NMMI Sports Press
The college golf season is still a few months away, but the Bronco golfers can enjoy their winter break knowing they’ve got a solid squad headed into the spring season.
The final fall rankings show NMMI sitting at No. 13 (Golfstat) as a team with three individuals in the top 100: freshman Ricky Silva at 23; sophomore and team captain Paul Montoya 64th; and freshman Caleb Morton 84th.
“We had a nice fall,” said coach Andy Robertson. “Things really went well and we’re looking forward to the spring.”
The Broncos played in three tournaments (the fourth was rained out) with some really exciting moments at the WJCAC Tournament in mid October.
“When we were in Denver City, I walked out on the patio between 18s, and I looked up and NMMI was beating Midland and New Mexico Junior College,” Robertson said. “I almost had a heart attack. I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness!’ Then the second 18 they caught up to us and we took third. But still, Ricky Silva was the medalist in that tournament with 67-68.”
“Last tournament we actually got really close to beating Midland and NMJC, so that’s pretty cool,” Silva agreed.
“We did good enough to almost beat two of the top schools, Midland and NMJC, who we’ve been in competition for a long time,” Montoya said. “They just ended up beating us, but we were close. That was a good feeling.”
Silva comes to NMMI from Socorro High School, where he golfed for the Warriors, finishing in the top five at the state A-AAAA meet three times and top 15th two other times. While he said the ranking “feels good,” his goal is to continue to get better, getting his scoring average (72.5) to par or lower.
Montoya, who was ranked in 2016, has similar goals.
“Where I am now is not bad for a start. I can only hope to progress,” he said. As for the team, “The goals for the team is to just keep getting better and try to beat those top schools and get ourselves to nationals. That’s all we hope for. Myself, I want to get my ranking even higher and my scoring average (74.8) even better and help my team get to my goal.”
Morton is another freshman, who came to NMMI from just down the road in Artesia, where he was a three-time all-state player in AAAAA.
“It’s a change,” he said of the transition from high school to juco golf. “I know the golf courses around here real well. The structure here at NMMI is a little different. College golf is a lot different; a lot more competition. You can’t just go out and hack it around and be in the top 10.”
He said he was surprised to even be ranked — he only played in two tourneys — but also wants to move up in the rankings.
“I played good enough,” he said. “It’s somewhere I want to be. We all hope to improve in the spring and just keep working hard.”
The Western Junior College Athletic Conference may be the toughest JC conference around, with Odessa ranked No. 2; Midland 3; NMJC 7; and Western Texas 9. Last season, the Broncos had a tough time beating any of those teams, but Robertson thinks this year will be different.
“We’re beating people from the good schools, so it shows,” he said.