2007-08 Season Archive

Baseball
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Track/Cross Country
Thunderspirits

Athletic Banquet Photo Gallery (241 Images)

NMJC Head Baseball Coach Leaving, Assistant Coach Recommended for Replacement

NMJC Head Baseball Coach Leaving, Assistant Coach Recommended for Replacement  photo
Cory Hall & Josh Simpson

7/24/2008 - Hobbs, NM. It's official. New Mexico Junior College Head Baseball Coach Cory Hall is heading for a new position at Western Texas A & M University this fall -- and Assistant Coach Josh Simpson has been recommended to replace him in leading the Thunderbird program.

Hall, who has served as head coach at NMJC since Ray Birmingham's departure to UNM in 2007, has decided to accept the head assistant coaching position at WTAMU, a NCAA Division II school. There, he will once again partner with Matt Vanderburg, who was hired as Head Coach in May. Under Hall's guidance in 2004-2005, the two had coached Clarendon College to its first national ranking in school history.

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Thunderbird Track @ NJCAA Championships

Coach's Comments

5/19/2008 - Hobbs, NM. This meet concludes our season. We had three All-American performances.

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NMJC Golfers Voted to All-Region Team

NMJC Golfers Voted to All-Region Team photo
Bryan Hackenberg James Curry

5/7/2008 - Hobbs, NM. Two Thunderbird golfers have just moved up in the ranks! Sophomore Bryan Hackenberg of Thornton, Colorado, and freshman James Curry of Northumberton, England, were recently voted to the PING All-Region Team for Region V.
Members of the PING All-Region team are eligible for PING All-America honors. Region teams are selected by Golf Coaches Association of America regional advisory committees, based on their season-long play.

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NMJC Thunderbirds Earn Conference Title

NMJC Thunderbirds Earn Conference Title photo 5/7/2008 6:12:19 PM - Hobbs, NM. A week of rest paid off for the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds baseball team. On Friday, May 2, 2008, the team beat the Odessa College Wranglers 13-11 in the first game and 11-10 in the second game. Saturday's game was similar with a 8-7 win in the first game and a 5-3 win in the second.

Though the T-birds took four victories over the weekend, it was a close call. The Wranglers are a close second to the T-Birds in pitching ratings. But, both the T-birds' pitchers and hitters were on top of their game, and clinched their place in the upcoming Region V Tournament. The Thunderbirds are scheduled for tournament play on Sunday and Monday, May 11 and 12, at Hays Field on the Lubbock Christian University campus in Lubbock, Texas.

Thunderbird Track @ UNM Don Kirby Invitational

Coach's Comments

5/5/2008 - Hobbs, NM. This meet concludes the regular portion of our season. Those that have qualified will now go on to the NJCAA Championships on May 15-17th in Levelland, TX.

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NMJC Student Athletes Honored

NMJC Student Athletes Honored photo 4/30/2008 10:27:13 AM - Hobbs, NM. Student athletes from New Mexico Junior College's baseball, basketball, cross country/track, golf, rodeo, athletic training and cheerleading programs were honored for their outstanding achievements on Tuesday, April 29, at the 41st Annual Athletic Awards Banquet in the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center.

According to President Steve McCleery, while individuals were being recognized for their singular efforts, the real honor was reserved for the overall accomplishments of the teams. "We're celebrating your success tonight, not as individuals, but as team members," he said, "because the team is greater than any individual effort. And remember, you win as a team, but you're a student first and an athlete second."

He also reminded the several hundred people in attendance that the role of each student-athlete extends beyond the playing field. "Just think of the story you tell with your life -- not with your athletic ability," he said. "You'll have many opportunities in your lifetime to affect others with your life. Make it worthwhile, and make it affect others in a positive way. We're all in this together to change society for the better. Be sure to do your part."

Dr. Richard Lloyd, Professor of Physical Education and Athletic Director, presented Recognition Awards to all four of his athletic trainers: Chris Gomez, Ashley Kirby, Jennifer Renteria, and Travis Thompson-Campbell.

Nelda Helms, Professor of Physical Education and sponsor for the ThunderSpirits cheerleading program, also presented Recognition Awards to all eight cheerleaders: Emily Bingham, Michelle Echeverria, Elena Flores, Katie Horton, Ashley Kerby, Aysha Perea, and Linda Sanchez.

