Senior safety Jaden Lyons (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel).

After four years of varsity play with the View Park Knights, this student athlete knows how important and impactful hard work can be for a team. Senior safety Jaden Lyons noted how Knights football head coach Ken Henderson told the team the quote attributed to Tim Notke, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

“It matters who puts the work in day in and day out because if you work hard every day, it doesn’t matter who that kid is because you can out work his talent,” Lyons said. “A man can be 6’4” and me, I’m like 5’9” but that doesn’t matter because I’ll outwork him.”

A favorite class of Lyons’ was AP U.S. History. The lessons from the past help him create better outcomes for himself in the future.

“I really like to learn about other people’s mistakes. It shows me stuff that I don’t need to do,” Lyons said. “That’s one thing I take into football… I beat people with my mind more.”

As Lyons looked back on his time at View Park, he cherishes his progression into becoming a competitive opponent.

“My freshman year, I was five feet tall, 110lbs, little kid,” he said. “I sat there and I ripped hard and my sophomore year, I was playing.”

By his junior year, Lyons became a captain of the team. He believes in leading by example.

“I’m not the most vocal dude, but I’m [going to] give my all in drills so to show everybody else they can’t slack off,” he said. “When I see somebody slacking off, I let them know ‘Hey, our opponent isn’t slacking off, so how can we sit here and joke around?’”

Lyons likes football because it is more of a team sport. To do well, teammates have to carry their own weight to secure a win.

“Most sports, like basketball, we have a team, but you can win on your own,” he said. “But football, it’s 11-man and if one man don’t do his job then we all fail. So, we have to come together as one.”

The View Park Knights experienced Coliseum League play for the first time this season, ending with a 2-3 League record and a 6-5 record overall.

“Most of those teams are [division] I, so winning that means more to us,” Lyons said. “It shows that we’re not little View Park, we get to actually prove [ourselves].”