BOULDER COUNTY - Despite the flood and devastation that shut down Lyons Middle Senior High School, students are not only learning, they're excelling in academics and athletics.
"I know a lot of my friends lost homes or they were relocated for a while," junior Jenna Anderson said.
The flood waters did not damage the building. But, it wiped out the road leading up to the school. So, students like Anderson had to attend classes in the old Longmont High School until the infrastructure was replaced.
"In spite of all that, the kids really stepped up. The community stepped up," Principal Greg Winger said.
Teachers still pushed students to learn. Coaches still pushed athletes to succeed despite having to schedule games and practices in other locations around the St. Vrain Valley School District.
"We still have to go out and run. The other schools in the state aren't going to stop just because Lyons had a flood," junior Matt Dillon said.
Dillon is a member of the Lyons Cross Country Team, which won the state championship this fall. The school's football team and volleyball team made the state playoffs. In fact, Mile High Sports Magazine ranked Lyons as the second-ranked school in the state for athletics behind Cherry Creek High School even though students and staff dealt with serious flood issues.
Anderson is a member of the girls cross country team and track and field team.
"I think it was even more of a determination to prove people wrong," Anderson said. "We weren't just going to lay back and say, 'oh, because of the flood, we didn't do well.' We were determined to do well because we wouldn't let that get to us."
No excuses, Dillon says.
"They let us have a lot of the responsibility which us accountable to each other," Dillon said. "Having that [kind of] accountability also builds up a family aspect."
Lyons has only about 400 students total including middle school. Winger says the small community remained tight-knit and that is making the difference athletically and academically. He expects Lyons to receive another top rating for school performance from the state of Colorado and ColoradoSchoolGrades.com.
"Come out of the rankings given what the town and school and community went through," Winger said. "This says so much about the willingness when you're knocked down to get back up."
They call it "Lyons Strong."
"I like to say we're a small school with big results," Winger said.
Anderson says it's Lyons' roar.
"I knew that we were a strong community before, but when I saw afterwards, it was just confirmed," Anderson said. "There's no town like our town."