In Men's Basketball, Head Coach Jimmy Voight presented awards to the following players: Louis Benson - Best Offensive Player; Louis Benson - Free Throw Award; Fabio Ribero - Most Improved Player; A'Dontis Flournoy - Best Defensive Player; and Cory Davis - Most Assists.

In Women's Basketball, the following players received awards from Head Coach Drew Sanders: Malorie Marshall - Leading Scorer; Brittney Davis - Leading Rebounder; Brittany Foster - Leading Free Throw Percentage; Alesha Jackson - Leading Field Goal Percentage; Dominique Haywood - Leading Steals; and Malorie Marshall - Leader in Assists.

Rodeo Head Coach Philip Berry made the following presentations: Kallie Lamb - High GPA (Freshman); Stephanie Rodriguez - High GPA (Sophomore); Landon Hyvonen - High Point Rodeo (Men); and Tatum Patten - High Point Rodeo (Women). Maggie Moore received the Sportsmanship Award.

Keith Blackwill, Head Coach for Women's Cross Country / Track team, presented Shantel Thompson with the Most Outstanding Indoor Freshman Athlete award. Monica Fierro received the Most Outstanding Indoor Sophomore Athlete award.

Golf Coach James Black presented five awards, including Vinicius Blasi - Most Improved Golfer and recipient of the Academic Award and Bryan Hackenberg - Best Stroke Average and Most Valuable Golfer. James Curry and Bryan Hackenberg were both All Conference - in the top ten in stroke average for the Western Junior College Athletic Conference - and Golf Coaches Association of America/Ping players - voted one of the best ten players in Region V. Hackenburg was also an All-Region player - in the top ten in stroke average for the National Junior College Athletic Association Region V.

First-year Head Baseball Coach Cory Hall presented a number of awards, including Wade Landowski - Most Home Runs; JR Robinson - Outstanding Pitcher; Nick Sanders - Outstanding Defensive Player; Kellen Monreal - Highest Batting Average; Zach Osborne - Most Valuable Player; and Adam Delagarza - Jack Poyner Award.

Special Recognition Awards for support to NMJC's athletic programs were presented to Elsie Hill, Kim Adams, and Barbara Summers, as well as Dr. Richard Lloyd, Athletic Trainer, and Richard "Doc" Morris, former AD and current Assistant Rodeo Coach.

The Dutch Klein Award, which recognizes outstanding athletic ability, leadership, scholarship, and citizenship, was presented to JR Robinson.

Photo Gallery: http://www.nmjc.edu/athletics/images/banquet08/

NMJC Athletes Place at Regional Rodeo Finals

NMJC Athletes Place at Regional Rodeo Finals photo
Tatum Patten

4/28/2008 - Hobbs, NM. New Mexico Junior College Women's and Men's Rodeo Team did a great job at the final session of the 2007-2008 Southwest Region/National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association season. This rodeo was held at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, April 24-26, 2008. Three of NMJC's student athletes placed in the regional final.

In the Women's Breakaway Roping, Freshman Tatum Patten of Buck Lake, Alberta, Canada, finished second with an average time of 5.6 seconds over two runs: 2.6 seconds in the long-go and 3.0 seconds in the short-go.

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Thunderbird Track @ Sooner Open

Coach's Comments

4/28/2008 - Hobbs, NM. We will now go to The University of New Mexico on May 3rd for our last regular season meet.

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Thunderbird Track @ University of Kansas Relays

Coach's Comments

4/21/2008 - Hobbs, NM. The weather was not what we were use to and we struggled with it. On the last day it warmed up and Shantel improved on her national qualifying mark in the long jump and we finished 2nd in the sprint medley relay. Our next meet will be on Saturday at the University of Oklahoma.

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Thunderbird Track @ Texas Tech Invitational

Coach's Comments

4/13/2008 - Hobbs, NM. We finally got everyone going for the outdoor season and had some great results. Shantel Thompson had a great day! Angella Graham also attended a Heptathlon meet and came out on top. Her point total currently ranks her #1 in the NJCAA Heptathlon. Next week we will go to the University of Kansas Relays in Lawrence, KS.

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NMJC Enjoys Spring Fling

NMJC Enjoys Spring Fling photo 4/11/2008 12:39:02 PM - Hobbs, NM. This year's Spring Fling kicked off with spray paint and ended with hamburgers and hot dogs, as numerous students, faculty and staff participated in the weeklong event.

