Los Alamos High School Hockey Team Says Goodbye To Five Seniors


Tyler Weiss will be attending the University of New Mexico to study Biochemistry.  He hopes to continue with athletics at the collegiate level. Photo by Don Taylor

Tyler Weiss has been playing hockey since he was 4 years old, but his love of the game started much earlier in his life. He attended his first NM Scorpions game when he was just two weeks old. He was a hit with the players and loved banging on the glass and cheering the team on as he got older. Once he was old enough to play there was no keeping him off the ice; you could say it was in his blood. He has gained life experience and many lasting friendships through the sport.

His freshman season he was selected for the Varsity team. He slowly started to flourish in the new and challenging environment, thanks to then captain Ben Rees. He was part of the State Championship team his sophomore year and it is a memory he will never forget! His junior year was cut short with a dislocated shoulder needing surgery before the season started. Unfortunately, Covid has prevented him from competing his senior year. He will always be appreciative of the work and relationships he created with his coaches and wants to thank them for always being there for him and for constantly demanding his best and pushing him past his comfort zone to become better, not only as a hockey player, but as an individual. 

“Tyler has been a member of the LAHS Varsity Hockey Team for the last four years.  He was an important part of our RGHSHL Championship run in 2019.  Tyler unfortunately lost his Junior season to injury and his Senior season to cancelation due to COVID-19, along with our other Seniors.  Good luck with your future endeavors!,” said Coach Kevin Brake.

Hayden Meadows plans to participate in a Gap Year Program with opportunities to travel internationally, volunteer, and explore various professional avenues, while enjoying sporting activities such as surfing and skiing in his spare time. Photo by Don Taylor

Hayden Meadows began playing hockey at the age of 4.  While he was not so enthusiastic about the 6:00 AM Saturday morning practices down in the canyon, he stuck with it and the game has since become a significant part of his life.  His mom signed him up thinking he would enjoy the energy of the game, and he sure did.  Hayden has always had great balance so he took to skating very naturally, but he could not have done it without Coach Gary, whose kindness, never-ending patience, and practice plans (especially the Superman drill!)  were instrumental in Hayden enjoying the game.  As a high school player, his drive and lack of fear contributed to his love of the physical aspects of the game.  Some of his favorite memories were made playing tournaments in Colorado.  He enjoyed the competition and team bonding both on and off the ice.  Getting together with teammates at hotel pools, restaurants, and going to see Denver University hockey games or watching the Colorado Avalanche play were always good times.

Covid-19 brought an unexpected turn to Hayden’s last season of hockey in Los Alamos, as did a dislocated shoulder that has prevented him from practicing the first half of the season.  As a senior, he was looking forward to a successful season and finishing high school hockey with teammates that he has been playing with for over a decade.  After graduation, Hayden plans to participate in a Gap Year Program with opportunities to travel internationally, volunteer, and explore various professional avenues, while enjoying sporting activities such as surfing and skiing in his spare time. 

“Hayden has played hockey since he was a kid and has improved in his hockey skills over the years.  We anticipated his senior year would be the best one yet as he continued to grow but unfortunately he was sidelined due to an injury and is just now able to come to practice and begin skating with the team. We wish Hayden the best in his future years of hockey!” said Coach Brake.

In the fall, Andrew Jeffery will be attending Colorado State University, a Ram once again. Photo by Don Taylor

Andrew Jeffery, sometimes Andy, sometimes Jeffery, is a hockey player through and through. He started playing at the age of 5, an Atom with the LAHA Rams, and never missed a season. That’s with 6 a.m. pond hockey, blistering nights, a broken fibula, and a pandemic. Andrew played other sports over the years – basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, cross country – but always seemed to be biding his time between hockey seasons. I’ve asked him why he likes hockey so much and he’s replied, it’s like flying. If you watch him skate, you’ll know what he means. Still, the best thing about hockey is that it’s truly a team sport. In addition to the Rams, Andrew’s been a Topper for three years, a NM Warrior for six and a Rio Grande All-Star. He’s even played with the Santa Fe Capitals and the NM Ice Wolves. There are few NM players in his age group that don’t know Andrew as a tough competitor, a respected teammate and a friend. In the fall, Andrew will be attending Colorado State University, a Ram once again. Andrew wants to thank all his coaches over the years, especially Coach Kevin, Coach Barnes, and his dad, Coach Chris.

