Financing the Education of Your Dreams

By: Kalith Smith, Director of Admission New Mexico Military Institute Last year I celebrated the arrival of the entering class of 2016 with a day at the Living Desert State Park in More »

How NMMI Changed My Life

By: Cadet Nick Valentine When I first stepped on post, I knew I was entering one of the most developmental chapters of my life yet. I was 16 years old, entering my More »

NMMI Named Most Beautiful Military School in the US

New Mexico Military Institute was recently named as the Most Beautiful Military School in the US by Thank you to all cadets, alumni, parents, families, friends, and all others, who took More »


Caleb Newman clinches final leg

Camden Cox and Caleb Newman tee off on the fourth and seventh hole in the Last Chance Open.

NMMI Sports Press

On Thursday afternoon the Colt Golf team participated in the Last Chance Open held at the NMMI Golf Course.

Caleb Newman shot a 76 and punched his ticket to the NMAA State championships, which will be held in May up in Albuquerque.

“We got really lucky that the wind didn’t start until 2 o’clock and Caleb performed well under those circumstances,” said head coach Crae Fields. “he has continued to show major improvements throughout the season.”

Camden Cox, who is a freshman, was unable to get a leg to qualify for the state tournament as he shot an 82 on the day. He still has several chances in the upcoming week to qualify.

“Camden is academically focused and making tons of improvements on the course,” said Fields. ”

Up next for the Colts is the District 4/5 1A-4A Championships on Monday at the NMMI Golf Course.

Five hard-ballers headed to higher-level play

Left to right: Bobby Galindo, Luis Rivera, Parker Bateman, Dominic Lomelli and Matt Marquez.

NMMI Sports Press

A quintet of Bronco baseball players have signed to move on to the next level, and these five are expected to be the first of many this year to extend their playing careers.

“It’ a good start to the signing period for our sophomore class,” said head coach Chris Cook. “We’re expecting to have a handful of more guys have opportunities coming up here. Some are in the works. Some are just getting started. But all of these guys put in a lot of work and all of them did what they needed to do academically and on the field to give themselves opportunities to continue playing.”

The five signees include third-baseman Luis Rivera, a Puerto Rico native who’ll attend Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford, Okla.; Albuquerque’s Matt Marquez and Dexter’s Dominic Lomelli, pitchers who’ll both be going to Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.; catcher/first baseman Bobby Galindo of El Paso, who’s headed to West Texas A&M; and pitcher Parker Bateman out of Weatherford, Texas, who’s heading to Washburn University in Topeka, Kans.

Each of the schools compete at the NCAA DII level, and Cook thinks the signees will all have a chance to contribute almost from the start.

“The neat thing about this group right now is I think they’re going to go in and make an immediate impact, and that’s what you want as a sophomore, especially guys who are used to playing for two years,” he said. “You want to go someplace where you’ve got a chance to earn playing time early, and I expect all five of these guys to contribute at their new programs.”

So what made the players choose their respective schools? Obviously, most had good scholarship offers, but the reasons varied from there. Former Bronco Alex Pimental plays for the Bulldogs, so that was a big plus in Rivera heading to Oklahoma.

“He helped me to get there,” the sophomore said of his former teammate. And when he’s not on the field in the Great American Conference, Rivera will be studying accounting.

Both Marquez and Lomelli were impressed by the campus in Alamosa, while Marquez likes the idea it’s close to home and Lomelli liked the coaches there. The Dexter grad said the Grizzlies are in a rebuilding season, and is looking forward to helping the team improve.

Adams State plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and Marquez will study marketing while Lomeli will be a teacher-in-training in the K-12 education program.

Galindo had a number of reasons he chose the Lone Star Conference school.

“They’re really a good school. Good program,” he said.

Like Rivera, Galindo knows someone in the Buffalo program.

“I have a buddy up there,” he said.”I played with him in high school. He told me so much about it. He also influenced me a little bit as we were growing up.”

And he likes the fact that Canyon, Texas, is close to home, so family and friends can watch him play and he can relax with friends.

Bateman also has detailed reasons for choosing his school. He’s already been accepted into flight school, and will be in the Air Force ROTC program with the eventual goal of being a pilot.

“They’re one of the few schools that would allow me to both play baseball and do the ROTC program, so that kind of narrowed it down,” he said. “It seemed like a good fit.”

Bateman said the Ichabods —yes, Ichabods, look it up — also spend a lot of money on the baseball program, which was another plus.

