Demon Athletics: Who Makes It All Happen?


Noah Shandler, Author

From scheduling games and refs to maintaining fields to caring for athletes to keeping score during competitions, a small army of employees and volunteers makes Demon sports possible.


Do you ever wonder how refs are assigned for sporting events or why the football and soccer teams don’t show up to play at Ivan Head simultaneously? Enter Louann Padilla.

As the athletic manager/coordinator at Santa Fe High, Louann (everyone seems to call Ms. Padilla by her first name) handles all Demon sports. Her responsibilities include scheduling games, doing eligibility checks, organizing booster clubs, managing purchase orders, and accounting/depositing. She also assigns refs for all home sporting events, which requires a series of steps. 

First, she enters the sports schedule into the organizational app Dragonfly, and a ref is assigned for a given game. (The timeframe for the assignment varies; it could be set up the day before a game or up to a week before.) 

Scheduling games is a three-part process that starts with Louann talking to coaches about who they want to play on their schedule. Then she talks to athletic directors around the state whose teams the Demons wish to play. Finally, she coordinates with the facilities to make sure they are available to house the games without conflict. 

Louann has been at Santa Fe High for 18 years. “I love my job,” she said. “I love the student-athletes.”


Do you ever go to sporting events and see an authoritative man wearing an SFHS shirt and SFHS jacket? Enter Marc Du Charme, the district athletic and activities director. His responsibilities include “overseeing any NMAA-sanctioned sports and activities events,” as he explained. 

When challenges arise, Mr. Du Charme has a team of coordinators such as Louann to help him manage buses for sporting events, schedule games, and assign refs. 

The craziest thing Mr. Du Charme said he has ever witnessed at a sporting event happened just last year: A kid ran onto the field at a home football game and stole the ball mid-game. 

Mr. Du Charme said, “I am lucky to have my job…. I love to work with kids.”

When asked if he could wave a magic wand and change anything in school sports, he said, “I would give the players immunity from all injuries.”


Ever wonder who the man is in the gray SUV at soccer and football games? Enter David Manning, the head trainer at Santa Fe High.

To become a trainer, Mr. Manning had to attend classes, pass a national certification process, and then get a New Mexico license. His responsibility is student-athlete healthcare. 

Mr. Manning, who graduated from SFHS in 2002, is there for every student-athlete no matter what team they are on. The challenge that arises in his job is having to be at multiple events at the same time. 

Mr. Manning said his favorite part of the job is “going to the games.”

The craziest thing he has ever witnessed at a sporting event was at a bike race where a course manager who was cleaning up the track lost control of his golf cart and fell off a cliff. (The poor guy broke nine vertebrae, punctured a lung, and had two brain bleeds.)


Behind the ADs and managers and trainers is an army of employees and vendors who provide security at events, drive the buses, hang the banners, take the photos, print the T-shirts, clean up after events, maintain the fields and courts, etc.

Then there is the army of parents who drive athletes to practices and games, many of whom also volunteer to run concessions, fundraise, sell tickets, create programs, post to MaxPreps, inform the local press, keep time, keep book, and organize hundreds of athletes at complex events such as track meets and swim meets.

So the next time you attend an SFHS sporting event, thank one of those soldiers!