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Athlete of the Week

LebCo Male Athlete of the Week: Sam Kolacek (Week Ending March 31, 2024)

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Sam Kolacek

During the Week of March 25th, Northern Lebanon Volleyball went 2-0 with wins over Reading and Kutztown. A driving force for the Vikings in both matches was Sam Kolacek. The junior was spectacular from the Outside Hitter position in helping the Vikings rally to win three straight sets after going down 1-0 to Reading. In the 2nd set, he had 6 blocks and 5 kills. He followed up the performance with 6 kills, 4 blocks, and 9 digs as Northern Lebanon defeated Kutztown 3-0. Kolacek’s impact led the community to select him as LebCo Male Athlete of the Week.

Overall, Northern Lebanon now stands with a 5-2 record, putting them solidly in the hunt for a spot in the District 3 Playoffs (2A). Qualifying for Districts would be a first in the history of the program, which is now in its 3rd year and plays independently of a league.

Kolacek has been a huge part of their success in every match. For the season, he has racked up some impressive numbers: 70 kills, 12 aces, 33 blocks, and 53 digs.

When asked about his play to this point of the season, Kolacek said, “For it being so early in the season, I was happy with my kill, dig, and block stats, although there is always room for growth. I hope to continue to improve throughout the season as the team synergy builds.”

When it comes to teamwork, Kolacek wants to become a better leader. For now, he relies on some of his senior teammates, such as Riley Clinger. He credits Clinger for the motto “Relentless,” a phrase that he has adopted to his own game every time he hits the court.

He also knows that he is not out there on the court alone, as he has a group of teammates that he knows work hard to reach their common goal of improvement. He also knows he has his Northern Lebanon coaches (Coach Baird and Angie), along with his club team’s Controlled Chaos coaches, Pam and Justin, who support him. Combined with the support of his mother, Erin, Kolacek has a strong network of support for which he is grateful.

In terms of his family, Kolacek is not the only athlete. He has four family members who competed at Northern Lebanon and went on to compete collegiately. His older sister, Anna, was a standout Field Hockey player for the Vikings who is currently swimming at Lebanon Valley College. His mother played field hockey at Eastern University. His grandfather, Gene Ulrich, wrestled at East Stroudsburg, while his uncle, Ryan Ulrich, wrestled for Franklin and Marshall.

While Kolacek is not a wrestler or field hockey player, he does play soccer in addition to volleyball. However, he hopes to play volleyball at the collegiate level. In terms of a major, he is interested in international business.

With another year until graduation, Kolacek has time to decide where he will end up after graduating from Northern Lebanon. For now, he can focus on helping the Vikings make the postseason for the next two years. We wish Sam all the best in making this happen.

Photos provided by Northern Lebanon Boys Volleyball



Click to read about the LebCo Female Athletes of the Week: Abby Hassler & Danika Setlock


For a full list of this week’s nominees, check out: Athlete of the Week Voting: March 25 – March 31



Previous Winners

Ethan Spang (Weeks of March 11th, 18th)

Paxton Thomas (Weeks of March 11th, 18th)



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