Breckenridge wrestler Daniel Erlandson came into this season as one of the most dominant wrestlers in Minnesota. He completed his 14-year wrestling career Saturday, March 27 with a state finalist appearance.
He finished the season with a 27-2 record and his highest placement in a state tournament during his career. He fell to Dominik Vacura, who is a three-time state champion and No. 15 nationally for his weight class. Co-Head Coach Tom Haire was extremely proud of Erlandson had accomplished throughout his career.
“Daniel has poured his heart and soul into wrestling for over a dozen years. I’m so proud of the young man he is both on and off the mat,” Co-Head Coach Tom Haire said. “To be able to balance the grind of a wrestling season with all the activities he’s involved with is just incredible."
Haire will miss Erlandson’s leadership and the journey they went on to get there.
“The way he represents our wrestling program and our community is second to none. When he found out that we were going to have a youth season after our season, he immediately volunteered to help, as he’s done in the past. He is going to be greatly missed next year and I can’t thank him enough for the journey he’s taken us on,” Haire said.
Co-Head Coach Eric Erlandson felt a different atmosphere with the state tournament, but loved the way Daniel approached this weekend.
“It was a unique year,” Erlandson said. “I think he handled it well. We’ve been blessed to have great leaders in the room and Daniel carried that torch really well.”
The environment was different for the state tournament this year as Erlandson was one of eight wrestlers in his weight class to make the state tournament. In a normal year, it would have been 16 wrestlers.
“Sometimes, wrestling isn’t about wins and losses, it's about the process,” Daniel Erlandson said. “Just knowing that it was the last time I’d wrestle, I just wanted to make all of the people who put so much effort into me proud because it’s not just me, it’s other people.”
Erlandson had high praise for his dad and coach, Eric. He said the extra prep time and film on his opponents were enough to help him become one of the best in the state.
Daniel Erlandson ends his career with three state tournament appearances, placing sixth in 2019 and fourth in 2020. He was a Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) two-time all-state. He was named a Guillotine Academic All State and an Excel Award Recipient. He was the most dominant wrestler in his section with two Section 6A Championships, a Heart O’Lakes Conference Championship, and the program leader for most pins (28). He finished his career with 134 career wins and 85 pins. He goes down as one of the best wrestlers in school history.
Erlandson will be headed to the University of Jamestown to play football this upcoming fall. He hopes to coach wrestling sometime down the road.