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The City Journals

Three memorable experiences for Riverton sports in 2020

Jan 05, 2021 12:00PM ● By Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

While 2020 was a year to forget for many reasons, sports experienced a very unusual journey. From Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID test in March starting a domino effect that saw no professional sports games for months. On the local level, the year may be most remembered for its spring season of sports being completely canceled or for the opportunity to have a fall sports season. 

Despite the cancellations, disruptions and temperature checks, Riverton experienced several memorable moments from its sporting year. Here are three of them. 

Skyler Lyon state championship

Before COVID-19 and quarantine entered the international lexicon, Riverton High’s star swimmer put her name in the record books in February. 

Skyler Lyon, swimming since age 4, won the 200-yard breaststroke at the 6A state championships on Feb. 15 in Provo beating her closest competitor by two seconds. 

“It was just such a rewarding feeling since that’s what I’ve been working toward for a while,” Lyon said in April. “Everything had paid off, and it just felt really good to be at the top.” 

It was something her mom, Brenda Lyon, said she could see coming having watcher her daughter finish 11th at state as a freshman, third as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior. 

“She went to state every year, got better and better each year, so senior year we just knew it was going to happen, and it did,” she said in April. “Everything fell into place, and it was just awesome to see.”

Winning state wasn’t her only accomplishment that day.

In addition to taking bronze in the 200 individual medley, she broke the 6A state record in the 50 freestyle. Doing so as part of the 200 freestyle relay team, Lyon swam the first leg at 24.90, beating the state record by .01 seconds. 

“I hit the wall … I looked at the time and was so happy it wasn’t a 24.92 or something,” Lyon said. “I was so stoked.” 

Lyon graduated in 2020, leaving her name covering half the record board at Riverton. She holds six of the 11 school records. 

“I always made it a goal to knock off all the records; I wanted my name up there as much as possible,” she said.

Last chance tournaments

With the cancellation of the spring sports season after playing only a few games saw many athletes go through the grieving process. There was anger and eventual acceptance. 

But for two sports, baseball and soccer, athletes had another step to add to the process: gratitude. 

Both Riverton’s boys soccer and baseball teams played in impromptu tournaments in June put on by interested community members to give players, notably the seniors, one final opportunity to represent their schools. 


 

The boys soccer team competed in the Graduation Cup, held in Farmington, a tournament split into two separate divisions. The Silverwolves won their group in the Circumstance Division, beating both Orem and Woods Cross 3-0 before defeating Stansbury 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Silverwolves would go on to play Park City in the semifinals the day after the Stansbury game. With the game tied in the first half 1-1, Riverton surrendered a penalty, which was then saved initially before Park City scored the rebound that proved the game winner. 

Riverton’s defense only allowed three goals the entire tournament as it outscored its opponents 11-3. 

For the baseball team, the Silverwolves played in the Last Chance Tournament, held at various locations in Utah County. 

It was an opportunity for the nine seniors on the team to finish their purple and silver careers with the Last Chance Tournament. That included Parker Applegate, a three-sport star, to finish his Riverton career playing for his dad, Jay, the head baseball coach. 

The Silverwolves would go 1-2 in pool play defeating local rival Bingham 9-8, but falling to American Fork 9-4 and Jordan 8-7. Riverton finished as the No. 4 seed but knocked off Lone Peak, Jordan and Copper Hills in the double-elimination tournament, only falling to American Fork two more times to finish second. 

Breaking a 17-year drought

Though the Riverton football team finished the year 6-6, and all victories mean the same in the win column, one win in particular perhaps stood out from the rest. 

The Silverwolves defeated rival Bingham 20-17 on Oct. 2, the program’s first victory over the Miners since 2003, before most of Riverton’s current crop of players were born. 


 

Riverton jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and forced six fumbles by the Miners, including one in the final two minutes of the game with Bingham inside the 5-yard-line to preserve the win.

After finishing its regular season, the Silverwolves entered the playoffs as the RPI-ranked No. 15 seed, where they defeated No. 18 seed Layton 31-14 in the first round before falling to eventual runner-up Lone Peak in the second round.