As the school year readily approaches the end of the year, 8th graders are just a few months away from being freshmen. Not only is it a new experience in the classroom, but for athletes, it's a different game on the field. But there isn't anything to worry about because there are plenty of students here that are willing to help, here is some advice from current high school athletes to any upcoming athletes.
"Don't take the games for granted. The games you play is very limited, train hard and hit the weights"
(Nick Ellison, Junior. Football)
"Go out and learn all you can practice, run your hardest because when it comes to game time, you're going to need it. You're probably going to get pushed around but you're just gonna have to learn how to take it and be more aggressive. If you want to learn how to do something you can always ask the coach or older girls, learn and try new things. Keep practicing and strive to get better each year."
(Dayna LittleDog, Junior. Soccer)
"...keep working hard at that sport you wanna do. But always keep your grades up! It is more important it keep your grades up then sports"
(Nathan Enoah, Junior. Basketball)
"High School wrestling is way different from middle school wrestling. High school wrestling is gonna be tough, if you want to be part of the team you have commit to it and have good grades. The workouts are gonna be tough, if you want to join KCHS wrestling, anyone can do it but it takes a kid with good heart and determination to wrestling at the high school level. When practice gets tough, you have to be tougher. It's not all about strength, it's a mental sport, you have to be mentally ready to wrestle against someone who wants to beat you and win. My advice is don't give up, commit, and be disciplined, that's what my coach told me during my season..."
(Brandon Silago, Junior. Wrestling)
"Work hard. (Go to the) Weight room, for sure. Have faith in yourself and your teammates, it's gonna get you a long ways."
(Dominic Densley, Senior. Baseball)
"You don't have to be talented in order to play softball because you start from the basics and work your way on up to the varsity level. Don't give up, if you can't get something right just get better and better. Make sure to maintain your grades as well. All the hard work you do whether on the field, the weight room, or classroom sure does pay off. Just make sure to push yourself and be successful in the sport. See for me I had a hard time hitting, so the coach kept looking at my swings and how I hit. So then I got some advice from him and he said use your hips more and drive through the ball, ever since then I got to hitting farther. You just need to strive for greatness and as Cody Gilmore (Head softball coach) would say, 'Find a way to win' "
(Moriah Toledo, Junior. Softball)
"It's all about quality over quantity. Work to better your stances, forms, throwing, etc. It all starts with building yourself up. Also work hard and definitely go to the weight room to get gains."
(Heaven Dodge, Senior. Former thrower for track)
The Athlete of the Week is Sophomore Cadan Flack, he is a pitcher and outfielder for the varsity baseball team and is a running back on the varsity football team.
How long have you been playing baseball?
Since I was about 6.
Who is your role model in the MLB?
Albert Pujols, he's been my favorite since I was a little kid. He did play for the Cardinals but now he plays for the Angels.
Who is your role model on the KCHS team?
Zach VanDuren, he is one of the best friends I’ve ever had and one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.
What do you do in the off season to prepare?
A lot of football, I mainly do football stuff but I do work individually on separate sports and then I do just work at home a lot mainly lifting or anything like that.
Favorite MLB team?
St. Louis Cardinals
Do you plan on playing in college? If so, where?
I plan on playing football in college but I’m keeping my opportunities open for baseball. For baseball, really anywhere that gives me anything.
No, not really, besides sports, that’s really all I do all day.
Favorite subject in school?
If you were to travel back in time and meet someone, who would it be?
I would probably travel back in time and meet with the people that built Apple and take all their money and build it before them.
Our student of the week is freshman, Colton Warner. After high school he would like to attend the University of New Mexico. Behind closed doors he loves to listen to music such as country and dubstep, and also watches the Harry Potter movies. Colton is an exceptional math student, according to his teacher, Mr. Lee.
“Colton Warner is able to effectively utilize multiple methods to solve various critical math problems. He collaborates well with his peers in groups. He’s able to facilitate the group, meaning he’s the leader,” says Mr. Lee.
In one word, describe school.
Who is your favorite teacher and what is your favorite class?
“Mr. Lee’s. I like math, and he’s fun.”
What are some of your hobbies?
What sports do you play?
“I play soccer, basketball, track, archery, snowboarding, and basketball.”
Are you in any clubs?
“I’m in BPA.”
What are your career goals?
“To become an orthodontist.”
Do you plan to go to college? Where?
What is your favorite song?
“I don’t have one.”
What is your favorite thing about school? Least favorite?
“My favorite part is sport and class is my least.”
What is your least favorite class?
What do you like to do when you’re not at school?
