In the Pilot, Lyla is depicted as a bubbly, smart, popular cheerleader and completely in love with Panthers Captain; Jason Street. When Jason is hurt during the first game of the season and it is discovered he'll never have the use of his legs, Lyla tries to find comfort in her faith and becomes convinced a cure can be found for her high school sweetheart. Eventually, she has to face the truth and unwittingly ends up sleeping with Jason's best friend, Tim Riggins.
Her affair with Tim makes her a social outcast at Dillon High.
Despite her feelings for Tim, Lyla and Jason work out their issues and get engaged and are looking forward to spending their lives together, but she breaks off the engagement when she catches Jason kissing another woman.
To add to the stress of her relationship dramas, her father, Buddy has an affair, causing her parents to divorce. She decides her life isn't what she planned and quits the cheer leading squad.
Lyla rediscovers her faith over the summer and is baptized during the first episode of the season. She begins dating Chris, who she meets while doing a Christian Radio Show, and they both attend the same church.
Lyla gets together with Tim, but her desire to attend Vanderbilt University conflicts with Tim's desire to stay in Dillon. Lyla's father, Buddy Garrity, puts her college money in an investment fund and loses it all. Despite this setback, Lyla still manages to go to school and leaves Dillon behind.
Lyla returns to town for Henry Saracen's funeral. She briefly reunites with Tim before going back to Tennessee.