The Extraordinary Transfer: Terra Linda’s Loss is SRHS Football’s Gain


Eliseo Diaz, Contributor

Lucian Traverso yells, “Bank is open,” as he drills basketball into the basket. 


Lucian, also known as Lu, has been in Marin all his life. Throughout his time in Marin, he has made lifelong friends and experienced the incredible diversity Marin has to offer. 

Lu was born with missing fingers on his left hand. He was later diagnosed with boneless metacarpals. The medical condition was unheard of at the time. 

When he was 5, his left hand had to be adequately taken care of with surgery and therapy. The left hand started to grow fingernails on his stumps where the pinky would have been. After five consistent surgeries, Lu finally got his left hand back, and life was more accessible and more enjoyable.

Lucian grew up in Terra Linda. As a pre-teenager, Lucian would make his appearances at the Terra Linda basketball and football games. He would be cheering on the Trojans; attending all these events as a young kid made him want to go to Terra Linda High School. Lucian had a life goal to play in the NBA growing up, despite having missing fingers. He would play basketball every day as a kid, eventually becoming very skilled at the sport. Nowadays, Lu just balls out and makes all sorts of crazy shots all day long. Do not let his missing fingers fool you: Lu is a different breed. One of a kind. 

Lu would be a part of the Class of 2013 at Terra Linda. Lu has made so many friends and slowly expanded his knowledge about everyday life in high school. During his Junior year of high school, Lu had his first coaching position. He had become the assistant coach of his younger brother’s CYO basketball team. For Lu, helping younger kids has made the young kids better people, outside of sports and games.

“It is a lot of fun to see the joy of kids playing the game that I love. Reminds me of myself when I was playing,” said Lu, expressing the joy of coaching. 

After High School, all the football players’ parents had received an email. The parents’ email was to gather any new information about anyone interested in coaching football. At the time, the parents’ received the email that Lu was coaching freshman basketball. He took the opportunity and challenge to coach another sport.

Lu’s passion for football came when his grandmother had season tickets to the 49ers game on the 50-yard line. Back when the 49ers used to play at Kezar Stadium. Lucian loved playing pickup ball during recess with his buddies back in grade school. He would always play running back because of his fast agility. Football instantly sparked an interest in Lu, and he seized the opportunity to play at the high school level. 

Coaching football and lacrosse over at Terra Linda for five years and a year at San Marin, Lu has made a considerable impact over the years. After beating San Rafael brutally over the years and having an excellent reputation for leading great programs to victory, Lu made sure the school program would be stable as long as he was there. 

“I was hired as the Head Varsity football coach (Terra Linda). A week and a half later, they fired me without cause or reasoning,” said Lu, after leaving Terra Linda frustrated.

Head Coach Mark Lubamersky heard through the grapevine that he had left. Lu had a stack of emails from different high schools around the Bay Area, like Casa Grande and Kennedy, both known for vital programs.

Lu made the most shocking decision of his life, transferring to the San Rafael Football program. Despite being arch-rivals, he was trying to prove a point. Coming to SR, the football culture was still pretty bad, but not the worst. Only able to win three games over five years. Lu knew the position he took, defensive coordinator position would challenge him. He would take notes on players, whether they would start on his side of the ball. Lu needed to create a new defensive scheme; he had a grand strategy at Terra Linda, but he needed to adjust in life just like everyone else. 

As summer approaches, Lu made his appearance in the school’s weight room. Luis Velazquez, a football player entering his Senior season, saw Lu entering. “Everyone in the weight room was so in a passive mood,” he said. “Not everyone was working out. Saw him plugging the aux cord to his phone, and he started to work out with us, saying jokes, getting us in the mode. Moments later, everyone was pumping iron and listening to his trap music.”

SRHS alumni and graduate assistant Liam Lubamersky enjoyed his summer break coaching the incoming freshman. Due to distance learning, Lubamersky has stayed home and enjoyed spending a little more time with family and friends. He is also playing on City College of San Francisco’s football team. Coaching with Lu has made him into a better coach and a better teammate. When the tempo within groups is not supposed to be, Lu simply gets energetic and helpfully bugs his players. 

“Lu is very straight to the point. He will tell you how it is, and if you can get along with someone who is like that, Lu will be a great person to you. If you cannot handle that, Lu is going to seem very intense, maybe too intense. He is always energetic.” 

The 2019-2020 season was Lu’s officially first year coaching. Lu did not know much about San Rafael’s common opponents. Despite our opponent, Lu was ready to pull his defensive calls to the lucky 11 players. The defense led the team to an opening victory. The overall season was not how most players expected. Despite our loss against our rivals, Terra Linda, Lu was very impressed with what he gave and got: unconditional love from everyone.

Unfortunately, Lu was planning to quit coaching and go for his masters’ degree. Lu announced the week after we lost. Even though this was shocking, he still came during the off-season and worked out with his former players. Hearing this, Velazquez and other players did not know how to react. “I could not process the words that came out of his (Lu’s) mouth,” said Velazquez.“He connected with us. No other coach would mentally and physically challenge us.” 

It became Lu’s final moment at San Rafael. Just kidding.

After a long time of thinking, Lu made the executive decision of staying and continuing to coach. He realize he still had couple of things to finish before leaving San Rafael. All said, now a road to victory.