Though John Lynam has never played soccer for Tunkhannock, the 17-year-old still found a way to impact the program.
Lyman, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Nevada State Boys Soccer Player of the Year, one of the most prestigious awards in high school sports.
As part of the honor and new to the award, the Gatorade Play It Forward program allowed the winners a chance to donate an $1,000 grant to a youth sport organization.
Though Lyman lives on the West Coast, he remains close with several family members in Tunkhannock and decided to donate the grant to the Tunkhannock Youth Soccer Association, a recreational soccer league for ages 5 to 13.
“It felt really good to know it will help those people out,” Lyman said.
Lyman and his parents, Andy and Arissa Brogan Lynam, make the trek to Northeast Pennsylvania at least once a year.
Andy Lynam attended Misericordia University and his daughter, Shestan, will be a sophomore on Misericordia University’s women’s soccer team this fall.
Lyman’s grandmother, Brenda Yarasavage Brogan, lives on Keiserville Road in Tunkhannock, also near several of Lyman’s aunts, uncles and cousins.
Brenda’s sister, Mary Ann Yarasavage Keller, was Lyman’s great aunt and passed away on June 16 last year.
Lyman was announced Player of the Year on that same day this past June.
Because of the closeness they shared throughout his career, one of the reasons Lyman made the gesture of the donation was in remembrance of his great aunt.
Lyman, an incoming senior at Coronado High School this year who also plays for the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club, will be competing in another prestigious honor in less than two weeks.
He and 31 other players will travel to Madrid, Spain to train with Real Madrid Academy coaches as part of the generation Adidas International Real Madrid Select Program.
Real Madrid also happens to be Lyman’s favorite soccer team.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with the academy and learning from those coaches,” Lyman said. “I’ll be able to watch some games and see what I can do better from a Real Madrid point of view.”
Lyman led Southern Nevada with 35 goals and added 22 assists, leading the Cougars (18-4-1) to the Class 4A state championship game last season.
He was named to the Class 4A All-Southern Nevada team, received First Team All-State honors and was also named the Southeast League Offensive Player of the Year.