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Los Lunas, Highland name new football coaches

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Los Lunas High School, which nearly won a state championship two years ago and almost reached the title game last fall, introduced its new football coach Thursday.

And Terrell Trantham immediately becomes the youngest coach in the metro area.

“I think the age thing will be something people will question initially, maybe when things aren’t going as people want,” said Trantham, who turned 29 on Tuesday. “But I feel the 10 years I’ve had coaching are pretty valuable.”

Trantham, a 2003 Belen graduate who served the last two seasons as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, replaces Duane Toliver, who resigned.

Trantham will be the third coach in three seasons for the Tigers.

“I imagine the kids are wanting some consistency, and we’re getting a late start, but we can’t change the time (element),” said Trantham, who also coached in 2011 at Atrisco Heritage Academy.

His coaching career began at 2005 in Las Cruces, at a middle school that fed into Mayfield. He later joined the Trojans’ coaching staff in 2005 and 2006 before moving to Colorado.

The Tigers have been one of New Mexico’s elite Class 4A programs the past two seasons.

“I think winning breeds high expectations,” said Trantham. “It’s great to come into that situation.”

WASHINGTON IN AT HIGHLAND: Last week, Highland promoted defensive coordinator 37-year-old Stacy Washington, a former teammate of Brian Urlacher at the University of New Mexico, to the position of head football coach.

He has been on Highland’s football staff for seven seasons; he served under Gary Sanchez and then Derek Maestas, who recently resigned.

Washington played for the Lobos in the mid- to late-90s, at linebacker next to Urlacher.

“I’m excited as can be,” Washington said. “I love Highland, and this school felt like home as soon as I started coaching here.”

The Highland defense was 5A’s worst last season, giving up over 53 points a game.

“We were young,” said Washington, who is from Kerens, Texas, just south of Dallas. “That’s never an excuse, but we were super young and inexperienced. This year, we have more maturity, and we’ve got a lot of older, more mature veterans. We’re not a small team anymore.”

Washington said he played a couple of seasons professionally in Germany before returning to the U.S.

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