Scholar athlete: Academics No. 1 on Ridenour’s list


By Jim Naveau - [email protected]



Ridenour

Ridenour


Meet the scholar athletes

Honorable mention

Ada – Cayden Murphy, Courtney Sumner, Kirsten Poling, Isaac Williams

Allen East – Ryanne Lehman, Emma Brinkman, Hunter Sidle, Gavin Miller

Bath –Britton Hall, Shelby Marsteller, Ezekiel Burkholder, Gracie Renner

Bluffton – Kaden Basil, Skyler Scoles, Kylie Stackhouse

Columbus Grove – Faith Anderson

Continental – Annika Bowers, Wyatt Davis, Andrew Hoeffel

Delphos Jefferson – Lillian Baughn, Kendall Schrader

Delphos St. John’s – Marcus Freewalt

Elida – Lacie Moening, Mike Niebel

Kalida – Ryan Klausing, Kenzie Fortman

Kenton – Kylie Allmon, Asher Bridenstine

Leipsic – Blake Liffick, Jocelyn Hermiller

Lima Central Catholic – Frankie McDonald

Lima Senior – Elsbeth Nelson, Dalton Hahn

New Bremen – Chloe Bornhorst

New Knoxville – Erica Weadock, Jessica Miltner

Ottawa-Glandorf – Abby Warnecke, Alexander Macke

Perry – Joe Hoersten, Hunter Klett

Ridgemont – Mason Stuck

Shawnee – Kaelan Swallow, Taylor Morris

Spencerville – Heath Gaskill, Lilyan Goecke, Cade Elling

Temple Christian – Cody Motter, Emm White, Vanderlei Heffner

Upper Scioto Valley – Kayden Hurley

Van Wert – Tyson Jackson

Wapakoneta – Zach Rogers

Waynesfield-Goshen – Alec Spangler, Molly Zechman, Cole Steinke

Bri Ridenour, The Lima News Girls Scholar Athlete of the Year, had a choice to make.

After being first-team All-Ohio and playing soccer year round since the age of seven, she could have played that sport somewhere in college.

But she also emphasized academics during those years and will graduate from Shawnee High School next Sunday with a 4.22 grade point average.

Would academics or athletics be the deciding factor in her future college home?

It was not an easy choice. But in the end academics won out. Achieving goals edged out scoring goals.

“It was a really hard decision, with soccer being a really big part of my life. But academics is a really big part of my life, too,” Ridenour said.

“I decided that with my future career it would benefit me more to go to a bigger school and focus more on my studies than on playing soccer. So next year I’m going to Ohio State University in Columbus, majoring in health sciences on their pre-optometry track.

“I might play intramural soccer at Ohio State but I’m going to focus more on my academics,” she said.

Her dad, Brent Ridenour, was Ohio Northern University’s men’s soccer coach for two decades and is currently the soccer coach at Franciscan University.

“With him being a college soccer coach it was kind of instilled in me but I was honestly given the decision to play. He was always there to help me out and give me tips, but in a nice way,” Ridenour said.

She was a four-year starter for Shawnee. She was the Western Buckeye League Player of the Year as a senior when Shawnee went 18-2-1, won the WBL and was one win away from going to the state tournament.

She was a team captain two years and had leadership roles outside of sports, too.

She was student government president, vice-president of the Octagon Club, a service club, and participated in the Allen Lima Leadership program among other activities.

Ridenour is one of several players on Shawnee’s soccer team last fall who were some of the top students in their class.

All four of the nominations for The Lima News Scholar Athlete team from Shawnee this year were girls soccer players.

Kaelan Swallow had a 4.37 grade point average. Lily Cleaves had a 4.34, Taylor Morris a 4.27 and Ridenour a 4.22. Morris was first-team All-WBL and Swallow and Cleaves were on the second team.

The teamwork that produced success on the field also played a role in the team’s academic accomplishments, Ridenour said.

“We all kind of grew up with each other, playing together and pushing each other on the field and off the field. We definitely helped each other,” she said.

“Shawnee girls soccer is really big on academics. It’s academics first and athletics second. That culture and environment of putting our academics first and helping each other definitely helped us get through the hard classes and get the good grades and do our homework and things like that.”

Shawnee’s ultra-successful season last fall came one year after a season in which it won only seven times.

Like her team overall, Ridenour had her best season last fall when she went from third-team All-WBL as a junior to Player of the Year.

“I definitely felt like with it being my senior year I wanted to give it my all,” she said. “I’d had a couple injuries in prior years. But I feel like this year it was more that I let go and focused more on having fun playing. With that different approach of just trying to enjoy my time I was able to perform better and just let my talent show,” she said.

“I’m also very grateful to have an amazing team. Our team performed incredibly this year, nothing like any of us would have thought.”

She ranked her senior season as her favorite memory of high school soccer.

“It was definitely this year with all the accolades and seeing how our team bounced back from prior seasons. It was a great senior year and a great way to walk away from the sport,” she said.

The other members of the girls Scholar Athlete team are: Nikane Ambos (Wapakoneta), Lillian Cleaves (Shawnee), Emalea Collins (Lima Senior), Peyton Heitmeyer (Leipsic), Erin Kaufman (Ottawa-Glandorf), Abi Lammers (Miller City), Aly Lindeman (Delphos Jefferson), Emma Mayers (Lima Central Catholic), Jaylen Roehm (Lima Central Catholic), Alyson Saxton (Ottoville), Lillee Stewart (Spencerville), Brooke Vennekotter (Kalida), Kylie Vorhees (Elida), CeCe Worsham (Temple Christian).

The Ohio State University-Lima is a sponsor of The Lima News Scholar Athlete team. It will offer the 30 top scholar athletes a scholarship for use on the Lima campus.

Ridenour
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_ridenour-1.jpgRidenour

By Jim Naveau

[email protected]

Meet the scholar athletes

Honorable mention

Ada – Cayden Murphy, Courtney Sumner, Kirsten Poling, Isaac Williams

Allen East – Ryanne Lehman, Emma Brinkman, Hunter Sidle, Gavin Miller

Bath –Britton Hall, Shelby Marsteller, Ezekiel Burkholder, Gracie Renner

Bluffton – Kaden Basil, Skyler Scoles, Kylie Stackhouse

Columbus Grove – Faith Anderson

Continental – Annika Bowers, Wyatt Davis, Andrew Hoeffel

Delphos Jefferson – Lillian Baughn, Kendall Schrader

Delphos St. John’s – Marcus Freewalt

Elida – Lacie Moening, Mike Niebel

Kalida – Ryan Klausing, Kenzie Fortman

Kenton – Kylie Allmon, Asher Bridenstine

Leipsic – Blake Liffick, Jocelyn Hermiller

Lima Central Catholic – Frankie McDonald

Lima Senior – Elsbeth Nelson, Dalton Hahn

New Bremen – Chloe Bornhorst

New Knoxville – Erica Weadock, Jessica Miltner

Ottawa-Glandorf – Abby Warnecke, Alexander Macke

Perry – Joe Hoersten, Hunter Klett

Ridgemont – Mason Stuck

Shawnee – Kaelan Swallow, Taylor Morris

Spencerville – Heath Gaskill, Lilyan Goecke, Cade Elling

Temple Christian – Cody Motter, Emm White, Vanderlei Heffner

Upper Scioto Valley – Kayden Hurley

Van Wert – Tyson Jackson

Wapakoneta – Zach Rogers

Waynesfield-Goshen – Alec Spangler, Molly Zechman, Cole Steinke

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