LYONS — A trip down Highway 66 in Longmont will lead you straight to Colorado's lion country.
Under the "L" on the south side of town sits John "Jet" Johnson Field -- home to the Lyons High School football team.
"When people come to town, they search for the school and they search for the football field," head football coach Jason Yantzer said. "Any time you see a letter like that, particularly for the Lions, [visitors will] know where to go to watch some football."
The field is located behind the school, at a slightly higher elevation. To reach it, you have to walk up a small hill before the turf and mountain view come into the picture.
"You walk out there, it's a little chilly, you get that wind coming down," Lyons athletic director Jason Maguire said. "The sound reverberates off the mountain, there's no other setting like it."
"We'll shut down practice if we see a beautiful sunset," Yantzer added. "We'll take a couple of minutes as an entire team and soak it in. It's just a magnificent place."
A smidge over 2,000 people call the town of Lyons home, but the population and stadium -- in particular -- are a huge draw to many visitors during the school year. Even though the school primarily competes in the 1A classification, they host one of the largest multi-classification track meets in the state. When it comes to the football season in the fall, it's not uncommon to see some of the larger neighboring schools borrowing the stadium for their home games.
"Last year we had Skyline [High School] once, Silver Creek [High School] twice," Maguire said. "Even their [athletic directors] in the district, they're like, 'Our kids like coming up to Lyons. It's a different atmosphere out there.'"
It's an atmosphere where hard work and resilience have been the root of success. The town of Lyons was hit by the devastating rains and floods of 2013. Out of it came stories of rebuilding, stories of fight and stories of grit. The town adopted the word "Grit" following the natural disaster. Shortly after, Yantzer made it a part of the football team's slogan.
"The community is pretty hard-nosed and resilient. That was proven through the floods. That's kind of my motto, too, as a coach, that true grit, that gritty get down to business, work hard kind of mantra, so it's all kind of linked together," Yantzer said.
"There's no place like Lyons in the state of Colorado, I think," Maguire added.
Over the years, Lyons has been home to some prominent names in Colorado football. The field was named after John "Jet" Johnson, who led the Lions to its two football state championships, as well as track and field titles. John's sons Doug and Joe are also Colorado high school coaches at Longmont High and Cherokee Trail, respectively. Joe led the ThunderRidge Grizzlies to three state titles prior to leading the Cougars.