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Greenway twins making an impact for Vikings

Augustana Vikings' Justin Greenway (38) and Jason Greenway (39), both of Mitchell, look to tackle a player during a college football game last season. (Photo courtesy of Augustana media relations)

At the end of last season, Jason and Justin Greenway were voted the Most Valuable Players on special teams for the Augustana Vikings.

The Mitchell natives, who will be juniors this season, will look to continue to help on special teams this season and look to break into the offensive lineup.

"It was nice to get recognized within our team," Jason said about the MVP award. "Even though we can't play offense as of yet, we can contribute and make a difference for our team."

Augustana returns its top two running backs from the 2013 squad, including senior Dajon Newell and junior C.J. Ham. The Greenways have worked during the offseason on pass protection to improve their skills for the position.

"We've really been focusing on getting better at blocking," Jason said. "That's a big part of why we're not in that position. It's important that we get better."

Jason, 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, recorded eight tackles in 10 games on special teams last year for the Vikings. Justin, 5-foot-9 and 202 pounds, recorded 11 tackles on special teams in 2013. He recovered a fumble for a touchdown, rushed five times for 18 yards and returned a kick for a career-long 28 yards against Minnesota State University-Moorhead last season.

"They were MVPs on our special teams for a reason," Augustana second-year coach Jerry Olszewski said. "Their athletic ability and effort is there.

"We have two really great running backs who play in front of them, but we're looking at getting them some potential time in the slot as receivers."

Justin said everyone is competing for a spot for a position, so having experience and putting in hard work helps.

"As long as you're staying competitive and doing things right, then the guys in front of you have to do that too," he said. "It makes everyone work harder, which makes you better."

The former Kernels are in Mitchell for the summer. The twins have been doing offseason training programs and traveled to Sioux Falls to participate in team workouts twice a week.

Justin said it's nice to have a training partner to compete against through the summer.

"We have someone who is doing the same things and we want to do be better than the other," he said. "It's pretty helpful and it's an advantage a lot of people don't have in the offseason."

The Vikings finished 4-7 last season in Olszewski's first season with the Vikings. Augustana lost three games by less than five points last season. Olszewski said he saw a lot of progress in spring ball from where the team was at the end of the 2013 season.

"It was a good indicator of the progress we made," he said. "The level of understanding allowed them to be more competitive and that was great to see as a coach."

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.