Category Archives: Colt Soccer

Colt soccer gets NMMI’s first win of new school year

Jordany Bayonne-Kenol goes through the Warrior defense.

NMMI Sports Press

Andres Bleizeffer looks to go around a Ruidoso defender.

The Colt boys’ varsity soccer team kicked off NMMI’s fall athletic campaign by dominating Ruidoso at home, 5-1.

The Institute needed just over six minutes to get on the scoreboard, beginning with a goal by new-to-NMMI sophomore Jordany Bayonne-Kenol, off an assist by veteran junior Andres Bleizeffer.

Ruidoso tied the score 1-1 with a penalty kick  at the 19-minute mark, but less than a minute later the Colts were back on top, Luis Tzintzun with the cross  to Francisco Vazquez for the kick and score.

That’s all the points NMMI would need for the win, but they kept the offensive pressure on in the second half, breaking through the Warrior defense thrice more: Bayonne-Kenol got his second score with 22 minutes left; Francisco Perez hit net with a little over 4 minutes remaining; and Vazquez got his second goal on an assist from the sole female on the Colt team, Miranda Garcia, with less than 2  minutes remaining to play.

Luis Tzintzun crosses the ball to the box in the second half.

“It’s always great to get a win in your first game and start things off on the right foot,” said head coach John Barbour. “We’re still trying to learn each other’s names and figure everyone out, so coming away with a win today is a good thing, but we’ve got a lot to work on.”

“We put five balls into the back of the net, so we were able to finish at times, but we had a lot of shots on goal,” continued the coach. “That’s also a positive, but we were out of position at times, and could have done better to capitalize on cross kicks and set plays such as corner kicks.”

Barbour also said his team needs a lot of work on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s glad they’ve got a full week of practice before their next match, against Portales at home at 3 pm on Saturday, August 25th.


Diego Monteverde makes a save in the second half of the Colts 5-1 victory.

Turnout could be key to success for Colt soccer in 2018 campaign

The chance to play for the Colt soccer team drew 85 cadets to the first official day of practice. Photo courtesy John Barbour

NMMI Sports Press

On the first day of fall practice this year, head Colt soccer coach John Barbour had a wealth of riches on the pitch: 85 athletes vying for the 44 roster positions allowed by the NMAA on varsity and JV combined.

“Any time you’ve got a player pool that size you’re definitely bound to find some good players,” Barbour said. “And we’re pretty confident we’ve got a good side. It’ll be how well they can gel together; how quickly they can come together; and just like every year I’ve been doing this, it’s going to take them a little while to learn each other’s names.”

That’s an ongoing problem for fall sports at NMMI. Because the students come from all over the world, they don’t spend time together in the summers. And with new students coming in every year, it takes time for both the players and coaches to learn just who everybody is and what they can do.

But with opening day very close on the horizon, Barbour has four returners he’s confident about.

Mario Camou dribbles past a Wildcat defender in a match vs. Clovis in last season’s Coyote Classic Tournament. Photo courtesy Tanner Hightower-Wilson

Senior forward Mario Camou “provides stability up top when we need it,” the coach said.

Camou will be joined by seniors Luis Tzintzun — “He’s just a remarkable player and does some amazing things on the field” — and Francisco Vasquez, who’s “a good playmaker in the midfield  so we’ll be looking to get a lot out of him.”

Junior Andres Bleizeffer rounds out the returners Barbour knows will see action.

“He’s another really good one. He’s a solid rock in the midfield role.”

Beyond that, the coach said, who will play when and where is up in the air.

“We’ve got a lot of new kids and they’re going to step in and take over where everybody left off last year,” he said.

Andres Bleizeffer with the header in a match vs. Roswell High on Sept. 2, 2017. Photo courtesy Tanner Hightower-Wilson

But another problem with the far-flung student body is a lack of conditioning.

“Coming back from the summer, we’ve only had them for this week,” Barbour said. “So we’re trying to get them in shape. We don’t have the luxury of doing off-season training like the other schools all summer long. We’re hoping to play with everybody for the first portion of the halves, but I know we’re going to trail off at the end because we’re so out of shape. So we’re just going to have to really try to get through these first few matches and try to get ourselves into match fitness.”

And those matches start already Saturday. The Colts will host former district rival Ruidoso, and Barbour said it should be a good game.

“We’ve always had an even match when we’ve been 4A,” he said. “They’ve won a bunch. We’ve beaten them a few times. So I don’t think it’ll be easy by any means, but we’re really looking forward to getting our season underway and hoping that we can get a good result against them.”

