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Bronco volleyball holds annual summer camp

Coaches Alonso Ibarra and Kayla Ledezma take a quick break after a drill, to talk to their campers about some of the concepts they should be learning.

Tanner Hightower-Wilson
NMMI Sports Press

Tuesday, May 30th marked the starting date for the 2017 NMMI summer volleyball camp. The three-day camp, with a special advanced camp on Friday, is put on annually by Bronco volleyball head coach Shelby Forchtner and assistant coach Alonzo Ibarra.

Also helping with the coaching duties this year is Artesia graduate Kayla Ledezma, who currently plays for the Idaho State University volleyball team.

The camp has a great showing of participants each session, aging from first grade all the way up to high-school kids.
Coach Forchtner said, “The morning session consists of younger kids and goes till about 7th grade and then we transition to 8th and 9th graders up until high school. There are about 35 kids that are out there – everything from beginners all the way up to high school.”

In the morning session of the camp, the girls – and two boys – have been participating in several different drills and games, all designed to make learning the basic fundamentals of volleyball fun.

“We are trying to focus on the basic fundamentals like passing, which is really what you want to start with, but I saw them hitting yesterday too,” mentioned Coach Forchtner. “At the Godfrey gym, we have the net lowered and the kids are getting to play more game-type style drills, which is a lot more fun.”

The afternoon session focuses on the junior high and high school aged girls. “With the older kids we are working on advancing their fundamentals with serving and hitting,” said Forchtner.

“We have numerous kids that go on to play for the different schools, or who are transitioning to the high school ranks.” That makes coach Forchtner happy – teaching the skills of a game she truly loves, to the next generation.

Bronco XC signs two Roswell runners

Local high school grads Sierra Walker (seated left) and Kayla Sisneros (seated right) sign their intent to run for the Bronco women’s cross-country team at the New Mexico Military Institute next season. Walker has run for the NMMI Colts for four years and Sisneros is a five-year Lady Rocket athlete.


NMMI Sports Press

After several years with mostly foreign runners on the Bronco cross country team, NMMI coach Jan Olesinski has recruited two Roswell athletes: Colt runner Sierra Walker and Goddard’s Kayla Sisneros.

“I’m kind of lucky that I was able to recruit two local girls,” Olesinski said. “They are both great runners. Sierra, I know her better because I had a chance to coach her for the last four years when she was a Colt cadet. Karla I met last year. I saw her during local races and she’s very athletic.”

Walker has run for NMMI since she was a freshman, with her senior year a literal runaway, as she won six straight races, including the district title, and finished fourth in Class 4A at state in 19:54.05.

“I decided to come back because I enjoyed running for coach Jan for the past four years,” Walker said. “I think he’s just an awesome coach. I also think I want to do the ROTC program and I’m able to do ROTC and run cross country at the same time. And I did want to run in college as well. So I’m able to do both here.”

Sisneros was the top Rocket runner as a senior, coming in 45th at state in 22:17.80 after running for Goddard for five years. She’s excited about the military aspect of NMMI, as she hopes to go on to a four-year military school.

“I’ve been running cross country for the last five years, and it’s always been my dream to hopefully become a college athlete,” Sisneros said. “So when I found the opportunity here at NMMI, I figured it would be a good idea to continue my education and running career here in preparation for hopefully going to the Air Force Academy.”

With three of his four runners graduating this year — all moving on to four-year schools — and the lone freshman opting not to come back, Walker and Sisneros will be part of an all-freshman squad. But that, Olesinski said, is OK.

“I’m mostly looking for girls who have goals in their lives, who have a vision,” he said. “Here, athletics is part of the life; it’s a very important part that teaches them how to deal with life in the future.”

And the future is what both signees are looking towards. While Walker isn’t sure what she’s going to major in — she said law school is in the back of her mind — she hopes she can go to Texas Tech after her two years as a Bronco. There, she can continue with ROTC and running.

Sisneros wants to study aerospace engineering at the Air Force Academy.

Both know Olesinski will help them improve in their chosen sport. For Sisneros, cross country is perfect for what she said is her strength.

“Endurance is definitely my strongest suit,” she said. “And then I’d say I’m more mentally tough than physically, but I’d say good at both.”

Walker said she’s definitely improved as a runner since she was a freshman, with Olesinski instilling a never-quit attitude.

