Today's Sports

  • Atomic City Update: Plenty of...

    Around the country this weekend, millions upon millions of people will tune in to watch what has become the most highly anticipated and hyped boxing event in years – Floyd Mayweather v. Conor McGregor.

    It is a fight more than two years in the making.

    Most believed it was never going to be anything more than a fantasy, the type of ‘what if?’ scenario sports fans would ponder for years to come.

    Saturday night, however, it becomes a reality. And if it goes the way many experts are predicting, it could be over in the blink of an eye.

    McGregor, a mixed martial arts superstar, has no previous boxing experience.

    He will be facing Mayweather, who is 49-0 in his boxing career. To say it looks to be a mismatch on paper would be an understatement.

    In fact, many are saying that a McGregor win would be among the biggest upsets in sports history, right up there with the New York Jets victory in Super Bowl III, and the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic hockey game.

    However, UFC president Dana White, who is acting as McGregor’s promoter, is quick to dismiss that idea.

  • Boy's soccer dominates again

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team continued their dominant start to the season Friday morning at Sullivan Field, defeating Aztec High School 4-0.

    It was the first game of the Louie Cernicek Memorial Tournament, which Los Alamos has won the past two years.

    The game’s outcome was never in doubt, as LAHS dominated from start to finish, making it appear that the field was slanted toward the net they were attacking, never allowing Aztec to put together a scoring opportunity.

    “I think we are playing really well,” LAHS head coach Ron Blue said. “We’re finally coming together as a team, we’re doing the right things for each other and making the right decisions. I’m very happy with how things are going.”

    Blue said his team knew that Aztec would play more of a defensive style, and the Hilltoppers took full advantage.

    The shots came early and often for LAHS, as the forwards got to the net seemingly at will.

    “We created so many opportunities, and that’s what’s exciting,” Blue said. “The play of our midfielders is really creating a ton of opportunities.”

  • Football ready to begin season

    Tonight, some of the questions revolving around the Los Alamos High School varsity football team will be answered.

    It has been an offseason of transition for the team, which lost two of its biggest weapons, Nick Quartieri and Kevin Maresca, to graduation. This year’s team will have to make up for the more than 1,000 all-purpose yards that Maresca provided last season, and replace Quartieri at quarterback and on defense, where he led the team with 101 tackles.

    That quest begins tonight on the road against Pojoaque Valley at 7 p.m.

    The team enters this season with 12 juniors and 11 seniors after losing 11 seniors after last season.

    The two biggest offensive weapons returning from last year’s team are senior Ryan McNiel and junior Dylan Irish. Last year, McNiel ran for 261 yards and two touchdowns, while Irish ran for 371 yards and two touchdowns.

    It appears that Irish will be given the first opportunity to take over for Quartieri at quarterback. Irish has never played quarterback before, and has spent this offseason learning the position.

    He will be tasked with taking over the Hilltoppers’ triple-option offense, where his experience as a fullback should come in handy.

  • Boy’s soccer dominates road...

    In their first road game of the season, the Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team dominated Bosque High School 6-0.

    The team dominated the game from start to finish, only allowing Bosque to put two shots on goal throughout the 80-minute contest as LAHS retained possession for much of the night.

    The game was highlighted by the offensive performances of LAHS forwards Tristan Semelsberger and Arthur Steinkamp, who scored two goals apiece. Not only did the pair light up the scoreboard, but they cause constant havoc for the Bosque defense, recording a combined 15 shots.

    For Steinkamp, the beginning to this season seems to be an extension of his performance last year, when he led the Hilltoppers with 19 goals as a sophomore. He has three goals in two games so far this year, including two on penalty shots. One of those came in the game against Bosque.

    Before the season, LAHS head coach Ron Blue said it would be more of a challenge for Steinkamp to find open space this season, with teams keying on him during games, and making him a priority. Steinkamp has proved to be up to the challenge and appears to be on a similar scoring pace to last year.

  • Girl’s soccer earns hard-fought...

    The Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer team squeaked out a nail-biting victory in their first road game of the season, defeating Bosque High School 3-2.

    For the second game in a row, junior Alix Hailey proved to be an offensive star for the Hilltoppers, scoring a goal and putting six shots on goal.

    In her first game of the season, Hailey recorded a hat trick. Finding those scoring areas proved to be more of a challenge for LAHS in this matchup, as the team was able to take 29 shots on goal, but only converted on three of those opportunities.

    In the first game against Santa Fe High School, the team took 30 shots and put 10 of them in the back of the net.

    The other offensive star for the Hilltoppers was sophomore Alyssa Parker.

    Playing in her first game of the season, Parker scored two goals on just three shots.

    Her play proved to be the difference for the Hilltoppers, who were struggling to find offensive weapons throughout the game.

    The offensive outburst comes as something of a surprise, as Parker scored just three goals in 22 games last season and had just 10 shots on goal.

