regular-season game Saturday at WJCAC leader Odessa a decider of where the top-three teams will finish, Forchtner knows it won’t be easy but that her team has to play their game.
“We just really need to do the same thing we just did,” she said. “Because Odessa is very similar to Midland in the fact they’re going to swing the entire game. They’re not going to let up. They’re going to be aggressive. And if we just consistently keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing, we can get them to slowly start to shut down, which is what happened.”
NMMI Sports Press
With two teams ranked in the top five in the nation in offense set to meet Saturday at Colt Field, the SWJCFC game between NMMI and Tyler Junior College was expected to see a lot of scoring.
And the fans at the homecoming-filled stands weren’t disappointed in that respect, although the Bronco supporters most likely were, as NMMI fell 64-42.
“We just didn’t play good enough to win,” said coach Joe Forchtner. “Those guys are good. They lead the free world in offense and points and yards and they’re good. There’s just no room for errors with guys like that.”
The first quarter actually saw more defense than offense, as the only scoring came from the Apaches with 2:44 remaining in the stanza.
The Broncos got on the board in the second, tying the game at 7-7 on a 47-yard rush by Jalen Jackson just 3:07 into the stanza. The offensive push came after Jonari Brown intercepted a TJC pass at the NMMI 5.
Tyler came back a little more than a minute later on a TD pass, then made it 21-7 with 2:29 remaining before the half.
Not to be outdone, the Broncos scored with just :56 left on a Jarvis Scott carry, closing the gap to 21-14 Apaches. And, with less than a minute remaining, that’s how most folks in the stands thought the half would end.
But Tyler began a drive that took them down to the NMMI 24 where they kicked a 41-yard field goal with just four seconds remaining, making it 24-14. That drive wasn’t without controversy — at least from the crowd — as it appeared Theo Hyppolite had picked off another Apache pass, but with both Langford and Apache CJ Thomas holding on, the call went to Tyler.
And that wasn’t the only play that upset the rowdy Bronco crowd. Almost the same thing happened in the second half when Shamar Busby and Savon Rollison both got hold of a thrown pass.
The Apaches got their second field goal of the game seven minutes into the third quarter to stretch the lead to 27-14, but the Broncos came back with Scott’s second TD carry of the game, a 1-yard plunge with 5:11 left in the quarter to make it 27-21.
Tyler closed out the stanza with two quick TDs: a 3-yard carry at 4:16 and a 35-yard pass with 2:25 showing, making it 40-21 after three.
Once again, though, NMMI wasted no time in scoring in the new quarter, using up only 10 seconds before Jordan Ta’amu passed to Cameron Saunders for a 42-yard TD. And the game ended with the teams trading touchdowns every minute or two, until the Apaches kicked a field goal with 2:57 left, then stopped the final NMMI drive with an interception that led to a TD.
While the loss is hard to take, Forchtner said he saw things he liked.
“I think the energy on the sideline was good,” he said. “The guys are playing for each other. That goes a long way in tight games. So just to see the guys play together I thought was the best thing. We made a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball that we can’t make. But they’re good. Hat’s off to them. They’re the fifth team in the nation for a reason.”
The Broncos close out the regular season in Corsicana, Texas, vs. Navarro College Oct. 29, and Forchtner knows what he wants to work on prior to the game.
“We’ve just got to clean up a lot of stuff,” he said. “Offensively. Defensively. It’s just little stuff. We’re so close in so many areas and just one little thing that’s preventing us from making a play here or there. A big play on defense or a big play on offense. It’s just continuing to master their craft.”
NMMI Sports Press
As the scores show, it was another up and down performance by the Institute, but they managed to get it done.
“We are just struggling with our consistency for an entire match,” said coach Shelby Forchtner. “Until we can control that we are going to lose even when we shouldn’t. But we played defense to win.”
Game 1 started close, with WTC going up 3-0 then NMMI coming back to tie it at 4-all. The Westerners went on a 7-2 run to stretch the lead to 11-6. But after a Bronco time out, a kill made it 11-7 and with the score 13-10 West Texas, NMMI libero Violeta Konculić went on a seven-point serving run, putting NMMI up 17-13 and the visitors never trailed again.
Game 2 was just a close with the Broncos again having to battle their way back, this time for the win in extra points.
Game 3 was all WTC and NMMI never was close. But in Game 4, the teams went back and forth before a few extra Westerner offensive points earned them the win and tied the match at 2-2.
The Broncos then turned it around in Game 5, not allowing a single Westerner point on offense while closing it down with four straight serves and a game- and match-winning kill.
Hannah Davis led NMMI with 18 kills. Katie Campbell had 13 and Aleksandra Bilić 12. Cherish Sosi had 31 assists. Defensively, Sosi and Gali Sanchez had 19 digs each, while Konculić had 16, with the team as a whole picking up 76 digs.
The only two teams above NMMI in the WJCAC standings also squared off Saturday, with Midland (17-12, 6-2) upsetting the previously unbeaten Odessa Wranglers (23-5, 7-1.) The Broncos will try to move ahead of the Chaparrals in the standings Wednesday when they host Midland in a 7 p.m. matchup.
NMMI Sports Press
PORTALES — The Colt soccer team (5-12-2, 3-4-1) was hoping to add one more victory to its regular-season stats Saturday, but couldn’t quite pull it off, as Portales topped the Colts 2-1 in the district finale in Portales.
