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Elle Lyons would have been a captain for the Chariho girls lacrosse team this season. Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

CHARLESTOWN — Elle Lyons didn't even start playing lacrosse until she was a sophomore at Chariho High.

Previously, she had been a competitive dancer for a decade.

But if she's learned anything during her time as a Charger it is the value of getting involved. She would tell any incoming freshman to take some chances like she did when she decided to give lacrosse a try.

"You should have no regrets," Lyons said. "If I didn't play lacrosse, I would not have met the people I've met and I wouldn't have had the experience I had. I took a big leap of faith and I'm really happy that I did."

Now, Lyons, who is a defender, will play in college next season at Keene (N.H.) State. The Division III school competes in the Little East Conference.

"I wasn't going to play in college, but the [Keene State] coach had an interest in me and it happened to be one of my top colleges," Lyons said. "I think it will give me a balance with school and athletics. I didn't play for so long and I wanted to keep playing to have that experience."

Lyons has three older siblings and they all played the sport.

"When I was younger, I wanted to be different. But I knew they had fun with it, and my sophomore year I wanted to play," said Lyons, who would have been a co-captain this season.

Chariho finished 6-7 last season, but the Chargers upset No. 2 Narragansett in the D-II playoffs. Three players who earned postseason honors on that team were returning.

Lyons was hopingl for a good season before the coronavirus pandemic canceled all spring sports.

"I think we were going to go super far," she said. "We made it to the semifinals last season. This year we started off captains' practice and it was really good. Everybody was getting along."

Lyons said she misses the fun in practice and the relationships with her teammates.

"I've grown a lot from elementary school through high school," Lyons said. "High school really helped me a lot. I am a lot more outgoing as a person now than before."

Lyons will major in elementary education and Spanish. She hopes to become a teacher one day just like her mother, Tammy Lyons, who's on the staff at Charlestown Elementary School.

Lyons benefited from being in the early childhood/elementary education program at the Career and Technical Center at Chariho, where she spent some time interacting with students in a preschool there.

"I've always like helping people," she said. "I love seeing people grow and watching their successes. I think you have to be very patient and have very good communication skills with students, parents and other teachers to be a good teacher. You have to be creative and be very kind."

The Class of 2020 has missed out on may traditional senior class events or experienced them in a much different way than their predecessors. This class did not have a traditional graduation and the prom did not take place.

"I think it was pretty devastating when we learned those things would not be the same," Lyons said. "But I think everyone did a pretty good job of handling it. I'm part of a class council and we made sure everyone had something special, especially at the beginning.

"As a class council, we were a part of coming up with graduation ideas. We asked everybody and let their voices be heard."

Lyons has drawn inspiration from her family.

"They are all older than me. They always give me advice and I look up to them a lot," she said.

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