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The 2010-11 sports year was among the most successful in Los Alamos High School’s recent history.
And Dominic Lucido played a big part in it.
Lucido, a 2011 graduate of LAHS, died April 24 in Albuquerque. A memorial service was held Monday for Lucido at Trinity On The Hill Episcopal Church. He was 20 years old.
Those who knew Lucido, a student at the University of New Mexico, all expressed shock at Lucido’s death.
“One thing that stood out about Dom was that he really cared,” Lucido’s old coach and current LAHS tennis coach Lloyd Wilton said. “He cared about everyone in his family. He has three sisters and he was the only boy. He was good to all of them. He was just a kind guy.”
Wilton, half of a standout doubles tennis team along with twin brother Billy during the early 2000s, worked with Lucido and doubles partner Chase Havemann during the 2011 season, which ended up being a big one for the duo.
Lucido/Havemann earned the No. 1 seed heading into the 2011 state Class 4A championship tournament and waltzed through its first two matches, giving up just seven games in four sets to advance to the finale.
In the 4A championship match, Lucido/Havemann went up against the No. 2 seed, Albuquerque Academy’s Brandon Jew/George Cooper, the latter half of that team being a member of one of the most successful tennis families in recent state history.
Lucido/Havemann breezed through the first set, 6-1, but Cooper had a monster second set while the Los Alamos duo struggled at the net to give Academy’s team a 6-3 win.
The third set didn’t start off very well for Lucido/Havemann, with Havemann immediately getting his serve broken, but came through with two big scoring volleys to swing the momentum back its way.
Lucido and Havemann prevailed in the final set, 7-5, to secure the win and Los Alamos’ second consecutive boys doubles championship.
Wilton said their capturing the state title wasn’t even a bit of a surprise to him and that Lucido worked as hard as any player he’s coached.
“I saw how smart of a player he was,” Wilton said. “He took to everything you’d tell him. I can’t remember one time him talking back to me...(Havemann and Lucido) balanced each other out really well, Dom was really calm and Chase was kind of the goofball, but they had a wonderful relationship and played well as a team.”
Havemann flew in Sunday from attending classes at the University of California-Davis to attend Lucido’s services.
“It was such a big moment,” Havemann said. “When I tell friends the story, I tell them that I won with (Lucido), not just that I won state…I’m glad it was with him.”
Havemann and Lucido were also integral parts of the Hilltoppers’ state soccer title, which the team won in November 2010.
The soccer state title broke a 24-year drought by the Hilltoppers, who fell to the No. 5 seed when the state 4A bracket was released. The Hilltoppers had to defeat the Nos. 4, 1 and 2 seeds on consecutive days to win, crushing Belen 4-0 in the championship game.
Havemann said his and Lucido’s friendship went far beyond the playing field or the court.
“Him winning state with me was cool, but it’s not like that made our friendship,” Havemann said. “We were best friends for a long time. Literally every day we spent at together, hanging out at the house, playing ping pong, before practice or after practice.”
Numerous phone calls and emails came into the Los Alamos Monitor the day following Lucido’s death asking for information on memorial services.
Reader Susie Smith expressed shock at the news of Lucido’s passing.
“I guess my mind is just on wanting to offer our love and our heartfelt condolences to the Lucido family,” Smith said in an email to the Los Alamos Monitor. “My son is one of his peers, although about a year younger and I know these kids want to be there for Dominic. We have lost too many kids. One is too many.”
Wilton said he had spent some time with Lucido just about two weeks before. Wilton said he was given some MP3 songs from Lucido some time ago and still has them on his MP3 player.
He said Lucido made a lasting impression on him as a player and as a person.
“I want everyone to know how much his tennis family loved him,” Wilton said. “My prayers go out to them, for sure.”
Lucido is survived by parents Scott and Betsy, and sisters Clara, Robin and Susanna. Susanna, a senior at LAHS, is an important member of the Hilltopper girls tennis team.