• They’re coming home

    Every Los Alamos football team for the last 50 years has been trying to repeat what the 1966 Hilltoppers did.
    Fifty years ago, Los Alamos won its lone football state championship. The 1966 triumph is regarded as one of the premier moments in Hilltoppers history.
    Now, 23 members of the 1966 team are coming back to Los Alamos to celebrate the half-century anniversary of its state championship win. The 1966 team will participate in tonight’s Homecoming game festivities.
    “I’ve been working on organizing this reunion of our football team for the last couple years,” said Bob Russo, who was the starting quarterback of the 1966 team. “Trying to track down guys by telephone is extremely hard nowadays. I had to work through social media and friends of friends to reach all of our players. I’m real pleased that we were able to connect with so many of them.”
    The team will presented a half hour before kickoff tonight.
    “We’re all excited to be back on that football field one last time, where we were 50 years ago,” Russo said.
    Only five team members who will be present tonight still live in Los Alamos. The others traveled from out of town to reunite with former teammates.

  • Prep football: ’Toppers fall short against Grants

    Last Friday can catapult the Los Alamos football team’s season in two different directions.
    The Hilltoppers fell to 1-2 on the season after dropping a 21-20 heartbreaker against Grants at Sullivan Field.
    The Pirates (1-2) took a 21-14 lead with 3:55 left to play, after quarterback Justin Mattila found wide receiver Joshua Bustos for a 41-yard touchdown pass.
    Los Alamos started its next drive on the Grants 48 yard line. After penalties forced the Hilltoppers to their side of the field, quarterback Nick Quartieri ran 54 yards to pay dirt to cut the Pirates lead to 21-20 with 3:04 left in the game.
    On the extra point attempt, the Hilltoppers field goal was blocked by Grants, as the scored stayed 21-20.
    However, Los Alamos was able to give itself another shot, after recovering a fumble on the Pirates 37-yard line with 45 seconds left.
    Back-to-back penalties pushed the Hilltoppers back to their own 47-yard line. And less than a minute was not enough time for Los Alamos to travel half the field, as time eventually ran out on the Hilltoppers.
    After a scoreless first quarter, Los Alamos got the scoring started when Quartieri scored a one-yard touchdown run with 8:20 left in the second quarter. The Hilltoppers failed to convert their two-point attempt.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer goes 1-2 in tourney

    Last week’s Albuquerque Academy Tournament was a good measuring tool for the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team.
    The Hilltoppers won a game and dropped a pair in Albuquerque to fall to 6-3 on the season, reassuring what they already knew - the 2016 season will be filled with state title contenders.
    After dropping its first round game against St. Pius 1-0, Los Alamos shutout Farmington 4-0 on Friday in the consolation bracket.
    Against the Scorpions, sophomore forward Arthur Steinkamp scored a hat trick, while junior midfielder Tristen Semelsberger scored the other goal for Los Alamos.
    The Hilltoppers fifth shutout of the season assured a rematch from last year’s Class 5A state championship against Albuquerque Academy. The Chargers lost in the first round of their tournament 2-1 against Hope Christian.
    Los Alamos and Academy met-up on Saturday with the hosts successfully defending its home field advantage and earning a 3-0 victory in the tournament’s fifth place game. The three goals matched the season total Los Alamos had allowed prior to facing Academy.   
    The Hilltoppers and Chargers will play twice during District 2-5A play on Oct. 4 in Los Alamos and Oct. 15 in Albuquerque.
    Cleveland defeated Hope Christian 3-0 in the Academy Tournament championship game.

  • LAHS volleyball falls at St. Mike’s

    The Los Alamos volleyball team dropped its second-consecutive match, falling 3-0 to St. Michael’s on Thursday in Santa Fe.
    “St. Mike’s is big and very good,” Hilltoppers coach Diana Stokes said. “This was our first game at being a full team again and they are going to have to learn to work as a team.”
    Los Alamos got off to a slow start losing set one, 25-14. After being able to trade shots against a bigger St. Michael’s team in set two, the Hilltoppers came up short losing 25-22.
    In the final set, both teams were tied 12-12 before the Horsemen strung together a 10-point run to win the decisive set, 25-15.
    Elodie Thelliez led Los Alamos with four kills and six assists.
    Gabriela Vallejos and Alize Garcia finished with a team-high seven digs, while Kaitlin Bennett finished with three blocks.
    St. Michael’s was paced by Danielle Trujillo and Aspen Tafoya, who finished with 10 kills apiece.
    The Hilltoppers fell to 3-4 on the season, while St. Michael’s improved to 5-1.
    With seven matches into the 2016 season, Los Alamos has used a different line up almost every match. Leading the Hilltoppers so far is Elli Hayward with 44 kills, Bennett with 12 blocks, Garcia with 51 digs and Vallejos with 57 assists

  • Prep soccer: LAHS girls romp Grants, boys fall in tourney

    Two first-half hat tricks by Katie Hopkins and Sienna Ahlers led the Los Alamos girl’s soccer team to another mercy-rule victory.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Grants 10-0 on Thursday at Sullivan Field, for their second win without playing a full 80 minutes this season.
    “We really started pulling it together and some players are starting to visually play the field better,” Los Alamos coach Gary Ahlers said. “This was a good game for us to work on our passing and include players from our bench. Some players had better opportunities than others and some were able to put their teammates in positions to score.”  
    Los Alamos improved to 7-2 on the season and has outscored its opponents 39-9.
    Against Grants, the Hilltoppers got off to a quick start scoring six goals in the first half, three from Hopkins and three from Sienna Ahlers.
    Sienna Ahlers has tallied 10 goals this season and six assists.
    “The fact that we’ve picked up speed of play and aren’t scared to take players one-one-one has been good to see,” Gary Ahlers said.
    In the second half, Los Alamos saw more offensive success, scoring three goals in less than five minutes.

