Before they competed with the rest of the state, siblings Katlin and Courtland Luscombe had their hands full with each other.
Once, Katlin said, her brother challenged her to a bicycle race, and Courtland, two years her senior, claimed a close victory.
“We fought for about a week over it,” Katlin said.
There’s little to fight about these days at the Luscombe household, because three current state champs live there. Katlin, a sophomore, was part of the Texico High girls team that repeated as Class 2A champions on March 14, and Courtland was one of seven seniors coached by his father, Richard, to the boys championship a day later.
They’re not the only happy Texico siblings. The Baileys (Brooke and Seth), the Richards (Levi and Victoria), the Martins (Faith and Seth) and the Luscombes are all members of Texico’s basketball squads, and make up what Superintendent R.L. Richards jokingly calls the “quadruple double.”
The Luscombes’ story is seven years in the making. That’s the last time the Texico boys won a state title, also a year the girls team claimed the title.
“I was happy for him,” said Courtland, then a fifth-grader. “I was a waterboy back then.”
His third-grade sister was simply a spectator.
“What I remember most was The Pit, because it was so big,” Katlin said. “I remember everyone was excited. I knew they won, but I never knew the true meaning of the state championship.
“I guess whenever I got into sports myself, I realized how much hard work and dedication it took. Having it pay off at the end is an amazing feeling.”
She should know, having been part of four title winners already at Texico — back-to-back efforts in volleyball and basketball.
Katiln averaged 15 points in Texico’s three wins in Albuquerque, while her brother averaged 17.6 points in the Wolverines’ final three games.
Richard Luscombe knew it was tough for his son to be without a title while his sister had four, but said the issue was never divisive.
“They push each other,” Richard said. “There’s a tremendous amount of support. It’s not an envious situation. It’s support, but there’s a natural push they don’t really talk about.”
Now that he has a title, Courtland conceded the pressure that existed.
“It pushes you a lot,” he said. “She already has four and she’s a sophomore.”
After the Texico boys unseated defending champ Mesilla Valley, Richard Luscombe talked about the unique experience of coaching his son to a state title one day after sitting on the bench for his daughter’s win.
“You think about it quite a bit as a season goes on,” said Richard, who admits he’s probably harder on Courtland than the rest of the team. “Suddenly, when they become a senior ... I don’t know if sometimes you want it more as a parent or coach for them than they do.”
As for Katlin, Richard said he gives advice when he’s asked, but never has to do too much.
“She’s been very fortunate to have really good coaches,” he said. “You know she’s learning the right way to do things.”
And now she’s learning the joy of sharing the experience with her brother.
“It feels a lot better,” Katlin said. “Everyone in the house is happy and there’s a good air around the house.”
Still, the competition continues. The bikes have given way to the PlayStation and NBA Live, where Courtland takes the Boston Celtics against Katlin and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I kill her every time,” Courtland said.