    In two games this year, nine players have scored goals for the Hilltoppers, with Hailey’s four leading the way.

  • Girl’s soccer dominates opener

    The Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, defeating Santa Fe High School 10-0 Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field.

    Junior Alix Hailey proved to be the offensive star for LAHS, tallying three goals on seven shots, and adding two assists. She was too much for the Demonettes defense to handle in a game that ended on a mercy rule with more than 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

    Seven other Hilltoppers scored a goal apiece, something that head coach Ann Cernicek was glad to see.

    “It was a really great effort,” Cernicek said. “It was good to see a lot of different kinds of goals. We had direct kicks, we had corner kicks, we scored on crosses. So to see a variety of different goals that were scored from a variety of different players was really positive.”

    Hailey got the scoring started early for the Hilltoppers, as she found herself on a breakaway less than five minutes into the game. She was easily able to maneuver around Santa Fe goalkeeper Jannay Martinez and find the back of the net, giving LAHS its first goal of 2017.

  • Boy’s soccer cruises to first...

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team started the 2017 season off with a bang, defeating St. Michael’s 4-0 in their home opener Saturday at Sullivan Field.

    What started out as a defensive battle turned into a one-man show, as LAHS senior Tristan Semelsberger put on an offensive display that had the entire crowd in awe. He scored a pair of highlight reel goals, and added an assist as the defense struggled to find ways to contain the Hilltoppers offense all evening.

    “I thought we had some really nice moments,” LAHS head coach Ron Blue said. “Thank God that Tristan was able to finish and put the ball away.”

    Although Blue felt like the team generated a lot of scoring opportunities, mental mistakes and offside calls kept the Hilltoppers from putting the game away any earlier.

    “We scored five or six,” Blue said. “But we were offside, which I understand. We are still working on some offensive runs and some striker responsibilities, so it’s only a matter of time before we get that stuff figured out. That was a lot of fun, though.”

  • Time to shine

    This year, the Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer team means business.

    Not only do they return the bulk of a roster that advanced to the state semifinals a year ago, but they have also added one of the most well respected coaches in the entire state.

    The team knows they have the skill to compete with the best in the state.

    The only question that remains is whether they can take their game to the next level and claim a state championship.
    Ann Cernicek was the coach of the LAHS boy’s soccer team from 1995-2005. After moving back and forth between Los Alamos and Washington DC for the past decade, she said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to her old stomping grounds when the opportunity presented itself.

    When she looks out onto the field at the group she gets to work with in her first season back, she can’t help but smile.

    She can tell that this group has the ability to be special.

    “There’s a lot of depth, and there’s a really nice cross-section of strengths,” Cernicek said. “That makes it a really well balanced team, which really is helpful as you go down the road.”

    One thing Cernicek is happy about with this group is that they don’t have one person they will be relying on too heavily.

  • Ski club approves Pajarito sale...

    Los Alamos Ski Club members voted in favor of a proposal to transfer ownership of the Pajarito Ski Area from the Los Alamos Ski Club to the Pajarito Recreation Limited Partnership at a special meeting held Thursday.

    In a statement, the ski club board said, “This is a big step forward for the ski club in order to complete a transfer of ownership and operations that began back in 2014.”

    If negotiations succeed, PRLP, which has been operating the ski area for three years, would acquire all 750 acres of the Pajarito Ski Area land in Los Alamos County, and assume all of the ski club’s outstanding debt, which totals $1.25 million.

    According to ski club member Michael Altherr, more than 90 members attended the meeting.

    He said that the board did a good job of answering questions and addressing concerns before the vote.

    “Everyone got their say,” Altherr said. “By the time we got to the vote, there was no additional discussion needed.”

    The vote passed with a two-thirds majority, as is required in the ski club bylaws.

    One of the main reasons for wanting to get this deal done is the need for substantial improvements in the area, which PRLP have been reluctant to make due to the lack of ownership of assets.

  • Serving and spiking with a...

    Sometimes it is difficult for a coach to know what kind of team they have until they step onto the court for the first time.

    That is the case for Los Alamos High School volleyball coach Diana Stokes, who enters this season with more questions than answers when it comes to her team, and their competition.

    For Stokes’ team, the season will be defined by the play of its young players. As the first week of practice winds down, she believes the players will be spread evenly among the class levels.

    “I think we should have three seniors, four juniors and three sophomores,” Stokes said. “So we are going to be pretty young.”

    While she looks at the positive of this spread as being able to build a strong program for the next few years, she is unsure how it will all come together this year.

    “We are going to have a tough road, especially the first part of our season,” Stokes said.

    The team will be tested early, with its second game of the year coming against St. Pius X, the defending state champions.

    “I expect them to take state again,” Stokes said. “They should have all seniors this year. Last year, they won state with all juniors, so they could be even stronger this year.”