Today's Sports

  • Girl’s soccer earns hard-fought...

    The Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer team squeaked out a nail-biting victory in their first road game of the season, defeating Bosque High School 3-2.

    For the second game in a row, junior Alix Hailey proved to be an offensive star for the Hilltoppers, scoring a goal and putting six shots on goal.

    In her first game of the season, Hailey recorded a hat trick. Finding those scoring areas proved to be more of a challenge for LAHS in this matchup, as the team was able to take 29 shots on goal, but only converted on three of those opportunities.

    In the first game against Santa Fe High School, the team took 30 shots and put 10 of them in the back of the net.

    The other offensive star for the Hilltoppers was sophomore Alyssa Parker.

    Playing in her first game of the season, Parker scored two goals on just three shots.

    Her play proved to be the difference for the Hilltoppers, who were struggling to find offensive weapons throughout the game.

    The offensive outburst comes as something of a surprise, as Parker scored just three goals in 22 games last season and had just 10 shots on goal.

    In two games this year, nine players have scored goals for the Hilltoppers, with Hailey’s four leading the way.

  • Girl’s soccer dominates opener

    The Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, defeating Santa Fe High School 10-0 Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field.

    Junior Alix Hailey proved to be the offensive star for LAHS, tallying three goals on seven shots, and adding two assists. She was too much for the Demonettes defense to handle in a game that ended on a mercy rule with more than 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

    Seven other Hilltoppers scored a goal apiece, something that head coach Ann Cernicek was glad to see.

    “It was a really great effort,” Cernicek said. “It was good to see a lot of different kinds of goals. We had direct kicks, we had corner kicks, we scored on crosses. So to see a variety of different goals that were scored from a variety of different players was really positive.”

    Hailey got the scoring started early for the Hilltoppers, as she found herself on a breakaway less than five minutes into the game. She was easily able to maneuver around Santa Fe goalkeeper Jannay Martinez and find the back of the net, giving LAHS its first goal of 2017.

  • Boy’s soccer cruises to first...

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team started the 2017 season off with a bang, defeating St. Michael’s 4-0 in their home opener Saturday at Sullivan Field.

    What started out as a defensive battle turned into a one-man show, as LAHS senior Tristan Semelsberger put on an offensive display that had the entire crowd in awe. He scored a pair of highlight reel goals, and added an assist as the defense struggled to find ways to contain the Hilltoppers offense all evening.

    “I thought we had some really nice moments,” LAHS head coach Ron Blue said. “Thank God that Tristan was able to finish and put the ball away.”

    Although Blue felt like the team generated a lot of scoring opportunities, mental mistakes and offside calls kept the Hilltoppers from putting the game away any earlier.

    “We scored five or six,” Blue said. “But we were offside, which I understand. We are still working on some offensive runs and some striker responsibilities, so it’s only a matter of time before we get that stuff figured out. That was a lot of fun, though.”

  • Time to shine

    This year, the Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer team means business.

    Not only do they return the bulk of a roster that advanced to the state semifinals a year ago, but they have also added one of the most well respected coaches in the entire state.

    The team knows they have the skill to compete with the best in the state.

    The only question that remains is whether they can take their game to the next level and claim a state championship.
    Ann Cernicek was the coach of the LAHS boy’s soccer team from 1995-2005. After moving back and forth between Los Alamos and Washington DC for the past decade, she said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to her old stomping grounds when the opportunity presented itself.

    When she looks out onto the field at the group she gets to work with in her first season back, she can’t help but smile.

    She can tell that this group has the ability to be special.

    “There’s a lot of depth, and there’s a really nice cross-section of strengths,” Cernicek said. “That makes it a really well balanced team, which really is helpful as you go down the road.”

    One thing Cernicek is happy about with this group is that they don’t have one person they will be relying on too heavily.

  • Ski club approves Pajarito sale...

    Los Alamos Ski Club members voted in favor of a proposal to transfer ownership of the Pajarito Ski Area from the Los Alamos Ski Club to the Pajarito Recreation Limited Partnership at a special meeting held Thursday.

    In a statement, the ski club board said, “This is a big step forward for the ski club in order to complete a transfer of ownership and operations that began back in 2014.”

    If negotiations succeed, PRLP, which has been operating the ski area for three years, would acquire all 750 acres of the Pajarito Ski Area land in Los Alamos County, and assume all of the ski club’s outstanding debt, which totals $1.25 million.

    According to ski club member Michael Altherr, more than 90 members attended the meeting.

    He said that the board did a good job of answering questions and addressing concerns before the vote.

    “Everyone got their say,” Altherr said. “By the time we got to the vote, there was no additional discussion needed.”

    The vote passed with a two-thirds majority, as is required in the ski club bylaws.

    One of the main reasons for wanting to get this deal done is the need for substantial improvements in the area, which PRLP have been reluctant to make due to the lack of ownership of assets.

