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February 7, 2024

Ten Badin student-athletes commit to play in college

Badin High School recognized 10 student-athletes who have committed to play sports in college during a winter Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

“Today is Give Green Day at Badin, and these students have given a lot to our athletic program while wearing Badin green over the years,” Athletic Director Geoff Melzer said. “The college athletic programs are getting some talented young people who are dedicated to excellence on the playing fields. We’re very proud of them.”

Those signing included five football players, two women’s soccer players, two baseball players, and a talented lacrosse player from a program that Badin doesn’t even have!

  • Aidan Brown will play football at Thomas More University, a Division II school in Crestview Hills, Ky. Aidan is the son of Nick and Shannon Brown of Hamilton and a graduate of Ross Middle School. He plans to major in Business.
  • Carson Cheek will play lacrosse at Cleveland State University, a Division I school in Cleveland, Ohio. Carson is the son of Craig and Sheri Cheek of West Chester and a graduate of St. Peter in Chains School. He plans to major in Civil Engineering.
  • Mia Harding will play women’s soccer at the University of Saint Joseph, a Division III school in West Hartford, Conn. Mia is the daughter of Mike and Alpha Harding of Hamilton and a graduate of St. Joseph Consolidated School. She plans to major in Nursing.
  • Matty Helms will play baseball at Northern Kentucky University, a Division I school in Highland Heights, Ky. Matty is the son of Dave and Gina Helms of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School. He plans to major in Cyber Security.
  • Nate Ostendorfwill play football at Gannon University, a Division II school in Erie, Pa. Nate is the son of Drew and Erica Ostendorf of Hamilton and a graduate of Sacred Heart School. He plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Emma Rhodis will play women’s soccer at Wittenberg University, a Division III school in Springfield, Ohio. Emma is the daughter of Craig and Stacey Rhodis of Fairfield Township and a graduate of St. Peter in Chains School. She plans to major in Occupational Therapy.
  • Alex Ritzie will play football at Thomas More University, a Division II school in Crestview Hills, Ky. Alex is the son of Tim and Amy Ritzie of Fairfield Township and a graduate of Fairfield Crossroads Middle School. He plans to major in Sports Marketing.
  • Gavin Schlichter will play football at Notre Dame College, a Division II school in South Euclid, Ohio. Gavin is the son of Monica Schlichter of Hamilton and Frederick Schlichter of College Corner and a graduate of Talawanda Middle School. He plans to major in Business Administration.
  • Tyler Verdin will play baseball at Heidelberg University, a Division III school in Tiffin, Ohio. Tyler is the son of Jamie and Deanna Verdin of Hamilton and a graduate of St. Joseph Consolidated School. He plans to major in Nursing.
  • Drew Vocke will play football at Centre College, a Division III school in Danville, Ky. Drew is the son of Ben and Angela Vocke of Oxford and a graduate of Queen of Peace School. He plans to major in Business Management.

“This is another great group of student athletes who will represent Badin very well in the college ranks,” Melzer said. “It takes athletes who care about being successful to make a strong athletic program, and these students have certainly cared about our success throughout their athletic careers.”

Alex Ritzie came off the bench in the post-season as a sophomore to quarterback Badin to the Division III state championship game, a 21-14 setback to Chardon in Canton. He followed that up with two outstanding seasons, being named first team Greater Catholic League Coed Division each year. Badin went 10-0 in 2022 for the first time since 1980, then notched another 10-0 regular season in 2023 as the Rams went 10-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in the history of Badin High School.

Ritzie put together two excellent seasons, throwing for 2,367 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior; and 2,407 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. Badin went 13-1 each year, bowing in the Division III regional championship game. He was a first team all-Ohio selection as a senior.

Aidan Brown was an outstanding two-way player who transferred in from Ross High School at the start of his junior year. He was first team GCL Coed as a senior at wide receiver, and a first team Southwest Ohio Conference selection as a sophomore at Ross. As a senior, he led the GCL Coed in receiving yards with 753 and 10 touchdowns.