“I’ve learned to just push through, even when I’m experiencing pain,” she said. “I think I’ve done a little bit better every year since my freshman year. Whenever I come to a wall, I’ve just got to try to learn to get over the wall, with anything.”

Both will have two more years with “Coach O” to improve, and hopefully help the Broncos to more success on the national level.

Two Colts commit to play baseball for Broncos

Surrounded by family, friends, coaches, and teammates, Colt seniors Michel Hinojos and Jake Guerrero (seated left and right) commit to stay at NMMI and play for the Bronco baseball team next season.

 

Jake Guerrero

NMMI Sports Press

Bronco baseball coach Chris Cook didn’t have to look far to pick up two players for next year’s team, and he hopes it’s a trend that will continue in the future.

Just before they headed off to the high school state tournament, Colts Michel Hinojos and Jake Guerrero committed to play for the college squad, continuing their history with NMMI.

“It’s exciting,” Cook said. “They’re getting ready for state so obviously they’re good players on a good team. They’re well coached and guys who know what NMMI’s about. They’re familiar with our program and how we do things, and having guys who have the ability to play at our level and stay here at school is a big plus, so we’re excited about getting these two guys in.”

Michel Hinojos

Both players see staying at NMMI as a way to further their goals of eventually playing for bigger schools.

“I’m just trying to get to the next step and I felt like this would open options to other colleges after I leave here,” Guerrero, who’ll study sports management, said.

“I came back to play baseball, have a better education, do my best at academics and try to play DI, DII.” echoed Hinojos, who’s looking at a career as a civil engineer.

Guerrero, a Roswell native, played for the Colts as a freshman on the varsity team. Hinojos, who hails from Sonora, Mexico, started as a sophomore. They’ll be following in the footsteps of former Colt Francisco Galvez, who played for this year’s Bronco baseball team, and Cook hopes that’s something that will continue.

Catcher Jake Guerrero dives to try and make the play on a foul pop-up behind home plate – game vs. Portales on Apr. 21, 2017.

“Hopefully in the future we can grab more Colt players, and just keep this streak kind of going,” he said. “We’re excited about it and look forward to them and working with these guys.”

Hinojos pitched and played infield for the Colts. He batted .489 as a senior and was 7-4 on the bump. Cook is looking forward to seeing him hit.

“I really like the left-handed bat that he has,” the coach said. “I’d like to see him match up against college pitching on a daily basis and see what kind of power can develop out of his swing.”

Michel Hinojos with an RBI ground-rule double in the Colts’ State quarterfinal game vs. Hope on May 17, 2017.

Guerrero was a .461 hitter with a 2-2 record on the mound in 2017, and Cook sees him as getting a chance to try a little bit of everything with the Broncos.

“Jake is kind of an interesting utility guy who has a big frame and I’d like to see him get in our weight room and see how much weight we can put on him,” he said. “Positionally, it’s hard to say because I know he’s caught, he’s played first, he’s pitched. We’re going to get him doing multiple positions next fall and really try to get him to put some meat on those bones and start getting him to drive the baseball. I think where he’s going to be 12 months from now, that’s what’s exciting.”

Colt coach Charlie Ward had nothing but praise for his senior players.

Jake Guerrero rounds second on his 2-RBI triple in the third – game vs. Goddard JV, Mar 17, 2017.

“What an honor to coach Michel Hinojos for three years; Jake Guerrero for four years,” he said. “True leaders. True captains of the baseball team. Team players. Very competitive. They’ve worked hard for this team. They love the game of baseball and they understand playing at the next level is going to take a lot of hard work, but we’ve enjoyed it as coaches.”

And Kim Guerrero, Jakes’s mother, was happy for her offspring.

“Both dad and I are very proud of Jake,” she said. “This has always been a goal of his, to play at the next level, and he’s worked hard and sacrificed a lot. So we’re very, very proud and excited that he’s going to play for coach Cook and the Broncos. Coach Cook has a great program and more than anything else, we’ll get to continue to watch him because we live in Roswell.”

Michel Hinojos comes up to play a slow roller down the third base line – game vs. Loving, Mar. 28, 2017. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe

Ward said the pair know what it will take to succeed at the next level.

“It’s hard work. It’s almost like a job,” he said. “It’s a business-type mentality but we’re just proud of them that they want to play at the next level. We’re very honored to be a part of their lives, these past three or four years.”