Another thing all five signees have in common is appreciation for what NMMI taught them.

“NMMI’s helped me out a lot,” Marquez said. “It’s helped me not only in baseball but it’s helped me in life. It’s helped me get through certain challenges and helped me become more confident in myself.”

“It’s helped me mature a lot, because if I’d had to do this straight out of high school, I don’t think I would have been able to,” Lomeli said.

Rivera said the Institute helped prepare him for the next level as well, while Bateman liked the focus the school helped him achieve.

“Time management. Discipline,” he said. “I’ve always been a driven person, but coming to NMMI has helped me focus my drive and everything like that.”

And Galindo, who’ll be studying criminal justice at his new school, had praise for both teachers and students.

“Major [Stephan] Kaftan is a good teacher here. Good teacher. Good criminal justice professor,” he said. “He sent me on the right path and helped me out a lot with my career. The school just brought me together with the Bronco family here. I’m going to really miss these guys. These guys mean a lot to me, especially the guys from last year. They helped me out a lot. Showed me the ropes and whatnot. Now it’s my turn to show these freshmen the ropes and hopefully they’ll leave a legacy.”

And while Cook is certain these five won’t be the only signees this spring — “It’ll be a relatively large group of guys moving on to play at different levels,” he said — he’ll be looking to see what legacy they create in the future.

“So proud of these guys and the work they’ve put in and we’ll keep track of them as their careers get started next fall.”

Barron credits staff for his and NMMI Athletic Department success

NMMI Athletic Director COL Jose Barron

NMMI Sports Press

Bronco volleyball’s Kim Trauboth dives for a ball against Victoria College on Oct. 14, 2017.

By his own statement, New Mexico Military Institute’s current athletic director, Colonel Jose Barron, is lucky to have the people working for him who do.

His staff is composed of many long-time veterans. Jan Olesinski is a previous Polish Olympian who has coached multiple sports at NMMI for over 30 years. Sean Schooley has 27 years of experience at NMMI, and now leads the department’s development efforts. Women’s volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner began her NMMI career at the same year as Barron, and this season, led the Lady Broncos to a third-place finish at the NJCAA D1 National Championships. Her husband, Joe, is in his 12th season at NMMI and his 8th season as head coach of one of the largest athletic groups on campus, the Bronco football team. Andy Robertson is the men’s head golf coach. His term at NMMI includes 20 years of service, coaching everything from girls’ basketball to wrestling.

“This place really is a place of extended family,” explained Barron. “Not just in the athletics department, but also around the school. We take ownership of our roles and responsibilities and think of it not as just a job, but as serving our cadets, they are the reason we are here. I feel like in this department we’ve got the right people in the right positions and that we’re clicking on all cylinders. My job is often just to facilitate: providing general guidance, consulting with and advising the professionals we’ve already got on staff who are doing the work.”

Former Bronco and current Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu stiff arms a TJC defender in a home game in 2016.

Barron first became familiar with NMMI when he was working at the Sprint Sports Rehabilitation Clinic, after having served as an athletic trainer in professional baseball.

He attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a B.S. in Athletic Training Education. He worked at an out-patient clinic in Las Cruces as an NMSU student and for a few months following his graduation in 2001, then accepted a job offer to serve as an athletic trainer in the Houston Astros organization.

In 2003, Lefty Stecklein, NMMI’s athletic director at the time, contacted him.

“I had lived in Roswell, moved to Albuquerque, then moved back to Roswell,” explained Barron. “Lefty Stecklein called me, saying he was in need of a full-time athletic trainer at NMMI. I still remember the interview process vividly. It was a big group, with several head coaches on the interviewing committee. Fortunately, I knew some of them due to my prior work with NMMI. But I remember stumbling on one of the questions. Colonel Stecklein wanted someone who would remain in the position for several years, to ensure stability. I told him that I just did not see myself staying here for more than a few years. At the time, I figured I’d go back to professional baseball.”

He avows he has said “never” more than once in relation to his job.  He felt he would never stay in Roswell for more than two or three years – this semester, he received his 15-year NMMI service pin.  He thought he would never be an administrator – as NMMI’s current athletic director, he now leads one of the largest mission elements on campus.

The Cahoon Armory building is the headquarters for the NMMI Athletic Department. The building is the next scheduled for a complete renovation, with construction beginning as early as this summer.

