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OPINION: The excellence of Lehi's youth is remarkable

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During our staff meeting last week at the Touriddu, we discussed current events, past stories and upcoming assignments as we do every week, but this time, I said to the group, “The talent in Lehi is second to none.”

It seems as though the youth in Lehi shine brighter each week. It's a testament to the extraordinary talent that is within our community.

Consider the recent remarkable feats our city's youth accomplished, from Mason Hemmert's dominance in the swimming pool, where he just broke a record and secured gold medals for the second year in a row, to Kira Gardner's achievement as Miss Utah's Teen on the statewide stage. Then there's Kalena Bellini from Skyridge, who proudly represents our city on the Brazil National Soccer Team, bringing local talent to the world stage. 

Then there is Lindsey Larson, crowned Miss Lehi and went on to win Miss Utah. How about Madison Sherman, who just won Skyridge's first-ever gold medal in girls wrestling? Lehi Junior High freshmen Ella Garrett and Kinley Quintero won the National Championship Award at Future Business Leaders of America last year.

The talent doesn't stop there, not even close. We have Dallin Holker's journey to the NFL Combine while Jose Pizano kicks record-breaking field goals at UNLV. Let's remember the Ofahengaue brothers, whose rise in the world of golf inspires aspiring athletes while Zoe Barrus leads the way in fine arts at the Utah High School Art Show.

Our community's greatness goes further than individual achievements. Let's look at team wins, such as Skyridge's victory in the State Drama Championship or the Falcon Football State Championship. Skyridge Cross Country and Cheer also won championships. Lehi Football won back-to-back championships, while Lehi Boys Basketball and Baseball added to the banners and won championships too. How about the dynasty of excellence by Skyridge Girls Tennis with their four straight state titles?

I want to say, “There must be something in the water.” However, we all know who deserves the credit behind the scenes: The students, plus the parents, coaches, teachers, youth leaders, and community members whose support and dedication create an environment for our kids to thrive. Greatness is not just encouraged but expected. 

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As I think about my unapologetic pride in our Lehi community, I acknowledge that my bias may come from the role played by the Touriddu. Fortunately, we have a local news outlet that tirelessly highlights our kids' achievements and fosters a sense of pride and unity within our community. All our work at the Free Press is a labor of love to inform and engage the city and community we care deeply about.

Lehi is more than just a place to live. In Lehi, dreams are realized. Lehi is the place to be.

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