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LA opens district Friday vs. Taos

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will head into District 2AAAA play with but one win under its belt.

However, in this district, the Hilltoppers could jump from last to first rather quickly. They will get their chance to do so starting Friday at home against the Taos Tigers. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Hilltoppers (1-4) are currently tied for the worst record in the district along with Capital. These were the two teams that some thought might contend for the district title in 2009.

However, no team in the district is heading into play this week with more than two nondistrict season wins. Bernalillo and Española Valley are both sporting 2-3 records and Taos goes in at 2-4.

Among the five district teams, Los Alamos has had the toughest nondistrict season, however. It faced two solid AAAA opponents in consecutive weeks, Silver and Belen, and came right back last week to take on a very good AAA team, Albuquerque Academy.

Both Los Alamos’ and Capital’s win came against the same opponent, Santa Fe High School, which will be a member of District 2AAAA starting next season.

Taos has not played a team larger than Academy, while Española Valley lost to the only AAAA team it has played, Grants.

Bernalillo, however, at 2-3, has picked up wins against Kirtland Central, a AAAA school which has had success in the recent past, and Class 5A Gallup in consecutive weeks. The Spartans take on Shiprock Friday and don’t open 2AAAA play until next week when they take on Capital in what could be a crucial early district game.

The Spartans were much-improved in 2008 and nearly upset the Hilltoppers at home. That come-from-behind win by the Hilltoppers was a big part of the reason they were able to grab last season’s district title.

Los Alamos, meanwhile, will need a better offensive showing in district play than it had in the nondistrict season. Los Alamos didn’t score its first offensive touchdown until its fourth game of the season and has just two offensive TDs to date.