A key part of this year’s Division IV is trading in her green for UPike orange. Eastern senior Erin Swatzel signed her letter of intent Thursday at EHS to join the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team, next season. “I loved how small the campus was, everything was close together,” said Swatzel on why she chose UPike. “I met some of the teammates and they all got along really well and it kind of reminded me of how we got along.” Erin was one of five seniors on this season’s OHSAA Division IV Lady Eagles State Champion basketball team and was an All-Ohio honorable mention. “With recruiting I look for two things, work ethic and character, Erin has both,” said Pikeville coach Joanna McNamee. “On top of that she’s a great student, so for the University of Pikeville she’s going to be an asset and valued member of our family, both academically and athletically. I can’t wait to get her there and coach her.” Erin averaged 11 points per game this season and helped Eastern advance to its first state final, where she posted five points and six boards in a victorious effort. “Her shooting abilities have come a long way in one season and she’s a kid that just likes to learn,” Eastern head coach John Burdette said. “She’s going to be fine when she gets down there and gets acclimated to college life and gets it figured out that college is different than high school.” Along with her basketball success Erin has also been a part of three TVC Hocking championships in volleyball and one in softball. “Basketball’s always been my favorite,” said Erin. “Since I was in the fourth grade I’ve always looked forward to basketball season.” Four of the five starters on this year’s team will be playing basketball in college next season. “Being teammates with a division one athlete that’s going to Dayton, you learn what competitiveness is,” Swatzel said. “I think that playing with these girls, along with how up-tempo our game plan was is really going to help me in college.” Erin currently holds a 4.122 GPA and is 5th in the class of 2014. She plans on majoring in Biology at Pikeville. “I hope that playing here helps all of them,” Burdette said. “Erin’s going to be going against a kid every night that’s 6-1 or 6-0 just like she did with Kate here at school. I think she’ll progress fine at college, she’s a good hard worker, I just hope we’ve prepared all of them to go on.” Pictured above, sitting in the front row from left, are UPike coach Joanna McNamee, Amy Swatzel, Erin Swatzel, Don Swatzel and Dillon Swatzel. Standing in the back are EHS athletic director Sam Thompson and Lady Eagles head coach John Burdette.