University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Falcon Sports

Falcon Spotlight

Erik Olson

By Nathan Martinson
UWRF Sports Information

Sophomore Erik Olson has become a very important off the bench player for the Falcon basketball team.

Every successful team needs a player who can come off the bench and perform well in clutch situations. Olson has shown the talents and skills to help lift the Falcon game up at crucial times in games.

So far this season Olson has played in every game and is averaging 4.8 points per game. He is also shooting well from the free throw line with an average of .887 percent (12-14). He scored a season-high 2 points in the team's 110-66 win over North Central last Friday. His career-high is a 14-point performance against Stout last season.

"He is a good bench player for us. He comes in and is an instant threat for us with his strong shooting abilities," Falcon Coach Jeff Berkhof said.

            "Although I am only a sophomore, I am one of the older players and I have matured into one of the leaders on this team," Olson said. Berkhof agrees. "Olson has stepped up for us this season. He has matured into a strong leader this season," Berkhof said.

Last season the Falcons finished with a 6-19 overall record (5-11 WIAC) and Olson feels that the youth on this year's team makes it more athletic and more dangerous this season.

"I feel that this year's team has a chance to be more than competitive in the WIAC and has a chance to do some serious damage. It all depends on coming together as a young team. Our team's strengths are just playing a more physical style of basketball and getting up and down the court," Olson said.

Olson felt that this school had a lot to offer him on and off the court. He felt that UWRF was the place for him to continue his education and get a chance to play more basketball.

"River Falls has created a place for me to hang out with friends, get to know a lot of people and create a good working environment to get your school work done," Olson said.

Olson attended Hanover High School in New Hampshire and was the team's Most Valuable Player in both his junior and senior seasons. He was also named to the All-State second team.

In high school he averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, and three assists per game. He was a two-year starter and earned three letters for the Marauders.

"Every team that I was a part of went to state and got past the first round, which I felt was a success," Olson said. "One moment that sticks out was when we made the final four at state and had a chance to go to the title game."

When not on the basketball court Olson likes to listen to music, hang out with friends and get to know people as well as spend as much time outside as possible.

He is the son of Colleen and Michael Olson and is majoring in health and human performance.

Olson feels that this year's team will perform better in the WIAC in large part to the new coaching philosophy by Berkhof.

This year's team just has a new attitude and approach compared to last year's team. I feel that Coach Berkhof is a good motivator and gets us to play hard, and we have more of an edge than last year's team," Olson said.

Right now the Falcons are 5-7 overall and 1-3 in the WIAC and Olson feels that the difference in some losses this year is that the team has fallen short at some crucial points at the end of games.
Erik Olson

Erik Olson

Hometown: South Strafford, Vt.

High School: Hanover

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6-4

Weight: 185

Major: Health & Human Performance

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