LYMAN – More than two months ago, Lyman athletic director Jason Hansen had an idea brought to him by a several parents and student-athletes at the high school.
They were interested in bringing a soccer team to Lyman. Hansen was on board with the idea from the get-go.
The idea was executed on Oct. 31 when the Wyoming High School Activities Association board of directors announced soccer program would be coming to Lyman in 2018.
“We had a huge interest in our school of people that wanted to play,” Hansen said Tuesday. “We had around 20 girls interested and around 30 boys. They had an interest, and we thought this was another activity for the kids here at Lyman.”
The Eagles and Lady Eagles will compete at the junior varsity level for the first three years, and will likely join the varsity ranks in 2021.
“We didn’t really want to jump in and say we were going to have a varsity team, and not get enough kids to play, first of all,” Hansen said. “Secondly, we wanted to give our kids a chance to succeed at the start.”
Lyman will start holding practices March 5, shortly after the conclusion of basketball season.
At least for the first few year, every student will get the opportunity to play, but only students who attend Lyman High School will be eligible to compete.
“It should be interesting,” Hansen said. “I don’t know much about the sport. It will be a big learning curve, I’d imagine, but yeah, I’m excited if kids are interested. If they want to play it, then I’m interested in offering it”
However, there are no guarantees a soccer program at Lyman will go beyond the spring of 2018.
“Time will tell,” Hansen said. “There’s even a possibility that this is only a one-year deal where it doesn’t work out and it doesn’t make it. There’s always that possibility.”
Hansen acknowledged the Lyman’s track and field numbers could decline with a new spring sport entering the mix, but he believes the athletes who will be playing soccer would not have competed in track, anyways.
“As a school standpoint, I think it’s a win-win,” Hansen said. “Kids are held to higher standards when they play sports. It keeps them on the straight and narrow, I guess you’d say.”
Of the 50 student-athletes -- between the boys’ and girls’ teams -- looking to compete in soccer, 15 already play on traveling teams, according to Hansen.
As of now, Lyman has not yet hired a head coach, but Hansen said that is still in the works.
“We’re still in the process of trying to find a head coach and trying to get everything organized,” Hansen said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a schedule by the end of next week. We’re just trying to get the ball rolling.”
Lyman will likely play five home games and five away games this upcoming season. The max number of games for a junior varsity team is 14.