Trio signs with Rio: Waterford’s Leach, Eichmiller, Fort Frye’s Duskey to golf in college

Courtesy photos Waterford’s Abby Eichmiller signs to play golf for the University of Rio Grande Wednesday at Waterford.

The University of Rio Grande scored three holes-in-one Wednesday morning with the signing of a trio of local golfers.

Waterford High’s Abby Eichmiller and Liz Leach, and Fort Frye High’s Madison Duskey each has committed to the RedStorm program next season.

Rio Grande, which has not featured golf as a varsity sport since the late 1970s, is coached by Keith Wilson, who took over the reins in March of 2017. The RedStorm competes at the Cliffside Golf Course in Gallipolis.

“I visited Alderson-Broaddus (in W.Va.), but I really liked Rio Grande,” Eichmiller said. “It’s a little bit smaller and a lot closer to home.”

When Eichmiller toured the RedStorm campus, she was accompanied by good friend Duskey.

Front row: Left to right: Alexandria Leach (sister), Jodi Leach (mother), Liz Leach, Kevin Leach (father). Back row: Left to right: Keith Wilson (Rio coach), Cris Baker (Waterford girls coach), Josh Arnold (past coach), Timothy Leach (brother), Brandyn Offenberger (Waterford head coach) and Nicole Asbun (Rio girls coach),

“I wasn’t expecting to go there and golf,” Duskey said. “But then, I met Coach Wilson and Abby’s going there. So, I’m pretty excited, because I wasn’t expecting this (signing with Rio).”

Eichmiller and Leach were members of the Cris Baker-coached Waterford golf team that advanced and played on the Gray Course at the state tournament in Columbus three straight years.

Last fall, the Wildcats placed eighth overall with a score of 709 in Ohio Division II. Eichmiller finished with a 185 (88-97) and Leach with a 189 (93-96).

“Both Abby and Liz are members of the first ever girls’ golf team at Waterford High School,” Baker said. “They understand the work and commitment it takes to be winners.

“With hard work and the high school tournament experience they have, I feel they will be a huge asset to the Rio Grande RedStorm team.” .

Bottom left to right: Rio Grande Coach Keith Wilson, Rio Grande Assistant Coach Nicole Asbun, Madison Duskey, James Duskey (Father), Marci Duskey (Mother). Top left to right: Rachel Tullius (Vice Principal), Barbara Sleek (Athletic Director), Coach Doug Pfeffer (High School), Joel Duskey (Brother), Andy Schob (Principal).

Eichmiller finished her senior season with a 45.8 average, improving from 51.1 in 2015.

When Eichmiller was a junior in 2016, she was a district champion and earned medalist honors with a round of 86 at Upper Landsdown Golf Course. She finished as the District Player of the Year.

Leach carded a 96 in the same tournament.

Leach finished her senior campaign with a 47.3 average, improving from 53.2 in 2015.

Eichmiller said that she first started playing golf when she was a Waterford freshman under Josh Arnold. She was also the member of the Wildcats’ state championship basketball team when she was a sophomore.

The owner of a 3.85 GPA in the prep classroom, Eichmiller’s planning to major in accounting at Rio Grande.

Leach said that she started swinging the golf clubs five years ago.

“My grandpa got me started,” she said.

At Waterford, Leach owns a 3.8 GPA, and is currently the WHS girls’ basketball manager. She’s planning to major in biochem at Rio.

“I would like to be a pediatric surgeon someday,” she said.

Leach said she selected Rio Grande, because “it was closer to home, so that if she wanted to return home for a visit, she could.”

“Rio Grande’s a small campus, like Waterford,” Leach said. “I think it will be an easy transition for me.”

Duskey said that she first started golfing two years ago when she was a Fort junior.

“I’d always wanted to golf before that, but I was just too nervous,” she said.

Last season, Duskey was the only girl on the Cadets’ golf team.

“I had to play from the boys’ tees,” she said.

Duskey’s best round for nine holes was 48 at Lakeside and 101 for 18.

“I remember that I birdied two par 3s at Lakeside,” she said.

At Rio, Duskey is planning to major in psychology. At Fort, she has a 3.8 GPA.