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9 years ago
Tennis-Playing Trautman is No Fish Out of Water

BY JEFF FALK
Alex Trautman has always been an individual, a bit of a free spirit. One of the things to admire most about Trautman is that he’s always been able to remain true to himself while performing in the confines of the team concept.

Currently, Trautman is on the downside of a distinguished – and at times spectacular – three-sport career at Lebanon High. But the manner in which he chose to close out his playing days as a Cedar was both interesting and curious.

Trautman is a first-year senior player on the LHS tennis team who competes at number four singles and number two doubles. Trautman spent the last three springs as a member of the Cedars’ baseball team.

And there was a time when baseball was the number-one athletic pursuit for Trautman, an accomplished catcher. So why the switch?

“It was a last minute decision,” said Trautman at a recent tennis match. “I’ve been thinking about it since football season. I talked to my parents about it and I decided I wasn’t going to play sports in college. I went to a couple of baseball practices and wasn’t digging it.”

On the Cedars’ tennis team, Trautman plays along side fellow Lebanon basketball players Ben Leibig and Brandon Whitman, and fellow Cedar footballer Alex Kuhn. That fact played into Trautman’s decision, at least to a degree.

“More of my friends are on the tennis team,” said Trautman. “They didn’t talk me into it. I talked myself into it. But they were in my ear about it.”

With those four seniors playing key roles, Lebanon High opened the season with six straight wins, something that hadn’t been done at the school in a long time. Since then, the Cedars have come back to earth a bit.

“I’m loving it,” said Trautman. “This is my first year playing for the school. Before I just played for fun.

“Tennis is fun,” Trautman added. “It’s with my friends and it’s a great way to end my senior season.”

Trautman said he is leaning towards joining Whitman and Leibig in attending Penn State-Harrisburg. He also said that while he expected Leibig and Whitman to try out for the school’s basketball team that he has no plans to compete in inter-collegiate athletics.

But Trautman added, ‘I’ll probably be in every intra-mural sport.”

During his career at LHS, Trautman spent four years on the Cedars’ football squad as an under-sized and over-achieving quarterback. In his four years on the basketball floor, Trautman was a leader and steadying influence who always looked to pass first.

“I’ll never forget my playing days,” said Trautman. “I wouldn’t try to go to any other school to play sports but Lebanon.”

T-bone.

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