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  • LA's hockey team opens its season Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper ice hockey team gets its season going Saturday against its most bitter rival.
    The Hilltoppers, who finished last year with a record of 8-9-1, will face off against the Taos Tigers Saturday night. The Tigers and the Hilltoppers will meet at the Taos Family Center at 7 p.m.
    Los Alamos has a new head coach for the 2014-15 season. Los Alamos hockey alum Kevin Brake will take over the program this season after having been an assistant with the team for the past several season — the Hilltoppers’ seniors have gone through their entire careers with Brake involved with the program.
    “My goal is to create an atmosphere where the players have fun, and also learn the value of accountability, dedication and effective communication,” Brake said. “I have high expectations for this team and I expect us to be in contention for the state title.”
    Following the regular season, Los Alamos played six postseason contests, going 3-3 in those.
    Some key players from the Hilltoppers’ roster will be back in 2014-15, not the least of which is goaltender Zealand Walterscheid. Walterscheid took his share of lumps throughout the course of last season but his experience could prove valuable to Los Alamos between the posts.

  • Football closes year Friday night

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will be playing for nothing but pride when it meets the Del Norte Knights Friday night at Sullivan Field.
    The Hilltoppers will end what has been a humbling 2014 season, which has seen the team earn just one victory.
    Despite winning just once, that coming Oct. 21 against the Española Valley Sundevils, the Hilltoppers had a chance to make their finale meaningful last week had they been able to top the Bernalillo Spartans.
    The Spartans, who themselves have plodded through 2014, won their first game under newly installed head coach John Cobos last week. The Spartans downed Los Alamos 38-14 in Bernalillo.
    Had Los Alamos won last week’s game, it would’ve been playing for a possible District 2-5A title against the Knights (4-5 overall, 3-0 in district). Instead, Los Alamos’ loss to Bernalillo gave the Knights the district title without a fight.
    This weekend is the final weekend of the regular season for teams around the state. The playoff field is scheduled to be announced Sunday by the New Mexico Activities Association.
    It’s unlikely any team other than Del Norte will make the Class 5A field from District 2 — each district champion gets an automatic bid into the playoffs.

  • 5A girls soccer playoff schedule

    All games at the APS Soccer Complex in Albuquerque

    Thursday’s quarterfinals

    (1) St. Pius X vs. (8) Goddard, 5:30 p.m.
    (4) Farmington vs. (5) Valencia, 5:30 p.m.
    (3) Los Alamos vs. (6) Albuquerque Academy, 6 p.m.
    (2) Aztec vs. (7) Piedra Vista, 6 p.m.

    Friday’s semifinals

    St. Pius-Goddard winner vs. Farmington-Valencia winner, 2 p.m.
    Los Alamos-Academy winner vs. Aztec-Piedra Vista winner, 2 p.m.

    Saturday’s championship

    Semifinal round winners, 3:30 p.m.

  • 'Toppers, Chargers meet for third time this season

    It will be the rubber match between two big players in Class 5A girls soccer and the stakes will be high.
    A trip to the state semifinal round will be on the line Thursday when the Los Alamos Hilltoppers square off against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers. That game is set for 6 p.m. at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex on the Duke City’s west side.
    Los Alamos and Academy are no strangers. They usually face off during the regular season and very often find themselves squaring off during the postseason.
    In 2014, the two teams met twice, one of those games coming by happenstance as the two teams met in the final round of Academy’s home tournament.
    Los Alamos prevailed 3-2 in that game, played Sept. 13. Three days later, however, the Chargers got that game back, winning 2-1. Both those games were played on Academy’s campus.
    “Academy is a tough challenge for us,” said Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera, who’s leading the team into the postseason in his first season. “It was a matter of making that final play in each one of those two games.”
    The Chargers (10-9-2) were awarded just a six seed for this year’s tournament. To advance to the quarterfinals, they had to knock off Los Alamos’ District 2 foe, Del Norte.

  • Roundup: LA will face Academy

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team will face the Albuquerque Academy Chargers in the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A tournament Thursday.
    The field is set for the quarterfinals. The four quarterfinal games will all be played on Thursday at the Albuquerque Soccer Complex.
    Los Alamos, which earned the No. 3 seed for the playoffs, will meet the Chargers at 6 p.m.
    Other quarterfinal round games include St. Pius X against Goddard, Valencia taking on Farmington and Piedra Vista facing Aztec.
    The Piedra Vista-Aztec game is also set for 6 p.m. The other two games are set for 5:30 p.m.
    The tournament continues through Saturday at the APS complex.
    In the opening round, all the top seeds won in the girls 5A playoffs. Of the four games played this weekend, three were decided by one goal.
    Academy, however, knocked off Del Norte, Los Alamos’ District 2 foe, decisively, winning that contest 3-0.
    Del Norte (10-9), which was the No. 11 seed this year, was the only District 2 team besides the Hilltoppers selected for the postseason.
    The 5A boys tournament will also continue Thursday in Albuquerque.
    Los Alamos was dropped by Santa Teresa in a minor upset, 1-0 at Sullivan Field Saturday. Ezekiel Sanchez scored the only goal in the 47th minute to bump the Hilltoppers out in the first round.