  • Serving and spiking with a...

    Sometimes it is difficult for a coach to know what kind of team they have until they step onto the court for the first time.

    That is the case for Los Alamos High School volleyball coach Diana Stokes, who enters this season with more questions than answers when it comes to her team, and their competition.

    For Stokes’ team, the season will be defined by the play of its young players. As the first week of practice winds down, she believes the players will be spread evenly among the class levels.

    “I think we should have three seniors, four juniors and three sophomores,” Stokes said. “So we are going to be pretty young.”

    While she looks at the positive of this spread as being able to build a strong program for the next few years, she is unsure how it will all come together this year.

    “We are going to have a tough road, especially the first part of our season,” Stokes said.

    The team will be tested early, with its second game of the year coming against St. Pius X, the defending state champions.

    “I expect them to take state again,” Stokes said. “They should have all seniors this year. Last year, they won state with all juniors, so they could be even stronger this year.”

  • A team on a mission

     When the Los Alamos High School boy’s soccer team is on the field together, it appears that they have been playing alongside each other their whole lives.

    That’s because, in many cases, they have been.

    They may not be the biggest or the fastest team. But every player knows his role, and can anticipate where their teammates are going to be at any given time, because the majority of them have been playing together since they were 6 years old.

    Tristan Semelsberger, a senior midfielder and captain said that playing together since elementary school is a factor this is hard to capture on the score sheet.

    “It just gives us a greater team chemistry together,” Semelsberger said. “I think we know each other’s play style very well, which definitely helps us.”

    Ben Rees, a senior defenseman and captain, said that the familiarity also helps when things start to go poorly.

    “A lot of it just has to do with getting along with each other in the sense that when things get tough and people start getting frustrated, that it’s not toxic and aggressive to the team atmosphere,” Rees said.

    What they lack in size and speed, they make up for in precision.

  • Rodeo returns to LA

    The Los Alamos County Open Rodeo will take place this weekend at Brewer Arena, providing fun for participants and spectators Saturday and Sunday.

    The event is open to anyone. People can choose to sign up ahead of time, or at the rodeo grounds this weekend.

    There will be 17 events run both days, ranging from sheep chasing and steer riding for children to bull riding and barrel racing for adults.

    Brendan Tuning, the organizer of Los Alamos County’s Fair and Rodeo, said that the most popular events every year are the sheep chasing and the bull riding.

    “Those definitely seem to have the most broad appeal,” Tuning said. “A lot of people enjoy watching the barrel racing too because of how fast-paced it is.”

    He explained that a lot of people see the other events as filler between the main attractions, but that every event is sure to bring loud cheers from the crowd.

    Between 80 and 100 people are expected to participate, with 20 or 30 of those entering multiple events throughout the weekend.

    Entry fees are different in every event, with certain children’s events being free, and some adult events reaching as high as $75 per person.

    To register, call (719) 580-3022.

  • Ski club to consider ownership...

    Los Alamos Ski Club members will hold a special meeting Thursday to vote on a proposal that would transfer ownership of the Pajarito Ski Area from the Los Alamos Ski Club to the Pajarito Recreation Limited Partnership.

    The proposal states that the partnership would acquire all 750 acres of the Pajarito Ski Area land in Los Alamos County, and assumes all of the ski club’s outstanding debt.

    The move would also stabilize ownership of the Pajarito Ski Area after years of uncertainty. The ownership was expected to transfer to the county.

    The ski club and its approximately 2,000 members have taken out $1.25 million in loans from Los Alamos National Bank since 2014.

    PRLP would also commit to paying for half of the installation of a water-supply pipeline that would supply water to Pajarito Mountain for many uses, including snowmaking, fire prevention and providing potable water to Ski Area base facilities.

    The construction costs of the pipeline are estimated to be $3.4 million. Los Alamos County has already set aside $2 million for its share of the pipeline costs. The county’s utilities department is currently designing the pipeline.

  • Back on the gridiron

    This season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team is all about family.

    For them, it signifies more than just the word prominently displayed across the top of their practice gear. It is the key to putting together a successful year.

    “We are a family,” head coach Garett Williams told his team following their practice at Sullivan Field Wednesday morning.

    “This isn’t about me and it isn’t about you. That’s what makes this such a great game, because you can’t do it alone.”

    After a summer’s worth of preparation, the Hilltoppers came together this week for what they hope will be a long and successful season.

    However, the team entered its first week of official practices with many questions that needed to be answered and unity that needed to be built.

    “Right now, our expectations are to come out, work hard, develop a brotherhood and develop some team unity,”

    Williams told the Albuquerque Journal earlier this summer. “The intensity and the effort is the thing we’re focusing on right now. If we put in the work, the rest is going to take care of itself.”