And while the players thanked their parents, coaches and teammates for helping them advance, Kim Guerrero gave her son all the credit.

“He loves playing baseball. He just has a joy when he plays,” she said. “It’s just so much fun. I didn’t even have to play my mommy card. He made this decision all on his own. And we especially want to thank coach Ward and especially coach Rogers. They’ve been such a positive influence on Jake.”

Success at state for Colt and Lady Colt tennis

Members of the Colt boys’ tennis team pose with their 2nd place trophy in Albuquerque after the NMMA Class 4A State Team Tennis Championships.

Tanner Hightower-Wilson
NMMI Sports Press

Megan Lynch poses with the Class 4A Girls’ Singles Bracket after winning the State Championship match.

Last Wednesday-Saturday the Colt and Lady Colt tennis teams competed in the NMAA State Championships up in Albuquerque and had great success. Megan Lynch, a senior, competed in her final singles tournament as a high school athlete. She easily blew past her competition to win the A-AAAA singles Championship.

Lynch said, “I feel honored to win a state championship for NMMI because it has been several years since a female has done so.”

Lynch beat Haley Garcia of St. Michaels 6-1, 6-0 for the championship title.

Lynch will be returning to NMMI to start her college tennis career with Coach Dan O’Connell and the Lady Broncos.

Megan Lynch serves during one of her matches in Albuquerque.

“I am so honored to be coming back to NMMI to start my college career, this is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to being a Bronco,” said Lynch.

Coach Will Cavin said, “She has been a great leader on the team and I look forward to watching her play for the Bronco tennis team.”

 Farid Yunes cruised through the A-AAAA singles tournament and earned a spot in the State Championship match versus Neil Katzman of Bosque. Yunes had the lead heading into the third and final set 2-6, 7-5 and 3-2, but was unable to finish the match because of two injury timeouts at different times of the match.

“I think he could and would have won,” said coach Cavin. “But unfortunately he was suffering from an injury the previous week. It kind of put him in a situation where he was overdoing it and trying to be protective.  He was definitely a warrior and a competitor and I know it really hurt for him to be ‘retired’ as the NMAA called it. He fought and battled, but those are the rules of the NMAA, which require pulling a kid out after the second medical timeout.”

Farid Yunes backhand during team doubles play.

Both squads also had a very strong outing in the team competition. The third-seeded Lady Colts advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Portales, before losing to No. 2 Mesilla Valley Christian School, 5-2.

The Colts also drew the No. 3 seed, and advanced to the State Championship match, downing N0. 6 Taos 8-1 in the 1st round, and No. 2 Mesilla 7-2 in the semifinals.  They battled Las Vegas Robertson for the Class 4A boys’ team championship, but fell 5-4.

Cavin stated, “We went down 2-1 in doubles and then Treat won his match, which made it 2-2. Then we lost two singles matches and the score becomes 4-2, but Alan DeGroot and Yunes both won, which makes the score 4-4.”

Francisco Saracho in team singles vs. Robertson.

Heading into the final match of the day and season, Francisco Saracho of NMMI, took on Connor Houdek of Robertson. The match went to three games, but NMMI was unable to pull the victory.

“Both the boys and girls competed extremely well and you can’t take anything away from Robertson program,” said Cavin.

The Colt Tennis team will be returning five out of the six players in their runner up campaign; the lone senior is Spencer Treat. Treat has been on varsity for his entire tenure at NMMI, four years and will be returning for junior college.

 

Spencer Treat, singles play at the state championships in Albuquerque.

Cavin said, “Spencer has been a great leader on the team and you could always count on him to win his matches and give us a win in the column for team play.”

“He is a super kid. He will be heading off to basic training at Fort Benning and then returning to the Institute for the early commissioning program.”

Treat said, “I have definitely become a better player, physically I have become better at tennis. I have also become better at talking to players and getting to know them, instead of looking at them as a competitor. Athletics at NMMI was very important to me. It was a nice release from the core and a solid get away. Without tennis, it would have been a lot harder here.”

Ana Ruja

Allen DeGroot

Eliana Ward

Luis Fontes

Flor Toscano

Sebestian Aguirre

JinXui Dong

Sofia Brassea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colts unable to hold on against Hope

Michel Hinojos with the ground-rule double into the gap between center and right, plating a run in a big seven-run fourth inning for the Colts.


