• LAHS runs past Santa Fe in district opener

    In the first week of district play, the Los Alamos High School football team got back on track, defeating the Santa Fe High School Demons 22-13 at Ivan Head Stadium. 

    Prior to the contest against the Demons, LAHS’ defense had struggled over the past month. Dating back to the game against Gallup on Sept. 21, the team had not scored more than 7 points in the past three games. 

    To help jumpstart the offense, head coach Garett Williams started Walker Eaton at quarterback and had Dylan Irish work as a fullback, which seemed to work well. Eaton led the offense down the field smoothly throughout the game, and Irish had some great runs out of the backfield to set up scores. 

    Though his running was impressive, it was Irish’s punting that helped get the Hilltoppers on the scoreboard in the first quarter. After an LAHS offensive drive stalled, Irish punted the ball perfectly and it was downed on the 1-yard line. 

    On Santa Fe’s first offensive play, the Hilltopper defense tackled the running back in the end zone for a safety, putting LAHS on top 2-0. 

  • Girls’ soccer wins district with victory over Pintos

    With a 6-1 win against Moriarty High School Tuesday night at Sullivan Field, the Los Alamos High School girls’ soccer team officially won District 2-4A and has clinched a spot in the state championship tournament. 

    The district season has been mostly smooth sailing for the Hilltoppers, as the team did not allow a goal in district play until Moriarty’s Ashley Strader snuck one past LAHS goalkeeper Annika Fox in the 20th minute of Tuesday’s match. In five district matches, the Hilltoppers have outscored opponents 38-1, leaving little drama most of the time. 

    Despite cold and wet weather Tuesday night, the Hilltoppers took control early against Moriarty and never let up. 

    Just four minutes into the game, Katie Hopkins scored from right outside the penalty box area on a perfect shot to give LAHS a 1-0 lead. 

    Alix Hailey quickly added another goal, as Alissia Haagenstad made a perfect pass down the left side of the field to her. 

    Hailey sprinted more than 50 yards down the field with defenders chasing her, and snuck the shot right past the keeper into the middle of the net. LAHS led 2-0 after 10 minutes. 

  • Steinkamp continues dominant season against Moriarty

    Over the last month, there has not been a more efficient goal scorer in New Mexico than Los Alamos High School’s Arthur Steinkamp, and that continued Tuesday night against Moriarty High School. 

    Steinkamp scored five more goals against the Pintos, as the Hilltoppers rolled to a 9-0 victory. This has been the most impressive scoring stretch of Steinkamp’s outstanding high school career. Over the last five games, Steinkamp has scored 20 goals, including five goals each against all three district opponents. 

    Overall, Steinkamp is the leading scorer in the state with 31 goals and eight assists, giving him 70 total points. 

    With at least two games still remaining on this year’s schedule, Steinkamp has already blown past his previous season-high in goals, 26, set last season. In his high school career, he has scored a total of 78 goals and added 20 assists. 

    Adding to his recent accomplishments, he was named the New Mexico Player of the Week by Maxpreps for the week of Oct. 15-21. 

  • Atomic City Update: Fall sports set up for exciting finishes

    As the fall sports season winds to a close, I would like to congratulate all of the athletes at Los Alamos High School on their outstanding performances to this point. In the next few weeks, the state championships will be held for football, soccer, volleyball and cross country. At the moment, every sport at LAHS is still alive for the ultimate prize. 

    Like most years, the cross country teams are among the favorites to win state championships. Their performances have been outstanding throughout the season and the teams appear to be well prepared to battle against Albuquerque Academy in both races. 

    The soccer teams are finishing up outstanding regular seasons, and both teams appear poised to make a run deep into the state tournament. The girls should receive a top-four seed, and the boys should be able to host a first-round tournament game at Sullivan Field. 

    The volleyball team has had a great turnaround this season and has a spot all but locked up in the state tournament. In fact, the team could still win their incredibly tough district depending on how next week’s matchup against Pojoaque Valley goes. 

  • Volleyball wins important match in Española

     With a 3-0 on the road at Española Valley High School Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team proved exactly why it is deserving of a spot in next month’s state championship tournament. 

    Since falling to 3-7 at the end of the Tournament of Champions Sept. 15, the team has been on a roll. LAHS has gone 7-1 since then, and has only gone to the full five sets one time, in a road win over Moriarty. 

    As the season moves toward its conclusion, the team has improved in all phases of the game, a trend that continued against the Sundevils. Early in the season, LAHS relied on its ability to out-spike the other team to win matches. 

    But Thursday, the Hilltoppers displayed a greater ability to defend than in any other match this year, and it paid off in a big way. 

    All three sets were close, but LAHS managed to come out on top in every one of them. In the first set, the Hilltoppers stormed out to a 5-0 lead with great serving, and everything appeared to be working. 

