Football: LA prepares for upcoming season

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'Toppers taking advantage of spring practice time

By Mike Cote

There is a lot of work to be done before fall rolls around and the Los Alamos Hilltopper football program isn’t wasting any time in getting at it.
And while getting prepped for the 2011 football season is first priority, setting the groundwork for years to come is also at the top of the to-do list.
Los Alamos is wrapping up its second week of spring workouts this week, hoping the extra work will pay off this season.
Teams around New Mexico have the opportunity this season to hold spring workouts. The New Mexico Activities Association, which governs most interscholastic sports at the middle school and high school levels, approved spring workouts early this year in order for teams to get a jump on mandatory practice, which will start Aug. 1.
 “We’ve been going with drills, getting our techniques for stances, others are working on their positions,” said Hilltopper Alan Dahl, who will be a senior in the fall. “I feel like this is going to be warming us up for more advanced stuff, getting the basics.”
About 40 Hilltopper returners and prospective players have been showing up on a daily basis since the workouts began May 16, the Monday after the spring sports season concluded. By rule, activity is limited to one hour following school and cannot include contact.
Los Alamos was in the weight room Wednesday and Thursday, getting instruction from head coach Garett Williams on proper techniques of bench pressing, dead lifting and other strength-building workouts.
Williams, who is entering his second season leading the team, said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from the spring workouts.
“We’ve had a great group for the last two weeks. We’ve had a good crew,” said Williams. “We’ve had a good turnout every day.”
Along with the returning Hilltoppers, Williams said he also wanted to include players from Los Alamos Middle School so he and the coaching staff could do a little player development as well as getting the veterans back into the football groove.
“We want to start early working with the junior high kids,” Williams said. “We want to start teaching these guys some techniques, some rules, so they know what we do from the time they get here until they get out.”
This fall, the Hilltoppers will be looking to improve on their 4-6 finish in 2010. They finished second in the District 2-4A race behind Bernalillo and weren’t invited to the Class 4A playoffs.
Los Alamos will have some key personnel returning to its offensive line, which collectively had a solid season in 2010. Some of its skill positions, however, will be a question mark heading into 2011.
The Hilltoppers will get their official preseason workouts going June 6. For now, getting back into a football mindset and developing good training habits are what the team is focused on.
“I have not been conditioning for months,” Dahl said. “Right now, I feel like I’m about 40 percent of what I’m capable of being...this will help us when the season starts.”