Barron’s continued stay at “Old Post” has been marked with a move up the organizational ladder, from head athletic trainer to athletic director, due to his organizational and leadership abilities. He’s also got a great business savvy, gleaned from his time spent managing and directing private companies. He served as assistant athletic director for both Dwight Burns and Reggie Franklin before being tapped to be the athletic department head, and was named the ‘Rookie Athletic Director of the Year’ in 2015 by the New Mexico Activities Association.

“We learn many things from every person we work for and with,” stated Barron. “Coach Burns encouraged me to consider becoming athletic director, and Reggie Franklin made sure I finished up my graduate degree that I had started several years earlier.”

That grad degree is a Master’s in Human Performance and Sports with a concentration in Sports Administration from New Mexico Highlands University in 2013.

One example of Barron’s leadership came early in his NMMI career and involved his vision for creating a truly top-notch Sports Medicine program at NMMI.

“When I took the job as head athletic trainer, we were, back then, a department of one,” laughed Barron. “Over the course of several years, we were able to incorporate another full-time position, greatly expand and improve the sports medicine facilities, and develop an education curriculum where cadets could earn college credit towards degrees in athletic training. The department was also able to implement the first corps physical training program, and refine the academic offerings in HPER classes (Health Physical Education and Recreation).

Part of that facilities expansion was a 2006 remodel of the basement area in the Godfrey Athletic Center, turning it from mostly unused space into a state-of-the-art athletic training center, complete with office space for Barron and his new full-time assistant.

As athletic director, he was also intricately involved in the 2014 reconstruction of NMMI’s 12 tennis courts, along with several upgrades to the NMMI Ballpark in 2016, including synthetic turf for the infield, a suspension netting system to replace the old chain-link backstop, and locker rooms for both coaches and umpires.

Current projects include a complete renovation of the Cahoon Armory building. Cahoon is the headquarters for the NMMI athletic department, housing the main gymnasium, a weight room, and most of the offices and locker rooms facilities. Initial steps in the remodeling effort have already begun. Construction is expected to begin this summer and could continue for well over a year.

“I definitely didn’t do this by myself,” explained Barron of the projects. “This was the work of many, many people, all pulling in the same direction for a desired result, all to help improve the services for our cadet population.”

Barron feels his most important skill in his position is his talent as a multi-tasker.  As a joint four-year high school and two-year junior college, the NMMI Athletic Department oversees 24 sanctioned sport teams: eight at the junior college level and 16 at the high school level. As such, Barron has to organize his thinking in a way that allows him to track the myriad activities and teams on campus and how they utilize the limited time and facilities available to them.

He considers himself fortunate to have Randy Montoya handling the NMAA compliance on the high school side and Shelby Fortchner handling the same job on the junior college side.

He is also proud of the support programs NMMI has continued to develop during his term, such the Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Program and the Strength & Conditioning program. The S&C program now also has two full-time certified coaches. In addition to training NMMI’s athletes, S&C also implements the physical training program for the entire corps of cadets, with the high school Corps PT recently winning a national fitness award from the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States.

NMMI also boasts a Sports Information program, headed by Geoff Gunn, who’s been at NMMI for 10 years. Their mission is to get the word out about NMMI Athletics, using a wide variety of mediums and media outlets.

On the personal side, Barron is most always jovial and pleasant, ready to open his office and his heart as needed.  He trusts his people implicitly.  He makes himself available at all hours of the day, for both the good and the bad news.  When a game is going, Barron is there, no matter the sport.

In additional to giving thanks to his departmental staff, Barron also wanted to express his gratitude in having been given the chance to serve as athletic director. “I am very grateful that General Grizzle gave me the opportunity to lead this department. I also appreciate the confidence he shows by setting the direction and allowing our department to execute the mission.”

“It’s all about our cadets,” finished and reiterated Barron. “We are entrusted to running this school as best we can, doing the most with our available resources.  We owe them our best, from the newest of the RATs [Recruits At Training] to the regimental commander, all while honoring the legacy of the alumni that came before them.”

“I believe that NMMI has done a lot for me and I aspire give back just as much. I hope to build upon the foundations that my predecessors have laid, and set the NMMI Athletic Department on a path towards continued success.”

Bronco Tennis brings home some hardware

The Bronco Tennis team poses with their trophy after defeating Collin College.

The NMMI Bronco Tennis team defeated Collin College to bring home the Region V Championship trophy this past weekend in Plano, TX.

This is the Broncos’ first Region V Championship for the program in 28 years.

Christopher Bulus won the singles tournament and Bulus/Marcel Agbegne won the doubles tournament.

