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Today's Sports

  • Turnovers doom Hilltoppers in...

    The Los Alamos High School girls basketball team could not escape the full-court pressure of the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes at the top of Saturday’s game, and it set the tone for the entire contest.

    Pojoaque Valley High School, a longtime rival of LAHS in girls basketball, harassed the Hilltopper offense throughout the first half, forcing 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

    And while Pojoaque Valley wasn’t great at converting those chances on the other end of the court, it was good enough to open a big lead early and coast through the rest of the game. The Elkettes cruised to a 60-27 victory at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.

    The Hilltoppers (2-1), who started out the season with wins over Farmington High School and St. Michael’s High School, was held scoreless for more than seven minutes to start Saturday’s game and never recovered.

    Neither team converted from the field for most of the first quarter, but Pojoaque Valley (3-0) was deadly from the foul line in the first half, and continued that into the second half.

    In the first half, the Elkettes made good on 10 of 12 attempts.

    Those free throws proved to be key for Pojoaque Valley, as the team missed wide-open shots throughout the evening despite being handed possession by LAHS over and over.

  • Atomic City Update: Youth...

    As I sat at home this week eating turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and watching football and basketball, a thought occurred to me that really got me thinking: The people out on those courts and fields providing entertainment to the rest of the country aren’t with their families.

    It isn’t really a day off for them at all. This is true for countless Americans, whether they are serving in the armed forces or away on business of some kind. Thanksgiving, and holidays in general, are something that many take for granted, while a large number of people are forced to spend the day away from those they love.

    As I pondered that thought, another came to my mind, one that applies throughout the entire year.

    In every community around the country, coaches give up so much of their free time to help young athletes develop into better players, and better people.

    It’s something that isn’t given nearly the recognition it deserves. For the vast majority of these coaches, this is not a full-time job.

    For eight hours or more every day, they go to their full-time job, and then hop in the car and coach kids for another three hours or more.

    On top of that, they give up weekends throughout the season for these kids, and are always just a phone call away.

  • Calderon leads LAHS to victory

    Through two games, it appears the best word to describe the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team is resilient.

    Tuesday evening, in the team’s home opener, nothing came easy for the Hilltoppers. Yet for the second game in a row, the team found a way to get it done, defeating St. Michael’s High School 53-42.

    “It was an ugly win, but it was a win,” LAHS head coach Josh Archuleta said. “But we will take an ugly win over a loss any day.”

    Early on, it appeared that the Hilltoppers would have no issue defeating the Lady Horsemen as LAHS jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on baskets by Becca Green and Susana Gallegos.

    But after that quick burst, the Horsemen climbed right back into the game, outscoring the Hilltoppers 10-2 the rest of the quarter and heading into the break with a 10-9 lead.

    “We came out hot initially, but after that we just let St. Michael’s hang around,” Archuleta said.

    The Hilltoppers responded well in the second quarter, as the rebounding and shooting improved. All game long, the inside presence of the Hilltoppers, led by Green and Natalie Gallegos, made the game difficult for St. Michael’s as every rebound was contested on both ends of the floor.

  • LAHS football gathers to...

    After completing its first winning season in five years, the Los Alamos High School football team gathered at Crossroads Bible Church last Friday evening to celebrate the past, and look ahead to the future.

    More than 200 people filled the church to capacity, with head coach Garett Williams, saying, “This is the biggest banquet we have ever done, and it is great to see the LA football family continue to grow.”

    The banquet began with a highlight film from the varsity games throughout the season, including all of the key plays from the team’s dramatic wins over Santa Fe High School and Española Valley High School.

    After the 14 minute video package, Williams said, “The original version of that was more than 35 minutes long. We had so many big plays this year, and it was hard to narrow it down.”

    Following the video, the team began to hand out a number of team, and All-District, awards.

    The two big winners from the varsity team were Jack Stewart and Arturo Rodriguez, both of whom took home multiple awards. Stewart was awarded Academic All-District, First Team All-District as both a running back, and as a linebacker and was named the team’s offensive Most Valuable Player.

    During the season, Stewart ran for nearly 900 yards and caught passes for nearly 200 more.

  • Middle school wrestling team...

    The Los Alamos Hawks Middle School wrestling team went to Rio Rancho this past weekend to the Rio Rancho Middle School Dual Tournament. They came back to Los Alamos with first place and a consolation victory. Los Alamos brought two teams to Rio Rancho, Los Alamos Blue and Los Alamos Silver.

    The Blue earned first place while the Silver team came out with the consolation.

    They defeated Bernallio, Cleveland, Milagro and Rio Rancho to take first place at the tournament.  

    The blue team defeated Bernalillo in the first match by a convincing score of 102-6. Next up was Cleveland.

    The Hawks took Cleveland out by a score of 84-29. In the last match of pool play, the Hawks defeated Milagro by a score of 84-24.

