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  • 'Toppers look to right the ship for homecoming

    There has been no shortage of bad news for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team to start the 2014 season.
    There were some injuries in the preseason, compounded by injuries in the team’s first three games, it has struggled on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball and head coach Garett Williams has been missing for the last two games with few people talking about where he might be or when he might be back.
    But there is a bit of good news heading into the 2014 homecoming contest: the Hilltoppers will also be facing a struggling squad.
    Los Alamos will meet up with the Kirtland Central Broncos Friday night at Sullivan Field. The Hilltoppers and Broncos go way back — for many years under the tenure of former head coach Bob Scott the teams opened their seasons against one another.
    The Hilltoppers dropped all three of their games so far this season, having been outscored by a combined 94-19 in those three games.
    Despite the early season issues, the Hilltoppers have shown some signs of life. Quarterback Clay Singer had a solid game last week against the Moriarty Pintos, throwing for 115 yards and moving the ball into Moriarty territory consistently through much of the contest.

  • Hawk 8th graders win at ATC XC race

    The Los Alamos Middle School Hawk eighth grade boys finished with a near-perfect score at Saturday’s Academy for Technology and the Classics Invitational meet.
    Jevon Montoya was the big winner for the Hawks, followed immediately by three teammates as the Hawks finished with 20 team points, as well as taking five of the top 10 individual slots.
    Montoya finished in 8 minutes, 31 seconds, which was 10 seconds faster than teammate Shawn Williams in the runner-up spot. Duncan Fuehne and Elijah Vasquez took third and fourth in the race, both coming in within seven seconds of Williams.
    All four Hawk teams took part in the ATC meet. LAMS’ eighth grade girls were paced by Paulina Burnside, who was second overall in that race with her finish time of 9:35. Marin Kelly was fifth overall.
    The Hawk eighth graders finished third in team competition.
    In the seventh grade boys race, Dakota Duran finished in the top 10 for LAMS.

    Here are Los Alamos Middle School’s individual results from Saturday’s meet.

    Seventh-grade girls

  • 'Toppers knocked off by Santa Fe, 3-1

    SANTA FE — It wasn’t a win, but the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team did manage to do something only one other team — a very good team — has been able to do in 2014.
    Los Alamos traveled to Santa Fe to take on its old district rivals, the Santa Fe Demonettes. The Demonettes, with a very solid corps returning after one of the best seasons in program history last year, are playing about as well as any team in the state.
    It appeared early in Wednesday’s contest the Demonettes might do to the Hilltoppers what they’ve done to most teams this year, but the Hilltoppers bounced back after being dominated in the first set to have just as dominating a performance in the second set.
    The two teams played even much of the way, but in the end Santa Fe prevailed 25-15, 13-25, 25-21, 25-21 at Toby Roybal Gymnasium.
    The set won by the Hilltoppers, however, was just the second the Demonettes have lost in six matches. The other set Santa Fe dropped was against small-school powerhouse Texico, which Santa Fe defeated 3-1 at the Moriarty Invitational.
    In the first set, Los Alamos swung big against the very solid Santa Fe block at the net. Against that block, Los Alamos’ potent offense was largely ineffective.

  • LA drops rematch, 2-1

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team was hoping to follow up on its road victory against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers with another one.
    But that didn’t materialize for the Hilltoppers Tuesday afternoon.
    Los Alamos allowed a pair of goals in the first half of the contest at Academy. It earned a goal in the second half, but it wouldn’t find the equalizer as the Chargers prevailed 2-1.
    The two teams met Saturday in the third-place contest of Academy’s home tournament. The Hilltoppers prevailed in that contest 4-3 and had high hopes they would be able to make it two straight over their longtime rivals.
    Hilltopper Catie McDonald, who is by far and away the team’s leading scorer, tallied her 13th goal of the season in Tuesday’s second half, that coming off an assist from Rachel Thoma.
    For the contest, Academy had 8 shots on-goal, with eighth grade goalkeeper Anna Lemke stopping 6 of those chances.
    With the loss, the Hilltoppers slip to 4-5 on the year, while Academy improved to 4-4-1.
    Los Alamos won’t have much time to recover from Tuesday’s loss, however. Its next contest is at home Thursday afternoon against the Class 6A Rio Rancho Rams.

  • LA boys, girls sweep ATC Invite Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls cross country teams both won crushing victories at last weekend’s Academy for Technology and the Classics Invitational.
    Los Alamos’ girls earned 6 of the 10 top-10 spots in Saturday’s race in Santa Fe to finish with 23 team points, only about a quarter of the total of next-nearest finisher, Shiprock.
    The Hilltopper boys were nearly as good Saturday, finishing with 30 points to Pecos’ 110 points. For the second time in as many races this season, Greg Ahlers and John Rees were a solid 1-2 punch for Los Alamos, taking Nos. 3 and 4 in the individual competition.
    ATC’s meet wasn’t the most competitive meet Los Alamos will have this season. Pojoaque Valley was the most consistently competitive team taking part in the meet, which was comprised mostly of teams in the immediate surrounding area of Santa Fe.
    On the girls side, Maddy Foley, who had a huge showing a week earlier at the University of New Mexico Invitational, won for the first time in her career at ATC. Foley, a junior, finished in 18 minutes, 33 seconds, a 28-second victory over the next-best finisher, teammate Sophia Galvez. At UNM, Foley finished fourth overall and first among competitors in Class 5A.

