November 11, 2020
Badin High School honored five student-athletes who will play in college on Wednesday, Nov. 11, during an afternoon Signing Day ceremony in the school’s Mulcahey Gym.
“We really enjoy doing these,” said Geoff Melzer, Badin’s athletic director. “The coronavirus has had an impact on the world around us, but it has not had an impact on the quality and effort of these Badin student-athletes. They represent the best of what Badin athletics are all about.”
State swim champion Christopher “Luke” Paxton is a Division I signee. He will swim at Ohio State University after capturing a Division II Ohio high school state championship in February when he won the 200-yard freestyle title at Canton’s Branin Natatorium.
Paxton is the son of Robert and Ann Paxton of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School. His swim championship represented Badin’s first title in the pool since 1981. He also swims competitively for the Powell Crosley YMCA. He plans to major in Aerospace Engineering.
Two members of Badin’s state-ranked baseball team, which has been ranked in the Top 10 of Ohio for the past three seasons, also signed – Sergio DeCello, with Charleston Southern University, a Division I school from the Big South Conference; and Anthony “AJ” Enginger with Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Ky.
DeCello is the son Mike DeCello of Hamilton and Melissa Saucedo of Hamilton and a graduate of Talawanda Middle School. He plans to major in Business Administration.
DeCello, a catcher who also pitches for the Rams, had committed to play at the University of North Carolina/Charlotte as a freshman, but recently de-committed from the 49ers program, and quickly found a home at CSU.
Enginger, a second baseman, was named the Greater Catholic League “Player of the Year” as a sophomore the last time the program was able to take the field. He is the son of Chris and Lori Enginger of Hamilton and a graduate of Queen of Peace School. He will major in Biology.
Two members of Badin’s girls’ soccer team will also play in college – Grace Harris and Paige Long.
Harris will play for Indiana University/East in Richmond and major in Graphic Design. She is the daughter of Robert and Maria Harris of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School.
Long will play for Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., and major in Graphic Design. She is the daughter of Rob and Becky Long of Liberty Township and a graduate of Lakota Plains Junior High.
The seniors were part of a Badin program that doubled its wins over losses during their four seasons, finishing 44-22-9, reaching the Division II “Sweet 16” twice (2017 and 2020) and winning one GCL Co-Ed division title along the way (2018). Both were all-GCL Co-Ed division selections each of the past two seasons.
“These are student-athletes,” said Badin Principal Brian Pendergest. “We emphasize that on a regular basis. The students know they have to do well in the classroom in order to be able to succeed on the fields of play, and they take that seriously. They also take success on the fields of play seriously, and Badin athletics has certainly been the beneficiary of that.”
Other Badin student-athletes are also in the college recruiting pipeline. Two BHS underclassmen have verbally committed to play baseball – junior Jimmy Nugent to Penn State University and sophomore Lucas Moore to the University of Kentucky.
Badin graduated 24 student-athletes in the Class of 2020, 15 percent of the class, and expects a number of additional commitments from the Class of 2021 as the school year rolls on.
Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, (513) 869-4490; Dallen@BadinHS.org