Boys soccer: Cernicek Invite has another solid field

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys varsity soccer team will open its season hosting the 12th annual Louie Cernicek Memorial Tournament.

The eight-team tournament starts Friday and continues through Saturday. Games are scheduled for both Sullivan Field and Dara Jones Field in White Rock.

After a scheduling conflict with a pair of teams dropped the tournament down to six squads in 2007, the 2008 tournament returns to an eight-team format.

This tournament was originally known as the Mountain Top Invitational, but was renamed in 2001 to honor the memory of Louie Cernicek, one of the pioneers of Los Alamos and New Mexico high school soccer.

Cernicek’s daughter, Ann, coached the boys soccer team between 1996-2005.

Neither of the teams that advanced to the 2007 final, Sandia Prep or Mayfield, elected to return this season, but the tournament should be very competitive again.

Of the eight teams participating, six advanced to postseason play in 2007.

Rio Rancho, the tournament’s top seed, is on a lot of short lists for big-school state title contenders this season.

Los Alamos will open against Goddard at 1 p.m. Friday. That game will be at Sullivan Field.

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