Top Teens 2014
Bethesda Magazine's Extraordinary Teen Awards
(page 7 of 12)
Senior, James Hubert Blake High School
Blake High School soccer coach David Edlow says having Dunchadhn (pronounced “Duncan”) Lyons on the team was “like having another coach on the field.”
That’s because the 18-year-old Olney senior, who served as captain, consistently sacrificed for the good of the team last fall—whether it was playing an unfamiliar position to help balance the roster, or staying after practice to take extra shots with the goalkeepers. He was a first-team All-County selection by The Gazette and earned honorable mention for The Washington Post’s All-Met team in 2013.
What makes Dunchadhn truly extraordinary, however, is what happens when he gets home from practice.
“Most kids go home after practice and have something to eat and maybe watch some TV,” Edlow says. “What most kids don’t do after practice is go home and lift bales of hay or go to Irish-dance practice.”
Lyons lives on a working farm with his parents, and has won county and state recognition for his dairy goat showmanship. During show season, he wakes before dawn to feed and milk the 30 goats in his care. After soccer practice, he feeds and milks them again.
He served as captain of the Maryland State 4-H Dairy Bowl team in a 2012 competition focusing on dairy and agriculture that’s similar to TV’s It’s Academic, and was crowned king of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in 2013.
When he’s not playing soccer or caring for goats, Dunchadhn is practicing at the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance in Silver Spring. He has danced since he was 5, when he became enchanted by a local performance of Riverdance, and has competed in two World Irish Dance Championships.
A straight-A student, Dunchadhn says all of his activities have helped him build the confidence to pursue his passions, even when they’re not popular among his peers.
“I don’t mind being different,” says Dunchadhn, who has been accepted into Stanford University and hopes to study engineering. “I think it’s important to do what you love and not really care what anyone else thinks.”—Amy Reinink
Photo by Michael Ventura