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Athlete of the Week – Lauren Spangler

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Rockford Lutheran's Lauren Spangler stretches before the cross country Sectional race. This was her first year trying cross country.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — In a year like no other, not playing volleyball in the fall of her senior year wasn't something that Lauren Spangler anticipated. However she greeted the challenge of the unknown by taking on another challenge, running cross country for the first time.

"My friends ran cross country, they don't die, maybe I can do it," Sprangler said with a laugh. "So I just joined as the school year started. Three to six miles a practice, it was something where I was like 'okay I can do this' and then the first meet hit and I was like 'why did I do this?' But it was a lot of fun."

Spangler is also a standout softball player, which makes it hard to decide which sport to play in the spring, since volleyball was moved to springtime. But it's not out of the question for her to play both.

"With school volleyball and softball, I mean, I've done a couple practices a day before, it's not something that's new," said Spangler. "I think I'd be able to juggle it. It just depends on if we have a volleyball season because nobody knows after winter break what's going to be happening."

With the confidence that she can handle multiple sports in a single season, the chance of no volleyball would be a tough blow for Spangler after making a push for a state title last year.

"It just crushes me that I might not get to have that with my basketball team or my volleyball team," said Spangler. "At the same time I think it's really cool that we were blessed with a state run last year."

There are many things Lauren will miss about being a Crusader, but the family-like atmosphere is at the top of her list.

"I just love the feeling of the small gym and the feeling of it when the music plays, it goes throughout the whole gym and the bleachers are packed," said Spangler with a smile. "I loved all the support from all the students and it was a great experience overall and I'm definitely going to miss it."

Five sports, many wins, a state run and many memories that will last a lifetime for Lauren Spangler.

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Sam Knox

Sam joined the WREX news team in the Spring of 2020.

He graduated from Emerson College in May of 2020, just two days before moving to Rockford to take the job at WREX as a Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. He majored in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Sports Communication.

Sam is originally from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and has been an avid sports fan his whole life. He played basketball and baseball in high school, and he went on to play collegiate baseball at Emerson.

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