The Los Alamos Nukes under-19 championship rugby team season opener is slated for noon Saturday at Sullivan Field.
“This is a great opportunity to see some good rugby during a round robin with the San Juan Spartans from Farmington and the St. Pius Sartans, and there is no cost to attend the games,” a team spokesman said. “If you’re not familiar with the rules of rugby, the team will have handouts available on Saturday and if you would like to get involved, we will be happy to talk to you”.
Rugby has been popular as a high school club sport in Los Alamos for many years and local games for both the Nukes and the girls team, the Los Alamos Bombshells. Several local players, both male and female have gone on to play intercollegiate rugby including 2016 LAHS graduates Nate Rogers who plays for New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and JoAnna O’Neill who plays for Western Washington University. Sisters Sammie Jo and Andie Hammon play for the University of New Mexico women’s team. Rogers also plays for the Las Cruces-based Horny Toads.
Nukes coaches are Demetrio Cardiel and his sons, Mateo and Diego are all well-known in men’s rugby. In addition to the Nukes, Demetrio Cardiel coaches the men’s Albuquerque Aardvarks, and both Diego and Mateo play for that team. Diego Cardiel was captain of the Arifjan Eagles while serving with the New Mexico Army National Guard at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
New uniforms are needed for both teams and members and their families are actively seeking donation and sponsorship. Because the teams are not affiliated with the high school, costs are higher for youth participants.
Future scheduled Nukes games are:
- April 14 at 7 p.m. in Los Alamos – Nukes vs Montezuma
- April 29 in El Paso – round robin with Cathedral and El Paso
- May 6 in Santa – Playoffs
- May 13 in Albuquerque – state tournament
- May 20 in Albuquerque – Rio Grande Celtic Festival
For more information, call 530.816.9187.