Are you planning on taking any dual credit classes later on?
"Yes. Science, math, english, and history. All the core classes.”
What is your favorite food?
“Crab. I love crab.”
On March 7th the Lady Broncos fell to Los Lunas in the quarterfinals of the New Mexico state basketball tournament.
The spark just wasn't there for the Lady Broncos as they fell 60-36 to end their season with the record of 14-11. At halftime the score was 39-7 with Los Lunas being up by 32 points.
At the end of the game the lady Broncos managed to get 29 points on the board to add to the 7 points they had in the first half, but still wasn’t enough to defeat the Lady Tigers.
Broncos star player Halie Gleason only managed to get 7 points on the board which is not regular to hear.
The top scorer for the Broncos was freshman Talia Okerman, making 10 points to end the season.
Our Athlete of the Week is Sophomore Kimmy Lee in cheerleading. She likes country, hip hop, R&B, and a little bit of rap music. Kimmy’s favorite class is Science with Mr. Guillory and her favorite teacher is Mr. Mark. Her favorite songs are “Time of Our Lives” by James Blunt and “Closedloop” by Elliot Moss and she likes to watch “The Fosters” and “The Vampire Diaries.”
What do you like about cheer?
“I like that there’s dance involved, and cheering, and you learn different things. You just have fun with it.”
How long have you been in cheerleading?
“I’ve been in cheer since last year, my freshman year. This would be my second year.”
What is your position, or role on the squad?
“I’m a base. We just list up the flyer. Sometimes I’ll be a back spot.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Be a pineapple, stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.”
What are your plans for after high school?
“My plans are to attend college at CMSU, Colorado Mesa, and get a Master’s degree in paramedics. And work on becoming a social worker part time or a substitute teacher. And if college doesn’t work out for me that well, I’ll go into the Marines, maybe.”
What are your typical practices like?
“We stunt a lot, we practice our cheers, we go over our routines, and we do conditioning.”
What is your pregame or pre-competition ritual?
“Sometimes I’ll listen to music, just to get pumped, so I have energy and I let my inner cheerleader come out; happy, energized.”
What are your future goals?
Start a family, after I experience more life as an adult, and just not be in too much debt. And to just be happy. And I hope that the job that I’m working at makes me happy and that I don’t regret anything.”
Who do you feel most inspires you?
“I have two people that inspire me. My best friend Aaliyah and my mom.”
On Friday, March 4th, the Kirtland Central Lady Broncos won their first round of the NMAA State Basketball Tournament with a final score of 51-42 over the Del Norte Lady Knights. The game kicked off with Principal Shawna Becenti and Assistant Principal Matt Jopek singing the national anthem.
At the end of the first quarter, the lady broncos were on top by 5 points, both teams were trying to find their pace as the ball was being turned over more than once.
The Lady Broncos dominated after halftime rising from 23-14 to 40-24 with the Broncos ahead 16 points. Going into 4th quarter, the Lady Knights weren’t going to have it as they quickly answered back to the Lady Broncos 16 point lead cutting it to a 4 point lead. with only 1:15 left on the clock, the Lady Broncos were down 4 points.
The Lady Broncos didn’t let Del Norte surpass them as they ended the game with a final score of 51-42. Junior Halie Gleason led the broncos with 17 points and Freshman Talia Ockermen was right behind her with 14 points. The girls will now go on to play against Los Lunas on March 7th.
UPDATE: Final results of the KC and Los Lunas was 36-60 and eliminated the girls from the tournament.
Over the weekend, the varsity wrestling team headed out to Rio Rancho for the 2017 NMAA State Wrestling Championships. The entire team, except for the 132 lb. class, qualified to go to the State Championships at the District 1-5A Individual Tournament on February 11 in Aztec. The tournament kicked off at the Santa Ana Star Center last Friday in the early morning, the team faced harsh opponents in the first round from schools like Aztec, Belen, and Farmington.
The conclusion of round one only saw advances in the championship bracket from junior Jalen Platero (138), who won by fall over Carson Rick from Alamogordo, sophomore Jarryd Pollard (160) with a bye, and Junior Cody Manuelito (182) with a fall over James Schryver from Farmington. The remainder of the team started to pick back up again in the first round of the consolation bracket with multiple wins against Chaparral, Belen, Grants, Alamogordo, Valencia, Albuquerque Academy, and Espanola. This kept them in the run for third place in the tournament.
By the end of the quarterfinals, the team only had one wrestler still in the championship bracket. Platero unfortunately lost his match by fall against Jose Tapia from Capital, Pollard also acquired a loss by fall from Nicholas Hernandez from Roswell. Manuelito on the other hand brought in a win for the team with a pin against John Dimarino from Los Alamos and advanced into the semifinals.