Each day featured a new activity, including spray paint artwork by Joe & Lefty, the opportunity to create a make-it-yourself gel candle, t-shirts and pillowcases with airbrush artwork by Margaret, crystal images with favorite pictures, and fun, souvenir-type photos in the "Big Chair."

Friday, April 11, ended the week with a bang when it was declared "Pack the Stands Day." The entire community was invited to join NMJC students, faculty and staff on the Ray Birmingham Thunderbird Baseball field to watch the T-Birds -- ranked first in conference and fourth in the nation -- go up against Clarendon College. In keeping with the "Tailgate Party" theme, free hamburgers and hotdogs were available to all who attended.

After all was said and done, NMJC continued to hold their conference lead as well as their national ranking. The T-Birds will play next on Friday, April 18, at noon, at El Paso Community College.

For more information, please contact DeMond Thomas at 575.492.2580 or dthomas@nmjc.edu

NMJC Freshman Wins WTC Bull Riding Championship

NMJC Freshman Wins WTC Bull Riding Championship photo

4/7/2008 - Hobbs, NM. Landon Hyvonen, a freshman business major from Alberta, Canada, who joined the New Mexico Junior College Rodeo Men's Team last fall, recently earned top honors at the Western Texas College Rodeo in Bull Riding.

During the Rodeo, held April 3-5, Landon scored 76 on his first bull, placing 4th in the long go round, and scored 66 on his 2nd
bull during the short round. He was the only rider to cover his bull for 8 seconds to score in the short round.

Hyvonen will next compete in Southwest Region Intercollegiate Rodeo on April 10-12 at the Frank Phillips College Rodeo to be held in Perryton, Texas.

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Thunderbird Track @ UTEP Springtime Invitational

Coach's Comments

4/1/2008 - Hobbs, NM. We just took a few athletes to the first outdoor meet on March 29 at UTEP in El Paso, TX as most of the team was just getting back from our spring break. We will be in full swing next Thursday at McMurry University.

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Track T-Birds Place Sixth at Indoor Nationals

Coach’s Comments

3/11/2008 - Hobbs, NM. We performed well at the indoor national meet held in Charleston, Illinois on March 7-8. We finished 6th as a team and had eight All-American honors. This meet concludes our indoor portion of the season and we will now start getting ready for outdoor track.

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Track Sooner Open Report

Coach’s Comments

2/27/2008 - Hobbs, NM. The Sooner Open Meet held on February 23 in Nomran, Oklahoma concluded the regular portion of our indoor season. Next up will be the NJCAA Indoor Championships for those that have qualified. The championships will take place at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois on March 7th and 8th.

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Thunderbird Track @ Cowley Snowball Invitational

Coach’s Comments

2/18/2008 - Hobbs, NM. We made a last minute change in our schedule and it was a good move for us. We were supposed to go to the University of Houston, but instead we went to Cowley County Community College for a meet against only other junior colleges. As you can see by the results we did well against the other junior colleges and picked up two new national qualifying marks and had three improved marks. We will now have a week and a half to train and get ready for the Sooner Open hosted by the University of Oklahoma on February 23rd.

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Thunderbird Track Qualifies Four More Athletes to Nationals

Coach’s Comments

2/9/2008 - Hobbs, NM. In our second Indoor meet of the season—Texas Tech Invitational—we had a good showing. We earned four new national qualifiers and had improved marks in three of the events that we had qualified for last meet. The next action for the Lady T-Birds will be February 16th at the University of Houston.

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Birmingham Honored at Dedication

Birmingham Honored at Dedication photo

2/3/2008 - Hobbs, NM. It was the stuff that great memories are made of.

Before a throng of adoring family, friends, fans, and former players, on an unseasonably warm and sunny winter day, at the baseball field which will forever bear his name, Ray Birmingham paid tribute to others even as he himself was being honored.

The February 2 dedication of the newly renovated Ray Birmingham Thunderbird Field, timed to coincide with the Thunderbirds' season opener against Luna Community College, held several great touches to add to the memory of the day. Coach B--as he was affectionately called throughout his 18-year tenure as head coach at NMJC until he was tapped last year by the UNM Lobos--threw out the first pitch of the season, and his number--#1--was permanently retired.

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NMJC Announces Homecoming Winners

NMJC Announces Homecoming Winners photo
NMJC Homecoming Queen Katie Horton and King Steve Vitale.

