Atomic City Update: Fall sports provided thrills for LAHS sports fans

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By Phil Scherer

It seems like just yesterday that the fall sports season was getting underway at Los Alamos High School. And now, in the blink of an eye, the season has come to an end.

And what a season it was. There were outstanding performances across the board, as all of the teams provided excitement for this community.

The cross country teams once again proved they are among the best programs in the state, as both teams once again finished in the top three at the state meet last weekend.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about these teams is that the future looks so bright.

The top runners for both the boys and girls teams were freshman, Rafael Sanchez and Lidia Appell. As they continue to grow over the next few years, they will only get better and better.

Equally exciting were the soccer teams, both of which were factors in the state championship tournament for the third year in a row.

The accomplishments of the girls’ soccer team at LAHS are impossible to ignore.

With an entirely new coaching staff, the team won 17 games and advanced to the state championship game with one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the state.

The boys’ team was equally impressive, battling through major adversity to win 15 games and advance to the state semifinals.

The team played the vast majority of the season without its starting goalkeeper Jacob Majors. In his absence, the team relied on defensemen Cid Rice and Alex Bullock, as well as freshman Jaxson Martines, in goal.

Also impressive for the boys’ soccer team was the continued emergence of junior Arthur Steinkamp, who was named District 2-5A offensive most valuable player after scoring 26 goals this season.

While cross country and soccer continued to compete with the best in the state, the football team took steps forward that could pay off in the near future. For the first time since 2012, the team finished with a winning record, at 6-4.

It was one of the more exciting football seasons in recent memory for the Hilltoppers, as the team was alive for a playoff spot heading into the final weekend.

Next year, with more familiarity at the quarterback position, Dylan Irish could help lead LAHS back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

The Hilltopper volleyball team could also be exciting next year, as the team returns the majority of its young core.

After going through a rough regular season this year, the team impressed in the district tournament, defeating Española Valley and Del Norte to advance to the district semifinals.

Another year of experience should help young players like Kyla Sandoval, Sophia Salazar, Natalie Gallegos and Elodie Thelliez become even better, and help the Hilltoppers become a factor in volleyball once again.

Though the fall season has come to an end, the winter sports are going to get underway soon, giving the community a whole new group of team to cheer on.

And if the fall season was any indication, LAHS is in for a wild ride with basketball, hockey, wrestling and swimming over the next few months.