LAHS athletics: Construction delay could affect home schedule

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Sullivan Field turf installation was set to be done in time for openers

By Mike Cote

It’s been a busy summer for Los Alamos High School athletic director Vicki Nelms.
Not only has Nelms been away from Los Alamos dealing with personal matters, she found out recently that boys basketball coach Matt King had resigned to take a job in Clovis.
Now, she may have to navigate potential scheduling change for the upcoming fall 2011 season due to the effects of the Las Conchas Fire, specifically early season home games.
Currently, both Sullivan Field, which hosts football and boys and girls soccer games, and Griffith Gymnasium, which houses volleyball, are under renovation. Sullivan Field is having a new artificial surface installed, while Griffith Gym is undergoing mostly cosmetic changes to its façade.
However, the work on the facilities was scheduled to be completed Aug. 18. With a work stoppage due to the fire and impending evacuation, those schedules may have to be altered.
“It had given us a little big of time that everything was supposed to be done Aug. 18,” Nelms said. “Right now, I know they probably won’t be able to make the deadline of the 18th, but we’ll have to see how far behind we are.”
She won’t be able to assess exactly how much time has been lost until work progresses again. Then she’ll know what kind of alterations fall schedules may need.
The first home contest of the fall is slated for Aug. 25, a soccer doubleheader with the Hilltopper boys team taking on Rio Rancho and the girls team playing Moriarty.
While those contests could most likely be rescheduled or moved to different venues without terrible headaches, the Hilltopper boys are also scheduled to host the Louie Cernicek Invitational starting Sept. 2. Should Sullivan Field not be ready to go by then, the tournament would likely have to be postponed or moved to fields in White Rock.
The first home football game of the season is scheduled for Sept. 9, the third week of the season for the Hilltoppers. While there is more time to prepare Sullivan Field for that event, that game and the following week’s game against Bloomfield would almost certainly have to be moved — Los Alamos doesn’t have an open week scheduled for 2011.
Nelms said volleyball’s schedule probably won’t be effected as the work on Griffith Gym is all being done on the entrance. By simply having teams and fans enter the back of the gym and foregoing a concession stand, the team’s home matches likely could go on as planned.
There is still plenty of time for Griffith Gym to be prepared, anyway, as the Los Alamos volleyball team won’t make its first home appearance until Sept. 21.
“We’ll have to take a hard look at that,” Nelms said. “We may be able to use the gym…it would just be Sullivan Field that puts us behind.”


2011 Fall Season Scheduled Openers:

Girls soccer
Aug. 23 at Belen

Boys soccer
Aug. 25 vs. Rio Rancho

Aug. 27 at Pojoaque

Aug. 28 at Pojoaque

Cross country
Sept. 3 at UNM Invite

Sept. 18 Los Alamos Invite