Category Archives: College Sports

Hardwick throws shutout, Broncs go 1-3 against Odessa

Tyler Hardwick with the complete game shutout as NMMI pulls Game 4 from Odessa, 8-0. The Broncos lost the Day 2 opener, 4-3.

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco baseball team split Saturday’s doubleheader vs. conference opponent Odessa College, to go 1-3 against the WJCAC’s top-ranked Wranglers during a two-day, four-game series at the NMMI Ballpark.

After dropping both games on Friday, 9-2 and 11-3, NMMI’s pitching and defense found a way to slow down the hot bats of Odessa on Day 2.

They lost a close 4-3 contest in Saturday’s opener, then saw their own offense get hot, pounding Wrangler pitching for nine hits and eight runs to win the nightcap, 8-0.

Starting pitcher Tyler Hardwick got the complete-game shutout win for the Institute, earning his fourth ‘W’ of the season, tallying six strikeouts over seven innings in Game 4.

“We pitched it well enough to win both games today,” said head Bronco coach Chris Cook.

“Odessa is hitting over .400 as a team. And [Jadon] Archuleta didn’t pitch a perfect game, but he pitched well enough to eliminate the damage,” explained coach Cook about NMMI’s Game 3 starter. “They didn’t score more than one run in any inning.”

Archuleta went five innings on the mound, giving up five hits and three runs – two of which were earned – with one strike out and one walk.

“Hardwick gave up just four hits, two of which were big-hop singles,” said Cook. “So he pitched a heck of a game, against one of the best offensive teams in the country.”

“All-in-all, outside of one or two innings, I thought we pitched extremely well this weekend,” continued Cook. “But on the flip side, they did the same back to us. We just didn’t get as many two-out or two-strike hits as they did, especially with runners in scoring position. So they were able to take three of the four games.”

Cook was also pleased with how his team battled at the plate. “We didn’t have a ton of hits this weekend, but he had some guys have some quality at-bats that hadn’t been getting a lot of reps. We’re dinged up quite a bit offensively, so we’ve got a lot of new bodies in the lineup, moving guys around.

“Horn is just a hitter,” continued Cook about his freshman outfielder who went 3-for-9 this weekend with four RBIs, including a solo homerun in Game 3.

Sophomore DH JoJo Escarsega hit .600, 3-for-5 at the plate with a double; and sophomore first baseman Michel Hinojos also had a trio of hits (3-for-7) with two runs and an RBI.

“I’m hoping that the Game 4 win helps us get some momentum as we go into another home series against Frank Phillips next week,” finished Cook. “Hopefully we can build from there and keep playing better as the season moves towards its end.”

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

Broncos down Westerners in last game at the ‘old’ armory gym

Bronco forward Muritala Mustapha with the put-back attempt after an offensive rebound in the first half of play against Western Texas College. Photo courtesy of Laura Brown.

NMMI Sports Press

It was the last game of the season for the NMMI Bronco basketball team, and also likely the last official game in the Cahoon Armory gym before the entire building undergoes a complete renovation – with both of those as motivating factors, NMMI downed conference foe Western Texas College, 69-58.

“They played hard and played great defense tonight,” said head Bronco coach Sean Schooley. “It was good for these guys to get a win at home. They’ve got smiles on their faces and ended on a good note.”

After an initial bucket by the Westerners, NMMI retook the lead on a three-pointer by Jeremy Parsley, one of the only two sophomores on the Bronco squad.

The Institute would trail only twice more in the game, all in the first 3 minutes, before building a 13-point lead with 7:07 left, after a pair of free throws by freshman point guard Isaiah Francis.

WTC managed to cut that lead to eight before halftime, 39-31, then down to two, after a six-point run to start the second.

Shooting woes plagued the Institute squad during that second half start, with NMMI hitting just one shot out of their first 12 from the field.

But solid defense by the Broncos kept the Westerners at bay, and by the 13:05 mark, NMMI had rebuilt a double-digit lead, 49-39, with freshman forward Anthony Mensah pulling down an offensive rebound, then making good on the put-back.

The Westerners thrice managed to make it a four-point game, but every missed shot seemed to fall into Broncos hands, with NMMI winning the ‘game of boards’ 52 to 42.