  • Prep football: ’Toppers host Grants tonight

    The Los Alamos football team has a prime opportunity tonight to rebound from a shutout loss.
    The Hilltoppers (1-1) will host Grants at 7 p.m. tonight at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos is coming off a 41-0 loss at Moriarty, while Grants (0-2) lost at West Las Vegas 45-30 last Friday and dropped its season opener to Miyamura 30-6.
    Grants is one of the Hilltoppers’ new opponents this season, both schools haven’t faced each other in the past 12 seasons.
    Los Alamos will look to execute its triple option offense against a smaller Pirates defense that’s had trouble defending against the run.
    Garett Williams and the Los Alamos coaching staff have opened up the playbook a bit more on offense and have allowed Hilltoppers quarterback Nick Quartieri to throw the ball more than in years past. That aggressiveness has worked and also back fired for Los Alamos. Tonight’s game could provide more aerial opportunities for the Hilltoppers, as the Pirates haven’t had much success defending the pass.
    Grants has allowed 315 passing yards and 538 rushing yards this season.

  • LAHS volleyball falls at home to Pojoaque

    Missing two of its senior leaders hurt the Los Alamos volleyball team on Tuesday.
    The Hilltoppers were without right side hitter Mackenzie Alexander and outside hitter Jessica Moore in their 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 14-25, 25-18) loss to Pojoaque Valley at Griffith Gym.
    “The hard part is that I haven’t had the same line up in every match that we’ve played,” said Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes. “It would be really nice if we could settle down and everyone could stay well and healthy.”
    Alexander, who’s nursing a foot injury, and Moore, who was on vacation, were missed more on the defensive end, as the Hilltoppers had trouble defending Pojoaque’s attack of Brandy Torres, Grace Lopez and Rachael Garcia.
    The Elkettes started the first set on a 9-5 run and never looked back. In the second set, Los Alamos was able to string together some points and both teams were knotted up at 12-12. Pojoaque closed the set on a 13-9 run to take a 2-0 lead on the match.
    Los Alamos was able to avoid the sweep with an all-round stellar performance in set three, starting with a 10-2 run and not letting Pojoaque back in the set.
    The lack of numbers began to show for the Hilltoppers in the fourth set when Torres and company took over with an offensive frenzy to seal the match.

  • Prep soccer: ’Toppers win at Taos

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team continues to provide strong offensive and defensive performances.
    The Hilltoppers garnered their third-consecutive shutout with a 5-0 win against Taos on Tuesday at the Taos Eco Park. As of Tuesday, Los Alamos had outscored opponents 21-2.     
    In the sixth minute against Taos, Hilltoppers junior midfielder Andreas Runde drove in a free kick to the middle of the box where sophomore Arthur Steinkamp was waiting to put away the first-touch finish.
    Junior midfielder Ben Rees added another goal for Los Alamos in the 12th minute, after pouncing on a loose ball in the box and the Taos keeper.  
    Senior midfielder Jonathan Coons converted a penalty kick in the 21st minute to give the Hilltoppers a 3-0 lead.
    In the 28th minute, Runde scored what could be the goal of the season so far for Los Alamos. He found himself in acres of space and ripped a 25-yard shot into the top left corner of the net.
    Runde and Steinkamp once again connected in the 31st minute for Steinkamp’s second goal of the game and the Hilltoppers’ fifth. For the remainder of the first and the entire second half, Los Alamos maintained the majority of possession and continued to stifle the Taos offense.

  • LAHS girl's soccer mercy rules Belen

    It was the offensive performance the Los Alamos girl’s soccer team was waiting for all season.
    The Hilltoppers routed Belen 11-1 Saturday at Sullivan Field for their fifth win of the season. The 11 goals are the most for Los Alamos since defeating Del Norte 11-1 in 2015.
    Los Alamos used its main attacking threats to put together its best all-around performance this season. Hilltopper midfielders were connecting passes to their attacking counterparts, while the wings managed to make runs that Belen had no answer for.
    It only took three different Los Alamos players for the Hilltoppers to score 11 goals.
    Sophomore midfielder/forward Katie Hopkins got on the score sheet four times, as she helped the Hilltoppers take a 5-0 lead at halftime. Hopkins also assisted two goals.  
    Los Alamos midfielder Abby Schmalz continued her stellar senior season with a four goal and two assist performance. As of Saturday, Schmalz had tallied six goals and a team-leading five assists.
    The Hilltoppers’ second leading scorer senior forward Sienna Ahlers helped finish off Belen with her first hat trick of the season. Saturday’s performance put Ahlers at seven goals on the season.

  • Sports briefs

    ’Toppers cross country at Lobo Invite
    The Los Alamos cross country team began its 2016 season by competing in the annual Lobo Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltoppers boys finished Saturday’s season opening meet in ninth, while the girls finished in 16th place. About 43 schools competed in this year’s Lobo Invitational.  
    Rafael Sanchez, Chris Buntain and Josh Strevell led the Los Alamos boys. Sanchez earned a 10th place finish, Buntain finished 63rd and Strevell came in 70th place.  
    For the Hilltopper girls, Lidia Appell led the way with a 47th place finish. The second-best Los Alamos runner was Paulina Burnside who finished in 69th place, while Sydney Schake came in 113th place.
    Los Alamos will compete in the ATC Invitational in Santa Fe on Saturday.
    LAHS volleyball wins a pair in Moriarty
    The Los Alamos volleyball team won two matches and dropped one last weekend at the Moriarty Tournament.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Hot Springs in five sets (25-14, 25-6, 18-25, 25-27, 15-11) and beat Bosque School 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23). Los Alamos lost to Hatch Valley in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 32-30).