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Today's Sports

  • Boy’s soccer wins district opener

    It may not have been as easy as the team hoped, but the Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team began district play with a 2-1 win over Del Norte High School.

    It appeared the game would go smoothly for the Hilltoppers when Tristan Semelsberger scored in the second minute to put the team up 1-0. He dribbled through five defenders straight down the middle of the field and snuck a shot past the goalkeeper before he even had a chance to react.

    In the following minutes, the Hilltoppers missed out on a number of opportunities to add onto their lead, as Arthur Steinkamp narrowly missed on two shots, though the team maintained good pressure.

    Del Norte was able to tie the score in the 24th minute off of a direct kick from 25 yards out. The ball snuck over the outstretched reach of LAHS goalkeeper Cid Rice and into the top corner to make the score 1-1.

    The Hilltoppers did not let the goal change their game plan, as they went right back to dominating possession after the goal.

  • Football runs past Santa Fe High

    The Los Alamos High School varsity football team is off to its best start in a decade. After defeating Santa Fe High School 21-14 in the Hilltoppers’ homecoming game, the team’s record now stands at 4-2 heading into district play.

    Nothing about the most recent victory came easy, however, as it came down to the last possession and the final minutes.

    The first quarter was a defensive battle, as the teams traded turnovers on downs and struggled to move the ball past midfield. As the quarter drew to a close, Santa Fe appeared to have their best scoring opportunity of the game up to that point, with first and goal inside the 5-yard line. The Hilltopper defense was able to tighten and force a field goal attempt, which they blocked, keeping the game scoreless.

    Hilltopper running back Cade Yost changed that on the first play of the ensung drive, as he took a handoff to the left and ran 82 yards for a touchdown, outrunning the entire Santa Fe defense. After a successful extra point attempt, LAHS led 7-0.

    Santa Fe answered right back on their next drive, picking up big gains down the field and capping off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zach Russell, tying the game at 7-7.

  • Senior captains lead the way for...

    Being a captain for a team is no easy task, especially in high school sports. It adds another layer of responsibility on top of an already hectic schedule that includes excelling in the classroom and on the playing field. 

    Instead of just worrying about their own performance, captains are the players who are relied upon to be the leaders on the field and make sure everyone is doing what is necessary to succeed.

    Having strong leadership is often the difference between an excellent team and an average team, and the impact of that leadership never appears on the box score or in the headlines.

    Perhaps no team at Los Alamos High School has benefitted more this year from strong leadership than the boy’s soccer team, which has three captains.

    The three players, Ben Rees, Andreas Runde and Tristan Semelsberger, have proven to be a great trio on the field, leading the team to a 10-4 record in their non-district schedule, but they could not be more different off the field.

    All three of them look at the game of soccer in a different way, and find enjoyment in different aspects of their experience.

    Put simply, Semelsberger is the ultimate soccer fanatic.

    It consumes nearly every aspect of his life, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Atomic City Update: Busy...

    If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out some of the teams at Los Alamos High School yet this year, then this weekend is your perfect opportunity.

    The football team, both soccer teams and the volleyball team will all be in action at home during homecoming weekend.

    All of these games will be especially interesting because both soccer teams and the volleyball team are entering the district portion of their schedules, meaning the importance of every game is amplified. Playing teams from their district will allow these teams to show how good they really are, and to correct any missteps that may have occurred earlier in the schedule.

    Meanwhile, the football team will be playing their final game before district play begins. If the football team is able to defeat Santa Fe High School Friday evening, they will have a 4-2 record for the first time since 2007, when they went 9-2.

    This game will offer them the perfect opportunity to reach that record, as Santa Fe High School will be entering the contest with a record of 0-5, and have been outscored 216-35 so far.

    The Hilltoppers have feasted on teams with weak defenses through the first half of their schedule, and I have no reason to think that this game will be any different. The game will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at Sullivan Field.

  • Hilltoppers record third shutout...

    When they are at their best, the Los Alamos High School varsity football team spreads the ball around and keeps the defense on its toes with a deceptive triple-option rushing attack.

    That was the recipe for success in their 47-0 win over Gallup, who appeared overmatched from the opening kickoff to the final whistle as Los Alamos improved its record to 3-2 this season.

    The Hilltoppers began spreading the ball around on its first drive of the game, as quarterback Dylan Irish got things started with a 19-yard run and running backs Ryan McNeil and Jack Stewart both picked up big gains as LAHS easily moved the ball inside the 20-yard line.

    McNeil picked up another big run to get inside the 5-yard line, and walked into the end zone untouched on the next play to put the Hilltoppers up 6-0 following a missed extra point attempt.

    Stewart put an end to Gallup’s next offensive series with a third down sack, forcing a punt on a drive that had begun near midfield.

    On that punt, Stewart was back deep to return the kick. However, instead of picking it up on a bounce at the 20-yard line, he let it bounce, hoping it would go out of bounds. Instead, the ball bounced backward and settled at their 5-yard line, forcing them to go 95 yards to score.

