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4 Perrysburg althletes sign on to play at collegiate level

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At the signing ceremony, Perrysburg High School athletes are, from left, Nate Patterson, Lucy Walton, Taylor Monheim, and Courtney Clody.

The Blade/Matt Thompson
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One week ago, four Perrysburg High School seniors had homework on a snow day, each of them had to fax in their national letters of intent to compete in intercollegiate athletics.

Courtney Clody will be going to the Ohio State University for cross country and track, Taylor Monheim will go to Grand Valley State University in Michigan for cross country and track, Nate Patterson will play football at Miami University in Ohio, and Lucy Walton will go to Ball State University in Indiana for soccer.

With several snow days and scheduling conflicts, the four had their high school "signing day ceremony" on Tuesday, nearly a week after sending in their letters of intent. Parents, friends, coaches, school administration packed a media room at Perrysburg High School for speeches, photos, and a reenacting of the letter signings.

"It is a exciting day with four soon-to-be graduates playing at the next level at different universities," said Ray Pohlman, athletic director, during the ceremony.

Patterson's grandmother, Linda Base, sat proudly near the front of the room wearing her "Miami Grandmother" sweater, watching her only grandson be acknowledged by the athletic director, coaches, and family.

"This is the most wonderful feeling," she said, fighting back tears. "He is always considerate and most of all loves sports."

Patterson, a 6-foot-4 tight end, helped the Perrysburg football team go undefeated in Northern Lakes League play and win the program's first ever state playoff game. Patterson decided to go to Miami last summer after receiving All-NLL honors as a junior.

For the first time in his 20 years of coaching, John Monheim is losing two runners in one class for a Division I or Division II program. It is also the first time he's been a parent for signing day, as his daughter Taylor is going to Grand Valley.

"Taylor has known since seventh grade she wanted to run cross country in college," he said. "I'm losing two good kids that will be on the wall for the (Perrysburg) Hall of Fame - that's how good they were."

Last June, Monheim and Clody won second place in the Division I state championship on their 3200-meter relay team.

Clody also played soccer and won a state championship in her junior year. She said it was a "really hard" decision to play cross country in college instead of soccer, but said she knew she had more opportunities running.

Walton, a soccer forward, was a part of the state championship team as a junior when she was second-team All-District. In her senior year, she was first-team All District.

"I choose (Ball State) because I thought it was a good fit with academics and athletics," she said. "I can't wait to play."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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