As is often the case, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team will be the first to start the 2014 fall season at the high school.
Los Alamos is chock full of new, young faces heading into this season, not the least of which is its new head coach.
After leading the team for more than 20 years, longtime Hilltopper head coach Jiri Kubicek stepped down this past winter. Replacing Kubicek is AJ Herrera.
Herrera coached the Hilltopper boys program for a brief time. Most recently he was the head coach of the Santa Fe Demon boys program.
Last season, Santa Fe went 10-10 and had a chance to either qualify for a bid in the state Class 4A tournament or play spoiler for archrival Capital, but lost its season finale to the Jaguars, 5-0.
The 2014 preseason with the Hilltoppers, Herrera said, is going about as well as could be expected.
He said most of his players came into the preseason in good physical shape, which has allowed him to focus on development and working on plays as opposed to spending a lot of time on conditioning.
Los Alamos opens its season on the road, taking on the Farmington Scorpions. That game is set for Saturday at noon in Farmington.