St. John’s senior Madilynn Schulte, seated center, reacts after signing her national letter-of-intent to play college basketball at UNOH Thursday afternoon. Seated with her are her parents, Amy and Todd Schulte, and standing is Lady Racer head coach Mike Armbruster. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)
St. John’s senior Madilynn Schulte, seated center, reacts after signing her national letter-of-intent to play college basketball at UNOH Thursday afternoon. Seated with her are her parents, Amy and Todd Schulte, and standing is Lady Racer head coach Mike Armbruster. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

DELPHOS — Two reasons predominated in the decision of St. John’s senior basketball player Madilynn Schulte to pick the University of Northwestern Ohio to play college basketball in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“One, they offer a great business program for me to eventually study mortuary science. Two, they have an up-and-coming athletic program,” the daughter of Todd and Amy Schulte recalled during her national letter-of-intent signing Thursday afternoon.

The fact that it is so close to her home is another important part of the equation as she will join a Lady Racer team that just finished head coach Mike Armbruster’s second season at the helm at 13-18, 10-12 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

“That was also big for me; it saves on the money to go to college, as well as the time and travel going back and forth that you would have if I went farther away,” she continued. “I am excited about this opportunity to play college basketball; it’s hard to put into words for this. I’ve worked hard on my game to get this chance. I can’t wait.”

The only two other schools that were in the mix, according to Schulte, were Defiance College and Bluffton University.

“I already know their off-season schedule that starts in April: every Friday afternoon and Wednesday morning, they have their program,” she added. “Thankfully, it isn’t too far away, so I can get an early jump on college.

Armbruster liked the qualities he saw in Schulte.

“One, she is a Northwest Ohio girl. You know when you’re dealing with a Northwest Ohio kid, they are going to be feisty, tough and have a good work ethic that has gotten them to this point,” he began. “Two, she has the Schulte name and with the kind of athletic prowess that her family has, she fits right in to what we’re trying to do here.”

As always, there will be a transition period, which Armbruster fully expects.

“There are two major areas for any freshman making that jump from high school to college. The first is the physical maturity and strength,” he added. “They have to get used to playing 30 games a year and learn to play against and with girls that have been in the college weight room for four years; she will be 18 going against 21 and 22 year olds.

“The second is defense. You have to adjust to the speed of the game, learning how to keep the player they are guarding in front and things of that nature. That will be the main focus of the off-season and summer for her and us working with her.”