Editor’s Note: For 20 days in April, the Deseret News will profile 20 elite high school athletes from the 2020 graduating class and how they’re coping with the premature end of senior life on and off the field.

HERRIMAN — For Herriman’s Maya Lightfoot, that’s it for her lacrosse career with Tuesday’s announcement that spring sports have been canceled.

It’s been a great one, which includes a state championship her junior year, but there’s no college lacrosse in her future. Lightfoot had opportunities to play out of state, and though she loves the growing sport, she believes her best path forward is to get started with her degree in education and American Sign Language this fall at UVU.

It’s been over a month since high school sports shutdown, and she’s at peace with the season now officially over after Tuesday’s announcement by the Gov. Gary Herbert that schools will remain shutdown for the remained of the school year, but she’s still “super disappointed.”

“It’s hard to swallow, but it is what it is.” — Herriman’s Maya Lightfoot

“That’s definitely something I was looking forward to, playing all these games, maybe defend our championship. Most importantly, my teammates really are some of my best friends so mostly I’m sad I don’t get to experience my last year with team of best friends I’ve experienced all my other years with,” said Lightfoot.

That’s one the primary things high school seniors talk about missing out on most these lost couple months of school, their peers and teammates.

“It’s hard to swallow, but it is what it is,” said Lightfoot.

She still tried to get up most mornings and work out to stay in lacrosse shape on the off chance the season resumed when the UHSAA suspension was scheduled to end on May 1.

One of the biggest frustrations for Lightfoot and all of her Herriman teammates is that the season had gotten off to a great start before things were shutdown. During four games at a tournament at Skyline on March 6-7, the Mustangs tore it up going 4-0 with four dominant wins over Olympus, Juan Diego, Mountain Crest and Timpview.

Lightfoot, who was an all-stater last spring, racked up a combined 17 goals and nine assists in the four wins.

“I think we all definitely try not to have a big head going into it, but deep down we were all super excited to be able to come back and be that team who won and show that we deserved to be that team and follow up that reputation,” she said.

Herriman played for the state championship each of her three previous seasons, each time against Park City. After runner-up finishes her freshman and sophomore seasons, Herriman finally claimed that elusive state title last year with an 11-7 win over the Miners.

A fourth trip to the state championship won’t happen now unfortunately.

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While sports and a social life are on hold, Lightfoot is trying to keep up with her academics online with her three college credit courses at Herriman, Biology 1010, English 1010 and English 2010.

She could’ve taken those credits to a variety of different schools to pursue her degree, but UVU had the academic programs that best suited her passion for education, whether that evolves into teaching or speech pathology.

“As I started to get older and realized what I wanted to do education wise, that limited my schools and based on college expense which I was paying for myself I guess I was more interested in staying in Utah and going into the more of the education, academic side of what I wanted to instead of playing lacrosse,” she said.

Interestingly enough, UVU does have a women’s lacrosse club team. Lightfoot said she has no idea if she’d consider it once she starts taking classes, but it gives her a sliver of hope that maybe someday in the future she’ll be able to pick up her stick and gloves again.

That’s assuming of course that the high school season returns, not something Lightfoot is counting on.