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Atomic City Update: LAHS coaches create great sense of community

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By Phil Scherer

During the opening weekend of fall sports at Los Alamos High School, several things made me smile and proud to be a part of this community. All of the teams were victorious, the crowds were loud and supportive and the atmosphere was exhilarating. 

However, the thing that made me happier than anything was seeing coaches of other sports supporting the fall sports along with the rest of the fans. 

I arrived at the LAHS volleyball game on Saturday about an hour before the varsity team took the court. I watched the JV game in its entirety and was impressed at how many other people arrived early to watch the young players. 

Lanse Carter, the new girls’ basketball coach at LAHS, arrived and sat right next to me at the media table in the middle of the bleachers. He sat there for the entire varsity match, taking time to talk to some of the fans while cheering for the Hilltoppers. 

After the match ended, we were talking and he said that at his previous schools, he had not spent much time watching volleyball, but felt that it was important to make a good first impression at LAHS and that he enjoyed watching the team. 

Right after the volleyball match ended, the girls’ soccer team took on Santa Fe Prep in its home opener. I made my way over to Sullivan Field for the game and looked up in the stands. 

Sitting front and center underneath the press box was Carter, who stayed for all of that game as well. 

LAHS boys’ basketball coach Mike Kluk was also in attendance at the volleyball match. After helping to run the concession stand prior to the start of the varsity match, Kluk made his way inside the gym and sat behind me, enjoying the fast-paced action. 

To some, this may seem like a small action by these coaches. But it really is special to me. 

It brings about a feeling of community 

when important figures at the school take time out of their days to watch games that don’t involve their teams.

Many coaches feel that their responsibility to their school ends when their season does, but that’s not the case for these men. 

It’s something that this community should not take for granted. Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus is at many of the sporting events at the high school, as are high school principal Carter Payne and Topper Freshman Academy principal Jill Gonzales. 

The leaders of this school district are dedicated to supporting students in the classroom and on the field, and that is so special. I enjoy seeing all of these people at games, because it lets me know the community really does care. 

There are some fantastic athletes involved in every sport at LAHS, and they deserve support from everyone in the community. 

It’s a standard that every community and team hopes to achieve, and I believe we are on the right track here in Los Alamos, because in this town, the Hilltoppers really do support one another.