    In the final against Rio Rancho, Los Alamos Blue had an intense battle with Rio Rancho, but they prevailed to win the tournament, 57-49.
     

  • Atomic City Update: Ski season...

    I have good news for all the outdoor enthusiasts in the community: Ski season is officially here. After months of warm temperatures, the lifts at the local ski resorts are open, or will open in the coming weeks.

    This weekend, for the 15th year in a row, Sipapu Ski Resort will be the first ski area in the state to open.

    “Thanks to our hardworking and dedicated mountain team, Sipapu is once again the first resort to open for the season in New Mexico,” said John Paul Bradley, Sipapu’s mountain manager.  “We’ve been watching the weather and taking advantage of favorable temperatures to continue making snow, staying up at all hours to make snow when the opportunities arose.”

    Though the Pajarito Ski Area was originally set to open for the season next Friday, the opening has been pushed back to Dec. 16 because of unseasonably warm weather for this time of year.

    From now until April, the slopes will be full of people, both young and old.

    People in this area truly are fortunate to have so many outdoor opportunities available to them. In addition to the ski resorts in the immediate area, there are many places within driving distance that offer unbelievable slopes as well, ensuring that nobody will get bored of the slopes all season long.

  • Hilltopper boys basketball set...

    One of the hardest things to do in basketball is build a team with great chemistry, one filled with players willing to look past their own stats to help the group win.

    With a team brimming with seniors, and plenty of experience, that is the goal for the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team. For the vast majority of the group, this is the last chance to leave a legacy. The time to win is now.

    As head coach Michael Kluk looks at his team, he sees experience as the biggest thing working in the team’s favor.

    There are eight seniors on the roster, including most of the leading scorers from last year’s team that earned the No. 14 seed in the state championship tournament.

    “We are certainly more experienced than last year, and hopefully a little bit more mature,” Kluk said. “Hopefully that will turn into some success.”

    Many of the seniors expected to play big roles this year got valuable experience a year ago. Four of the seniors, Antonio Trujillo, Michael Naranjo, Ramon Roybal and Jack Stewart, all averaged more than six points per game a year ago.

    Trujillo, the team’s likely starting point guard, led the team with 8.6 points per game, and dished out the most assists with three per game.

  • LA county named bike friendly...

    For three years, Los Alamos County’s Public Works Department has been taking steps to get the county recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

    Thursday morning, the hard work paid off, as the county was named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

    Los Alamos County joins more than 400 communities around the country that have been honored by the league at various levels. It is also just the fourth community in New Mexico to earn the distinction, joining Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.

    Santa Fe is recognized as a silver tier community, while Albuquerque and Las Cruces are alongside Los Alamos on the bronze tier.

    According to its official website, the League “represents bicyclists in the movement to create safer roads, stronger communities and a bicycle-friendly America.”

    Los Alamos County was one of 65 communities honored this year by the league, either as a new, or renewed, Bicycle Friendly Community.

  • Young Hilltopper basketball team...

    This season, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team is out to prove that the phrase “practice makes perfect” really is true.

    After finishing with a disappointing 6-21 record last year under first-year head coach Josh Archuleta, the team instituted an entirely new offseason training regimen.

    It was aimed at improving the chemistry of the team and bringing out all of the players’ best qualities on the court.

    Archuleta believes that goal was accomplished.

    “The strengths on this roster have been proven throughout the summer,” Archuleta said. “We played more than 30 games during the summer, and never stopped working preseason.”

    Archuleta believes that the team has a stronger sense of cohesion than last year, and that the results of that have shown on the court in practice this month.

    “We are the type of basketball team that is very unselfish,” Archuleta said. “We aren’t prideful in terms of individual pride. We are prideful in terms of team pride. If the team wins, we all win.”

    The players seem to share that sentiment, with several of them saying they have a different feeling about this season than in previous years.

  • Fusion Volleyball to host...

    For many people in Los Alamos County, volleyball is more than a sport. It is a lifelong passion.

    For more than 20 years, the volleyball community in Los Alamos has run and organized Fusion Volleyball, a competitive youth club affiliated nationally with USA volleyball.

    “It is such a great opportunity for local kids to learn the game,” said Cheryl Bell, the club’s director.

    The organization is run completely by volunteers.

    Many of them have been around the sport their entire lives, coaching and playing at various levels.

    The number of teams the club puts together varies from year-to-year, based on the interest from the community.

    This year, that will be determined at the club’s tryouts, scheduled for Sunday.

    Last year, the team organized two 12-and-under teams, as well as teams in the 11-and-under, 13-and-under and 14-and-under groups.

    In past years, the number of teams has varied between two and six.

    Bell encouraged anyone in those age groups to come to the tryouts, which will be at the Los Alamos High School Auxiliary Gymnasium at 11:30 a.m. for children 12 and under, and at 1 p.m. for 13 and 14 year olds.

    The tryout will cost $20 and includes a T-shirt from the club.