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New Rifle High basketball coach ready to go

Phil Sandoval

At first glance Chris Lowther likes what he sees of the Rifle High School boys basketball team.

“It’s going to be good,” Lowther said of the program after meeting with the players for the first time as the Bears’ new varsity basketball coach.

“There were almost 20 kids at the meeting, that’s a good start,” Lowther said of the number of returnees from last year’s program.

What impressed the coach the most was each player’s attitude to their new coach.

“They came in with open minds and a desire to succeed, so I’m real excited,” he said.

This is Lowther’s first head coaching job at the varsity level. Prior to accepting the job at Rifle High, he was the head junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant at Windsor High School for three seasons.

He replaces Roger Walters who recently retired from teaching and coaching to enter private business.

The coach said that he found out about the opening from his parents, James and Nondis Lowther, both Rifle residents.

Chris’s mother, Nondis, is familiar to many on the local golf scene.

She is a staff member at Rifle Creek Golf Course and the director of the annual Rifle Creek Ladies Invitational Tournament.

But, golf wasn’t what drew Chris’s interest in the Rifle job.

“My wife Pamela and I like the Western Slope. That and the opportunity to be a head coach attracted me,” Lowther said.

Admitting he’s not had the chance to watch many Western Slope schools play, Lowther said, the Western Slope League schools should be the same, style-wise, as Windsor and the rest of the Tri Valley Northern League.

“I don’t see a big difference, because the 4A schools on the Western Slope are pretty similiar in size,” he said. “The schools in both league have 750 to ,000 students each.”

As a coach, Lowther said he’ll stress team defense.

“I think the most valuable offense is defense,” he said. “I’ll definately emphasize defense, because especially at the high school level, defense leads to a successful program.


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