EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 20, 2013

Around the Horn with Gunnar Ericsson, Timberlane Track

Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — You might call Gunnar Ericsson a man of letters. By the time he graduates from Timberlane this spring, he will have earned 14 of them.

The three-sport captain (soccer for two years, indoor and outdoor track) also was the kickoff specialist for the football team the last two years. Ericsson, who is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class, will be playing soccer and studying engineering at UNH.

In this week’s Around the Horn, the 5-11, 160-pound Atkinson resident talks about his name being mangled, winning 14 letters and his goals for the winter season.

How often is your name misspelled? “Quite a bit. Gunner all the time. And a lot of people think it’s Connor.”

What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Soccer is my favorite sport. This past year we went from three wins to winning our first playoff game in eight years. That was pretty big. Another big moment was committing to the UNH soccer program in December. It’s a great soccer program so I jumped on it.”

What are your goals for this winter? “One of my main goals was to set the record in an event if not more than one. My chances of the 300 meter school record are high with the state meet coming up. I need to run a 36.5.”

What was it like playing soccer and football in the fall? “I did the kickoffs the last two years but didn’t get the opportunity to do field goals. I made some tackles, too.”

Were you afraid? “I think I had eight tackles and stopped a couple of TDs. A couple of times it was just putting my nose in. Being a track guy gave me a little edge.”

How are you doing academically? “I’m like 30th out of 360 in my class. I got an 1,860 on my SATs.”

What’s been the lowest point of your career? “My junior soccer season was a low point. I had a hip injury and as a team we didn’t perform very well. It was tough. I don’t know how well I handled the adversity.”

Are you from an athletic family? “My brother, Nils, a freshman, plays hockey for the Timberlane varsity. My older sister, Olivia, played soccer (2010 tri-captain) and skied at Timberlane. My father used to play soccer in New Jersey.”

What’s your dream job? “MLS soccer or something in the engineering field.”

Who’s your dream date? “Scarlett Johansson.”

What is your pet peeve? “I hate being asked a question more than once.”

Do you have any pets? “Two dogs, a Newfoundland, Lotta, and a Lab, Mia Hamm.”

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “‘You Sexy Thing’ by Hot Chocolate.”

If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Fix the school lunches. They took away crispy chicken Wednesday!”

GUNNAR’S FAVORITES

Group or singer: Childish Gambino

Song: When I’m Gone

Book: Travel Team

Website: Barstool

App: Bike Racer

Actor-actress: Will Ferrell

Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

TV show: The Big Bang Theory

Athlete: Neymar

Food: Cheese steak

Car: Volkwsagen Corrado VR6

Restaurant: 99

Course in school: Public speaking with Mr. (Jeff) Shaw