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.”