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Today's Sports

  • 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.

  • Volleyball taken down by Santa Fe

    The early season struggles of the Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team continued Wednesday evening, as they fell at home to Santa Fe High School 3-1.

    It was clear from the start that the Hilltoppers would have a tough time containing the attackers of Santa Fe, as the sound of the ball hitting the ground after a spike from the Demons boomed throughout the gym time after time.

    Santa Fe controlled much of the first set, jumping out to a 14-9 lead and never looking back. Despite the Hilltoppers’ attempt to come back late in the set, it was not enough. Santa Fe took the first set 25-18.

    Emme Segler was the top finisher for LAHS in the first set, as she recorded three kills. Kimberly McKinley, Natalie Gallegos and Elodie Theillez each recorded two of their own in the set.

    The Hilltoppers came out as an inspired group in the second set. Despite falling behind early, they kept fighting and evened the score at 7-7.

    LAHS then went on a run that gave them an 11-7 lead, which forced Santa Fe to take a timeout.

    The Hilltoppers did not slow down after that, however, extending their lead to 19-13. Though the Demons made it close, LAHS escaped the second set with a 25-19 victory, evening the match 1-1.

  • Atomic City Update: Key injuries...

     

    The adaptability of the teams at Los Alamos High School is being tested this year because of injuries and holes left by graduating seniors.

    How they adapt to these situations will determine what their record looks like at the end of the year.

    The most glaring example so far this year is on the boy’s soccer team, which is dealing with injuries to its top two goalkeepers. Sophomore Jacob Majors has a season-ending broken finger, while freshman Jaxson Martines is nursing a dislocated finger.

    Without true backups available, the team is relying on a pair of defensemen to help out while Martines recovers.

    The two defensemen, Cid Rice and Alex Bullock, started to learn the goalkeeper position when the injuries occurred last week.

    Their head coach Ron Blue said that although preparing for a game without a natural goalkeeper minding the net changes things, he just has to make sure his team is prepared for each game.

    “That’s just how it works in high school sports,” Blue said.

    He brings up an interesting point, because high school is the highest level of competition in which you’d see a situation like this occur. Every higher level of sports is so specialized that there would be many backups available to step in when an injury occurs.

  • LAHS cross country teams look...

    Over the past decade, Los Alamos High School has been seen as the gold standard when it comes to cross country in New Mexico.

    That is for good reason, as the girls won seven consecutive state championships from 2009-2015 and the boys won four straight from 2011-2014.

    Heading into this season, however, things are a little different. Neither team brought home a state championship last season, as the girls finished as the runner-ups and the boys finished in third place.

    While coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood think earning state championships is possible this season, it is not their focus.

    “We feel that getting to that level is certainly attainable, but our intent is for the kids to just focus on the process,” Rob Hipwood said.

    On the girl’s side, one of the biggest hurdles to getting back atop the championship podium will be Albuquerque Academy, which won the state championship in 2016 and return many of their top runners.

    “Academy is very, very strong,” Rob Hipwood said. “We could have an exceptional season and then not quite get there.”

    The coaches feel that the front-running girls will give them a chance to compete.

    “We are definitely going to be in the running at the end as long as everyone can stay healthy,” Rob Hipwood said.

  • Volleyball loses home opener to...

    The tough start to the season for the Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team continued Thursday night at home, as they fell 3-1 to St. Michael’s.

    The Hilltoppers entered the game with a 2-4 record, and were coming off of a victory over Pojoaque High School Tuesday evening.

    Their home opener against St. Michael’s wouldn’t go as smoothly, as they were facing a team that entered the game with a 5-1 record.

    It was clear who the quicker team was in the first set, as every time the Hilltoppers would begin to go on a run, the Horsemen would put an end to it.

    Trailing 20-16, LAHS went on a run to get back within two points thanks to the serving of Alize Garcia, but it was not enough to get them ahead, as they fell in the first set 25-20.

    It appeared the second set would be much of the same, but after taking a timeout trailing 17-12, the Hilltopers took off and surged ahead to a 21-19 lead and didn’t look back, taking the set 25-21 and tying the match 1-1

    St. Michael’s rolled through the third set, jumping out to a 14-6 lead and never letting go of the control, easily winning the set 25-15 and setting up a must-win fourth set for the Hilltoppers.