Fine earns lacrosse scholarship to D-II Shorter
Three-hundred and sixty-five days ago, Erin Fine would have most likely laughed off any suggestion she’d be playing lacrosse in a year.
Now the Seymour High School senior is not only excelling at her new sport, but she’s earned a college scholarship thanks her efforts with the Lady Eagles lacrosse club team.
Fine, who first picked up a lacrosse stick this past spring, took to the sport like a natural and signed Friday afternoon with NCAA Division-II Shorter University in Rome, Ga.
How she got to the point of signing a scholarship so quickly is improbable, which makes for a great story.
“I would have been like, ‘Really? How is that going to happen?” Fine said when asked if even she would have thought it possible a year ago.
After her junior campaign on the basketball court, Fine decided to hang up her basketball jersey for good.
She didn’t know it at the time, but her athletic career was far from over.
“I decided not to play basketball my senior year, but my friend Jasmine (Hickman) played (lacrosse with the Seymour club team) and was really good at.
“She was like, ‘Come on, it’s just like basketball.’”
After reluctantly agreeing to go to one practice, Fine found herself frequenting the workouts.
After a month, she went with the team to a lacrosse camp at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga.
At the camp, Fine played with the team in her first-ever game.
Despite not being completely sure of all of the game’s intricacies, she gave it her best — which must have been pretty good.
“At the end of the game, the coach at the camp walked up and handed me papers and said, ‘I’m looking at you as a recruit.’”
Fine couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t expect to be recruited,” she said. “Especially at my first game. I didn’t even know (all) the rules.”
She came to grips with the newfound success quickly.
“I said, ‘OK, I can get somewhere with this.”
Fine has put in work as a member of the club team at Seymour High ever since, and using her natural athletic abilities and basketball skills, she’s become a good player.
“The first time we met her was in June,” Ashton Huxtable, one of two University of Tennessee club team members who coach the Seymour girls, said. “She’d only been playing a couple of weeks by that point, but even at that point you could see she was a natural.”
“Erin picked up really fast,” Cicily Hummer, the team’s other coach from UT, said. “Defense in basketball and defense in lacrosse are very similar, and (Fine’s) physicality helped.”
After a visit to Shorter, Fine knew she’d found the right spot to further her lacrosse education and, more importantly, her college education.
“It’s a nice town, it reminded me a lot of Knoxville, the strip (at UT),” Fine said. “So whenever I first went, that was really exciting. The campus is beautiful, I just feel in love with it whenever I saw it.”
And, aside from an offer of an athletic scholarship, Shorter also offers the academic program Fine was most interested in.
“My sophomore year I actually tore my ACL in basketball, and I had to go to therapy for six months,” Fine, who’s on pace to be a valedictorian at Seymour said. “(So I thought) physical therapist, that would be pretty cool. And I started researching it and decided that that was what I wanted to do.”
Fine will play her senior lacrosse season with her Seymour teammates this spring.