Even with the many inconveniences and accommodations COVID-19 has caused, Aaron Clayton wasn’t going to let that stand in his way. The radio voice of the Lyon County High School Lyons basketball teams was determined to find a unique opportunity to propose marriage to his long-time girlfriend, Julie Cassidy.
So, when decisions were made to feature the annual “Meet the Lyons” event, as a virtual and radio-only event, he seized the moment. “We, of course, did not have a public gathering this year, due to CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines. But, we wanted to give a little bit of (respect) due to the players and coaches for all the hard work they’ve put in this off-season. They did deserve something in being introduced to the Lyon County community.”
So, the event was featured on the Lyon County athletics Facebook page and, of course, on 95.7 WCCK, where Clayton provides game play-by-play. “We went through the introductions of all the players and coaches and then, we interviewed a lot of the upperclassmen and coaches to talk about the upcoming season. What they’ve been able to work on with limited time in the gym. What it means to have a season, to get to play, and how grateful they are to be there.”
The previous Friday, the teams and coaches went into the gym for two scrimmages. All of that was posted on Lyon County athletics’ Facebook page and You Tube channel, where they stream some home games and feed into the radio broadcast. So, people can watch from home, since only a 15% capacity will be allowed in the gym, when the season gets started.
When the evening was nearly complete, they had a pizza party socially distanced for the students at the school. “Before all that, we made a huge circle around the gymnasium and I led a prayer before the meal,” Clayton explained. “Afterward, I was asked to introduce my girlfriend to the crowd. She and I had been dating for some time. Since I’d been calling Lyon County games for nearly a decade, (the players and coaches) mean a whole lot to me and, of course, she does, too.
“So, I thought I would surprise her and bring together those two parts of my life,” Clayton said, “and propose (marriage) to her. She said, ‘yes.’ And so, we were engaged in front of all the students and the coaches. They felt really, really close to me there and we had a really good turnout. Videos and pictures were taken and posted on social media. All in all, I thought it was the best ‘Meet the Lyons’ we’ve ever had. So, that’s what we did on Saturday night.”
Asked if he had a Plan B, if the future Mrs. Aaron Clayton had said no, he replied, “Well, I guess I would have just packed up my stuff and left.”
Ever the professional, he concluded with a broadcast note. “We hope to have the season start on the 24th of November against Dawson Springs,” he said, “if not, we’ll let folks know when it does start.”