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May 1, 2024

Eight more Badin student-athletes commit to colleges

Eight student-athletes from the Class of 2024 made their college commitments during Badin High School’s annual Spring Athletic Signing Day today at a reception in the Pfirman Family Activity Center, including Badin’s first-ever official synchronized skating commit.

“We’ve had another outstanding athletic year, and these student-athletes have been a big part of it,” Badin Athletic Director Geoff Melzer said. “Their years of dedication are being rewarded with these college sports opportunities, and those opportunities have been well earned on their part.”

Those making their college athletic commitments:

  • Austin Buckle will play football and baseball at Mount St. Joseph University, a Division III school in Cincinnati. Austin is the son of Michael and Sarah Buckle of Cincinnati and a graduate of St. John Dry Ridge School. He is as yet undecided on a major.
  • Steven Chen will play men’s tennis at Thomas More University, a Division II school in Crestview Hills, Ky. Steven is the son of Zhi Lin of Liberty Township and a graduate of Solon Middle School in suburban Cleveland. He will major in Accounting.
  • Drew Enginger will play football at Thomas More University, a Division II school in Crestview Hills, Ky. Drew is the son of Chris and Lori Enginger of Hamilton and a graduate of Queen of Peace School. He will major in Criminal Justice.
  • Ty Long will play men’s soccer at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a Division III school in Terre Haute, Ind. He is the son of Rob and Becky Long of Liberty Township and a graduate of Lakota Plains Junior High. He will major in Electrical Engineering.
  • Jed Ngoy will play football at the University of Charleston, a Division II school in Charleston, West Virginia. He is the son of Jerry Ngoy and Kiboko Kikudji of Fairfield Township and a graduate of Fairfield Crossroads Middle School. He will major in Business Management.
  • Ian Price will play baseball at Mount St. Joseph University, a Division III school in Cincinnati. He is the son of Michael and Leah Price of Hamilton and a graduate of Wilson Middle School. He will major in Sports Management.
  • Natalie Wurzelbacher will join the synchronized ice skating team at Miami University, a Division I school in Oxford, Ohio. She is the daughter of James and Kimberly Wurzelbacher of Oxford and a graduate of St. Joseph Consolidated School. She will major in Marketing.
  • Zach Yordy will play football at Case Western Reserve University, a Division III school in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the son of Nick and Emily Yordy of Hamilton and a graduate of Queen of Peace School. He will major in Mechanical Engineering.

“These eight student-athletes represent five different sports, yet another indication of how well-rounded the Badin athletic program is,” Melzer said. “It just goes to show that they have a want-to to succeed in whatever they do, and they’ll take that want-to with them to the next level.”

Four football players had outstanding careers for a Badin program that has reached the Division III regionals throughout their BHS experience and went 48-4 at the varsity level, including a trip to the state championship game in 2021.

Jed Ngoy was a first team GCL Coed Division selection as an offensive lineman, helping lead the way for an offense that racked up 4,636 yards from scrimmage and scored 56 touchdowns during a 13-1 campaign.

Drew Enginger was a two-time GCL Coed Division linebacker – including first team this past season, when he had 80 tackles, 6 sacks and 1 interception for a defense that allowed just 12.5 points per game and had two shutouts.

Zach Yordy was an outstanding two-way player, a first team GCL-Coed Division selection who amassed nearly 1,000 yards rushing and receiving while scoring 15 touchdowns for the year. Perhaps the most memorable score was the four-yard TD run to defeat McNicholas in the final 10 seconds, 38-35, in Week 10 and extend what is now a school-record 38-game regular season win streak for the Rams. Zach added 58 tackles as a defensive back and was rarely off the field.

Austin Buckle was an honorable mention GCL Coed Division pick as a wide receiver, capping two seasons of varsity play where he totaled 71 catches for 801 yards and eight touchdowns. Austin is also a talented baseball player who starts at second base for the Rams and will be a two-sport athlete in college.

Ty Long was a first-team GCL Coed Division selection and the Most Valuable Player as co-captain and defender on the Badin boys’ soccer team. Long helped spark the Rams to a 14-win season for the first time in 20 years, 11 shutouts, and two tournament wins for the first time since 2016.

Ian Price was undefeated as a junior on the mound for Badin, going 5-0, and just threw a complete-game shutout in a 10-0 win over Lebanon last week as a member of Badin’s strong pitching corps. He’s struck out 26 batters in 30.2 innings over the last two seasons.

Steven Chen was a first team GCL Coed Division selection as a junior and has won 20 matches at first singles for Badin over the past two seasons.

Natalie Wurzelbacher is the first Badin student-athlete to officially sign to skate with Miami University’s nationally-renowned synchronized skating team. She has been skating for nine years and is a three-time Midwestern Sectional Championship competitor and a two-time United States Figure Skating Association gold medalist.

While Badin does not offer ice skating as a sport, the school certainly has some prior ice skating connections. BHS graduate MichaelAnne Higgins ’09 skated for three Miami University national teams, and Mrs. Emily Joesting, mother of Badin senior Reed “Rudy” Joesting, competed internationally for the Miami squad and also coached MichaelAnne while she was growing up.

This brings the number to 21 student-athletes in the Badin Class of 2024 who have signed to play sports in college. They include: Jordan Brockman, men’s volleyball, Central State University; Aidan Brown, football, Thomas More University; Carson Cheek, lacrosse, Cleveland State University; Mia Harding, women’s soccer, University of Saint Joseph (Conn.); Matty Helms, baseball, Northern Kentucky University; Ava Hess, women’s soccer, University of Southern Indiana; Nate Ostendorf, football, Gannon (Pa.) University; Emma Rhodis, women’s soccer, Wittenberg University; Alex Ritzie, football, Thomas More University; Katie Singleton, women’s soccer, Bluffton University; Tyler Verdin, baseball, Heidelberg University; Drew Vocke, football, Centre (Ky) College; and Abby White, women’s volleyball, Cumberland (Tenn.) University.

It means that four 2024 graduates from Badin’s football team will be joining the Thomas More University football program, and that two Badin grads are talented enough to move forward in sports that BHS does not offer on a competitive level – ice skating and lacrosse.

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.

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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