Rising Riverwood International Charter School senior Alexis de Groot has been in Chicago, this week, competing with her team in the Elite Clubs National League soccer tournament.
Alexis is there with the Concord Fire South soccer team.
“It’s a team that competes at a very high level,” she said.
The 17-year-old has aspirations for Olympic competition and this team can help get her there. The Concord team, which is based in Fayetteville, has been ranked in the top 10 nationally for the Under 17 age group.
Concord is a year round team that competes mostly in the summer and fall.
Last year, Alexis was captain on Riverwood’s soccer team. The varsity girls team has gone to the state tournament for five consecutive years.
The teen says she kicked her first soccer ball at age 4. The sport is popular in her father Eric de Groot’s homeland of Holland. Eric de Groot is a member of Sandy Springs' Economic Development Committee.
“I feel like I’ve always had a knack [soccer],” Alexis said.
Concord soccer has raised the bar for Alexis, who plays midfield, and developed her into a more complete player, she said. “My coach – Brian Moore – is just unbelievable. I have developed fully into a great player. He helped me to reach the ability that I have,” she added.
What has kept Alexis drawn to the sport? “It’s really a mental and physical game,” she said. “Every time I step on the field, I love knowing that I’m about to go play the game. And I love scoring. When I step on the field everything else just goes away and I can just play. I love that feeling.”
Alexis has committed to play soccer at Elon University, when she graduates from Riverwood in 2013. With her eye on the 2016 Summer Olympics, the teen says she would like to play for either the American or Dutch national team.