By Rob Kiser
Piqua High School seniors Hayden Schrubb and Ally Richardson always had a passion for their sport.
After a day’s delay because of weather, the two made their college choices official on Thursday in the Piqua High School commons.
Schrubb signed his letter of intent to play football for Malone University, while Richardson signed to play women’s soccer for Tiffin University.
The son of Aaron and Liz Schrubb had a breakout season on the football field for the Indians this fall.
And that was not by coincidence.
“Through eighth grade I played soccer (as well) and I had to make a choice (on sports),” Schrubb, also the point guard for the Piqua basketball team, said. “I just felt like (football) was the right choice. Going into my senior season, I knew this was it.”
Along with recording 37 tackles, recovering two fumbles and intercepting a pass as an integral part of the defense, Schrubb broke the single-season and career receiving records at Piqua.
After breaking the 100-yard barrier in a game for the first time as junior, Schrubb had four 100 yards games this year, including three of 140 yards or more.
In one six-game stretch, he averaged more than 100 yards per game.
His record season of 53 receptions for 911 yards and 15 touchdowns broke the receiving yardage record for a single season.
It gave him 81 receptions for his career for 1,365 yards, another school record.
He finished second in the GWOC in receiving yardage this season.
After being named second team All-GWOC North as a junior, he was named All-GWOC North, All-GWOC, All-Southwest District first team and honorable mention All-Ohio this past season.
“Hayden (Schrubb) was a two-way player for us,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “Malone is an up-and-coming program. This is the second year they have had an outstanding recruiting class. They are talking abut him coming in and playing right away. He will be a receiver and return guy for them. It is a great fit and opportunity for Hayden.”
Which is why Schrubb was so excited when he got the offer.
“I just love everything about the school,” Schrubb said. “They run a wide-open offense and have already talked about me contributing as a freshman. That (playing right away) is definitely something I was looking for. I am excited about the opportunity, to see what I can do.”
The daughter of Kevin Richardson and Diana Swafford couldn’t have imagined college without soccer.
“I have been playing, probably since I was three years old,” Richardson said. “I have always loved the sport.”
And her passion shows up on the field, with Richardson being the heart-and-soul of any team she plays on. And it was evident to anyone who watched her play her fullback position on the Piqua defense the last several years, hustling all over the field to make plays.
“I can count how many goals she has saved us over the last two years,” Piqua coach Bret Ritter said. “She has really developed over the last two years and has a lot of potential. Tiffin is a great fit for her.”
Richardson knew it from the first time she visited the campus.
“I love the coach and the team,” she said. “I love everything about it. It is good to have this decision made. I don’t know about playing right away, but it is a program where I can go and develop as a player. I am excited about the opportunity.”
And Ritter said she has a lot to offer Tiffin.
“She is going to playing defense and that is the perfect spot for her,” Ritter said. “She has great soccer smarts and the overall skills to succeed.”
And both will have the opportunity to play the sport they love for four more years.”
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.