Corner kick by Luis Tzintzun, match vs. Santa Fe Capital on Sept. 2, 2017. Photo courtesy Tanner Hightower-Wilson

With NMMI moved down a classification to 3A during redistricting, they’ll see very different set of teams comes district, including East Mountain, Hatch and Socorro.

“No one that we haven’t played before, but it’s been a while since we’ve played Hatch and Socorro multiple times during the course of a season,” Barbour said. “Socorro we did have two games with and East Mountain we had at least one if not two games with them last year. So we’re pretty familiar with them. Hatch, though, we haven’t played in a few years so that’ll be kind of a new thing. So we’re just going to have to see how we do and hopefully by district we’ll be ready.”

Last season, the Colts were in the same district as powerhouse Hope Christian, which went on to win the 4A state title, beating the Institute 4-0 in the first round of state. So anything else will be easier.

Francisco Vasquez trying to keep possession against an oncoming Ruidoso defender; Sept. 23, 2017. Photo courtesy Tanner Hightower-Wilson

“Hope Christian had a remarkable side last year; having them in our district really was rough,” Barbour said. “But everybody else I thought we could play with. So we’ll just have to wait and see how this rolls out. But we’re going to play some big schools this year and we’re hoping to get a bunch of wins along the way.”

Playing up is a constant of Barbour’s teams, and this year they’ve got 5A Clovis and Roswell (the redistricting got rid of the 6A classification except in football) and 4A Goddard, Artesia, Portales and Lovington.”

“We’re going up against the big 5A schools again. That’s OK. We don’t shy away from it,” the coach said. “That’s only going to make us better and that competition is what’s going to make us improve. We just have to rise up to the occasion.”

Also new this year to Colt soccer is assistant coach David Sifuentes.

Sifuentes isn’t new to NMMI or soccer — he’s the Food Services Director for Sodexo and Bates Dining Hall and has coached several youth teams in Roswell, while playing himself.

“He’s got a wealth of knowledge about the game,” Barbour said. “He’s stepped right in and done a fantastic job; so very impressed with him. It’s good to have somebody who can handle himself even if I’m not around. My assistant last year was the same way. It’s good to have somebody who’s even caliber.”

And last year’s assistant has gone on to coach girls volleyball at Goddard.

“Dewayne (Roberts) decided he’d go do girls volleyball, and good for him,” Barbour said. “When there’s a sport that you truly love, you just can’t stay away from it. And he was missing that so I wish him the best of luck with his girls and his season. Goddard’s always had a reputation for having a good volleyball team, so I wish them the best of luck and him as well.”

Top-seeded Hope tops NMMI, 4-0

NMMI midfielder Hector Reyna fighting for possession of the ball with Hope Christian’s Isaiah Trujillo.


Hope Christian winger Isaiah Trjullio working against NMMI senior defensive back Diego Salido.

NMMI Sports Press

BERNALILLO, NM  – Hope Christian showed why they were picked as the top seed in the NMAA’s Class A-4A bracket, downing eighth-seeded New Mexico Military Institute in the quarterfinals, 4-0.

The Colts played an excellent defensive game for most of the first half, staving off a seemely  constant Husky offensive onslaught, but finally one of those shots got through, with about seven minutes remaining.

NMMI’s Marcelo Cantu with a step on Hope’s Kevin Sanchez.

Down by one at halftime, NMMI knew they needed to press their own attack in the second half. The Colts mounted a few more attacks, but Hope’s offense continued to roll, scoring 10 minutes into the second period, again five minutes later, and adding a final goal at about the 20 minute mark.

“We made a lot of mistakes today, that we’d like to have back,” said head Colt coach John Barbour. “We were not making good passes – our passing was abysmal today. But our guys have really come a long way from the first of the season. I’m really proud of that progress, even though it wasn’t our best game today.”

Double team by NMMI’s Francisco Saracho and Hector Reyna against Husky Ben Gutierrez.

NMMI finishes the season with an 8-11 overall record, including 1-1 in the postseason – they defeated Portales, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Colt soccer advances

Luis Tzintzun kicks one of his four corner kicks.

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Colts edged Portales 2-1 in the opening round of the state soccer playoffs in Roswell Saturday afternoon.

Mario Camou scored the opening goal for the Colts early in the first half. Midway in the first half Portales tied the score and in the second half Luis Tzintzum broke the deadlock at the midpoint of the final half.

The Colts(8-10-1) face the top team in A-4A Hope Christian Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Bernalillo.

Colts head coach John Barbour said NMMI has faced the top seed twice.

“They are probably one of the best teams in the state, they’re just amazingly good,” he said.

Portales finished the season at 10-11.

