Allison Faragher grew up playing soccer, having played in a club since she was young. She picked up the sport of basketball in middle school.
When she arrived at South Lyon her freshman year, Faragher’s mother encouraged her to pick up golf, joining what she described as a good program for learning the game.
In a time where specialization has become an integral part of the high school athletics experience, Faragher shattered that with the Lions, playing 12 consecutive sports seasons, earning 10 varsity letters in three different sports.
To the South Lyon athletic department, Faragher was most representative of the high school sports experience. The Lakes Valley Conference seemed to agree.
Faragher, along with Justin Meyer from Milford, were named as the LVC sports people of the year for 2020.
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To the conference Meyer and Faragher excelled both on their respective fields and in the classroom, showing what it takes to be a balanced, well-rounded student athlete.
Here is how they did it:
Finding her community
To Faragher, playing three sports, along with memberships in National Honors Society, Key Club, Ecology Club and the South Lyon Link Crew, takes a level of organization.
More importantly, though, high school athletics are how she built her community.
“A lot of my best friends played the same sports as me,” Faragher said. “Either going to our own games with my friends or going to football games with my friends. Just being able to experience all these things with other people who enjoy them too.
“I think it brings everyone together. I obviously don’t play football, but everyone gets like, there is so much spirit. Everyone gets so into it.”
But to her, the lasting legacy Faragher wants to be remembered for is her balance of everything she was a part of, and her drive to succeed in all aspects.
To her, that is why this award was so important. She said, when South Lyon athletic director Mike Teagan approached her about it, she was floored.
“It showed that other people saw what I was feeling, Faragher said. “I always knew that I was putting a lot of effort into everything, but it means a lot that someone else saw that too.”
To those younger, Faragher views herself as an example of not having to specialize in high school, of doing whatever amount of things you want to do in four years.
And now, heading into her freshman year at Michigan State, Faragher feels she will apply similar lessons to college.
“I just want people to know that they can do it all,” Faragher said. “They don’t have to choose only one sport to do. They can still do sports and still have time to hang out with their friends all the time. They can still do National Honors Society and other clubs. They can still have good grades.
“I just want people to know it’s possible to do what you want to do in high school.”
Finding an escape
As a soccer and basketball player, along with being a member of the track team, Meyer balanced each sport because it was something he enjoyed.
“It’s more of, if you are going to put that much time into it, definitely make it something you enjoy and have fun with,” Meyer said. “For me, sports is just something I really love.”
While sports served as a place to meet people with common interests and goals and allowed him a chance to represent his high school, one of the biggest factors for Meyer was what sports did for him outside of the classroom.
Sports allowed him an opportunity to get away for a bit.
“Also, for me, sports kind of served as a stress reliever,” Meyer said. “If I have a big test coming up or a big project, I kind of go into practice after school, have some fun, mess around, work hard, but sports are fun for me. It will help me relieve stress from what I’m thinking about in school and that helps me get back to work easier.”
Meyer finished at Milford at the top of his senior class, also becoming a significant member of DECA and the National Honors Society.
Starting his freshman year as an engineering student at Michigan in the fall, Meyer will not play sports with the Wolverines officially, but plans to play intramural sports on campus.
However, he said, he will always remember the moments he spent on the fields and courts for Milford, including his final game in a basketball jersey: a first-round playoff loss to Walled Lake Northern.
However, with the pandemic canceling each game after the first round, Meyer said he was just thankful for a sense of finality to his high school athletic career.
“For us, at least, even though we lost, I feel like it was completion. We finished it. The season was over,” Meyer said. “The guys, they could have kept going with that mystery of maybe being able to keep going would have made me uneasy. I guess the completion of being able to finish the season was kind of cool.”
Contact reporter Colin Gay at email@example.com or 248-330-6710. Follow him on Twitter @ColinGay17. Send game results and stats to Liv-Sports@hometownlife.com.