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Athlete of the Week

LebCo Male Athletes of the Week: Ethan Spang & Paxton Thomas (Week Ending March 24, 2024)

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Ethan Spang

In their season-opener on March 20th, the ELCO Raiders were down 3-0 entering the 6th before coming back to pull off the 4-3 road win against Middletown. In the game, Ethan Spang’s solid at-bats helped to fuel the comeback. The senior right fielder finished the day 2-2 with a walk and a run scored. While not eye-popping numbers on the surface, Spang had a huge impact on the team which led to his nomination. This is something the voters rewarded by selecting him as a LebCo Male Athlete of the Week.

ELCO went on to play a second game last week, a tough 8-7 loss to Annville-Cleona. Through the two games, Spang is now batting .667 with 4 hits, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. He also boasts a gaudy .714 OBP.

When asked about Spang, Coach Brad Kreiser couldn’t help but acknowledge his pivotal role in the team, saying, “Ethan has been a spark in our lineup, whether it be starting rallies or coming up big with runners in scoring position.”
The first-year head coach said, “Ethan is very coachable and will do whatever the team asks to help us be successful.”

When asked about his own performance thus far, Spang avoided the question and talked about the victory over Middletown as a “great team win.” This fits right in with his view of his place on the team as a “solid role player” who can provide “quality at-bats and play in the field.”
Spang hopes to help turn more of last year’s losses into wins in 2024. His goal is to help ELCO make Districts during his senior campaign.

A member of the ELCO Golf team, Spang is a strong competitor who takes one day at a time. He often looks back on having to overcome difficulties when he was just four years old and had an infected growth plate in his leg.

His brand of hard work will serve him well as he looks to enter the workforce after graduating from ELCO. He did not specify what he hopes to do but expressed that he enjoys woodworking in his free time.

For now, finding a long-term job can wait as Spang puts in the work on the diamond. We wish him and his Raider teammates all the best in making it as long of a work year as possible.



Paxton Thomas


Cedar Crest Boys Lacrosse got off to a hot start with a 15-1 victory over Conrad Weiser. While the entire team was clicking, the performance of goaltender Paxton Thomas was arguably the most impressive of all. The sophomore faced 12 shots, allowing only one to sneak by late in the game. His save rate of 91.% caught the attention of our voters, who selected Thomas as a LebCo Male Athlete of the Week.

In his first year as the Falcon’s starter in goal, Thomas went on to have double-digit saves in each of the next two games. In a 13-3 win over Daniel Boone on March 25th, Thomas was once again a brick wall in shutting out Boone in the 1st half on his way to turning away 10 shots in the game. He repeated the performance the next night in a loss to powerhouse Hempfield.

Thomas keeps watch

When asked to comment about Thomas, Coach Jack Wuori praised his goalie, “Paxton has had a phenomenal start to the season. In our first two games, he has posted an 85% save rate, which is unreal. He saw some great shots too, shots that would probably score in most circumstances (inside of 8 yards, close to the crease). Our defense only allowed 4 goals in those two games, and Paxton was a huge reason why. It’s impressive for a sophomore to step into a varsity role and perform at a high level.”

When asked about his performance, “P-Train” was quick to express his gratitude towards his defenders, along with the rest of the team and the coaching staff. He specifically mentioned Alex Reimann, Cole Stevenson, and Tanner Bruckart for making his job easier.

Thomas also cited his early success as allowing him to be “more energetic on the field.” This type of confidence is something the young goalie would like to translate into having a save rate of over 50% for the season, something that he is hopeful would bring Cedar Crest a winning record.

A reflective Thomas is honest with how he sees his role, saying, “If I’m not doing my best, then we could fall apart, me included, which is why I will strive to be a brick wall to bring my team to more wins throughout the season.”

Thomas is an athlete who puts in the work. In fact, he is a dedicated three-sport athlete for Cedar Crest, competing in Football and Bowling in addition to lacrosse. When he’s not playing school sports, Thomas trains with and competes for True Philly, a club lacrosse team based out of . . . Philly.

While only in 10th grade, Thomas has his sights set on playing lacrosse at the collegiate level. He also thinks that he would like to major in marketing and advertising or set a path toward becoming a lawyer.

Thomas still has time to figure out what he wants to do with his career. But, one thing is clear . . . he’s committed to being the best goaltender he can be while also being able to score a goal of his own at some point. We wish Thomas and his Falcons all the best as they tackle the 2024 schedule.

Thomas makes a break for the opposing net




Click to read about the LebCo Female Athlete of the Week: Katelyn Brenner


For a full list of this week’s nominees, check out: Athlete of the Week Voting: March 11 – March 24




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