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  • On Schedule 08-31-14

    Tuesday

    Volleyball: St. Pius X at Los Alamos, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.; varsity 6 p.m.

    Girls soccer: Los Alamos at St. Pius X, varsity, JV, 4:30 p.m.

    Wednesday

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos at St. Michael’s, varsity, JV, 4 p.m.

    Thursday

    Football: Taos at LAMS, 4 p.m.

    Girls soccer: Aztec at Los Alamos, JV, 5 p.m.

    Friday

    Volleyball: Los Alamos at Moriarty Invite, varsity, TBA.

    Boys soccer: St. Pius at Los Alamos, varsity, 4 p.m.

    Saturday

    Cross country: Los Alamos at UNM Invite, boys and girls varsity/JV/C team, 9 a.m.; LAMS Invitational, boys and girls seventh and eighth grade, 9 a.m.

    Football: Los Alamos at St. Pius X, varsity, 11 a.m.

  • LA volleyball opens Tuesday

    The Hilltopper volleyball team will open up its 2014 season under its new head coach Tuesday.
    Los Alamos won’t be easing into the season, either. Los Alamos will take on the St. Pius X Sartans at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Along with taking on a tough opponent, Los Alamos will be showing off a junior-heavy roster this season, although most of those juniors will have a fair amount of playing experience.
    Last season the Hilltoppers went 13-9 and advanced to the Class 4A playoffs before being bounced in the opening round by Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos was guided by head coach Robin Reynolds, but Reynolds stepped down shortly after 2013, his only season in the big chair.
    Longtime assistant coach Sharleen Espinoza was hired for the job and will also make her head coaching debut Tuesday.
    This will be the second year in a row Los Alamos faces St. Pius to open. St. Pius won in 2013, 3-1.
    The Sartans were also a first-round casualty in the 2013 playoffs, to the surprise of some. They fell to Artesia early in the playoffs, just one year after winning the Class 4A title.
    The Hilltoppers, Sartans and most of last year’s schools in the 4A classification were bumped up to 5A for 2014.

  • Season opener pageantry

    The Los Alamos High School band and cheerleaders were in good form Friday night for the home season opening game against Pojoaque at Sullivan Field. 

  • Coyotes score goal in OT vs. ’Toppers

    For the third time in a calendar year, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team met the Roswell Coyotes.
    And for the third time, the Coyotes prevailed.
    The Coyotes, who won the Class 4A state championship in 2013, topping the Hilltoppers in the semifinals en route to the crown, showed off their potent attack Saturday in the semifinals of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    However, Los Alamos goalkeeper Chris Parker was up to the task for most the meeting.
    The two teams went into overtime, but in the second overtime period, Roswell’s Chris Mesquita crushed a left-footer just inside the far post to give his team a 2-1 win and get the Coyotes to their second straight Cernicek tournament final.
    Saturday evening’s tournament championship game hadn’t been completed as of press time.
    The Coyotes won the Cernicek tournament in 2013, topping Los Alamos 6-2 in the championship.
    Los Alamos had a 1-man advantage for much of the contest. At the 26-minute mark, Roswell forward Anthony Valadez was slapped with a red card for running over Parker near the goal mouth, negating an apparent Coyote goal.

  • Miscues prove costly in LA’s opener

    It wasn’t a secret heading into Friday night’s game that the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was a work in progress.
    But, judging from its performance Friday, there is no shortage of things for Los Alamos to work on or progress to be made.
    The Hilltoppers struggled to get their running game established, particularly the option, struggled with snapping the ball from their bread-and-butter pistol formation, and struggled for a good chunk of the night on defense against the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
    The Hilltoppers fell to the Elks in their 2014 opener, 18-6 at Sullivan Field.
    They were outgained by more than 2-to-1 on the offensive side and gave up too many big plays.
    Perhaps the backbreaker came in the third quarter, however. Pojoaque Valley quarterback Chris Quintana, who had been the piston driving the offense up to that point, was ejected from the ballgame on a late hit against Los Alamos defensive tackle Andres Dow with 4:05 left.
    Cold second-string quarterback Royce Nez came in from the bench. But on his first snap, a third-and-42 situation, Los Alamos retreated into deep coverage while Nez handed the ball off to tailback Darren Montoya. Montoya went untouched to near the first-down marker, bounced off three potential tacklers and scampered into the end zone.