  • LAHS football in playoff chase as district play begins

    Heading into district play, the Los Alamos High School football team is in good position despite struggling throughout the past two games. Overall, the Hilltoppers are 4-3 this season, and have as many wins as their district opponents combined. 

    Santa Fe High School, which entered this season with a 33-game losing streak, has shown improvement and currently has a 2-5 record. The Demons defeated Española Valley 23-22 on the road Sept. 7 and Bernalillo 17-15 at home on Sept. 21. 

    Much like the Hilltoppers, though, Santa Fe has struggled recently, losing its last two games by a combined score of 89-6. 

    In what could be an important game in District 2-5A, LAHS and Santa Fe will face off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ivan Head Stadium in Santa Fe. 

    After that game, the Hilltoppers will head to Capital High School to take on the Jaguars Oct. 26. Capital has struggled throughout this season, and has a 1-5-1 record heading into district play. 

    Since defeating Pojoaque Valley 67-14 in the first game of the season, Capital has been outscored 224-48, and has lost five games in a row. In its last game, Capital was defeated 47-0 on the road in Portales. 

  • Cross country teams dominate at Northern New Mexico Challenge

    As the end of cross country season draws nearer, it appears the teams from Los Alamos High School are getting stronger every week. Friday afternoon at the Northern New Mexico Challenge in Santa Fe, the Hilltopper boys and girls dominated and won by more than 65 points in both races. 

    The action kicked off with the girls’ race, and LAHS freshman Norissa Valdez proved quickly why she is one of the top runners in the state. Valdez separated herself from the pack within the first mile, and opened a sizable lead throughout the race. She finished in first place overall with a time of 19:59. The second place finisher, Alyx Mastor from Taos, was nearly a full minute behind Valdez with a time of 20:56. 

    After Mastor, the Hilltoppers dominated the race, finishing in third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh places. 

    All five of the runners finished within 12 seconds of each other, as Hannah Gartz had a time of 21:00, Mabel Pyle finished in 21:05, Tia Hartzol had a time of 21:07, Abby Beus finished in 21:10 and Marin Kelly had a time of 21:12. 

  • Atomic City Update: It’s the best time of year for sports fans

    Many people consider the Christmas season to be the most wonderful time of the year, but I would have to disagree. The most wonderful time of the year is right now, especially if you are a sports fan. 

    Sure, other times of the year have good arguments, too. In June, the NBA Finals and NHL Finals are going on at the same time, and baseball is in the middle of its regular season. In March, college basketball hosts the best tournament in sports while basketball and hockey conclude their regular seasons and baseball gets ready to go. 

    But there is nothing quite like late October. Major League Baseball is getting ready to crown a champion. The National Football League is in full swing. Hockey and basketball are just getting going, and fans of every team still have a reason to be optimistic. Plus, college football is entering conference play, raising the stakes even higher. 

    Some of my best memories from my childhood are from this time of the year, when I would obsessively channel flip between a hockey game, a Monday Night Football game and a World Series game. As far back as I can remember, I just couldn’t get enough. 

  • ‘Dig Pink!’ match has special meaning for local volleyball players

    Around the country this month, high school volleyball teams are helping to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research with “Dig Pink!” matches, where players dress in pink jerseys, hold silent auctions and raffles. 

    In Los Alamos, the “Dig Pink!” match will be Tuesday, when the Hilltoppers take on Pojoaque Valley High School. The C team match begins at 4 p.m., junior varsity will take the court at 5 p.m. and varsity will compete at 6 p.m.

    Prior to the match, the players will decorate Griffith Gymnasium with pink ribbons and balloons, providing a special atmosphere for everyone involved. Prior to the varsity match, victims and survivors will be honored inside the gym.

    This year’s match will hold special meaning for two Hilltoppers, who have recently been personally affected by cancer. Senior libero Kyla Sandoval’s father Louie passed away last year after a fight with esophageal cancer, while senior middle hitter Janessa Gonzales’s mother survived breast cancer and her aunt is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. 

  • LAHS loses homecoming game to Hope Christian

    After three weeks of flying high, the Los Alamos High School football team came crashing back down to Earth on Homecoming weekend, as the Hope Christian Huskies invaded Sullivan Field and dominated the Hilltoppers 45-2. 

    LAHS entered the game with a 4-1 record for the first time in more than a decade, and felt confident going up against the No. 1 team in Class 3A. 

    However, across 48 minutes of football, the Huskies showed the Hilltoppers just how difficult it is to enter the realm of New Mexico high school football’s elite teams. 

    At every turn, Hope Christian exposed LAHS’ weaknesses.  The Hilltoppers struggle to defend a strong passing attack, and the Huskies took advantage time and time again, with a pair of first half touchdown passes to go up 14-0. 

    The first came at the end of a long drive for Hope Christian, as senior quarterback Vince Quezada rolled out of the pocket at the 10-yard line and found senior wide receiver Jake Cosper wide open in the back of the end zone.