Freshman Joey Hanowski has brought a versatile glove, strong bat and manicured flow to the Beavers this season. The newcomer from Little Falls, Minn. has proven he can play at the collegiate level, as he comes from a long line of college athletes, including an older brother that captains a St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team headed to the Frozen Four. Hanowski has the ability to play in the infield and the outfield and has already came up with some big hits at the plate, so BSUBeavers.com decided to catch up with him and see how his first few months of college ball has gone.
BSUBeavers.com: We have to start with the hair. So what’s the story behind the flow?
Joey Hanowski: I had it going in the fall and was thinking about cutting it. Lewis Baumann has got the reputation around the campus for having the long hair and he convinced me, (since it was) his senior year, to grow it out with him, so I said, why not. We’ve had a pretty good tandem with the flow going.
BSUBeavers.com: I heard there’s a comb in the baseball bag, any rituals before you hit the field?
JH: It’s true, there is a comb, I’m sure (assistant coach Dan) Bennett told you, he caught me the other day in Wayne doing it. Like you said it’s a ritual before games, you always got to keep the hair straight, and if I don’t it gets pretty curly and tangly, so I have to keep the comb with me at all times.
BSUBeavers.com: Must be a family thing with your brother having the flow and beard combo right now. Talk about your relationship with your brother, Ben, and how he’s about to hit the ice with St. Cloud State in the Frozen Four and being a draft pick.
JH: Yeah, Ben’s hair, beard combo is probably top there is, you really can’t compare anything to it. Maybe Lewis can give him a run for his money, I don’t know. Ben has always been a big inspiration for me. I’m a very proud brother of what he’s accomplished and what St. Cloud State has done. I always tell people when they ask me, “Who are you cheering for?” Well, I’m always cheering for my family in St. Cloud. I’m proud of him for what they have done with the Huskies and I think he hopefully has a bright future ahead with getting drafted. Like I said, him and my other brother, Beau, have both been good leaders for me and good role models to follow.
BSUBeavers.com: You have quite an athletic family, you yourself are a bit of a utility player. Talk about growing up and having to play or getting to play every position.
JH: Well my dad said that going into college that if you can play more then one position then it helps get you into the line-up. I just bring all my gloves to the game and wherever Skip puts me, he puts me. The other day I was in the outfield the first game and then the second game I came in at second base. I like to pride myself on being a utility guy, playing multiple positions and just helping the team where I can.
BSUBeavers.com: You have had some big hits already this season. Talk about what its been like as a freshman your first couple months of the season.
JH: It’s definitely been a roller coaster of feelings, obviously you have the high moments, having a couple of big hits and some of the games where you go 0-for-4, but it’s just a part of learning. This definitely isn’t high school anymore, these pitchers are a lot better they don’t leave a whole lot over the middle, your going to get one pitch to hit in an at-bat and if you miss it, you just have to battle. It’s been fun, big learning experience, but like I said it’s been fun with the group of guys we have.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).