Paul Burrow

NMMI Sports Press 

NMMI ace Gavin Maloney with a pitch in the first inning of play.

The NMMI Colts ventured to Rio Rancho High School to take on the No. 1 seeded Hope Huskies in the quarterfinals of the New Mexico AAAA State Baseball Championships. The district foes meet for the fourth time this year and to the dismay of the rather large Colt contingent, the fourth time was not the charm as NMMI fell 10-9 on a walk-off hit by pitch.

NMMI out-hit Hope 11-5 but eight errors, nine walks and two hit batsmen did in the Colts. Hope had just one extra base hit in the game with four singles, while NMMI seniors Michel Hinojos stroked two doubles and Jake Guerrero boasted a triple and a single to provide the power for the Colts.

NMMI shortstop Francisco Rivera with the throw to first after a ground ball.

Francisco Rivera had two Colt hits as well. Guerrero, Rivera, and another senior Alex Lopez all had two RBI’s. Guerrero and Hinojos each scored twice for the Colts.

Hope opened the scoring in the bottom of the first taking a 2-0 lead as starter Gavin Maloney gave up a two-RBI single to Brandon Bagon. Maloney settled in after that with three straight three up and three down innings.

NMMI answered back in the top of the second when Hinojos led off with a booming double off the right-center field wall that just missed going out of the park. Guerrero moved him over with a groundout and Lopez followed with a sac-fly to move the Colts to within 2-1.

Coach Steve Rogers talks to his battery between innings: catcher Jake Guerrero and pitcher Gavin Maloney.

In the fourth, the Colt lineup woke up and batted around sending twelve batters to the plate and scoring six runs on six hits and three walks to grab an 8-2 lead. With their ace on the mound, the Colt faithful felt the victory within grasp.

Hope was not to be deterred as they responded in the 5th inning by sending eleven batters up but with a decidedly different way of scoring as the Colts contributed with three errors and four walks to extend the Huskies batting. Hope was able to tally six runs to tie the game up at 8-8 and shed a whole new light on the game.

NMMI moved back into the lead in the top of the 7th when Guerrero got his second hit of the game with a single, moved to second on a stolen base and to third on a wild pitch. Alex Lopez worked a walk, and moved to second on a stolen base to bring up Emilio Maldonado with one out. This is Coach Ward’s favorite baseball strategy of small-ball as Maldonado and Guerrero executed a perfect squeeze play. Guerrero took off for home during the pitcher’s windup and Maldonado laid down a bunt out in front of the plate. The Hope pitcher had no choice but to throw Maldonado out at first as Guerrero scored before the bunt was even fielded to put the Colts up 9-8 going into the bottom of the seventh.

Alejandro Lopez narrowly missed getting a two-run dinger during the Colts’ rally in the fourth. He sent one out of the park down the right field line, but it was foul by about 15 feet. Lopez did manage an RBI single during the at-bat, keeping the rally alive.

Guerrero relieved Maloney on the mound in the 5th inning, helping the Colts end the Husky rally. He then pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th inning with a huge strikeout, but the 7th was to be another story. Guerrero walked the first two batters and then his defense let him down as a force play at third could not be executed. The initial error was then compounded as the throw-back to the pitcher sailed over everyone’s head up the right field line allowing the tying run to score. The Colts then elected to intentionally walk the next Husky batter to load the bases, allowing for a force out at home. Coach Ward’s strategy worked, as the next Hope hitter hit a grounder to second, which Hinojos promptly relayed to catcher Rivera for the out at the plate. But the next batter was hit by the pitch, driving in the winning run for about an unusual walk-off as you will ever see.

Fausto Baranzini rounds third and heads for home after an RBI single by Francisco Rivera in the fourth.

Coach Ward in his dismay commented,” I hurt. I hurt for the boys. We did great things today on offense. We’re a great team. It was a great year. We had our chances, just didn’t get it done. Give Hope Christian credit for making the comeback, but to beat the No. 1 team in the state, you just can’t give them extra outs. We kept responding – we fought. We just didn’t make the last play and they did. They were the better team today.”

The Colts end their season with a 17-11-1 record while Hope moves on to the semifinals against the winner of the late game between Silver City and Taos. NMMI graduates seven seniors from this year’s team.