Athlete of the Month: Lilly Reilly

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.”

Dunmore’s Andrew Durkin Shows Toughness for Scranton Prep

Dunmorean Andrew Durkin is a senior member of the Scranton Prep football team. (Photo Credit: Richard Finner Kane)

By Steve Svetovich

When Andrew Durkin went from Dunmore Middle School to Scranton Prep, he was not sure what to expect.

But he is going to end up as a four-year member of Scranton Prep’s football and baseball teams and, in his words, a changed individual. 

“Going to Scranton Prep has been a great experience for me,” he said. “Through sports and school, it has changed who I am as a person for the better.”

Son of Atty. Larry and Kristine Decker, Dunmore, Andrew, 17, is looking forward to his senior season as a member of the Scranton Prep football team.

He is a starting tight end and linebacker on the Scranton Prep football team.  Andrew plays outfield on the baseball team and hit .394 as a junior.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and has an impressive 95 academic average at Scranton Prep. His best subject is math.

His football coach at Scranton Prep is Terry Gallagher.

“I have learned a lot from Coach Gallagher,” he said. “He taught me how to be physical, mean, and tough on the football field. He taught me to be disciplined and take responsibility.”

Andrew talked about what it takes to be a good tight end.

“You need to be physical and be a good blocker and receiver.”

The scholar-athlete also excels at linebacker. “To be a good linebacker,” he said, “you also need to be physical and tough. You need to stay low. You need the low leverage.”

Scranton Prep was 4-1 in the COVID-19 shortened football season in 2020. “Our goals are a district and state title this year,” said the senior standout. 

Well-spoken, confident and mature, Andrew said he has learned a lot from his parents. “My parents taught me to always respect others and have respect for all the players and coaches on the team.”

His dad has a law office in Dunmore.

Andrew enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Drake in concert.

He plans on studying business or finance in college but is unsure where he will attend school.

“I would like to have a job in the business world,” he said. 

Andrew said he is looking forward to his senior year. “I love playing sports at Prep,” he said. “Along with school work, it takes up most of my time. I want to have a winning senior football season. The goal is championships. 

“My personal goal is to succeed and work hard at what I do.”

Scranton Prep Football Coach Takes One Game at a Time 

By Steve Svetovich

Scranton Prep head football coach Terry Gallagher does not believe in looking too far ahead.

“We take one game at a time here at Scranton Prep,” he said. “The coaching staff here wants to make sure we play the best we can week by week.” 

And that means not looking too far past each opponent. 

“We only look at the opponent we are playing that particular week,” he said. “We prepare the best we can for that team. We don’t set goals for down the road. Our only goal is to beat the next team… That is how we do things here.”

Scranton Prep was 4-1 in the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020. Despite the 4-1 record, the team did not make the post season. 

Coach Gallagher, in his sixth season as head coach, is a 2002 graduate of Scranton Prep. He played football at LaSalle before eventually graduating from the University of Scranton with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. He teaches at North Pocono.

Coach Gallagher said his players are looking good in summer practice sessions.

“The boys are looking pretty good,” he said. “The older players have been working in this program and have the experience to lead us. Our veteran players will lead by example. 

“We are trying to push all the right buttons and be more physical and improve our techniques. Hopefully, we will have a full year of games.” 

Sean Monahan, a junior, is expected to be the team’s quarterback this season. 

Other key returning players include senior wide receiver-defensive back Rob Maguire, senior offensive and defensive lineman Kellen Doughton, senior tight end-linebacker Andrew Durkin of Dunmore, junior running back-defensive back London Montgomery, senior wide receiver-defensive back Robert Rossi, senior linebacker-fullback Mike Golay, senior lineman Adam Kenny, senior lineman Drew O’Malley, senior lineman Christian Kohut, junior lineman Anthony Nicotera, senior Jimmy Burke and seniors Rich Pasco and Ned Leonard. 

Assistant coaches under coach Gallagher are Brian Croom, Dan McShaffery, Jason Tallo, Ryan James, Brett Stage, Anthony Rossi, Billy Pasqualichio, Keith Toolan, Ben Koshanski and A.J. McKenna, 

Burke, a 5-10, 285-pound defensive lineman, is one of the top returning football players in District 2. Coach Gallagher called him one of the leading guys in the weight room and one of the strongest players on the team.

Burke started as a sophomore and played a key role in Scranton Prep reaching the District 2 title game. He had 55 tackles, including five for a loss. He also recorded two sacks. 

Last season, Burke had 26 tackles and two and one-half sacks in only five games. He earned a spot on the Lackawanna Football Conference Division I-II Coaches’ all-star second team. 

Burke takes a lot of pride in his strength and agility training.

“We have the experience to lead this team,” coach Gallagher said. “We take things week by week, one game at a time. We are looking at being prepared and winning game one right now.”