2/1/2008 - Hobbs, NM. In spite of a tough night for the hard-playing Thunderbirds and Lady Thunderbirds basketball teams, Homecoming proved to be a most pleasant night for eight other NMJC students.

On Thursday, January 31, New Mexico Junior College crowned Katie Horton as the 2008 Homecoming Queen and Steve Vitale as Homecoming King during half-time of the men's game against the Odessa College Wranglers.
Representing eight different campus organizations, the Court was comprised of the following queen candidates: Lauren Corbit,

Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Katie Horton, ThunderSpirits and Phi Beta Lambda; Tiffany Michele Lopez, Campus Ambassadors; Emily McCollough, College Republicans; and Selena Ruiz, College Democrats.

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NMJC to Dedicate Birmingham Baseball Complex

NMJC to Dedicate Birmingham Baseball Complex photo

1/30/2008 - Hobbs, NM. New Mexico Junior College President Steve McCleery has announced plans for the official dedication of the Ray Birmingham Thunderbird Baseball Complex.

According to McCleery, the dedication, which is open to the public, will be held Saturday, February 2, at 11:45 a.m., at the newly renovated NMJC baseball field. The legendary Birmingham served as the college's head coach until last year, when he was tapped by the University of New Mexico to head up the Lobo program.

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Thunderbird Track Qualifies Six Athletes to Nationals

Coach’s Comments

1/26/2008 - Hobbs, NM. In our first indoor meet of the season—Texas Tech Invitational—we had six individuals qualify for the NJCAA Championships in eleven different events. The NJCAA Championships will be held in Charleston, IL on March 7th and 8th. The next action for the Lady T-Birds will be February 9th when they head back to Texas Tech.

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Baseball Field Construction Update

Baseball Field Construction Update photo 12/13/2007 1:44:26 AM - Hobbs, NM. Construction of NMJC's baseball field is currently on schedule, even though rain has temporarily slowed the process. The last truck delivering the synthetic turf and supplies arrived on campus December 11. The construction crew will celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but will work through the College's scheduled holiday break, with plans for all construction to be completed by January 15, 2008. In addition, installation of the concrete / rock fence which will create a true "Ball Park" environment has begun, and a large wrought-iron archway gate will be installed as an entrance into the "Ray Birmingham Baseball Complex."

NMJC Collects Food for the Needy

NMJC Collects Food for the Needy photo

12/7/2007 - Hobbs, NM. What do you get when you cross a generous campus with a genuine need? You get outstanding results.

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NMJC Baseball Field Upgrades

NMJC Baseball Field Upgrades photo

11/16/2007 - Hobbs, NM. As New Mexico Junior College's baseball team is moving forward under the direction of new Head Coach Cory Hall, so is the actual baseball program with substantial upgrades to the baseball field itself.

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NMJC Thunderbird Classic Basketball Tournament

NMJC Thunderbird Classic Basketball Tournament photo

10/24/2007 - Hobbs, NM. New Mexico Junior College will host the annual Thunderbird Classic Basketball Tournament November 1, 2, and 3, at the Caster Activity Center located on campus.

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NMJC Cross Country at South Plains College

10/16/2007 - Hobbs, NM. New Mexico Junior College cross-country runner Jodian Richards placed fifth, out of 22 competitors, at the South Plains College Cross Country Festival this past weekend in Levelland, TX. Richards finished the 5K course with a time of 19.02.06, beating runners that had previously beat her.

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NMJC Rodeo Competes at Vernon College

10/16/2007 - Hobbs, NM. The New Mexico Junior College rodeo team competed at Vernon College this past weekend in Vernon, TX. Stephanie Rodriguez, a sophomore from Seminole, TX, placed sixth in the first go of barrel racing. Kobi Olineck, a sophomore from Alberta, Canada, placed tenth in the first go of goat tying.

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NMJC Golf Takes Third

10/9/2007 - Hobbs, NM. In their second tournament of the season, the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbird golf team took third place this past weekend at the Andrews College/AM Invite held in Andrews, TX.

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NMJC Cross Country Begins Season

10/9/2007 - Hobbs, NM. The New Mexico Junior College cross-country team started off its season at the University of Texas at Permian Basin Invitational, which was held this last weekend. Jodian Richards was the only competitor for NMJC, finishing 11th out 38 competitors. Jodian, a sophomore from Jamaica, finished the 5K course with a time of 21.47.00.

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2005 National Champions photo

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