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Morton's Spangler, Dee-Mack's Kraft win CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos

Updated: May 8



A pair of diamond standouts from Tazewell County are the most recent winners of CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, with Morton's Tanner Spangler taking home CSM Boys Athlete of the Week and Dee-Mack's Byrkleigh Kraft winning CSM Girls Athlete of the Week for the week of April 22-28.


Both athletes helped their team continue a hot stretch of play as April came to a close, with Spangler contributing heavily on both sides of the ball and Kraft hammering out a bevy of hits to lead a dynamic Chiefs lineup. Read more about our winners and their accomplishments below!


The full list of nominees can be found here.


Spangler won CSM Boys Athlete of the Week without much of a doubt, garnering 64 percent of the vote total in the boys poll. He was a huge factor in a Mid-Illini win over Limestone on April 24, throwing a complete game 3-hitter with 14 strikeouts and no walks. The Heartland Community College commit helped out in his own cause in the Morton win, which has helped them be part of a four-way tie for first place in the Mid-Illini currently, with two hits and three RBIs. He added another RBI in a 7-1 non-conference victory over Streator on April 27.

Get to know Spangler in a Q and A here:


What are your goals for the season?

"To win conference and hopefully win state."


What’s your favorite memory of playing your sport?

"My favorite memory of playing baseball is hitting a game-winning grand slam in 13U."


If you had a walk-up song, what would it be?

"My pitching walk-up this year is 'Religious Man' by Mister Loco and my hitting walk-up is 'Sugar, Sugar' by The Archies."


Favorite food?

"Steak."


What’s on your bucket list?

"Travel all across Europe when I'm older and I especially want to visit Germany."


Who’s your favorite teacher at school?

"My favorite teacher of all-time is Mr. Fink."


Who’s your role model and why?

"My dad is my role model because he has been a positive influence my entire life. I stirve to have a work ethic as good as his. I am also going into the same career path as him because I think what he does is super cool. I have looked up to him my entire life."


Kraft won CSM Girls Athlete of the Week after earning 41 percent of the vote total in the girls poll. The Chiefs' star sophomore went an astounding 10-for-11 at the plate during the week of April 22-28, going 4-for-4 in wins over LeRoy and Peoria Notre Dame. Kraft's biggest hit of the bunch was a walk-off three-run homer to take down reigning Class 1A state finalist LeRoy 11-8 on April 22. She drove in two runs apiece in run-rule victories over Peoria Notre Dame and Heyworth, which helped continue Dee-Mack's win streak that stands at six games as of Tuesday morning. Kraft is hitting .441 on the season with 22 RBIs, 19 runs, five doubles and two home runs.


Get to know Kraft in a Q and A here:


What are your goals for the season?

"My goal for this season is for our team to become stronger and better and compete well in regionals."


What’s your favorite memory of playing your sport?

"My favorite memory is going to PGF Nationals with my travel team last summer and getting 7th in the nation."


If you had a walk-up song, what would it be?

"Wants and Needs"


Favorite food?

"Fruit."


What’s on your bucket list?

"I would love to go to Hawaii and visit a couple of the islands."


Who’s your favorite teacher at school?

"Coach Myers, my PE teacher, is my favorite teacher."


Who’s your role model and why?

"My role model is my dad.  He has always supported me in all I do athletically but also as a person. He works with me and takes me to lessons, practices and games.  He wants me to be the best I can be and I hope to be half as wonderful as he is to myself and our family!"

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