A tough ending

Article Image Alt Text

Rody Lyon’s senior year story athletically is one that most filmmakers wouldn’t believe because of the constant heartbreak.
A Giltner kid that made so much happen in his underclassman years with a chance to really light the world on fire in his final year of high school sports.
Instead, time and again, he watched from the sideline in street clothes.
Lyon was sidelined for both the football and basketball seasons for a hip injury he had dealt with for most of his high school career.
The great news for him is that’s behind him and he’s not done competing. What was sad, however, was his healthiness to compete in track this spring -- until the season was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Even when he was given the green light medically, he was still kept sidelined. Nevertheless, he has plenty of highlights to look back on that wowed those watching.
There was his junior season when the Hornets visited Humphrey St. Francis. Oddly enough, I believe that was the closest area game that week and as it turns out, I was glad I went.
The final score -- 76-40-- doesn’t quite reflect it, but this game was very close at one point and very entertaining throughout.
Dayne Hinrichs quarterbacked that game for Giltner and came within one yard of breaking the 8-man single game record.
The main target was Lyon on the outside and made the Flyers pay for not matching his speed.
Lyon caught 18 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns -- an insane statline that nicely complements the 44 of 78 passing night of Hinrichs.
It isn’t all without a little bit of luck, too.
Despite the deep double coverage, the ball bounced off the helmet of a St. Francis player and into the waiting arms of Lyon, who was now behind the two defenders and walked into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown pass.
Easy enough.
What most people missed during that game was the toughness Lyon displayed all night long.
I lost track during the night how often Lyon came off the field hurt in some way during that game, but every time worked himself back up to keep playing for his team.
He wanted to do it for his team. He knew they still had a chance to beat a state-rated team that night and kept getting off the canvas to contribute. A great teammate.
One of the highlights watching Lyon on the basketball floor was in his sophomore season when the Hornets played in the semifinals at state and ended up finishing fourth.
While as a sophomore he wasn’t the go-to guy or anything, watching him play the game alongside his brother, Rees, was a lot of fun.
On the basketball floor, Lyon could hoop with the best of them. His jumpshot was silky smooth and his move off the dribble was easy for me to predict, but hard for opposing players to stop.
He could float through the lane and score easily inside the paint and despite not being the big man on the floor, took his fair share of contact.
It was a shame that we never really got to see Lyon as the go-to, number one player for Giltner on the basketball floor because he would have put up some insane numbers.
Speaking of the Lyon brother connection, a cool moment for Rody came early on in his career watching his brother.
It was the district track meet in 2018 when the Hornets swept the trophies in the boys and girls divisions. Most know the girls have had an abundance of success over the past six years, but the boys have won plenty, too.
Among the several events the Hornets won that day, the boys took the top spot in the 1600 relay, a race Rees Lyon ran the anchor leg. His brother Rody was right there at the finish line to congratulate and share the moment with.
Lyon had plenty of success in track over the years, which makes good reason why he’s headed to the next level to run for Concordia University and reunite with his brother.
Rody spent plenty of time on our track leaders page in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and was another feather in his cap of accomplishments at Giltner high.
While he missed out on several “lasts” of his high school life athletically, seeing him soak up the game from the sideline and being a leader in a coach-like role was fun to see and gave him a whole new perspective on sports.
I don’t know what his future plans are, but if he wanted to, I’m sure coaching could fit in nicely.
He has all the tools -- and experiences -- to lead young men and women through any situation that could arise.
Even though Lyon’s high school story seemed to end in heartbreak, there’s plenty of uplifting moments along the way.
RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at sports@hamilton.net.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (2 votes)