XENIA — The university first took notice of Marissa Babb two years ago at a soccer camp in Indianapolis. A few instructional camps later, the Xenia High School senior fell in love with the place.
Today, Marissa Babb is a member of the Heidelberg University women’s soccer team. In front of her Xenia High School classmates, soccer teammates, family and friends, Babb signed her National Letter of Intent during a small ceremony Feb. 15 in the XHS gymnasium.
“I went on a lot of different visits there, and after the fourth or fifth one, and talking with their coach and everything, I just felt like I was at home there,” Babb said, moments after signing on the dotted line.
Babb explained that since Heidelberg is an NCAA Division III program, athletic scholarships are not offered. But the school has already offered the Xenia senior several academic scholarships.
Heidelberg, located in Tiffin, is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Nicknamed the Student Princes, Heidelberg placed seventh in the 10-team OAC with a 10-8-1 overall record, 4-5 in the OAC this past season. The Student Princes are coached by Nick Spell who just completed his 12th year as Heidelberg coach.
Babb saw her share of injuries as a Xenia Buccaneer. As a result, she has taken a liking to the field of Physical Therapy as a potential academic pursuit.
“After all the different injuries that I’ve had in soccer, my physical therapists really helped me out a lot,” she said. “So I want to be there to help other people, the same way that they helped me.”
According to the Greater Western Ohio Conference website, the Buccaneer midfielder played varsity soccer during her junior and senior seasons at Xenia for a total of 19 games in all — seven games this past Fall. In each game that she was healthy enough to play, Babb scored at least one goal or recorded at least one assist.
“Coach Jimmy Lamb and coach Shawn Wood have been my biggest supporters through soccer. I owe them a lot for getting me to this moment,” Babb said.
Xenia has won the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American South division since its inception two years ago. The team had an 8-8-1 overall record, and 6-3-1 divisional mark, last season.
“Knowing that Marissa has developed a love for the game and wants to continue to play at the college level, it’s super exciting,” Lamb said. “It’s good that she’s going off to further her education, and that soccer can play a part in that. It’s good for the program, and it’s good for the school system to have student athletes that the universities want.
“We’re all very proud of her.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.