NMMI 6, Collin 3
No. 1, Christopher Bulus, NMMI, def. Aki Wada, Collin, 6-3, 6-1
No. 2,  Emanuel Mallya, NMMI, def. Michael Matusita, Collin, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9)
No. 3,  Marcel Agbegne, NMMI, def. Ventachala, Collin, 6-4, 6-3
No. 4, Kukutla Motlojoa, NMMI, def. James Corns, Collin, 4-6, 6-6, 6-0
No. 5, Quinones, Collin, def. Ned Merrion, NMMI, 6-0, 6-1
No. 6, Thomas TOng, Collin, def. Orlando Santillanes, NMMI 6-0, 6-0

No. 1, Bulus/Agbegne, NMMI, def. Wada/Golden, Collin, 6-4, 6-1
No. 2, Mallya/Motlojoa, NMMI, def. Corns/Matusita, Collin 3-6, 6-3, (1)
No. 3, Frisbie/Tong, Collin, def. Santillanes/Merrion, NMMI, 6-2, 6-0

Broncos split with Plainsmen

Miko Soto winds up and throws to first to complete a double play. Photo by Rene Aguilar.

NMMI Sports Press

Luis Rivera makes a throw to first in the first game of the doubleheader versus FPC. Photo by Rene Aguilar.

The Bronco baseball team started off their home four-game WJCAC series versus Frank Phillips College with a split on Saturday, dropping Game 1, 5-2, then winning an extended Game 2,  6-5, on a walk off single in the bottom of the eleventh.

FPC started off the first game by scoring a single run off a single hit in the top of the first. NMMI responded with an Angel Colon single and a Miguel Soto double, which scored Colon from first. Adam Abeyta then doubled on a line drive to left center field and Soto coming home to score. NMMI led 2-1 in the bottom of the first.

Over the next three innings the Plainsmen and Broncos had runners on base, but were unable to get the key hit needed to bring the runners home.

That slim 2-1 NMMI led disappeared when the Plainsmen tallied several hits in the top of the fifth, plating three runs, giving the Plainsmen a 3-2 lead.

The Broncos were unable to respond in the bottom half, and FPC added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

Eric Estrada took the loss for Broncos. He surrendered four runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out two.

In Game 2, Frank Phillips again started off the scoring thanks to a leadoff hit by pitch and a throwing error, resulting in one Plainsmen run.

Bronco players congratulate Adrian Arpero after his homerun. Photo by Rene Aguilar.

They added two more runs in the top of the second to extend their lead 3-0, before the Broncos were able to counter. A two run home run to right field by Colon in the bottom of the third did just that, making it 3-2 heading into the top of the fourth.

NMMI tied things up after a leadoff home run by Adrian Arpero in the bottom of the fifth and had a chance to go ahead with runners on first and second and only one out, but were unable to get the crucial hit needed to take the lead.

In the top of the sixth, a leadoff walk followed by a triple to right center field, again gave FPC a one-run lead.

Neither team would plate another run until the Broncs knotted it again in the bottom of the ninth, set up by a walk and a then successful steal by pinch runner Gabriel Torres. Miko Soto then doubled on a hard hit ball to center scoring Torres from second and taking the game into extra innings.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, FPC was able to add a run in the top of the 10th inning making the score 5-4.

NMMI had one out in the bottom part of the stanza before Luis Rivera tripled on a line drive to center field and Justin Lawrence tied the game 5-5 with a single to shallow left center field. Nicholas Palomino was replaced to run for Lawrence and appear to successfully steal second base, putting the winning run in scoring position, but a batter interference call and strikeout ended the inning.

A scoreless top of the 11th gave NMMI some momentum heading into hit.

Parker Bateman throws a pitch in the second game of the doubleheader. Photo by Rene Aguilar.

NMMI was down to their last strike, but Colon was tough with two, managing to draw the base on balls.  Soto then singled, and veteran sophomore Bobby Galindo came up with a clutch single to right field to score Colon and give the Broncos a 6-5 win.

NMMI used four pitchers in the Game 2. Parker Bateman started the game lasting seven innings, giving up six hits, four runs and striking out two. Angel Lebron DeJesus threw two innings striking out two and surrendering zero runs. Jeremy Griffith threw one third innings and surrendered one run. Dominic Lomelli came on and pitched the final one a two thirds innings and did not surrender a hit in getting the win.

Both teams will square off again tomorrow at the NMMI Ballpark beginning at 12 P.M. with another pair of games to complete a four-game series.