Nordonia's Wiehe and Cluse sign with Division I colleges

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Nordonia seniors Madi Cluse, left, and Sam Wiehe signed their national letters of intent Nov. 13 at Nordonia. Cluse will play basketball at Miami University, while Wiehe will play soccer at the Unviersity of Houston.

Two of the best female athletes ever to play at Nordonia High School have made their college plans official.

At a ceremony Nov. 13 at the NHS Auditorium, Nordonia seniors Sam Wiehe and Madi Cluse signed national letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the NCAA Division I level.

Wiehe will play soccer at the University of Houston, while Cluse will play basketball at Miamo University in Oxford, Ohio.

Nordonia athletic director Rob Eckenrode noted both players have excelled on the field and in the classroom.

"We're so proud of them," Eckenrode said. "I they're both going to have a big impact at the next level."

NHS principal Casey Wright echoed Eckenrode's sentiments. He noted he makes a point of visiting all the colleges that former Nordonia student-athletes attend and Wiehe's signing will give him a new experience.

"I get to go to Houston," Wright said. "I'm so excited to see what both of them can do at the next level."

An-Ohio player, Wiehe is thought by many, including Knights coach Les Gicei, to be the best soccer player Nordonia has produced.

"She's been the best player on the field in just about every game we played," Gicei said. "She's a team player. She's worked so hard to get where she's at and people don't see that. She's a real inspiration to our team."

Wiehe looked at Louisville and the University of Kentucky, but noted Houston coach Diego Bocanegra was the tipping point.

"Really, the coach was the key point for me," Wiehe said. "He reminded me of my club coach. I was really comfortable there from the beginning."

Wiehe said she likely will play attacking midfielder in Houston's 4-3-3 formation. She carries a 4.56 grade-point average at Nordonia and plans to major in biomedical engineering at Houston.

"The school was a big part of it too," Wiehe said. "It's much more science-oriented than Louisville or Kentucky."

Meanwhile, Nordonia girls basketball coach Julie Buckler said Cluse has left an indelible mark on the program.

"You can't even have words for what she's meant to us," Buckler said. "It's not just her natural athletic talent, it's her ability to make everyone around her better."

Cluse said she also considered Kent State and the University of Toledo, but noted she felt good at Miami, particularly with assistant coach Tiffany Swoffard.

"The campus and coaching staff were the big reasons," Cluse said. "The coaches made me feel at home right away. It's very close knit."

Cluse is knowing for her versatility on the court and that will continue with the RedHawks, as she said she's being consider to play shooting guard, three guard and power forward.

Cluse carries a 3.86 grade-point average at Nordonia and will major in sports management at Miami.