“Andrew has been a huge part of the success of the Hilltopper Hockey program over the last three years.  He showed up every day with a great attitude and, as one of our most skilled players, always led by example in practices and games.  He was a big reason that we won the RGHSHL Championship in 2019.  Good Luck in what comes next, Andrew!” said Coach Brake

Sean Mitchell will be attending New Mexico State University in the fall. Photo by Don Taylor

Sean Mitchell started playing hockey at age 8. He was the tallest one on the ice of newbies.  As parents, we wanted him to learn to skate and regular skating lessons did not interest him. From that first day on the ice, hockey remains his favorite sport!

From Sean: “Since I was a kid, hockey has always been one of my biggest passions. Over the course of playing this game I’ve learned a lot from my experiences. From losing consistently as a young kid on a not so good team, to winning a state championship and many tournaments and games along the way, it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride but I’m glad to have been on it. Looking back I don’t think I would have done it any other way. I have enjoyed everything this game has offered me. All the games we should have won, all the games we defied the odds, and all the great times and the memories I’ve made with every single one of my teammates. It really has been a fun ride and I didn’t expect the time like this. This year was supposed to be the year to top it all off, the year that I gave it my all and went out with a bang. But I’m left with disappointment and the feeling of what could have been, and now all I can do is look to the future. I’d like to thank all my coaches who supported me over the years, and my parents who’ve been there since the very beginning. Without them this all would have been a lot less fun. Also, thank you to everyone who was able to make everything I’ve experienced with this game a reality, it’s something I will cherish forever. I’ve learned to enjoy every moment while you can, you never know when they will become memories. Thank you everyone and have a nice day.”

“Sean has been an integral part of the LAHS Varsity Hockey program over the last four years.  His great attitude, and high level of skill, drove our team to success each year that he played.  Sean was one of our leading scorers the last two seasons and was always depended on during the big moments.  Sean was a huge part of our RGHSHL Championship in 2019.  Good luck with everything in the future!” said Coach Brake.

Rachel Norman will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall to study psychology.  She hopes to continue playing music and playing a sport at college.  Rachel will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall to study psychology.  She hopes to continue playing music and playing a sport at college. Photo by Don Taylor

Rachel Norman started skating at age 5.  She was taking ice skating lessons when she stayed and watched an Atoms practice.  “I want to do that!” and there was no turning back.  Rachel would like to give a huge thank you to Gary Medrick, her first coach.  His encouragement kept pushing her forward and instilled a love for the game to this day.  

Since that first day she continued to play coed hockey with Los Alamos on their recreational and competitive teams.  At 9 she started to play on the LA Girls U12 team and really enjoyed the girls game.  She has played on the New Mexico Mustangs Girls rec and AA teams for 6 years, the last 3 years with Colorado Select Girls AA team, and the Los Alamos High School team the last 2 years.

A couple of favorite memories are from last year.  She walked into the rink in Durango for JV games and was told they had no goalie.  She had a feeling and had brought gear with her.  She hadn’t played goalie for 4 years and was excited to play in the pipes again!  The next weekend she was playing in the state playoffs for Colorado Select.  They beat their rivals the Lady Roughriders in an overtime 13 player shootout to advance to the championship game.

“Rachel has been a pleasure to have in the program over the years.  From her first practice session years ago, she always had a great attitude and never left the ice without thanking all of the coaches for the session.  Thank you for your attitude and effort these last few years, and good luck with everything that comes in the future!” Coach Brake said.