  • Atomic City Update: Derby Dames...

    Since I arrived in Los Alamos a few months ago, one of the groups that I have been most impressed with is the local roller derby team, the Los Alamos Derby Dames. After spending time with them at some practices and attending their home matches this season, it is clear that nobody has as much fun as they do, while also doing a lot of good for their members and the community as a whole.

    The team was started in 2011, and was accepted into the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s Apprentice program.

    While the team enjoys having success, they are more concerned with the development of their players.

    According to the mission statement on the team’s website, “LADD strives to promote the empowerment of all women by providing positive athletic role models and creating a community-based sport for those of any skill level.”

    The most important thing I’ve learned about roller derby is that all of the competitors are an extended family.
    No matter the result of a match, they all hang out afterward and laugh.

    Everyone is able to become a part of this family.

    All you have to do is attend the team’s skate school, which begins with new member orientation on Oct. 10 at Mountain Elementary School.

  • Girl’s soccer picks up dramatic...

    All season long, senior Alix Hailey has been an offensive force for the Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team.

    Tuesday night at Sullivan Field, she added another moment to her highlight reel, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Hilltoppers defeated Hope Christian High School 1-0.

    This was an especially meaningful game for LAHS. Earlier this season, Hope Christian defeated the Hilltoppers 3-2 during the Albuquerque Academy Tournament, one of just three losses LAHS has collected so far this year.

    Head coach Ann Cernicek said that her team was able to avoid mistakes in this game that cost them dearly in the first matchup.

    “Two of the goals Hope Christian scored in the tournament were off of a corner kick and a free kick, and we didn’t give those things up tonight,” Cernicek said.

    In fact, it seemed like both teams were trying their hardest to avoid giving up those set pieces throughout regulation, knowing how potent both offenses can be when given free chances.

    Because of that, the majority of the play took place in the middle of the field throughout the night, with the defenses preventing strong scoring chances on either side.

  • Pajarito Mountain ready for Ullr...

    Pajarito Mountain will host its annual Ullr Fest this weekend, signaling the official end to the summer season and beginning the preparations for ski season. 

    Ullr Fest, which was described by Pajarito employee Jeffrey Bold as “big and boisterous,” is the mountain’s fall festival, which is aimed at “appeasing the mythological snow gods,” and bringing about a successful ski season. 

    In Norse mythology, Ullr is the winter god. He is regarded as the Patron Saint of skiers, and it is believed that skiers must please him to bring about a successful season.

    “The real goal of this event is to hopefully bring the snow for the upcoming season,” Bold said. 

    The event kicks off on Saturday, with a guided 10-mile hike from Los Alamos to Pajarito Mountain led by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Los Alamos Mountaineers set to begin at 7:45 a.m. To register for the free hike, go to peecnature.org or call 662-0460. 

    The ski lifts will begin running at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and will run until 3 p.m. 

    The cost of a ski lift ticket for the event is $25. 

    There will be numerous events taking place all day, including a downhill mountain bike race and a poker run race.

  • Atomic City Update: Girl's...

    Often, the benefits of sports are seen as helping an individual gain more self-confidence and developing team building skills. They are often one of the most positive parts of our society, and offer a diversion from other parts of the world.

    When someone steps into a football stadium or a baseball stadium or a basketball arena, they are able to step away from the world and enjoy a different version of reality for a few, short hours.

    However, there are times when sports help to accomplish great things in the outside world. That is what the Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer program will be doing this week when they host their annual ‘Kick for the Cure’ game.

    Each year, the program features one home game on its schedule and uses the profits from that game to donate money to cancer research. Donations will be collected during both the junior varsity and varsity games on Tuesday against Hope Christian High School.

    The action will begin with the junior varsity match at 3:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow at 5 p.m.

    This game will offer the public a chance to watch the LAHS girl’s soccer team, which has proven to be one of the top teams in the state, and at the same time help people around the world.

  • Football contiues road dominance

    The Los Alamos High School varsity football teams continued its dominant road play last weekend, defeating Grants High School 37-0 at Port of the Pirates Stadium.

    This was the team’s second straight road win, and by an identical shutout score as their week one win over Pojoaque High School.

    Though the defense impressed, it was the offense that got the Hilltoppers going early.

    After forcing a turnover on downs on the first Grants possession, the Hilltoppers offense marched right down the field and scored with ease, as senior running back Ryan McNeil forced his way into the end zone from six yards out, as LAHS took a 7-0 lead.

    They would stretch that lead to 14-0 on their next drive, as the running game of the Hilltoppers could not be stopped.

    After once again running their way the length of the field, LAHS junior quarterback Dylan Irish snuck his way into the end zone from three yards out, scoring their second touchdown of the first quarter.

    The defense made its first big play of the game on the next Grants possession, forcing a fumble and giving possession back to the Hilltopper offense. They did not waste the opportunity, as senior running back Jack Stewart ran the ball in from three yards out and stretched the lead to 21-0.