Surrounded by the teammates and coaches who’d been with her throughout the many victories and rare defeats, Katlin Luscombe signed on to continue her athletic career Wednesday.
Luscombe, who helped Texico claim four consecutive Class 2A volleyball championships, is taking her game north to Adams State College.
The 5-foot-9 Luscombe picked the Division-II Grizzlies, who went 14-14 last season competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, over West Texas A&M and Lamar Community College.
“They were nice (during my visit),” said Luscombe, who has also played on four other title-winners for Texico (three basketball, one track). “They were great and their style is similar to ours. It’s fast-paced.”
Between her junior and senior years, Luscombe first thought she had a chance to play a college sport. She chose volleyball because she felt she still had room to grow.
“I’d been playing basketball for a long time,” said Luscombe. “Volleyball’s still new for me. It’s still fresh.”
Coach Lindy Mortensen said Luscombe will likely stay in her familiar position of middle hitter, where the Grizzlies lost four-time All-RMAC selection Darcy Jennings-Hawkins. But the competition is wide open.
“ We did lose a good middle hitter,” Mortensen said, “but we signed one in November along with Katlin (Megan Tapia of Pueblo South High). We also had a middle hitter out with an injury when Katlin came in to try out.
“They’ll have to battle for playing time. Katlin’s also a possible outside hitter for us.”
Whatever position Luscombe lands in, Texico coach Kristin Scanlan is confident things will work out.
“I think with Katlin’s work ethic, she can do anything,” said Scanlan, who held the head coaching position for Luscombe’s junior and senior seasons. Scanlan said the things Mortensen noticed — great leaping ability and a fast swing — have a lot to do with natural talent, but added that Luscombe works hard to improve those qualities.
“We’re going to miss her tremendously,” Scanlan said.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, will be young, Luscombe or no Luscombe. Mortensen said the Grizzlies started four freshmen last season, but she likes the group of players she has.
“It’s always nice to get a player from a winning program,” Mortensen said of Luscombe. “They have that drive to win.”
The letter-of-intent signing, handled in bigger schools in an athletic director’s office with a few coaches and family members present, took place in the Texico High gym, with dozens of classmates and numerous coaches giving congratulations.
“It’s amazing knowing people are behind me and support me,” Luscombe said.
Athletic Director Keith Durham told the crowd the closest thing Luscombe will likely get to a homecoming — unless a game at Eastern New Mexico is scheduled — would be at RMAC rival New Mexico Highlands.