By Steve Svetovich
Lilly Reilly is a classic example of a student-athlete who uses perseverance to excel in the classroom and on the field.
Daughter of Brian and Alyson Reilly, Dunmore, Lilly has a perfect 4.0 academic grade point average at Scranton Prep.
She is the captain of the Scranton Prep soccer team and has been the team’s leading scorer for the past two seasons.
A four-year member of the soccer team, Lilly,18, is also a four-year member of the Prep Lacrosse team. Lilly is also a member of the Spanish Club, the Climate Change Awareness Club, and the Model U.N. Club at Prep.
A striker on the soccer team, she has seven goals and six assists this season. As a junior, she had 10 goals and eight assists in leading Prep to a 9-3 record before losing to Dallas in the district quarterfinals. Prep is 7-6 this season entering soccer playoff action.
Articulate and well-spoken, Lilly talked about what it takes to be a good striker in high school soccer. “You need to be a very good overall player,” she said. “You can’t just be focused on scoring. You need to make passes and defend.”
The Dunmore resident was a soccer all-star as a sophomore and was nominated to play in a soccer all-star game for seniors this season.
Her soccer coach at Scranton Prep is Douglas Kneiser.
The talented senior, whose best academic subject is science, said she has learned a lot from her soccer coach.
“He taught us that hard work beats talent,” she said. “The other team might be more skilled, but the hardest working team will come out on top. And we have seen this actually happen a number of times this year.”
Lilly’s dad is a Dunmore graduate. Her mom graduated from Scranton Central. She has learned plenty from her parents. “My dad and mom are both hard workers,” she said. “They both grew up with single parents. They both started from the bottom and worked their way up.”
Humble and polite, Lilly said she is not sure where she will attend college. She has applied to about 15 colleges so far. “I’m not sure where I want to go yet,” she said, “but I want to go to college in the South. I want to study pre-dentistry and eventually become an orthodontist.
“I am thinking about playing club sports in college.”
The scholar-athlete said she enjoys listening to music. She and her mom saw Taylor Swift in concert. “She was great and I would love to see her in concert again,” she said.
Lilly talked about what it takes to excel in both academics and sports at Scranton Prep. “You need to put in the work and study very hard,” she said. “And don’t slack. Never slack. Someone told me that. And it is the truth. That is the key to being successful.”
Lilly is a hard worker, but is also enjoying the ride. She has thrived at Scranton Prep. “It’s been a great experience,” she said. “COVID took our sophomore and junior years in the classroom away, but we are glad to be back in person. Prep handled the pandemic very well.
“There is a lot of school spirit now that we are back. We all appreciate being back in the classroom.”