Awards Given to NMJC Athletes

Awards Given to NMJC Athletes

By Susan Fine


New Mexico Junior College student-athletes were honored for their achievements at the 52nd Annual Awards presentation Tuesday, May 7th at the Lea County Events Center.

The Dutch Klein Thunderbird Award, NMJC’s most prestigious athletic award, was given to Rody Barker, a catcher and outfielder with the Thunderbirds baseball team.  Barker has maintained a 4.0 GPA. He was on the First WJCAC Academic Team for the past three semesters, and was named to the First NJCAA Academic All-American Team in 2018.  Barker was a Region V NJCAA Player of the Week, and was a member of the Texas-New Mexico Junior College All-Star Team. Originally from Kerrville, TX, Barker has had several offers from universities, and is currently deciding which university to choose. City of Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb presented Barker with his award.

The Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to Kristal Liburd with the T-Birds Track and Field team. She is from Sandy Point, St. Kitts and Nevis. Liburd is a two-time National Champion, six-time All-American, and four-time National Athlete of the Week. She holds the school record for Indoor Long Jump (at 20’7-3/4”) and the Outdoor Long Jump (at 21’1-1/4”). She has the Third Best Outdoor Long Jump in the NJCAA. She will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall on a full scholarship.

The Male Athlete of the Year was Andrew Ni, TBirds golfer, from Edinburgh, Scotland. Ni placed second overall at the NJCAA District 2 Championship.  He was First Team All-Conference, First Team All-District, All-American, won an individual tournament, and had five top five individual finishes. His tournament scoring average for 2018-2019 is 70.4. Ni will attend Colorado State University - Pueblo on a golf scholarship.

The Female Academic Athlete of the Year was Mattlyn Wells from Hereford, Texas. Wells had a 4.0 GPA while competing on the rodeo team in breakaway and goat tying. She is an Academic All-American. Wells plans to attend Eastern New Mexico University on a rodeo scholarship, majoring in occupational therapy.

The Male Academic Athlete of the Year was catcher Rody Barker, who maintained a 4.0 GPA while playing baseball.  He is an Academic All-American, also. He is deciding where to continue his education, majoring in kinesiology.

Eleven student-athletes were recognized for their academic achievement of 4.0 GPA, which placed them on the President’s Honor Roll: Bianca Arhontis, Rody Barker, Mayra Caicedo, tyler Cox, Dimitri Diara, Darrianne Dorris, Harvey Hill, Courtney Schiel, John Sharp, Mattlyn Wells, and Zachary Vooletich..

Medals were presented to the Women’s Basketball Team for finishing as National Runners-Up for 2019 at the National NJCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament; and several All-American certificates and plaques were given to members of the Track and Field team for placing second at the National Indoor Track and Field competition.

For more information, contact Deron Clark, Athletic Director: or 575-492-2741.