Soccer: Topper boys upend Eagles, win their first state title since 1986

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — It’s been a long time coming. Twenty-four years to be exact.
But Saturday night in front of a packed house at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex, the 2010 version of the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team pulled off what so many other teams before it had tried to do and not succeeded.
The Hilltoppers hoisted the championship trophy.
“It’s so unbelievable,” Los Alamos forward Paul Hemez said. “Especially after going through Academy and St. Pius. I can’t describe it. It’s an amazing feeling with everyone coming together on the team and doing a great job.”
Los Alamos, the No. 5 seed coming into the state Class AAAA championship tournament, dispatched three tough opponents in a row, two of them among the most storied boys soccer programs in the state, to earn the state title.
The last state title for the Hilltoppers came in 1986.
Los Alamos earned just its second state title in team history with the victory — prior to it being a sanctioned interscholastic sport in New Mexico, the Hilltoppers also won a soccer title in the late 1970s.
“All you hear about is St. Pius and 12 state championships, but if you look at us, we took it to them,” Hilltopper fullback Graham Delano said.

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