Athlete of the Issue: Alec Reiss ’17

While the Groton Boys’ Soccer team has undergone many changes in the past four years, there has been one constant: the high level of play and leadership that comes from Alec Reiss ‘17. A starter on the team since his Third Form year, Alec has always embodied what it means to be a successful athlete at Groton through his intelligent decisions and his great determination to succeed. Entering his fourth year with the team and second year as a captain, he is poised to lead the team to a successful season.

On the field, Alec’s most notable quality is his seemingly unlimited energy. Apart from one half last season against Belmont Hill, where the starting 11 players were pulled from the game, Alec has played every minute of every game since he secured a starting spot during the preseason his Third Form year. As his coach Mr. Goodrich points out, “this statistic is particularly impressive when you consider he plays in the midfield, which is the most exhausting place to play. Alec simply doesn’t get exhausted. He has a tremendous engine.”

Coach Goodrich also described Alec as a “fine technical player,” which his teammate Tyler Brooks ’17 echoed when he mentioned that Alec had “a really high soccer IQ.” These skills are continually showcased during games such as last year’s season opener against St. George’s where Alec scored his first ever hat trick. Alec described this game as his “best Groton soccer moment,” saying, “Not only a meaningful accomplishment for me, but a great way to kick off the new season as a team.”

Although he is best known by those not on his team for his skills, assists, and goals, Alec’s biggest accomplishments and greatest strengths occur in what he does off the field. First and foremost, Alec has the honor of being a captain for two years. This is a special honor for any high school athlete to have, and especially so on the Groton Boys’ Soccer team where Coach Goodrich remarked that before Alec, a two year captain was “something I don’t recall seeing in my years with this program.”

Alec’s teammates regard his hard work and ability to inspire his teammates with great respect, so much so that they elected him captain. So too did Alec find his former captains inspiring: “When I was younger I would always look up to the captains as leaders and role models. Now, as a captain myself, I get to be that figure for the young players on the team, and I try to make the same impact on them as my captains made on me.”

He has clearly been successful so far in this regard, as everyone around him has high praise for his leadership skills. His teammate and now co-captain Tyler Brooks describes him as a “good voice on the field who makes everyone around him better just with his presence.” Coach Goodrich added,”He consistently helps dive others and the program with his work. I have had no player who so willingly embraced reaching out to new players and did all he could behind the scenes to contribute.”

These special qualities, coupled with his on the field performance, make Alec an extremely positive force for the team. Even when things aren’t going well, Alec’s determination to win doesn’t waver, and this has a contagious effect on his teammates. He acknowledges that, “We’ve had some rough years recently and it can be hard to be motivated when that happens, but I try to come to every practice and game with a high work ethic and positive attitude.”

Groton Boys’ Soccer is one of the youngest varsity teams on campus which makes Alec’s strong leadership crucial. The team is poised to have a strong year and achieve Alec’s goal of “making my last season my best one.”