Los Gatos High super-fan brings school spirit to sporting events

Los Gatos High School has a reputation for strong school spirit and support for its athletics teams, but in recent years that spirit has been bolstered by one well-known student.

Known unofficially in the community as the “Mayor of Los Gatos,” junior Sam Radin is arguably Los Gatos High’s athletics teams’ biggest fan. Radin has attended nearly every single football and basketball game – at home and away – since he was a freshman, and officials from the school’s athletics department have attributed the encouraging energy at basketball and football games in part to Radin’s spirit.

For Radin, whose interest in sports goes back to Sundays spent watching football with his dad and hours spent playing “Madden,” being such a big fan of Los Gatos High sports is the next natural step.

“They’re really good, really highly ranked,” Radin said. “And I get to hang out with my friends.”

In addition to basketball and football, Radin’ has been adding baseball games to his list. He said he hasn’t been to a game that they’ve lost.

“You’re the good luck charm,” Radin’s mom Dianne told him.

She said his consistent attendance at Los Gatos sporting events, including a two-hour drive to watch the basketball team play in Oakland, has made him a well-known figure in the community. He gets recognized by his classmates even when they’re out and about in town away from school, she said, adding that she and her husband are referred to as “Sam’s parents”  more often than by their real names.

The elder Radin said she doesn’t often feel comfortable leaving Sam, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, alone without people the family knows well – except for when it comes to Los Gatos High sporting events.

“It’s good independence for him,” she said. “I think the first time we ever left him without someone that we knew with him was when we left him at a game.”

Ken Perrotti, the school’s athletic director, called Radin the school’s “hype man,” saying his energy at sporting events easily spreads to other students.

“This guy has the biggest smile, win or lose,” Perrotti said.

At a school where spirit and excitement about sports already runs high, Perrotti said Radin’s energy rises above.

“I think Sam is just another example of how much our students love being a part of Los Gatos High School, and that they feel included,” he said.

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