The Rams led 1-0 at the half, then made it 2-0 in the second until about 15 minutes remained when Ivan Gonzalez scored the lone goal for NMMI. And that’s how it ended despite both teams having opportunities.
“We played OK,” said coach John Barbour. “It wasn’t great. We could have done a lot better. I think we were just tired and we really didn’t show the energy we had against Moriarty.”
The best story of the day, though, came from the JV match.
Because the NMMI bus was delayed, Barbour suggested dropping the final JV game of the season. But the Rams had plans to honor a freshman who developed terminal brain cancer last summer and wanted to get the match in.
And the NMMI players agreed.
“Despite our players having plans for homecoming, dates for homecoming, when I went in and explained the situation, they all agreed we’ve got to play this game,” he said. “I was really impressed with the team putting someone else before their plans for Saturday night.”
And so they played an abbreviated, 20-minute half game, falling 2-1, and the Colts honored the Portales player with a team chant in his name.
“Our kids were real happy to go do that,” Barbour said. “It was kind of cool.”
Whether the Colts have more games to play is now up to the NMAA seeding committee, which will meet Sunday to announce the 12 teams in Class 4-4A that will make it to the state playoffs. The MaxPreps predictions prior to Saturday’s game showed NMMI at No. 10, with district rivals Hope Christian at No. 1 and Portales at No. 5.
Twelve teams are chosen for the first round of playoffs — set for Oct. 28 or 29 — at the home field of the higher seed. The top four teams draw a bye, which means the Colts will almost certainly travel if selected.
NMMI Sports Press
As has become a homecoming tradition at New Mexico Military Institute, Bronco baseball alumni gathered at NMMI field Friday afternoon to take on the current crop of players.
And while the Broncos took a close 5-4 victory over the alum in a seven-inning matchup, the day was mainly about fun.
“It was a nice competitive game and the current team got a couple of runs late to give us a 5-4 win,” said head coach Chris Cook. “It was just fun. I don’t care what the score is, honestly. It was a good day.”
After the Broncos went up 1-0 in the first when Nick Espinoza walked, went to second on a single by Angel Colon and came home on a wild pitch — by former player and current pitching coach Tyler Gibson — the alumni took the lead in the bottom of the second.
Ben Chavez, a former Gateway player who still lives and works in Roswell, walked, stole second and came home on a single by another Roswell native, Justin Villareal. Villereal was thrown out trying to stretch the single to a double, but Franky Silva doubled and came home on a double by Chris Foster.
The alums led through the third, when Bronco Justin Williams tied it at 2-2 on single and error in the outfield. But Silva put the alumni back on top 3-2 with a towering home run in the fourth.
The Broncos tied it in the fifth on a triple by Dustin Renfroe and a wild pitch, then, after Bronco Cub Turcotte pitched to Brother Sam Tucotte and got him out on a lcomebacker to the mound — the two hugged for the tag — NMMI strength and conditioning coach Tyrell Curtis walked, advanced on a double by Gibson and came home on a ground out.
But after the Turcottes again faced each other — this time Sam struck out Cub — the Broncos got two finals runs, scoring on a single by Jordan Williams, double by Nick Carrillo and single by Bobby Galindo.
Prior to the game, Chavez won the home run derby for the newer graduates, beating out Joe Galindo, who signed with the San Diego Padre organization last spring.
Chavez notched 11 dingers to Galindo’s six, and was excited to beat a baseball professional.
“That was pretty nice. I can’t say that I can do that very often,” he laughed.
Galindo — who’s no relation to either of the two Galindos currently on the team — saw some time on the mound in the instructional league last summer. He had to recover from an injury before playing, but likes being in pro ball.
“It was fun,” he said. “The competition level is up there, of course. Really up there. But it was fun being back in the game. I missed it while watching from the stands. But I love watching the game, too. It’s a big learning experience.”
And while he didn’t play in Friday’s game, he did umpire the full seven innings.
“I’ll just watch the game; talk to the guys and have fun with them,” he said.
Domingo Alonso, an ’05 grad, won the derby for the more “vintage” players for the third time in a row. And like everyone else, he was happy to be back on the field.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I miss the game quite a bit. It feels good. I’m just trying not to hurt myself out here.”
“It’s always fun coming back,” agreed Villareal. “I love being here and it brings back a lot of memories. I’m just here to have a good time.”
Everyone also seemed to like the changes to the field.
“I love the field, the scoreboard, the fence,” Villareal said. “The NMMI symbol (behind the batting circle) looks awesome. All the symbols around the backstop. It’s a really good, one-of-a-kind baseball field in this area.”
“It’s amazing how much the facility’s improved and how coach Cook continues to bring in quality kids,” said Tim Campos, who is a 20-year alum. “Coach Cook has done an amazing job. With someone who has that much class running this program, it’s a joy to come back.”
Galindo also had praise for the Bronco staff.
“I love the coaches, man,” he said. “The coaches were the biggest thing, because they believed in me. They knew I could do something. Trusted me and I just gave them everything I had. They got me to the next level and from there kept working. Very pleased with the school as well. It’s like, the discipline. I’m a very nit-picky person now. Very organized and very disciplined about my time management.”
“Chris Cook has turned this place into a legitimate, competing college baseball program,” Villareal, a 2003 grad, said. “So I’m real proud of him and proud to support the team as the season goes on.”
And Cook was equally pleased to see the returning players, both from his teams and earlier in the school’s history.
“They’ve all got NMMI in common and it’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s nice to have them back and it’s nice they’re happy with the event and like it. So we’re going to keep on doing it.”