GRANGER TWP. — Anna Rose Wiencek knew where she wanted to continue her athletic career in college long before she entered Highland High School.
That made it easy for the incoming senior when she decided to continue her soccer career at Miami of Ohio. The 17-year-old made her verbal commitment earlier this week.
“It’s been my first choice since the third grade,” Wiencek said. “In seventh grade, I wrote an essay in English class about it was my dream to play college soccer at Miami of Ohio.”
Wiencek needed just one visit last school year to put a stamp on her top choice, selecting the Oxford institution over the likes of Michigan, Purdue, Colgate and Bucknell.
While the standard factors of Miami’s nice campus and joining a program that is coming off its best season in school history were important, the school’s reputation of turning out highly successful coaches in a variety of sports was the icing on the cake.
Nicknamed the “Cradle of Coaches,” mentors like Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Jim Tressell and Thad Matta all have ties to the school. It’s a list Wiencek wants to join one day.
“That’s very exciting to me,” said Wiencek, who plans on majoring in kinesiology with a minor in business and economics. “I’m going to take coaching classes and hope to coach basketball or soccer.”
The 5-foot-11 Wiencek is a leader on the soccer pitch and basketball court. Wiencek was an All-Gazette selection in both, netting 11 goals and dishing out five assists as a center midfielder and averaging 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds as a power forward.
“Miami saw me play my freshman year at a State Cup game and invited me to their camp,” Wiencek said. “I got along well with the coaches at the camp and they kept coming to my games throughout the year. They liked my attitude, my work ethic and my leadership skills on the field.
“My interview went well and the coaches told me that my personality is a good fit for Miami.”
Miami’s program is one of the hottest in the country after finishing a school-record 20-3-1 overall and 10-0-1 in the Mid-American Conference. The Redhawks won the regular-season MAC title for the second time in school history and captured their fourth MAC Tournament title.
Coach Bobby Kramig’s squad than went on to beat No. 20 Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 15 Duke in the second round.
The fast-paced, attacking style is something Wiencek is excited to be a part of.
“It’s a good fit for me,” she said. “They play an aggressive style of offense by passing all around the field and using off ball runs to attack the other team’s defense. I will contribute on set plays with my heading ability and my long throw-ins.”
Now, Wiencek’s attention is on her final soccer and basketball seasons for the Hornets.
“I am working out and getting in the best shape possible,” she said. “It’s a big weight off my shoulders because now I don’t have to worry about getting accepted.”
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