By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–It’s weird to think there was a time where Salem Academy’s Greyson Hanowell had orange hair let-lone dreadlocks when the now short-haired Hanowell was younger.
But that’s when South Salem’s Ryan Brown met him years-and-years ago.
“I played Flag Football with him in the second-grade and I never knew who he was, he was some kid with Orange Hair at one point,” laughed Brown reminiscing. “And then I met him in the third grade when he had dreadlocks the next year, then I played with him for third-grade, fourth-grade, sixth-grade, seventh-grade, eighth-grade and then I’m playing with him now.”
It’s interesting how sports brought these two great athletes together, flag football, basketball and baseball primarily.
How the two kids paths came about was when Brown was playing basketball at the YMCA for Greyson’s grandpa Ron Caligure on the third-and-fourth grade team, Caligure wanted Ryan to also play baseball for him, but Brown was playing ball with his father Chris who was also a baseball coach in the area.
Brown somehow played for both teams and eventually Caligure and Hanowell joined the Browns on the same team and the rest was history as Ryan Brown and Hanowell helped their team to several third-place finishes in baseball and a JBO State Championship before moving up to the Federal-level with two-fourth-place finishes.
This past summer, Hanowell and Brown, along with a few other teammates along the way from their younger days; were all on the Santiam Senators squad won their league and went to State before playing together again this summer as members of the Futures squad, marking a seventh/eighth-year that the two boys have been someone together with one another.
There’s almost a sense of brotherhood almost between the two friends now as the years have progressed.
“It’s just more than showing up to a game or a practice and being like, ‘oh hey what’s up because we’ve hung out before, we’ve had a relationship before throughout the whole time of growing up since like third-grade,” said Hanowell, who’s about a year-younger than Brown. “And it just makes it a lot more fun. We’ve talk about things more about life rather than sports or whatever because, we are able to get on each other’s level and it’s pretty good.
“It just feels like another day at the park because we’ve been doing it for so long and it’s just takes some of the pressure off and it’s a lot of fun.”
Brown adds that the brotherly-connection is really brother-like as both of them always find somewhere to compete and make the other one better, it doesn’t matter if it’s sports or not.
“He’s more of a brother to me than a lot of people are and he’s always been very-dear to my heart, so he’s one of those guys.” said Brown. “He’s always pushed me harder than I push him…we’re the most competitive two around each other, outside of baseball, we’re racing to the truck. In baseball we’re seeing who has the higher batting average, but we’re always right neck-and-neck.”
As for who’s the better athlete out of the two, well Ryan will say it is him, and Hanowell would agree with him haha.
“Oh gosh I would probably say he is,” laughed Hanowell. “I mean he has the calves of the Gods and he’s going to a 6A school and he’s killing it, but yeah he’s doing a good job.”
But Brown will give it to Hanowell, as Brown is on the basketball court trying to be the next Jason ‘White Chocolate’ Williams, Hanowell is in the pool being Michael Phelps.
“I would say myself because I’m still playing basketball, but he’s swimming so that’s a tough sport,” said Brown.