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Soccer: Thoma named Class AAAA Player of the Year, Gartz earns Coach of the Year honors in AAAA

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By The Staff

Following a year capped by one of the biggest performances in the history of Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer, it was fitting the two biggest individual honors of the season went to members of the Hilltopper program.
Los Alamos, the 2010 state Class AAAA champion, had its top player and head coach named the best of the year by coaches statewide.
Andy Thoma, the Hilltopper senior captain, earned the AAAA Player of the Year for the 2010 season. Meanwhile, Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz, who guided the team to its first state title since 1986, was given Coach of the Year honors.
Los Alamos, the No. 5 seed entering the state playoffs this season, knocked off two of the most storied programs in the state, Albuquerque Academy and St. Pius X, in the quarterfinals and semifinals before easily dispatching Belen in the state championship game to earn this season’s state title.
Thoma, the team’s sparkplug from his midfield spot, had a huge hand in the team’s tournament run, including picking up a goal and an assist in the championship contest. Thoma finished the regular season in the No. 4 spot among scorers in Class AAAA. He earned 58 total points (19 goals, 20 assists), picking up a pair of goals during the playoffs, including the game winner in the team’s upset victory over the St. Pius Sartans.
Along with Thoma, four other Hilltoppers were named to the AAAA All-State first team. Three members of Los Alamos’ vaunted defense, Graham Delano, Matthew Leslie and Zeke Zumbro — who allowed just three goals during the Hilltoppers’ playoff run — and forward Paul Hemez were all selected for the first team honor.
Gartz, for his part, helped the team shake off regular season losses to St. Pius and Academy — the latter a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss in which Los Alamos led 2-0 with about two minutes remaining in regulation — to claim a state title.
It was an emotional win for Gartz personally, who had come through the program as a player.
This season was Gartz’s fourth leading the Hilltopper program.
In AAAA girls soccer, Los Alamos’ Madison Ahlers was named to the All-State first team. Ahlers, a senior, was one of four defensive players selected for the honor and the only Hilltopper receiving first team honors.
Despite turning in one of the best individual efforts of the state tournament, not to mention a solid regular season, Los Alamos’ Amy Neal wasn’t selected for the first team although she did receive a second team nod, as did teammates Stephanie Blair, Lindsay Benage and Charlotte Hoover.
Los Alamos’ girls advanced to their third straight state AAAA championship game this season, but for the third straight year fell in the finale to Albuquerque Academy.

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Boys

First team

Orlando Pina, GK, Belen
Graham Delano, D, Los Alamos
Matthew Leslie, D, Los Alamos
Andrez Levya, D, Belen
Zeke Zumbro, D, Los Alamos
Miguel Contreras, MF, Roswell
Nick Miele, MF, St. Pius X
Miguel Sabinas, MF, Belen
Andy Thoma, MF, Los Alamos
Martin Betancourt, F, Belen
Paul Hemez, F, Los Alamos
Nathanael Pacheco, F, St. Pius X
Ricardo Perez-Contreras, F, Belen

Second team

Lorenzo Venerri, GK, Los Alamos
Nicholas Castaño, MF, Los Alamos
David Wyman, F, Los Alamos

Honorable Mention

Chase Havemann, MF, Los Alamos

Class AAAA Player of
the Year

Andy Thoma, Los Alamos

Class AAAA Coach of
the Year

Evan Gartz, Los Alamos

Girls

First team

Michaela Supple, GK, Academy
Madison Ahlers, D, Los Alamos
Rebecca Brunson, D, St. Pius X
Faith Cobb, D, Miyamura
Megan Walsh, D, Academy
Morgan Eddy, MF, Farmington
Jamie Fletcher, MF, Del Norte
Adrianna Naranjo, MF, St. Pius X
Riah Risk, MF, Academy
Ariana Aretino, F, Miyamura
Kaitlyn D’Arcangeli, F, Los Lunas
Caroline Growney, F, Academy
Amber Machac, F, Del Norte
Taylor McGarry, F, Aztec

Second team

Stephanie Blair, D, Los Alamos
Lindsay Benage, MF, Los Alamos
Charlotte Hoover, MF, Los Alamos
Amy Neal, F, Los Alamos

Honorable Mention

Amanda Bonn, GK, Los Alamos
Bryce Theesfeld, GK, Los Alamos
Cassidy Reeves, D, Los Alamos
Keanna Cohen, MF, Los Alamos
Shannon Blair, F, Los Alamos
Leslie Guarello, F, Los Alamos

Class AAAA Player of
the Year

Jamie Fletcher, Del Norte

Class AAAA Coach of
the Year

Pete Clinch, Academy