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May 11, 2020

Nine more Badin student-athletes commit to play sports in college


Nine more student-athletes from the Badin High School Class of 2020 have committed to play college sports.

"The coronavirus has eliminated spring sports," Badin Athletic Director Geoff Melzer said, "but it has not eliminated the opportunities for these young men and women to pursue their dreams of college athletics. When the time comes, when the fields of play re-open, these student-athletes will continue the tradition of athletic talent from Badin High School.

"They can play, so when it’s time to play, they will be playing," Melzer emphasized.

The nine Badin High student-athletes include three Division I recruits, including two baseball players and one in football. Volleyball, tennis and swimming are also represented by this group of BHS students.

Josh Hegemann (University of Cincinnati) and Kaden Kimbrell (Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.) will play Division I baseball, and Zach Switzer (Marshall) will play Division I football. Hegemann and Switzer are preferred walk-ons.

"We’re extremely disappointed that we could not play baseball this spring," BHS head coach Brion Treadway said. "We have a big group of college commits in the senior class. We were really excited about the 2020 season."

The Rams returned nearly the entire starting lineup from a team that went 27-3 in 2019, including winning 20 straight games, and finished as a Division I district runner-up.

"Josh Hegemann is possibly the greatest three-sport athlete to ever come through Badin," Treadway said. "He’s a fierce competitor who will not back down from anyone or any challenge. He is an incredible centerfielder and the most humble athlete I have ever been around."

Hegemann batted .327 as a junior and was named first team Greater Catholic League Co-Ed Division. He was an outstanding football and basketball player at Badin, and turned down several football offers.

"Josh Hegemann is without a doubt a Division I caliber baseball player and UC is getting an incredible talent," Treadway said. "He would be in the conversation as one of the best outfielders ever to wear a Badin baseball uniform."

Kimbrell hit .305 as the Rams’ first baseman and cleanup hitter his junior year. Kimbrell would have been a four-year varsity starter – a rare feat in any program -- and was a second team GCL selection in his previous three seasons.

"Kaden is a vocal leader on the team, an incredibly hard worker and dedicated to the program," Treadway said. "For the past two years he was in our 5:45 a.m. hitting group which met nearly every day before school in the offseason. He was always there. I will always remember that."

Zach Switzer was the Badin starting quarterback for three seasons, and directed the Rams to the Division III regional finals as a senior. The Rams finished 9-4 in 2019 and 8-4 in 2018, advancing in the playoffs each season. He was a first team GCL Coed Division selection as a senior. His 1,723 passing yards in 2019 rank fifth on the all-time single-season Badin list.

Evan Schlensker and John "Rocky" Anzalone will also play college football – Schlensker at Mount St. Joseph University and Anzalone at the University of Dayton.

Schlensker, an outstanding linebacker who was all over the field, was the GCL Co-Ed Division Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, and the GCL Central Division Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. Anzalone, who punted the Rams out of trouble the past two seasons, was a second team GCL pick as a senior.

"What this group of seniors has done for our program has been incredible," said Badin head football coach Nick Yordy. "Along with (previous commits) Alex DeLong (Butler) and Marshall Flaig (Marian), there is no doubt that these three men will have successful careers. I am proud that they have decided to keep playing at the collegiate level."

Other spring commitments from Badin include:

David Anthony, baseball at Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Ky.; Brode Gibson, swimming at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio; Audrey Horsley, women’s volleyball at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala.; and Kaitlyn Wilms, women’s tennis at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati.

Anthony, a talented left-handed pitcher, is Thomas More’s gain after he had originally committed to Urbana University. Urbana announced that it was closing permanently in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gibson was a part of the state swimming contingent two years in a row for Badin, and a first team all-GCL selection as a senior in the 400-yard freestyle relay. That relay finished fifth at the state meet in Canton.

Horsley was a four-year mainstay in the Badin girls’ volleyball program. Playing libero as a senior, she helped key the Rams to a Division II district runner-up finish. She’ll play both indoor volleyball as well as sand volleyball at Huntingdon, the first Badin volleyball graduate to do that. She was first team GCL as a senior and second team as a junior.

Wilms was a second team GCL selection as a doubles player; she went 14-3 with her primary doubles partner as a senior.

"You have to have talent to play college sports at any level," Badin’s Melzer said. "These student-athletes represent a number of sports, which we appreciate as a well-rounded high school athletic program. We’re proud of the fact that they have the desire to play on in college, and we wish them nothing but the best."

The list in alphabetical order:

David Anthony, baseball, Thomas More University, Crestview Hills, Ky. David is the son of David and Susan Anthony of Liberty Township and a graduate of Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School. He will major in Marine Biology.

John "Rocky" Anzalone, football, the University of Dayton. Rocky is the son of John and Leslie Anzalone of Liberty Township and a graduate of Lakota Plains Junior High. He will major in Business.

Brode Gibson, swimming, Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Brode is the son of Darren and Tracy Gibson of Cincinnati and a graduate of Pleasant Run Middle School. He will major in Zoology.

Josh Hegemann, a preferred walk-on in baseball at the University of Cincinnati. Josh is the son of Mark and Melissa Hegemann of Liberty Township and a graduate of Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School. He will major in Pre-Pharmacy.

Audrey Horsley, indoor and sand volleyball, Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Ala. Audrey is the daughter of Steve and Amy Horsley of Cincinnati and a graduate of St. John Dry Ridge School. She will major in Art Education.

Kaden Kimbrell, baseball at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. Kaden is the son of Kris Kimbrell of Hamilton and Kara Johnson of Hamilton and a graduate of Queen of Peace School. He will major in Health Sciences.

Evan Schlensker, football at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Evan is the son of Brian and Stacie Schlensker of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School. He will major in Business.

Zach Switzer, a preferred walk-on in football at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. Zach is the son of Chad and Heather Switzer of Fairfield and a graduate of Fairfield Middle School. He is undecided on a college major.

Kaitlyn Wilms, women’s tennis at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Kaitlyn is the daughter of Gregory and Barbara Wilms of Harrison and a graduate of St. John the Baptist School. She will major in Graphic Design.

These nine commitments bring to 21 the number of student-athletes in the Class of 2020 from Badin who will play college sports. That’s nearly 15 percent of the class of 148 graduates.

Previous commitments included: Dylan Ballauer, baseball, Huntington (Ind.) University; Alex Barger, baseball, Spalding (Ky.) University; Cade Boxrucker, baseball, Campbell University; Alex DeLong, football, Butler University; Marshall Flaig, football, Marian University; Spencer Giesting, baseball, University of North Carolina/Charlotte; Kelly Havens, women’s soccer, Murray State University; Preston Heintzman, baseball, Edison State Community College; Mickayla Kowalski, women’s soccer, Northern Kentucky University; Sydney Rawlings, softball, Point Park University; Gabrielle "Gabi" Reising, women’s soccer, Eastern Kentucky University; and Adam Sherman, swimming, Ball State University.

Underclass commitments to date include juniors Sergio DeCello, baseball, University of North Carolina/Charlotte; and Luke Paxton, swimming, Ohio State University. Paxton won the Division II state championship in the 200 freestyle at Canton in late February.

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, or (513) 869-4490

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