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Published February 06 2012

Stephen and Greg Erlandson shine on the mat for Breckenridge

Breckenridge, Minn. - Stephen Erlandson is the Ferrari. Greg Erlandson is the Mack Truck. At least that’s how Eric Erlandson describes his twin sons. Stephen, a standout running back for last fall’s Breckenridge High School football team, is a bit flashier and faster. Greg, an offensive lineman in football, is a grinder who does the dirty work.

Nonetheless, the Ferrari and Mack Truck are running the same race during this winter’s wrestling season. The two seniors are hoping to become state champions.

“When we were younger, it was a lot of wrestling and fighting,” Stephen Erlandson said about his relationship with his brother. “But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve grown a lot closer and we’ve done more things together.”

After finishing second in last year’s Minnesota state tournament, Stephen is ranked No. 3 in the Class A 170-pound weight class. Greg is ranked No. 4 in the 192-pound class.

After being eliminated in the early rounds at last year’s state tournament, Greg simply shifted his focus toward supporting his brother’s run to a second-place finish.

“I don’t know how they’re going to be next year,” Eric Erlandson said, referring to his sons’ college plans.

Stephen has already signed to play football at Northern State of Aberdeen, S.D. Greg could be going to MIT or Stanford next year for academics.

“It’s not something I am counting on,” said Greg, who already received a phone call from MIT’s football coach about next season. “They turn away kids with 4.0 and perfect scores all the time.”

Eric Erlandson doesn’t appear to be worried about those details. He said Greg recorded a perfect score on the math portions of his SAT and ACT college-entrance exams.

Greg has already been accepted to the engineering program at the University of Minnesota. “He can miss a day of school and then come in the next day and teach everyone how to do it,” said Stephen, who wants more people to know about his brother.

During the football season, Stephen admitted he was in the spotlight more as a running back compared to Greg’s role as a blocking lineman.

Stephen would like nothing better than for that spotlight to shine on Greg – who can be spotted during breaks at wrestling tournaments studying up for a math competition.

“Guys just say, ‘Man, you’re a nerd,’” Greg said.

But if things work out, Greg Erlandson will be a “nerd” with a state wrestling title. And if it all works out, his brother will be a state champion too.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com