Parker Erickson couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed when he first attended Alta High.

There were high expectations for him before he even donned a football uniform because he had to follow in the footsteps of two older brothers who had productive careers for the Hawks. Brent Erickson, now playing for Army, and Preston Erickson, now at Snow College, left quite a legacy for the youngest Erickson brother to try and uphold.

"It's been tough," Erickson said. "My brothers are good. One is at Army, and the other is at Snow playing for a national championship in two weeks, so there were some big shoes to try and fill."

Erickson has no doubt filled them — and more.

Erickson will play the final game of his high school career when the Hawks face Bingham in the 5A championship game on Friday. He's been a three-year starter during a career in which he's played every position on the offensive line. He currently starts at center.

"He's the biggest of the three (Erickson brothers) and they've all been studs at Alta High," said Hawks coach Les Hamilton. "He's a three-year starter which is not common at Alta High School. His work ethic is impeccable."

Erickson was the only returning starter on Alta's offensive line this season. He was the team's starting left tackle during its state championship season in 2007. He moved to guard before the 2008 campaign began, but switched to center when a teammate was injured.

No matter where he's played, Erickson's been the rock of the Hawks' offensive line. He's given up one sack all season, and it came in the team's one loss against Sacramento's Grant High. With two junior starters having no varsity experience to speak of prior to this season, there was a lot of pressure on Erickson to keep the unit together.

"He's a huge deal," said Alta quarterback Ammon Olsen. "He's a stud. He's kind of a leader for the linemen. They look up to him and stuff."

Erickson's standout high school career has earned him a chance to play in college. He currently has a written scholarship offer on the table from Idaho State, but he probably won't decide where he's going to play until the final days before national signing day. He's a 4.0 student, and he'll be recognized as an Academic All-State student at halftime of Friday's championship game.

"He's a great kid," Hamilton said. "He's one of those kids who's a leader. He's one of the elite players on our team."

Erickson is also a member of the Hawks' wrestling team. He's still relatively new to the sport, and success hasn't come as easily for him on the mats as it has on the gridiron.

"I'm not that great," Erickson said. "I'm still kind of new to it. As a sophomore I probably won three matches, last year I probably won 10. That's out of about 30, mind you. Hopefully this year will be better."

That's probably a fair bet to make. Erickson, a captain of the football team, will also be a captain of the wrestling team despite his sub .500 record during the past two seasons. He set out to create his own legacy in football when he arrived at Alta High and did it. Wrestling may be next.


E-mail: aaragon@desnews.com