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Steinkamp earns player of the year honors

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By Phil Scherer

Following an outstanding senior season, Arthur Steinkamp was named New Mexico’s Player of the Year in Class 4A, and was also named a first-team all-state performer. In total four Hilltopper boys and three Hilltopper girls made the first-team all-state list, while boys’ head coach Ron Blue was named the Coach of the Year. 

Steinkamp finished the season with the most goals in the state of any boy, regardless of class. 

He scored 43 goals and dished out 12 assists, accounting for 96 total points. 

He scored more than 90 goals in his Hilltopper career, and increased his goal output every year. 

The other boys named to the first-team all-state list were sophomore forward Aiden Semelsberger, senior midfielder Jared Carnes and senior defender Jesse Prime. 

Semelsberger excelled in his first year with the Hilltoppers, while Carnes and Prime were excellent on the field, and also did well in leadership roles, as they acted as captains along with Steinkamp. 

Junior goalkeeper Jacob Majors and junior forward Dakota Duran made it onto the second-team all-state list after outstanding seasons. Both will return to the Hilltoppers in prominent roles next year. 

Blue was named the state coach of the year in part because of his ability to lead a mostly inexperienced team all the way to the state championship game. Heading into this season, only three of Blue’s players had ever played significant minutes at the varsity level. 

On the girls side, senior forward Alix Hailey, senior midfielder Alissia Haagenstad and senior defender Vianey Terrazas were named first-team all-state performers. 

Hailey was the offensive leader for the Hilltoppers, and proved to be one of the top scorers in the entire state. 

Haagenstad did a great job of distributing the ball around to the team’s many weapons, and played a key role on both sides of the ball. Terrazas developed into one of the top defenders in the state and kept opposing teams away from the goal effectively. 

Senior forward Katie Hopkins and senior defender Shelly Doyle were honored as second-team all-state performers. 

Both played key roles on the Hilltopper girls’ soccer team, which advanced to the state semifinals and nearly made the state championship game.