  • Fencing class to return Tuesday

    The Family YMCA of Los Alamos will resume its fencing class starting Tuesday.

    The class will be only for fencers with previous experience. It will consist of 30 minutes of combined drills, followed by 30 minutes of bouting or individual instruction. There won’t be a class for beginning fencers until February or March.
    For more information, call instructor Tom Hill at 672-1058.

  • LA earns blowout win over Moriarty

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team did a number on the Moriarty Pintos Thursday night. A big number.
    The Hilltoppers scored 11 times in the first half en route to their first win of the 2014 season. Catie McDonald and Sienna Ahlers each scored four goals as the Hilltopper blasted the Pintos 11-0 in Moriarty.
    The two teams have met several times in the recent past, usually early in the season and usually with similar results.
    Los Alamos (1-2) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring its first goal inside of three minutes. Moriarty (1-1) for its part, never got a shot off Thursday.
    While breaking into the win column for the first time as part of his new gig was nice for Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera, he more importantly wanted to see his team play a complete contest, which it did.
    “It’s easy to lower your level of play because the competition is not that good,” Herrera said. “We wanted to continue a high level of play. We were very consistent. We still have a lot to work on for what we want to accomplish this year.”
    Along with her four goals, giving her 8 total for the season, McDonald, who will likely finish among the most prolific scorers in the state, also earned two assists.

  • 'Toppers blank Rockets Friday, 1-0

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team not only picked up its first win of the year Friday morning, but also advanced to the second round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    Early in the first half, the Hilltoppers scored what would be the lone goal of the contest against the Goddard Rockets. The Rockets had some chances in the second half, but the Hilltoppers made that advantage stand up, winning 1-0 at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos (1-1) will now advance to the semifinal round, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    The only score of the game came just seven minutes into the contest on a nice run down the middle by Eric Burnside.
    Burnside beat out the collapsing defense to a ground ball, which he picked up at the top of the penalty box, and went to the right post to beat Miguel Robles.
    Robels, a solid goalkeeper with a big leg — he took several of the Rockets’ free kicks during the contest — had no chance at Burnside’s shot.
    For the game, the Hilltoppers got off 11 shots, although three of those came in quick succession with just about four minutes remaining.

  • Hilltoppers have a lot to prove

    There is no shortage of things to prove for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team heading into the 2014 season.
    Los Alamos will have a new, solid district opponent this season, a revamped backfield and, most notably, a new signal-caller heading into the opener.
    The Hilltoppers open their season Friday night when they take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Along with all the issues so far, Los Alamos’ turnout for the opening day of football practice was skimpy. The number has improved over the course of the preseason — there are now 30 players on the team’s regular roster.
    Hilltopper head coach Garett Williams said that while it’s not a huge group, it’s one with some experience coming back, particularly at the line of scrimmage. Offensive line fixtures Jonathan Schueler, John Dermer and Zack Sturgeon should help make the transition on offense go a little more smoothly.
    Los Alamos features 17 seniors heading into the opener, almost all of which have played regularly at one time during their Hilltopper careers.

  • LA to meet Goddard in opening round

    There’s been a change of plans for the opening round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    The Cernicek Invitational tournament is one of the big early-season tournaments around the state and his hosted annually by the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
    Due to some logistical challenges — five of the eight teams in this year’s field are traveling a long way to attend — the Goddard Rockets will be the first team up for the Hilltoppers Friday morning. Originally, the Hilltoppers were scheduled to face the Santa Fe Prep Blue Griffins to open the tournament.
    Games this year will be played at both Sullivan Field and at Los Alamos Middle School.
    The Hilltopper-Rocket contest will be a rematch of their first round Cernicek game in 2013. That game went right down to the wire before Los Alamos prevailed.
    “That game went into PKs (penalty kicks),” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “I’m going to remind the boys about that. That game should’ve never gone into PKs.”
    After that tough contest, which Goddard led 2-1 until the final two minutes of regulation, Los Alamos topped Clovis in the semifinal round before getting hammered 6-2 in the championship game against Roswell.