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Athlete of the Week

Team of the Week – Cedar Crest Football (Week of November 6th)

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The Cedar Crest Football Team entered the 2023 season with high hopes for showing improvement following a .500 record the year before.  They entered the season with a strong core of players that included senior leadership and several experienced juniors in the starting lineup. In a preseason interview with Froggy Valley 100.1 / WLBR 1270, Coach Rob Wildasin said, “The kids have been great, the commitment is there, and (they) are working hard and I believe we are where we need to be now. We just have to stay healthy, play great football, and we’ll be in the mix.”

Cedar Crest was indeed in the proverbial mix, completing the regular season with an 8-2 record.  To find a Falcon team that last won eight games, one has to go back to 2017 when Cedar Crest was playing in Section 2 of the Lancaster Lebanon League.  This year’s effort earned them a spot in the 6A District 3 Playoffs, where they were matched up against powerhouse Harrisburg.  While their season came to an end with a playoff loss to the Mighty Cougars on Veteran’s Day, the Cedar Crest Falcons were selected as the LebCo Team of the Week for completing one of the best seasons in school history.

After the close of the season, asked Wildasin how he wants the 2023 team to be talked about, he responded, “This team will be remembered as a team that was extremely balanced, smart, tough, and comprised of kids that played a lot of football together for the past four years.”

Cedar Crest could run the ball effectively, led by seniors Fernando Marquez and Alejandro Abreu.  They were just as dangerous when junior quarterback Jackson Custer was called upon to throw.  Over the course of the season, Custer spread the ball around to his strong corps of receivers that included Owen Chernich (Sr.), Leo Tirado (Sr.), Jack Waranavage (Jr.), and his big tight end Aiden Schomp (Sr.).  The balance continued when factoring in a strong defense that stymied opposing offenses and forced turnovers through aggressive play.  While several of the previously mentioned players factored into the defensive scheme, they were aided by linemen Tristan Long (Jr.) and Cam Simone (Sr.), along with linebackers Richie Hernandez (Sr.), Caleb Dorshimer (Sr.), and Malachi Victor (Jr.).

The most valuable player for the Falcons this season was arguably a member of the team who was not able to physically join them on the field.  With his teammates carrying Michael “Big Mike” Rivera‘s memory with them and dedicating the season to their fallen teammate, he joined them each game and provided an inspirational spark.

Together, the Falcons played inspired football, defeating a long list of opponents.  The Week 3 overtime win over Warwick over the course of two days (the result of weather) proved that Cedar Crest was ready to take the next step.  In Week 5, they suffered their first defeat after giving Wilson everything they could handle.  A close loss like that could threaten to unravel a team, but this team showed they were built differently when they were able to rebound with a resounding shutout victory over Reading the following week.  They did the same thing in securing a convincing win over McCaskey after losing to Manheim Township, who are still proving at this point to be one of Pennsylvania’s best teams. When including the postseason, the team’s three losses were to teams who held the #1, #2, and #5 seeds in 6A.



Wildasin said of the winning campaign: “This is one of the best teams in school history, especially when you consider that we played this season in Section 1 and had a very difficult out-of-conference schedule.  They found a way to win games, and that’s what it takes.”

Wildasin summed it up by saying, “I’m just really proud of the team and staff for their efforts.”

With the 2023 season now over, a new standard has been set.  With several seniors graduating, it will be up to new leaders to emerge for Cedar Crest.  As a result of the work done this year, the Falcons will have a strong foundation on which to build future success.



Photos courtesy of Susan Dengler



Read about this week’s Female Athlete of the Week –  Addison Sholly

Read about this week’s Male Athlete of the Week – Aiden Schomp & Tupac Vasquez-Disla


For a full list of this week’s nominees, check out: Athlete of the Week Voting: Week of November 6th


Previous Winners Update

ELCO Field Hockey (Week of 9/11)

Palmyra Girls Volleyball (Week of 9/18)

Palmyra Field Hockey (Week of 9/25): Defeated Hershey to make it back to the State Finals.  Lost 3-1 to Villa Maria to finish as the State Runner-up.

ELCO Boys Soccer (Week of 10/2)

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey (Week of 10/9)

ELCO Football (Week of 10/16)

Northern Lebanon Boys Cross Country (Week of 10/23)

Annville-Cleona Cross Country (Week of 10/30)

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