Afton Eyrich will be an offensive lineman for the Loras College Duhawks this fall.

Eyrich Signs With Loras Football

Eyrich is getting a jump on the season as he will head to campus the beginning of June to continue his weight lifting program and help with the school's summer sports camps.
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Dan Eyrich, AP Sports; Photos courtesy Alex Ator EHS

Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa will be the next stop in the football career of EP’s Afton Eyrich who signed a letter of intent with the school last Thursday. The 6’3″ 300 pound offensive lineman gathered with his family and friends for the signing in the Erie High School Media Center. The D III school competes in the American Rivers Conference.

Eyrich, who moved to the Erie School District his junior year, made an immediate impact on the program. “Afton came to us and became the starting center,” said Panther head coach Tyler Whitebread. “He started for us both years, and was named 2nd Team All-Conference his senior year. Besides having good size and strength, Afton was a student of the game. He was a very intelligent player that was able to handle adjustments at various points throughout a game. I believe his best football is ahead of him, and we wish him all the luck. He left some “big shoes” to fill on the offensive line, but also a leader within our program.” 

The senior started playing ball in first grade on a NIYTF team (Northern Illinois Youth Tackle Football) and has played every year since. “Once I moved to Erie my junior year and won the starting center position it reinstated my love for the game and I wanted to make college football part of my future. I went to a lot of camps and showcases and started getting some attention from schools after last season.”

Afton Eyrich with EP Panther football line coach Damian DeMay.

Eyrich, who says his decision was not an easy one, had two schools who wanted his services but Loras filled more boxes on his check list.

Loras head coach, Steven Helminiak says he is very excited to see Eyrich come to Loras. “Very simply put, Afton fits in with the pillars of our program – Scholastics, Honor, Victory. Afton is coming in as an Engineering major, a rigorous academic discipline at Loras College. He is ready and capable to be successful in our Engineering major which will lead him to success in his professional life. If was very evident that Afton was and is an excellent person which is what we want in our program. He will conduct himself in a 1st class manner.  As a player, we believe Afton fits a need in our Offensive Line. He is a big strong guy with very good upside of improving as a player. Afton is an accomplished high school player, but we believe his best football is down the road. With great work-ethic and determination, it is going to be fun to watch Afton grow as a competitor. He has a chance to be force on the inside of our Offensive Line.”

Eyrich is getting a jump on the season as he will head to campus the beginning of June to continue his weight lifting program and help with the school’s summer sports camps. “My hope is to start on the JV team and make the varsity traveling squad and move into a starting role next season. I hope I can stay at center as they run a no huddle offense, so it adds some intensity in calling the line schemes.”

The lineman is also excited about the proximity of the school to his hometown. “Loras is only an hour and a half from home and most of our away games are close as well, which makes it possible for my family to come to my games.”

Afton is the son of Scott and Bridget Eyrich of rural Erie.

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