Stanhope’s Dylan Presciti (14) will represent the Mustangs at next month’s North-South All-Star game in Montgomery.

For the third consecutive season, the Stanhope Elmore boys soccer program will be represented at the AHSAA North-South All-Star Game in Montgomery. Stanhope defender Dylan Presciti is following in the footsteps of former teammates Marcos Cortes and Cristo Rocha as he was named one of 18 rising seniors to the South roster.

“It felt good,” Presciti said. “It’s something I’ve been working toward. I talked to Marcos Cortes who was there two years ago and he just said it was fun and a really good experience.”

Presciti was a captain for the Mustangs during his junior season and helped the team to 11 clean sheets in 22 matches. He also added two assists from the back line and was named as a first-team defense on the All-County team while earning honorable mention on the coaches’ all-state team.

During the all-star week, Presciti will get to participate in several practices throughout the week with new players. Despite not knowing any of the other players on the roster, Presciti said he is ready to get on the field and already has set goals for himself for the week.

“I’m just excited about getting to play,” Presciti said. “I want to learn about communicating better and keep learning how to grow.”

Presciti said he wants to focus on improving his communication before returning to the Mustangs for his final high school season. He also mentioned he wanted to work on his positioning and passing before he can say he is as good as he feels like he can be.

“I’m definitely not there yet,” Presciti said. “We didn’t like how it finished last year so all we can do is keep working.”

The main goal of the week may be to improve his game for his team but Presciti also knows this event can provide him with the opportunity to play soccer at the next level. Although he has always wanted to play collegiately, it has not been easy for him and he hopes this opportunity will reignite his drive to reach that goal.

“I feel like it’s a good chance to get exposure for colleges,” Presciti said. “That’s always been the plan so that’s a plus to be here. Hopefully I can get there.”

Stanhope coach Johanna Angelo, who coached in the all-star game in 2017, said she always enjoys getting to see her players play in this event and it comes with the added bonus of getting Stanhope soccer mentioned. Angelo said Presciti is the type of player who is always looking for improvements for the Mustangs and being invited to the all-star week could provide another boost to his game both on and off the field.

Presciti said he believes this game can help jumpstart his senior season but, in the end, it’s all about getting the Mustangs to Huntsville for the Class 6A semifinals in 2020. After losing center back partner Rigan Stewart to graduation, Presciti will be looked to as the team’s defensive leader but he said he is not worried about any extra pressure.

“Last year, I was always one of the key ones on the back,” Presciti said. “I’ve always felt like a leader so it’s not going to be any different. I think people have looked up to me.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.