Autumn Lynch played basketball.

And ran on the track and field team.

And played soccer.

Oh yeah, and volleyball.

And she talked about starting a tennis club at Payson High with Cadence White.

That didn’t work out with the challenges established school teams faced to complete a spring season for the first time since 2019.

“It was kind of difficult with COVID and everything to start a new team as it was already difficult to have sports in general,” she said.

So, she thought about becoming a five-sport athlete at Payson, but will have to settle for going out as a four-sport Longhorn.

The 2021 Payson High graduate likes to stay active.

And compete.

And win if she can.

And lose with grace if she can’t.

That character, along with that resumé, a 3.5 grade point average and the 2020-21 PHS student body presidency and community service that included serving soup to the poor on Skid Row, helped her win the SPORT and Under Armour Payson High School 2021 Women of Will Graduation Award.

She joins last year’s winner, Katie Sexton, as the first two from PHS to win the award.

“She truly encompasses what it means to be a Women of Will Student Athlete,” BSN SPORTS wrote in a press release. “BSN Sports and Under Armour want to congratulate Autumn Lynch on being Payson High School 2021 Women of Will Graduation Award winner. She truly encompasses what it means to be a Women of Will Student Athlete: outstanding athletics, superior academics, positive sportsmanship, strong leadership, impactful community service and a will to win.

She has to find some activity to occupy her spare time since she won’t be heading to practices or a game after school anymore. And she’s found it.

She had many options for where she’d continue her education.

She’s heading to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. to study and snowboard down some majestic mountains.

“I wanted to go to Colorado so I could snowboard,” she said. “I snowboard a lot.”

She’ll have time now that she isn’t constantly practicing and competing.

She’s already a certified phlebotomist after taking college courses at Eastern Arizona College-Payson while going to high school.

But she is considering changing from the medical to the educational field. “I’m thinking of majoring in early childhood development and being a teacher,” she said.

Of her community service with Expedition Church, a mission trip to feed homeless people on Skid Row in California opened her eyes the most.

“It was definitely eye-opening and made me realize how fortunate I am,” she said. “It definitely brought a lot of compassion, like I really learned to like love on people and be caring and have empathy for people in their situation.”

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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