The varsity team suffered the most during the second round of the consolation bracket which eliminated all but two wrestlers from claiming a top finishing place in their weight class. The only win of this round came from Pollard with a win by decision over Hunter Johnson from Goddard. Pollard then went on to wrestle Lane Moss from Valencia but lost 8-5 in a decision and was eliminated from the bracket.
The tournament left Manuelito the only championship qualifier, however, he lost 8-5 against Roswell rival Michael Hernandez. This loss didn’t take a toll on him as he went on to pin Scott Burgess from Valencia which put him in place to wrestle for 3rd in the 182 lb. weight class. His next opponent was Mitchell Nunez from Academy who unfortunately won by decision over Manuelito, putting him in fourth place.
The team’s first year competing in District 1-5A was a tough one and landed them in 15th place with 46.5 team points by the end of the tournament.
On Friday night at Bronco Arena the Lady Broncos battled it out with the Gallup Lady Bengals, which was in favor of the Lady Broncos who won the game by a score of 55-42 to make them the #1 seed for District 5A.
At the end of the first quarter the Broncos were on top 18-14 and stayed on top the rest of the game. The longest lead of the night was when both teams went into halftime and the score was 32-18 the Lady Broncos up by 14 points.
The Lady Broncos won the game with assistant coach Danny Hough, while their head coach, John Zecca, was battling the flu.
The Broncos now have a bye week for earning the #1 seed and will battle against either the Farmington Scorpions or the Aztec Tigers on Wednesday for the semifinals game before the district championship game which is scheduled for Friday, February 24th.
Our Athlete of the Week is junior Cody Manuelito. Other than wrestling, Cody also plays on the varsity football team. Outside of school, he likes to travel, play baseball and take care of his cows. As a student-athlete Cody’s favorite subject is Math. His favorite food is grilled chicken and he also likes to watch Impractical Jokers. Before each match he likes to listen to “The Payoff” by Royal Deluxe.
What is your pregame ritual?
“I like to stay calm and run through the moves in my head.”
Who inspires you? Or your role model in this sport?
“David Taylor and Kyle Dake”
“'Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, winning will take care of itself.' – Bear Bryant"
What sparked your interest in wrestling?
“I just started at a young age and I fell in love with the sport.”
What do you do in the off-season to prepare?
“Actually for me there’s no off-season I wrestle freestyle and Greco-Roman, so wrestling for me is from November to July.”
How is your record?
Have you thought about which college you want to go to? Do you plan to continue wrestling in college?
“Yes I have and I do plan to continue wrestling in college”
Who is your biggest rival?
What drives your inspiration?
“Being the best I can be.”
What’s the fastest you have ever pinned someone?
“10 seconds at the Bloomfield Invitation”
The end of last year’s baseball season saw a farewell from Coach Wardroup, a baseball coach and teacher for four years at Kirtland Central High School. The baseball team needed new leadership for the upcoming seasons and they got it when KCHS hired Danny Secrest, a former Farmington High School baseball and basketball coach.
Secrest was born and raised in Farmington, NM, spending his entire life in the small city except for a period of eight years in which he worked out of town. His baseball career didn’t begin until his sophomore year of high school because FHS didn’t have a C-team for freshmen. He also played basketball and earned state championships for both sports in 1986. The following year he then moved on to play baseball at College of the Southwest, now known as University of the Southwest, in Hobbs, New Mexico.
During his career in Hobbs, he played for current UNM baseball coach, Ray Birmingham, a nine-time championship leader and a twelve-time coach of the year. Secrest had a learning experience at the college, but he definitely learned a lot about the game of baseball from Birmingham himself.
At the age of 21, Secrest made his way back to Farmington and immediately jumped on the FHS baseball and basketball staff. It was at that time that he realized that coaching was in his blood; he loved it. So he went on to coach baseball for 19 years at FHS and learned more within the years from three different coaches that worked there. Secrest helped the varsity boys occasionally, but focused his time on the junior varsity team and a little on C-team to shape them into excellent varsity players for upcoming years. Secrest also took over the girls’ basketball program there, and along with current softball coach and teacher, Cody Gilmore, turned the program around. Before Secrest and Gilmore took over, the Farmington High girls had only won three games, but the two coaches turned that into three state tournament appearances.
