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Signing Day: Hints of home to follow Glenwood’s DeCrow, McSwain

Jon Mitchell
jmitchell@postindependent.com
Grace McSwain
SigningDay-GPI-020515-1jpg-SigningDay-GPI-020515-2jpg

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Grace McSwain and Jordan DeCrow might feel right at home even when they play college sports in another time zone next season.

The Glenwood Springs High School seniors both signed letters of intent at the school on Wednesday, with DeCrow committing to play basketball for Division III Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and McSwain signing with Division II St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Both athletes said that there will be plenty of things about the places they play college sports that will make them feel right at home.

And it was their experiences at home that helped them move to the next level.

“All of our classmates push us to do the best we can, just like we do for them,” DeCrow said. “I know that [Athletic Director Craig] Denney tries to find the best coaches he can, and coach Steve [White, the girls soccer coach] and coach [Jacky] Gaddis [the girls basketball coach] definitely push us to our potential.”

McSwain, a midfielder and defender for the Demons who received a partial academic and athletic scholarship, said that she had been in contact with Division I programs in Montana State, Seattle University, Colorado State and the University of Denver prior to making her decision.

She had considered DU not only for its soccer program, but also because her older sister, Lilly, will enter her junior year playing there.

“That would have been so fun,” Grace said with a laugh. “It’s funny how Lilly and I play against each other. When it’s just us, we’re so aggressive against each other.”

Grace McSwain was a mainstay on Glenwood’s back line last season, when she also scored five goals. She joins a program that has competed well on a nation-wide scale over the past two seasons, reaching the Division II Elite Eight in 2013 and the second round in 2014. Last year, the Hilltoppers lost in the second round to Colorado School of Mines in Golden where another Glenwood Springs High graduate, Jackie Knott, is currently playing. The Hilltoppers also play often against Fort Lewis out of Durango, where GSHS grad Jenna Brown is playing.

“It would be so awesome to get to play against my old teammates,” McSwain said.

DeCrow joins a Luther program that has produced a pair of Division III All-Americans since 2000 and is on the rise, as the 15 wins the Norse have produced this season are the most for the program since their 2007-08 campaign. DeCrow, who is slated to play for coach Amanda Bailey, is also slated to play on a team that plays an up-tempo type of game that is very similar to the one Glenwood uses.

“Coach Bailey and coach [David] Foley said they like the way that the way I can see the floor and my shooting will really help them push the pace in transition,” DeCrow said. “It’s going to be pretty similar to the way coach Gaddis coaches us, so it’ll be pretty easy to adjust to.”

This season, the Demons’ guard is averaging 12.4 points per game and 4.4 assists with 33 total 3-pointers, and her assist average and 3s made rank her in Class 4A’s Top 10. She’s just one 3 away from matching the 34 3-pointers she hit last season, when she fought through the pain of a stress fracture in her right foot all year.

DeCrow had also looked at small four-year Oregon schools George Fox and Linfield along with the University of Dallas (Texas). And like McSwain, she’s more than comfortable with her college choice.

“The team is very tight-knit and close, and that’s really what I’m looking for,” DeCrow said. “Plus, they play the same style of basketball we play here at Glenwood. That made it an easy choice.”


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