  • 'Toppers finish as 2nd seed for this week’s 2-5A tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team secured the No. 2 seed in the District 2-5A tournament by winning its final two matches of the season.
    Los Alamos downed Bernalillo and Del Norte last week to finish district play with a mark of 6-2, which was good enough to pick up that second seed.
    As a consequence of their seed, the Hilltoppers (11-9 overall) will host the 2-5A semifinal match at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Hilltoppers will play the winner of tonight’s quarterfinal match between the Bernalillo Spartans and the Del Norte Knights.
    The tournament opened Monday night with the Knights holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Capital Jaguars. The Knights won the first two sets, but Capital (2-17 overall, 0-9 in 2-5A) rallied to win the next two sets before the Knights bounced back to close the contest out.
    That match ended Capital’s season.
    Both teams tonight will be motivated throughout the rest of their tournament run, as both are on the bubble for inclusion into the Class 5A playoffs, which start next week in Rio Rancho.
    Del Norte, which is two games under .500 for the year, managed just three wins on the 2-5A season, all of them coming against Capital.

  • Sports Briefs 11-02-14

    Turkey Trot returns Nov. 23

    The annual CROP Walk/Turkey Trot is scheduled for Nov. 23. The event will start at Los Alamos Middle School.
    The Turkey Trot is for any interested participants. Participants my choose to walk or run a 1.7-mile or a 2.5-mile course.
    All participants are also eligible to win turkeys and pumpkin pies in a random drawing.
    Registrations will take place at 1 p.m. at LAMS and the Turkey Trot will start at 2 p.m.
    For more information, call 672-1639.

    Pro shop has new hours

    Los Alamos Golf Course announced its pro shop hours are changing for the end of Daylight Savings Time.
    The pro shop will now be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. every day until further notice. The first scheduled tee times will be at 9 a.m., weather and frost conditions permitting.
    Driving range hours will be from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
    LAGC officials said the course will close for the season around the start of December, but it could be earlier depending on weather conditions and temperatures.

    Youth basketball starts Dec. 1

  • LA sweeps all 9 top spots to take crushing 2-5A win

    COCHITI PUEBLO — If there was any doubt as to which team was in charge of the District 2-5A championship race, one had to look no further than the front of the line to have that question answered definitively.
    At the head of the race was a virtual wall composed entirely of green.
    Until the Los Alamos Hilltoppers started to fan out heading into the final mile of Friday’s district title race, there were nine runners within a few yards of each other plowing down the dusty trail at Cochiti Middle School and nary another team color in sight.
    Los Alamos dominated the 2-5A race, taking position 1-9 at the finish line — teams are allowed to enter as many as nine runners into the district title race. At the end, only one runner finished within even 15 seconds of the Hilltoppers’ No. 9 runner.
    The result, a perfect score of 15 for Los Alamos, was hardly surprising, but it may have been a statement to the rest of the teams in Class 5A.
    “I think we put in a lot of work,” said Los Alamos veteran Forrest White. “There’s a lot to go, but I didn’t think this year we’d be nearly this good.”

  • LA falls on road to Bernalillo

    BERNALILLO — One team was heading into Friday night’s football game on a high note, the other on a low note.
    But if you didn’t know which was which, you might not guess it.
    Needing just one win against a vulnerable opponent to give itself a shot for a district title, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers were outmuscled upfront for most of Friday night’s contest.
    Bernalillo, after a rocky first quarter, solidified its defensive line and used some well-timed blitz packages to throw the Hilltopper offense off-balance.
    Along with that, a huge night from two of its offensive stars — tailback Daniel Molinar and wide receiver Marcus Jaramillo — pushed the Bernalillo Spartans over the top. The Spartans prevailed 38-14 in Friday’s District 2-5A contest.
    That loss by the Hilltoppers (1-8) effectively gave the Del Norte Knights the 2-5A championship — Los Alamos was the last team that had a chance to knock Del Norte off its perch — and, although they face Del Norte at home Friday, effectively ended the Hilltoppers’ season.
    In their first season in 2-5A, the Knights have gone 3-0 and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Capital regardless of what happens this coming Friday at Sullivan Field.

  • LA’s girls cruise to big win Friday

    COCHITI PUEBLO — Although it’s the only way to qualify for the state cross country meet, for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team, for quite some time now, it hasn’t been much more than a stone to jump over.
    Los Alamos, as expected, dominated the District 2-5A championship meet Friday. Los Alamos swept the top six places at the meet and got all eight of its competing runners the title of All-District.
    As expected, the race was led virtually wire-to-wire by the Hilltoppers’ outstanding junior, Maddy Foley. Other than being pushed through about the first mile by her own teammates, Foley was barely bothered at the head of the race and won the individual district title by 44 seconds over teammate Sophia Galvez.
    Despite cruising to the victory on the warm, dusty and hilly course behind Cochiti Middle School, Foley said she felt uncomfortable leading the way.
    “I usually pace myself off Natasha Bernal (of La Cueva), who is always pacing everybody,” said Foley, talking about the top Class 6A runner in New Mexico. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking being up there.”
    Nevertheless, Foley earned her second straight win and third of the season. She also won last week at the Hilltoppers’ home meet.