Aidan excelled as a defensive back and added a 58-yard punt return touchdown in a win over Dayton Chaminade-Julienne. He also played in the prestigious Blue/Grey All-American Bowl in mid-December, a high school all-star game played at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

Nate Ostendorf was a standout linebacker for the Rams, being named first team Division III all-Ohio as well as the GCL Coed Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the Rams as a senior. The president of Badin’s National Honor Society, Nate tied for the league lead in tackles with 145 on the season and was also a first team GCL Coed selection as a junior. Badin teams went 26-2 during his two years spearheading the defense.

Drew Vocke and Gavin Schlichter were offensive linemen who helped make things go for the Rams. Vocke was a second team Division III all-Ohio selection and first team GCL Coed pick as a senior. Schlichter transferred to Badin from Talawanda as a junior and battled through injuries, but always made an impact when on the field and was second team GCL Coed this past season. Their line play as seniors helped enable the Rams to pick up 4,636 yards of offense in 14 games, or 331 yards of offense per game, and 56 offensive touchdowns. As juniors, they helped the Badin offense racked up 4,828 yards from scrimmage (344 yards per game) and 57 touchdowns. Both seasons saw Badin boast a 1,000-yard rusher.

Emma Rhodis earned back-to-back first team GCL Coed selections on Badin’s front line in girls soccer as a junior and senior. A four-year varsity player, Rhodis was a key part of three league champions (2021, ’22 and ’23) and three district champions (2020, ’21 and ’23). Rhodis scored 50 points over four seasons, counting 40 of those in the last two years with 12 goals and 16 assists. As a sophomore, she played every game for a team that went unbeaten (14-0-6) before bowing, 1-0, to Wyoming in the Division II regional final.

Mia Harding is an example of the skill of Badin student-athletes. Hip surgery kept her off the pitch as a senior, and she was a junior varsity player as a junior. But she showed enough talent as a club player – she plays for the Legacy program in the TempesT FC organization -- to be a recruited college player.

Matty Helms and Tyler Verdin, both right-handers, are pitching for a program whose varsity has gone 82-15 during their three years at Badin, with two trips to the state semifinals in 2021 and 2022. Helms was 2-0 with a 2.86 earned run average in 2023, striking out 21 in 11.2 innings. Verdin was 1-0 with a 1.79 earned run average in 2023, striking out 18 in 15.2 innings. Both will be heavily counted on as seniors in a program that has won six straight GCL Coed championships. The Rams went 29-2 a year ago, bowing to Dayton Chaminade-Julienne, 2-1, in the Division II regional finals.

Though attending Badin High School, Carson Cheek is an outstanding lacrosse player for Lakota West High School. As a West Chester resident, he is eligible under OHSAA rules to play for West since Badin does not have a lacrosse program. He has parlayed his lacrosse skills into a Division I opportunity.

Carson also excelled as a football player for Badin. He was a three-time first team all-GCL Coed selection as a defensive back, and was named first team Division III all-Ohio this season. He added 44 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns on offense during his senior year, including two clutch catches in the final moments to help beat Wapakoneta in the regional semifinals.

Four Badin student-athletes previously confirmed their commitments during a November 2023 Signing Day – Jordan Brockman, men’s volleyball at Central State University; Ava Hess, women’s soccer at the University of Southern Indiana; Katie Singleton, women’s soccer at Bluffton University; and Abby White, women’s volleyball at Cumberland (Tenn.) University.

Two other Badin student-athletes – both juniors – have already committed to play Division I women’s college volleyball. Luci Heid (St. John Dry Ridge) is headed for Northern Kentucky University, and Olivia Schmidt (Lakota Plains) is en route to Wright State University. Both schools are in the Horizon League, so the current teammates will be friendly rivals once they hit the college court.

Badin expects to have one more Signing Day in April. A total of 19 students from the immediate past Class of 2023 committed to play college sports.

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, Dallen@BadinHS.org or (513) 869-4490

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Ten Badin student-athletes commit to play in college