Ardmore senior adds All-Star teams to resume
By Mallory Graves
When competing, you do it with passion or not at all. For Ethan Lyles, that meant keeping his eyes firmly on the prize to reach his goals, no matter how far away they may have seemed.
This Ardmore senior was recently named to the 2020 5A All-Star baseball and 2020 All-State football teams. He signed on February 7 to play football at Langston University in the fall.
“My signing day was pretty emotional, almost all of my family was there along with some of my coaches, teammates, and administrators,” Lyles said. “Some plans fell through and I didn’t think I would get to play college football, until Langston reached out to me. I felt a sense of relief when I saw how proud my grandparents were of me. I couldn’t help but cry when I saw my whole family sitting next to each other, emotional as well. All of my hard work had paid off and it was just an indescribable feeling.”
Lyles was very honored to accept this award, but was shocked given the circumstances of the pandemic.
“I found out that I was on the team when coach Vic Brumley, head Ardmore baseball coach, called me one afternoon and told me,” Lyles said. “I felt grateful to receive this recognition even with such a brief season. At first I was shocked, because I’ve never gotten any acknowledgments for baseball.”
Vic Brumley has been coaching at Ardmore for 39 years. He has known Ethan for roughly his whole life.
“I think I taught Ethan’s mother when she was in school, and I coached his older brother,” Brumley said. “I know their family well, and they are good people.”
For a coach to have one of his very own athletes make the All-Star team, it is a great accomplishment. Brumley said he is very proud of Lyles.
“I felt pretty good, because he seemed to get better in the last couple of years,” Brumley said. “We moved him to first base after his sophomore year, and Lyles did an outstanding job in that position. You can always count on Lyles to help out the younger kids with no complaint. I’ve asked him plenty of times to work with the freshman on their hitting skills and he gladly does it. Ethan’s grades are also excellent, along with his leadership skills. He has really blossomed over the last couple years-during his junior and senior year-when it really counts.”
For about 13 years, Lyles has played both baseball and football.
“Baseball was my first love and football is a close second. Outside of athletics, I am not an extremely loud or vocal person, but competing in sports puts me in that element to be that guy 24/7. To me, sports are a release from everyone and everything. There are no limits while on the field. Playing football and baseball at Ardmore High School also gave me a better outlook and mindset on the important aspects of life. Those included how to be a hard worker and how to be a great future father and husband thanks to my coaches over the years. The main reason I play sports though, is to make my family proud and to represent my last name in a positive way.”
Lyles’ final year at Ardmore was cut short before he could finish out his senior baseball season.
“COVID-19 took away a large portion of quality memories from high school, you typically remember your firsts and your lasts, but unfortunately, there were some lasts taken away,” Lyles said. “Only getting to play four games of my senior baseball season was the last thing I imagined to happen, given I won’t get to be in that Tiger uniform again. It is very sad, but I’m grateful for the four years and all of those memories that I did get to make.”
Not only is it a sad situation missing out on your final moments in your high school jersey, but also missing out on exposure from college recruits.
“This year was going to be an opportunity for Ethan, if he did really well and if his stats were good, to catch the eyes of college coaches. He was lucky to get a scholarship from Langston, but many other senior athletes around the world might have to be a walk-on and hope they get a scholarship later on.”
College is all about maturing and self-growth and Lyles is looking forward to a fresh start.
“I’m anticipating what kind of athlete I develop into while I’m away at college and most importantly, graduating and getting my degree in nursing,” Lyles said.
Preparing, studying, and training are all a part of an athlete’s journey towards greatness. Lyles spends his free time improving his skills to get ready for any situation that an opponent may give him.
“No matter what sport you play, if you want to be good, you have to commit to it and practice a lot,” Lyles said. “My favorite part of baseball is definitely the mental aspect of the game. If you’ve ever played baseball before, then you would understand how easy it is to get aggravated or thrown off of your game. I love challenges, and baseball is full of them.”