Caesar Rodney standout Alexis Prillaman has already accomplished a lot in her three years at CR. A three sport athlete and honor student, Prillaman has earned countless All-Conference and All-State honors in basketball, field hockey and soccer. Also, Prillaman has committed to Richmond University where she will play soccer.
However, earlier last month Prillaman was afforded an opportunity of a lifetime. She was selected to travel to Spain and Portugal to compete for the U.S. Region I National Soccer team on a 10-day tour, going up against some of the top competition in the world.
Her journey to competing on the national stage abroad with a love of multiple sports at an early age. She’s a seasoned pro when it comes to preparation and time management, something she believes lends to her success.
“In middle school is when I started consistently playing multiple sports,” said Prillaman. “It keeps me active; otherwise I’d just be home. It really gives me a good time management frame. I get up in the morning, go to school, go to practice and then go home.”
Prillaman’s path to the U.S. Region I team started last summer when she was asked to participate in a tryout for the ODP (Olympic Development Team) of Delaware, the first step toward a regional tryout.
“You have to be on the ODP Olympic Development Team, and once you make that team it’s ODP Delaware,” said Prillaman. “Then during the summer there are tryouts for the regional team, so they pick the top 16 players from Virginia to Maine and I was chosen from 16 other girls to go to Spain.”
Prillaman had been invited to the tryout the year prior, so she was prepared for what would be yet another test of her skills.
“It was crazy, I was instructed to be up the earliest and we had to be out the latest, so it was a long 4 days,” said Prillaman. “The year before I hadn’t gotten very far in the tryouts so this time I was kind of laid back and I went in to the tryouts saying I was going to be better no matter what; then went in and played my hardest.”
After standing out in tryouts, Prillaman was off to Spain and Portugal where she was impressed by not only the competition she faced but the different cultures around her.
“It really opened up my eyes, there are so many amazing players around the world and I would have never seen that if it wasn’t for this trip,” said Prillaman. “I was actually immersed in the culture; the whole point of the trip was to be immersed into their culture and learn their ways and see what different competition levels were like.”
Throughout the tournament, Prillaman scored 2 of the United States 8 goals helping contribute to an overall win for the U.S. during their trip. Prillaman came away from the experience having learned a lot about herself as a player and where she stacks up with the world’s elite.
“I actually found out that I was faster than I imagined,” said Prillaman. “I remember beating them on the flank and just running past them because they’re shorter and I’m tall and have long legs so I was able to get by them. I learned a lot when I was over there and it really helped improve my game.”
“I didn’t think that it was going to be as enjoyable as it was,” said Prillaman. “I learned a lot about soccer, and our coaches were great, I also made a lot of friends. I’ll definitely be trying out again next season.”
If there is one person who isn’t surprised by Prillaman’s success, it’s CR’s Head Soccer Coach Darrell Gravatt who knew Prillaman was special the first time he saw her on the field.
“First day of practice in 9th grade, I knew she was a good player,” said Gravatt. “I called her out and made her juggle in front of everyone and she stood right out. It let everyone know ‘I’m for real.’ I wanted them to know that this is a star, she’s an elite player. We don’t hide that, we push them right to the top where (they) belong.”
Through the last two seasons Gravatt has had a chance to watch Prillaman’s game progress and mature and he’s been impressed with what he’s seen.
“I thought her game was outstanding (when I first saw her),” said Gravatt. “If there was one quality I didn’t like it was that she was too unselfish. Unselfish to a fault, where she could do more in her freshmen year and she chose not to. She was making passes to players that were older and might get it done when I knew she could get it done.”
After a talk with Prillaman, her game began to take shape.
“I talked to her about (being too unselfish), and those days are over,” said Gravatt. “She has it all, she’s two-footed , very fast , tall, good in the air, has great vision, Lexi has it all.”
Gravatt has seen his fair share of elite athletes come through Caesar Rodney, and he believes Prillaman stacks up with all the best.
“I knew it from the beginning, like I said; we don’t hide them we push them right to the top where they belong,” said Gravatt. “She belongs there; she’s as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.”
The ringing endorsement from her head coach wasn’t surprising to Prillaman who lauded Gravatt for his support of her and her teammates.
“I know how coach feels about me,” Prillaman said. “It just means a lot that he’s so supportive with everything we do.”
Now that her experience in Portugal and Spain is over, Prillaman can now focus on her junior soccer season. Prillaman has high hopes for her Rider teammates this season and believes they could compete for a State Championship.
“I’m hoping we can go all the way,” said Prillaman. “I think we can if we work really hard. We’re going to be working at it every day.”