  • Chargers score in 2nd half to sink LA

    It was a good first half Tuesday night for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team against one of its biggest rivals.
    Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers weren’t able to sustain it in the second half.
    Los Alamos met its old foe, the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, Tuesday at Sullivan Field. The two teams battled to a draw after the first half, but the Chargers would end up tallying the only goal of game in the second half to win it 1-0.
    If it were just the one goal that was the difference in the second half, that might have been an OK loss — Academy is one of the premier programs in the state — but the Hilltoppers weren’t satisfied with their second half performance in any way, shape or form.
    Los Alamos got virtually nothing going on its offensive third in the final 40 minutes. The Hilltoppers didn’t get a single shot off in the second half, or even get particularly close to getting a shot off.
    That second half spoiled what was a good start to the game.
    “Energy-wise it was a tale of two halves,” said Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz. “The first half was good. We were able to take away (the Chargers’) game. The second half they just settled in and did what they wanted to do. They were first to the ball and they dominated us in the second half.”

  • LA looks to bounce back after tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team went 0-1-2 at last weekend’s Albuquerque Academy Invitational tournament.
    Of those three games, though, the loss, a sizeable one, wasn’t nearly as disappointing as the two ties for Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz.
    Gartz said his team had a chance to earn two victories over two quality programs, in Cleveland and Hope Christian Thursday and Friday, but couldn’t secure either of those victories.
    After tying both the Storm and the Huskies, the Hilltoppers were blasted by the Capital Jaguars 5-1 in the seventh-place game Saturday. However, the Hilltoppers had no real interest in winning that game — Los Alamos (3-4-2) flipped its lineup around liberally, having most of its players way out of their regular positions just to see what would happen.
    Los Alamos and Capital, of course, will play twice more this season during District 2-5A play.
    Today, the Hilltoppers will get another chance for a win against a quality program. Academy’s Chargers will roll into town for a game at Sullivan Field. Kickoff time is 6 p.m.
    There is no magic bullet to defeat Academy, Gartz said. It will be a matter of effort, which he felt was lacking against Cleveland and Hope Christian.

  • Trio of 'Toppers earn qualifying legs

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team earned a runner-up finish at its season opener Monday at the Los Alamos Golf Course.
    Los Alamos placed two players in the top seven individually as it finished with 383 team strokes. That score put the Hilltoppers directly behind the Cleveland Storm, one of the top big school programs in the state.
    Jennifer Necker and Malorie Apgar finished with scores of 87 and 88 to pace the Hilltoppers.
    Monday’s tournament was also the season opener for Los Alamos’ boys, who finished fifth out of the seven full teams taking part.
    The golf season is played both during the fall and spring. To qualify for the state tournament, which is played in May, teams and individuals must earn three qualification scores, or legs.
    The Hilltopper girls, who advanced to the state tournament last year, earned their first team leg with Monday’s performance.
    Also earning a leg was Jonathan Osden, a senior for Los Alamos. Osden was Los Alamos’ only boys representative at state last May.
    The Hilltopper boys finished with a score of 354. Individually, Osden shot a 4-over 76, which was good enough for eighth place.

  • On Schedule 09-14-14

    Monday

    Golf: Los Alamos Invite, boys and girls varsity, 9 a.m.

    Football: Albuquerque Academy at Los Alamos, JV, 4:30 p.m.

    Tuesday

    Boys soccer: Albuquerque Academy at Los Alamos, JV, 4 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.

    Girls soccer: Los Alamos at Albuquerque Academy, varsity, JV, 4:30 p.m.

    Volleyball: Pojoaque at LAMS, seventh grade, 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Wednesday

    Cross country: LAMS at Española Middle School Invite, boys and girls seventh and eighth grades, 3 p.m.

    Volleyball: Los Alamos at Santa Fe, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.; LAMS at McCurdy, seventh grade 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Thursday

    Girls soccer: Rio Rancho at Los Alamos, JV, 4 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos at Rio Rancho, JV, 4 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.

    Football: LAMS at Rio Rancho, 4 p.m.

    Friday

    Football: Kirtland Central at Los Alamos, varsity, 7 p.m.

    Saturday

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos at Santa Fe Waldorf, JV, 11 a.m.

  • Sports Briefs 09-14-14

    Bower Run will support Alzheimer’s research

    The Jerry Bower Memorial 5K race will return this year Sept. 20.
    The Bower run is a fundraising event that goes to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
    It is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20. The race will start at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. It will go down Bathtub Row and Rose Street. The course will be completely paved.
    A donation of $25 is requested to participate. The first 50 participants will receive an Alzheimer’s Association water bottle.
    For questions or to receive a copy of the Bower run’s registration form, contact Ted Williams at 672-1639.

    Hall of Fame banquet is Sept. 21

    The Los Alamos Public Schools will host its inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Sept. 21 at Fuller Lodge.
    The banquet will be at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.
    Tickets for the event are on sale at the Los Alamos High School athletic office. Tickets are $25 apiece.
    Inductees for the 2014 Hall of Fame class are Walt Arnold, Lynn Bjorklund, Burt Buehrer, Carol Cady, Louie Cernicek, Bob Cox, Steven Craven, Turk Griffith, Bill Hudson, William D. McWilliams, Gene Mortensen, Morrie Pongratz and Anthony Sandoval.
    For more information, call the athletic office at 663-2531.