Football: LA honors its top performers of '10

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Following the conclusion of the 2010 football, the Gridiron Booster Club recognized the 2010 Hilltopper football teams for their efforts on and off the field.
“This is about honoring these young men,” said head coach Garett Williams. “That’s what we’re celebrating tonight, their commitment. Hopefully they’re learning something every time they step out on the field.”
In all, 39 varisty awards were presented throughout the evening both offensively and defensively.
Some of the most impressive awards included the District 2AAAA Academic All District awards.
The honor was presented to Isaac Koh, Johnny Maldonado, Alex Lyold and Alan Dahl. The players achieved a 3.5 grade point average or higher, in addition to their time on the field.
The District 2AAAA Offensive Player of the Year honor went to Kory Balog, who walked away with numerous accolades for the evening.
Balog was also selected to play in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association 4A/5A All-Star game. He scored 20 touchdowns during the season and amassed 2,000 all-purpose yards.
The most improved player for 2010 was sophomore Grant Washburn, who was described by assistant coach Pat Brousseau as “a big puppy with the heart of a lion.”
Mike Sanchez received the Hilltopper Award and Daniel Christensen received the Coaches Award.
The honor of the prestigious Black Lion award went to David Brock.
The Black Lion Award, which was established to honor the memory of an army company which served in Vietnam, is given at several different high schools and colleges throughout the country. It was the second year the award was given at Los Alamos High School, with offensive lineman Nate Robbins earning it for the 2009 season.
The C team also received recognition from its coaches. The Mean Green Award went to John Gibson, Ben Stewart received the Hilltopper Award and Sklyer Veenis received the award for Most Improved Player.
 “I am so very proud of the team and the way they committed the time and effort during this season,” C team coach Marco Lucero said. “I told them it’s easy to show up everyday for practice when you’re winning all the time. It takes true dedication and toughness to show up and practice hard when you have a losing season.”
Williams also recongized the efforts of the Gridiron Booster Club with the 2010 Program Award. The members contributing to the specifics of the award included Tammi Robbins, Alida VanEtten, Kim Knapp, Cate Nickless and Rachel Simson.
The lady leaders also provided a hearty dinner to the team with special assistance from Audrey Washburn.
A slide show of both 2010 seasons were provided to team members through the help of team parents and team sister Brittany Robbins, who photographed every varisty game.
The highlight of the evening was the recognition of assistant coach Don Reid, who has spent 27 years with the Hilltopper program, on the field and in the classroom.
“I learned stuff everyday from you,” Williams told Reid.