From the moment she stepped foot on the campus and learned about the agriculture program, and saw the women’s basketball team, Seymour’s Morgan Ritz knew that Wilmington College would be the next step after high school graduation.
This fall, Ritz will continue her basketball career with the Fighting Quakers.
On Wednesday, Ritz signed her national letter of intent to play for Wilmington, which is just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
“It feels really good because I didn’t want to be done,” Ritz said. “After our season ended (at Seymour), I knew I wanted to play more. It was always a goal of mine, since I was little, to play in college. To get here just feels really good.
“What kind of narrowed it down for me was that they had exactly what I wanted to do academically. I really liked the campus. I felt like it was a place where I could see myself playing (basketball) and going to school every day.”
Ritz plans on majoring in agriculture with a focus in animal science.
She said hopes to aid the Quakers’ offense from the start.
“I feel like my shooting will transition really well,” Ritz said. “It’s a little bit faster paced, but with the pace we played at in Seymour, it will be similar. My court sense will really help, too.
“I’ve been over and seen them play a couple games. They do a lot of stuff similar to what (Seymour) coach (Jason) Longmeier does. I think it will be a really good transition.””
This past season, Wilmington, an NCAA Division III school in the Ohio Athletic Conference, finished 11-16 (7-11 OCC).
The program will graduate just two seniors going into the 2016-17 season.
Jerry Scheve heads the Quakers and is going into his 22nd season with the team.
Scheve has won more than 400 games and was named the National Coach of the Year after leading the Quakers to the 2003-04 NCAA Division III national championship
Longmeier said that Ritz is a good fit for the Wilmington team.
“I think that she will go in there and play in a year or two,” Longmeier said. “I think a lot of times, kids and parents have these pipe dreams of playing Division I and that’s it. There’s a lot of really good basketball out there.
“This is a really good level for her to go play. I think, even more than that, the agriculture school is top-notch. For her to go there and be academically and athletically successful is a big thing for her.”
Longmeier said that Ritz could see time as early as her freshman season.
“When she gets there and does the individual workouts, her ball handling and foot speed will increase,” Longmeier said. “I think she will be able to go in and automatically be able to shoot at that level. She does a good job of getting her feet underneath her and squaring her shoulders quick.
“Any time you have a kid who you see continue to develop, we take pride in that. When you can get one of your kids to go play at any level it says a lot about her and our program.”
Ritz will get offseason workouts from Wilmington and start practicing with the team in the summer.