Coach Schooley was extremely proud of how his team finished out a tough and tumultuous year, including several coaching changes and 11 games on the road to start the season, along with high praise for several individual efforts on the night.

“You can’t say enough about that kid,” said Schooley about freshman guard Jermane Carter. “He’s a good student, a hard worker, explosive on offense, and he’s probably the best defender I’ve ever had. If he works on a few things in the off-season, he’ll have a tremendously bright future ahead of him.”

Carter finished as the top scorer for the Broncos with 18 points, and also ripped down 15 rebounds for the double-double.

Muritala Mustapha, the other soph on the squad, also came close to twofold twin-digits, finishing with seven points and nine rebounds, for his season-best performance.

“He hadn’t got to play a lot all year. He came out late,” said the coach of his big 6’6, 250 pound forward. “If we’d had had him for a couple of seasons, he’d be getting some looks to play at the next level, because he’s so big and strong. So it was good for him to get out and play some more.”

Francis also had another solid game for NMMI, dropping in 16 points and only committing a single turnover.

“Isaiah is one heck of a competitor,” said Schooley. “I think he’s tied for first or leading the conference in scoring. He’s got some looks to go to the next level. If it’s the right fit, we’re going to wish him well, if not, he’s got a place back in our lineup.”

With the win the Broncos end their season with a 9-20 overall record and 4-12 mark in the always-tough Western Junior College Athletic Conference.

Renovation efforts to the Cahoon Armory Building, which was originally constructed in 1927-28, have already begun, but will move along at a much more rapid pace now that basketball season has ended.

Broncos win on road vs. Plainsmen

Isaiah Francis led the Bronco victory with 41 points against Frank Phillips on Monday night in Borger, TX. Photo taken on Jan. 17 in Cahoon Armory Gym against the Plainsmen.

NMMI Sports Press

Borger, Texas – The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco basketball team came back to win their third conference game of the season, downing Frank Phillips College last Monday, 96-89.

NMMI trailed by nine at the half, 44-35, but the offense caught fire in the second, shooting almost 65% from the field (22-for-34) and over 73% from the free throw line (11-for-15), en route to a 61-point period.

“I’m not sure these kids really know where they’re playing,” laughed head Bronco basketball coach Sean Schooley about his team’s third WJCAC win of the season, all of which have been as the visiting team. “Maybe it’s because we played fourteen away games to start the season – I don’t know – but nothing seems to bother them on the road.”

Point guard Isaiah Francis led the Broncos with a ‘quiet’ 41 points, according to coach Schooley.

“Francis was really efficient last night,” explained the coach. “He stayed within the framework of what we’re trying to do and played under control. He had 41 points, five assists, just one turnover, and played good defense – he just methodically got it done. It really was his best game of the season, not because of the points, but because of his overall performance.”

“He did well, but so did everyone else,” continued Schooley. “We shot 58% from the field and moved the ball extremely well.”

Guards Jermane Carter and Keith Deloatch both had double figures in points, with Carter making 5-of-7 two-point shots as part of his tally of 12, and Deloatch putting up 10, including a pair of three-pointers.

The lone sophomore on the squad, Jeremy Parsley, had six rebounds and eight points.

“Parsley played a really good game last night,” added the coach.” “He came off the bench and got us some offensive rebounds and some points off the put-backs.”

With the win, NMMI’s extremely young team – again, with only one sophomore – moves to 8-19 overall and 3-11 in the WJCAC, with just two games left in the regular season.

“Both of our remaining games are going to be extremely tough,” said Schooley. “Howard is in the playoff hunt. They’re a strong, physical team with veteran players and they’re not going to take their foot off the gas.”

After the trip on Thursday, Feb. 21 to Big Spring, TX – where Howard College is located – NMMI will return home to play the last collegiate basketball game in the Cahoon Armory before it undergoes a complete renovation.

“The game versus Western Texas [College] will be an interesting night – it will be the last game that I’ll coach in the current Cahoon Armory gym,” continued coach.

That may not seem like too significant a statement until you realize that Schooley has coached over 500 games inside the Cahoon Armory gym during his 27-year term at the ‘Old Post’ – beginning as an assistant high school coach for the Colt basketball program back in 1992.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the renovations to Cahoon and especially the gym,” opined Schooley.  “It’ll be great for the players to play in, great for the fans to watch and definitely be a great recruiting tool.”