As for now, Secrest hopes to further build the baseball program and gain the success that he has reached with his previous team. He wants to bring the baseball boys to a state championship this year. The boys are ready to start off the season and he is excited for it. There are plenty of different aspects that he has already noticed about the team, including the leadership from senior Zachary VanDuren, he said, “the greatest thing about him, he helps everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re an eighth grader or a ninth grader or a tenth grader, he’s a senior and he understands and he knows that stuff, that’s just part of his deal.”
The boys and coaches are ready to go under new leadership, new class division, and new stakes. Catch the boys for their opening game in Bernalillo on February 28. Their first home game at KCHS
will be March 30 versus Montezuma-Cortez.
The Kirtland Boys basketball team pulled out a win against Bloomfield Thursday night at the Bronco Arena to stick with Farmington for the top seed in the District 1-5 tournament.
Starting out strong, the Broncos had an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter. But the Bobcats bounced back and outscored the Broncos in the second quarter, going into halftime with the Broncos down by 1.
In the third quarter the Broncos got after it, outscoring the Bobcats and taking another 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. In the early minutes of the final quarter the Broncos had a few mistakes that brought the Bobcats lead to 5. After each turnover that the Bobcats made, the Broncos took advantage and gained the lead. In the final minutes both teams made one last push to outscore one another, which lead to the Broncos winning 62-56 in a close one.
Bryson Dowdy led the Broncos in scoring with 19 points and Jariah Setzer followed with 12 points. The Broncos will travel to Gallup for their last district season game on Saturday, February 16.
This week’s “Athlete of the Week” is basketball player and junior Terrin Willie.
Describe your typical pregame, halftime and post-game locker room routine.
"Usually before games I like to listen to music to calm myself down and sometimes I’ll just sit there and think to myself and meditate in a way. At half time I stick with the energy my teammates and coach have. After the game I like to hurry out of the locker room and get in the car and just relax."
Favorite pregame and after game food?
"It usually consists of water and something small, afterwards I like to eat meals with high calories, like a tuna sub from Subway. "
Best advice you were ever given?
"It was from my mom and it was to have confidence in myself and my abilities."
Who inspires you? Or who’s your role model in this sport?
"Jeremy Lin, because he also started off as a regular kid. He’s an Asian American that made it all the way up to the NBA."
"Don’t really have one."
"Hangout with friends and workout on my own time."
What sparked your interest in basketball?
"A group of friends in 6th grade wanted to join KYA and I just decided to hang out with them there and turned out I really liked basketball."
What is your position?
"Shooting guard or a small forward."
What is your favorite NBA team?
What other sports do you participate in?
"Soccer and Track."
Have you thought about which college you want to go to? Do you plan to continue playing in college?
"No I haven’t really thought about it and yes I do."
What’s your favorite show?
"'Everybody Hates Chris.'"
What drives your inspiration?
"Just really improving myself and seeing the improvements I’ve made. And yeah."
Do you listen to music before your game? What do you like to listen to?
"I do listen to music before my game. I listen to EDM, specifically The Glitch Mob."
Softball season is right around the corner and the Lady Broncos are excited to get back out on the field with tryouts being held this past Monday. Head coach, Cody Gilmore is satisfied with the amount of girls that are coming back from last year. "I have a pretty good group of girls coming back" says Gilmore, the majority of the team returning as juniors and sophomores. Leaving him with only four seniors, Moriah Bileen, Shiloh Lewis, Shayleen Bunny and Nikki Begay all with high hopes from teammates to get signed and play at college level.
Last year the Lady Broncos finished their season with a 20-11 record after a tough loss against Hope Christian in the quarter finals at the state championships. Defying the odds against them, they beat Bloomfield (NO. 4) and Portales (NO. 2) to advance to the state quarter finals for the first time since 2008. Coach Gilmore said he would like to have a better start in the early season, facing solid teams such as Robertson, Grants, and Valencia as the Lady Broncos’ first competition.
Moving into a higher class level, the girls think they are capable of competing at the 5A level. Former player Moriah Toledo said, "We are capable of achieving greater and higher standards…. Most of the teams we are playing in district we had beat last year but that doesn’t mean we can't beat them again." Aztec being their toughest opponent in their district, they're still confident in the team and want to show how efficient they are. " We push ourselves each and every day in the classroom, weight room, and on the field whether or not it's preseason or season time.”
Apart from setting goals to win the district title or a blue trophy, the Lady Broncos’ main focus is being together as a team. “I’m most excited about the team because we all really connected with each other and it’s really fun being with them and seeing what we can do as a whole,” says softball player Jerica Holiday. Overall the players are eager to get back onto the field. “It feels great to be back on the field.” Toledo said, “But the most exciting thing is making this year cherishable because next year is my last year.”