Today's Sports

  • Atomic City Update: High school...

    As the NFL and college sports erupt in controversy and politicization, I am grateful that we still have high school football to remind us what the game is supposed to be all about.

    Right now, the NFL is dealing with the backlash and effects of many of its players kneeling during the national anthem, or deciding to stay in their locker rooms until the anthem is over.

    College athletics were rocked this week when the results of an FBI investigation revealed that players were being paid outlandish amounts of money to come to universities affiliated with Adidas brand apparel.

    That investigation has led to the arrest of four assistant coaches, and the dismissal of Rick Pitino, the highly successful basketball coach at the University of Louisville. The investigation could lead to the dismissal of more coaches, in both football and basketball.

    Luckily, the drama that has hit higher levels of sports has avoided the high school level to this point.

    Nothing has changed in Los Alamos. The players and crowd stand and face the flag in the middle of the field for the playing of the anthem before each game.

    Players at this level play because they love the game, not because they’re on a scholarship or because they’re being paid for their talents.

  • LAHS boy's golf finishes...

    In the second tournament of the year, the Los Alamos High School boy’s golf team showed great progress, finishing in second place at the Grants High School Invitational.

    The tournament featured a matchup of three of the top teams in the state: Los Alamos, Cleveland and Piedra Vista.

    LAHS finished with a score of 306, finishing two shots ahead of Cleveland and 17 shots behind Piedra Vista, which finished with a team score of 289.

    “I have not seen a score like 289 in my time coaching in New Mexico,” said Los Alamos head coach Andy Ainsworth. “Hats off to the Piedra Vista team for putting together a fantastic round of golf.”

    Overall, Ainsworth said that his team was “much improved” in the second tournament of the year, especially considering the challenging conditions at the Coyote del Malpais Golf Course.

    The top competitor for Los Alamos was Henry Poston, who shot a 72, finishing just one stroke above par. Ainsworth said that Poston had a “great round in the wind.”

    All of the Hilltoppers shot well in the event. Logan Bishop shot a 76. Jacob Benelli shot a 77. Brandan Duran shot a 78. Sean Rau shot an 81. Davis Johnson shot an 86.

    “It was a great competition for our kids,” Ainsworth said.

  • LAHS girl's golf impresses...

    The Los Alamos High School girl’s golf team took a big step forward in its second tournament of the year, winning the Coyote Invitational by four strokes over Cleveland High School with a score of 387.

    In addition to finishing in first at the tournament, the team also earned its first team leg for state qualifying, setting them up nicely moving forward.

    “It was nice to get that first team leg toward the state tournament,” coach Tim Hammock said. “It’s very beneficial to get rid of that goose egg and give the girls some confidence going into these next two tournaments in Albuquerque.”

    The Hilltoppers’ top finisher was Jessica Osden, who shot an 84, which was good for second place overall. The top individual in the tournament was Lexi Gutierrez from Cleveland High School, who shot a 78.

    The other Hilltopper golfers had impressive scores as well. Leah Mountain shot a 91, which was good for fifth place overall. Muira Mowrer shot a 103. Kat Mowrer shot a 109. Sydney Allen shot a 114.

    "I was very proud of the way Kat and Sydney performed during their first road tournament,” Hammock said. “With the added pressure of a first road tourney and having to play a course we have not seen before, they both played gutsy rounds.”

  • LAHS soccer teams struggle...

    The two Los Alamos High School varsity soccer teams walked onto the campus of Albuquerque Academy hoping to assert themselves as state championship contenders. They walked away realizing they still have some work to do before reaching that level.

    Both teams fell by identical 3-1 scores to the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, as Academy controlled the play throughout the majority of both contests.

    The Hilltopper boys struggled to get the offensive momentum moving in their direction, as they put seven shots on goal.

    The team entered halftime down 1-0, and saw that deficit climb to 2-0 just minutes into the second half.

    After struggling to get things going their way throughout the game, they found an opportunity as the contest wound down. Arthur Steinkamp, the Hilltoppers’ leading scorer, earned a penalty kick and converted. His goal brought LAHS to within one goal at 2-1.

    The team’s momentum was short-lived, however, as Academy earned a penalty shot of its own immediately after Steinkamp’s. The team converted its opportunity and walked away as the 3-1 winners.

    LAHS goalkeeper Cid Rice did all he could, making six saves, and keeping his team in the game to the very end.

  • Girl’s soccer defeats Del Norte

    The Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team got off to a good start in district play, defeating Del Norte High School 2-0 at Sullivan Field Saturday morning.

    The game got started more than an hour later than expected, as heavy rain and lightning kept the players off the field.

    Once they got started, however, it didn’t take long for the Hilltoppers to take control.

    Just seven minutes into the game, LAHS got on the scoreboard.

    Alyssa Parker took a shot from the left side of the field. The Del Norte goalkeeper, Jazzmine Herrera, stopped the shot, but the deflection came right to Elsa Gram, who buried the ball in the back of the net to put the Hilltoppers up 1-0.

    Throughout the game, Parker and Gram were able to consistently run past the Del Norte defenders, setting up quality scoring opportunities and keeping the Hilltoppers in control.

    LAHS goalkeeper Ashley Atencio came up with numerous big saves throughout the first half to keep her team in front.

    There may have been none bigger than a pair of stops in the 11th minute, when she lunged to the left to make one save, then quickly pivoted to the right to stop the redirection.

  • 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.