As personalities go, very few are as kind and as welcoming as Pine View soccer and girl’s basketball player, Tayvia Ah Quin. After spending a short time with the young lady, you quickly found that you’ve made a new friend. The senior most definitely represents her family name, her school, and community well.
Tayvia, like most every athlete, loves to compete, yet much more than the competition, the Lady Panther also wants to make sure she has as much fun as she can in her final year wearing the silver and black. No stranger to taking on a challenge, Tayvia thinks she may add track this year to her list of school sports. Just coming off a successful season on the soccer field, Ah Quin is anxious to get out on the floor with her teammates and make her final year with the Panthers her best yet.
Academic standards are no less important than her athletic play. Putting in two to three hours of homework several nights a week sets a standard; however, Tayvia admits that she has a few hurdles to cross. “I still don’t have my 4.0 because I always end up with an A- in math,” Tayvia says. “This year though, I am taking a lot of medical classes. I am interested in doing medical assisting or radiolog. I do like my medical terminology class though because I feel really accomplished. I do well on the tests, so I kind of feel like a genius.” And out comes the infectious smile.
Still weighing her options as to the direction she will move professionally, one option has already been determined. Tayvia has verbally committed to play basketball here in her own back yard intending to sign with DSU.
Not shy about sharing what she enjoys doing in her free time, one could easily be intimidated by the long list of talents the young woman possesses. Still, Tayvia willingly shares with others what she believes to be a blessing in her life. “I really love singing, and I have had the opportunity to sing at a lot of events around St George. I like to dance a lot, and I also teach dance now for a group of local kids. I’ve always enjoyed musical instruments as well, so I play the piano, violin, ukulele, and guitar.”
Tayvia is among a select few throughout the region who balance academics, athletics, and professional life. Running her own dance company, “Sistas Dance”, that was started alongside her sister, she understands the value of hard work and personal responsibility. “That is how she makes her money,” says Clayton Ah Quin, Tayvia’s father. “She has her own clientele of about thirty kids that she teaches dance to in-between soccer, student council, basketball, and everything else she does.”
Up and ready to go as early as 5 AM, Tayvia is sure to get her shooting in as part of her daily routine in order to prep for basketball season. “After I am done at the gym or house of hoops, I make sure to get home on time for family scripture study at 7 AM. Once school is done though, we have conditioning and practice for basketball. With Coach B, you never know. We go maybe three to four hours for practice sometimes too. On game days, we have our shoot around in the morning to get into an early rhythm for our game.”
Tayvia does not find herself alone in the gym, even at that early hour. Julee Ah Quin, Tayvia’s mother shares, “One of us is usually there throwing the ball right back to her. She just shoots and shoots and shoots. We just keep passing her the ball as she moves to different areas across the floor.”
“This being my last year, I will for sure play this year differently. I’m coming in as a senior, so I know I need to be more of an example and leave a legacy of playing hard for the other girls.” Tayvia hopes that after graduation her fellow teammates who remain remember her for her balance of working hard on the floor, but also bringing an element of fun to her squad.
With Tayvia’s memorable win comes some history, and the road to get there was not an easy one shares her father Clayton. “You have to understand. Tayvia started Varsity as a freshman, and that year, they didn’t win a single game. For five years, this team never won a region game. So, to have such a hard freshman year getting beat by these girls like Haley Bodner, it’s rough. Then, her sophomore year comes, and they don’t win again. So finally last year, Coach Bringah comes in and implements all of his big time work ethic. That’s when they start winning.”
“So that win at Desert Hills was a big game, and to actually get to the first round of the playoffs last year, that was big too.” – Clayton Ah Quin
The standout moment for Tayvia’s mom during the same game? “It was so cute because the whole student section swarmed the whole team after they beat Desert Hills. Everyone was jumping and cheering. It was more exciting than a Varsity boys’ game for those girls.”
So what is it that Tayvia and her Lady Panthers hope to do this year? “We want to take Region and State!”
A big part of who the senior is has much to do with how she spends her time. The young lady does a tremendous amount of volunteer work. Founding a group with her sister called ITAT, Island Teens Against Tobacco, Tayvia along with her peers would speak out against the dangers of tobacco. Working to assist those who wanted to quit smoking, she even went so far as to present ideas to the City Council that she would later help implement. “We made special canisters that we would put around businesses and apartment complexes. These canisters made it so that when someone dropped a cigarette butt in, it would go to the bottom, so kids couldn’t go around and take the left over cigarette butts and smoke them.”
Get to know who Tayvia is, and you learn that her life is deeply rooted in her LDS faith. Quoting a part of her favorite LDS scripture that helps her govern how she deals with and how she seeks to help others in the Book of Alma 41:14, you get a very good sense of who the young lady is “…see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward;…
The words Tayvia lives every day by, “Do good; you get good.” Well done, Tayvia. Well done. • HSSI