Colt soccer hosts Portales in first round of 4A State Playoffs

Corner kick by NMMI’s Luis Tzintzun, game vs. Roswell High on Sept. 2.

NMMI Sports Press

Goalkeep Allen Varela, game vs. Clovis on Sept. 5.

Homecoming revelers will have more than just football games to watch this weekend at NMMI. Saturday, the Colt soccer team will host Portales in first-round state tournament action on the Stapp Parade Field, and head coach John Barbour is looking for a big crowd to cheer his charges on.

“Hopefully some folks will venture over to watch the game,” he said. “We’re excited to have a home game for homecoming, especially since it’s a state tournament first-round game. We’ll be excited to see if fans show up. I’m sure a lot of people will come down from Portales, and hopefully we can match those numbers from people from our side.”

The Institute snuck into the top rung of the tournament bracket at No. 8, which gave them the home game. Coach Barbour was pushing for a seven-seed, but was just happy to have the home game.

Obed Abel Marcelo Cantu, game vs. Moriarty on Oct. 3.

“Our district was probably the toughest, based on where everyone finished,” he said. “Portales and us, we both beat some of the other teams in other districts. So I think we can definitely argue our district is the strongest, which is why we got four teams out of our district to qualify. But we’ll have to wait and see. Getting in on the eight seed, at least we’ve got a home-field game, so we’re excited about that and hopefully we can get a win Saturday.”

Those four teams include No.1 seed Hope Christian — which finished 18-2 overall with both losses to bigger schools — and No. 4 seed Moriarty (13-6-1.) The bad news is all four schools are on the same side of the bracket, which means only one will be able to work its way to the title game.

Diego Salido, games vs. Portales on Oct. 21.

“It’s like they’re hoping we’ll knock each other off,” he said. “It comes with the territory. But that’s OK. Our record wasn’t that great, so just getting in was kind of a plus.”

NMMI and Portales both finished 3-5 in district, with the Colts 7-10-1 overall and the Rams 10-9. (Several of NMMI’s losses were to 5A and 6A schools.) In district, Portales won 1-0 on its home pitch then the Institute came back with a 1-0 double overtime victory last week at home. So Barbour knows it’ll be a close-fought battle Saturday.

“it’s a pretty even matchup,” he said. “They’ve got a good side. I’ve known coach (Nathan) Dodge for a long time. We’ve been going back and forth for a while. We kind of enjoy playing each other. It’s always a good matchup. They’ve got some strong kids. He’s got an older group and they’re going to definitely come down here fired up. Maybe this past Saturday they may have been overconfident since they got the win the last time, so we’re not going to leave anything to chance and we’re definitely not going to feel like we’ve got the edge going into it either. We want to go out and play our best soccer so hopefully we can advance to the next round.”

Francisco Saracho, games vs. Ruidoso on Sept. 23.

Both teams bring strong players to the game.

The biggest Colt loss was by seven goals — most were much less — and that was to powerhouse Hope Christian, which says a lot about freshman keeper Allen Varela.

“He’s a really good kid,” Barbour said. “He’s very good, not only for a freshman but he’s also a very good all-around goalkeeper.”

Forward Luis Tzintzum scored the winning goal in the second OT last week, and Barbour is very pleased with the junior.

Mario Camou, game vs. Clovis on Sept. 5.

“He proved why he’s one of the best wingers I’ve ever seen,” the coach said. “What he’s able to do and his ability to cross the ball is like no other I’ve ever seen.

“Defensively, (seniors) Marcelo Cantu and Diego Salido have done really well this year,” the coach continued. “We’re blessed with those guys on the back. We’ve got some other seniors on the team who are stepping up. Also, up front we’ve got a forward in (junior) Mario Camou who’s shown he can hold the ball up and kind of help distribute. He’s scored some goals too and we’ll kind of look to him to do more of the same.”

Across the aisle, Barbour said the Rams have “a really good defense. They’re stingy at the back. Their forwards are decent and pretty good so we can’t give them much space. We’ve got to make sure we account for them. And their No. 10 (sophomore Jesus Chavez) does not play like he’s an underclassman. He plays like he’s a senior for sure, so we’re going to have to account for him as well.”

Eric Borrego, game vs. Goddard on Sept. 21.

The 3 p.m. Saturday match will be the rubber game between the two squads this year, with the winner heading to Albuquerque next week to face Hope Christian, which has a bye this week.

Barbour is hoping that will be his team.

“Third time’s the charm,” he said. “Just looking forward to getting after it and hopefully these guys will show how good they are. Because I’ve seen glimmers of what these guys can do and I’m still looking for them to put it all together on the field.”