WADENA -- While growing up Leland and Logan Brincefield were constantly fighting with each other.
The twin brothers had developed a sibling rivalry that often resulted in heated bouts with hard lefts and a couple kicks to the side. This constant behavior left their parents with only one thing to do -- make them wrestlers.
"We were always wrestling at home," said Leland. "So our parents (Larry and Sharon) took us to wrestling practice in first grade. I guess they thought maybe we'd have some talent at it and we did."
Thanks to their scrappy, bloody-nosed childhood the two Wadena-Deer Creek juniors are two of the best wrestlers in the state. They both excel in the classroom and they both have a chance to bring home a state title with similar wrestling styles.
Because of those similarities the rivalry still exists.
"There's definitely a sibling rivalry," said W-DC wrestling coach Dennis Kaatz. "Once in a while we have to separate them during practice and put them on opposite sides of the room."
Saturday, the Brincefield brothers took out their aggression on someone other than each other.
Leland won the Section 7AA individual title at 112 pounds by earning a 14-6 decision over Chris Tibbetts of Aitkin. Not to be outdone by his brother, Logan decisioned Luke Griffith 9-4 of Morris for his own Section 7AA individual championship at 119 pounds.
This year Leland has compiled a 32-0 record while Logan finished 20-1. Although Logan started wrestling on varsity before Leland, Leland reached the 100 wins milestone first.
"He puts it in my face all the time," said Logan. "I was supposed to get 100 before he did. But he finally beat me in something."
On their careers Leland has 129 wins and just 12 losses while Logan has 90 wins.
"In team competition having both of them is awfully nice," said Kaatz. "It sets a tone for the whole team. Because of them we get off to a good start. We've won a few matches by just being able to score some big points early."
The similarities are limitless when comparing the two. As twins they look a like. They both play baseball in the spring and they've both had major surgery because of wrestling injuries.
Logan was at a summer camp for wrestling before his sophomore year and dislocated his shoulder. He had surgery to repair it but then at the section team tournament, one of just a few matches he was able to wrestle in, he dislocated his other shoulder.
"After that surgery I had problems with my other shoulder again so I had to have another surgery on that shoulder," said Logan. "I had three surgeries in a span of nine months."
Leland tore two ligaments and tendons in his elbow during the state tournament last year.
Both wrestlers have been to the state individual tournament twice. Logan went in 1998 and 1999, where he placed fourth both years. Leland placed fourth last year at the state meet while taking fifth his freshman year.
Because of their early success the Brincefields have become leaders of the W-DC squad. Kaatz believes others see their aggressive practices against each other and have developed more quickly because of it.
"In the practice we have five or six kids working with them and they definitely have gotten better," said Kaatz. "Their success has spurred and encouraged our younger kids to work harder."
Kaatz said the brothers have similar styles of wrestling. They are both aggressive with quickness and strength. They have exceptional take down ability and they're always putting their opponent in danger of getting pinned.
Neither junior can wait to show off his talent at the Class AA state team and individual meet Thursday through Saturday.
"Last year I was sitting in the stands because of my injury and I couldn't stand it," said Logan. "It was hard for me."
Both wrestlers are more relaxed this year but go into the meet with lofty expectations.
Leland is the second ranked 112-pounder in Class AA.
"I was ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the year but I'm glad I'm No. 2," said Leland. "Being ranked No. 1 you have all these people expecting you to do well. Plus, if you're No. 1 you don't have anyone to shoot for."
Unfortunately for Logan he is Class AA's No. 1 ranked 119-pounder.
"I wish I wasn't ranked No. 1," Logan said. "But it feels good to be No. 1 for something."
With all the success the Brincefields have had there is one last similarity that might surprise most. Both Leland and Logan hate wrestling. In fact they wanted to quit the sport, but Kaatz can thank the twin's parents one more time.
"We were taught by our parents not to quit things," said Leland. "We wanted to quit a long time ago but our parents told us to stick with it."
For Logan, wrestling was fun at first because he didn't know what he was doing. He liked it immediately. But now he sees wrestling more as a job than a sport.
"It's not really very fun," Logan said. "I've basically taught myself to stick with it and do it for the team and myself. I want to stick with it to see how good I really am."
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