A large segment of the Skyridge High population has roots directly related to the Falcons’ rival in Friday night’s Class 5A football state championship.
Naturally so since the school primarily split from Lehi High.
On the other hand, Skyridge coach Jon Lehman was siphoned off from Lehi’s neighbor, American Fork, after he served as an assistant with the Cavemen.
But Lehman’s roots actually are in Chicago, along with American Fork coach Aaron Behm.
You see, the two now are related through marriage because the two former football players at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., eventually married a pair of Utah sisters — Ginny and Christy McKinney — who also were attending the college.
Behm was on the sideline at the end of Friday’s game when Skyridge lost to Lehi 55-17.
“Jon moved out here to be my defensive coordinator when I got the job at American Fork and ended up marrying my sister-in-law,” Behm said. “Now we’re brothers.
“To be where they’re at in two years, it’s amazing. He’s done a great job. By no means am I surprised.”
Lehman was an assistant at American Fork for six years before getting the head job at the new school in Lehi.
Skyridge athletic director Mark Clinton already was familiar with Lehman through the small Chicago college before Lehman went through the application process for the Falcons coaching job.
“We wanted someone who would try to understand young people,” said Clinton, who was a friend of the Trinity football coach when Lehman played there. “He was a young guy who understands how you teach kids in this day and age.”
Lehman and Behm share something else besides football and marrying into the same family. They’re also well-regarded history/social studies teachers in high school.
Lehman put the loss into quick perspective. The Falcons became only the fifth Utah high school to advance to a state championship game in only the second year of the program’s existence.
“We shouldn’t lose sight of the tremendous accomplishment and all the work that went in with the players and coaches,” Lehman said. “It’s a good step, no doubt about it.”
With wife Christy waiting for Lehman after a postgame talk with his team, the Skyridge coach seemed to marvel that he had been in Utah for almost 10 years.
“I’ve been here for a decade now. I’ve got a couple of kids and a wife, and this is home,” Lehman said.