t’s quiet in the morning these days for Columbus East senior defensive end Quade Greiwe, who used to share his family’s finished basement with his older brother, Brock.
Their two bedrooms were connected by a bathroom in-between, so as one of the brothers got ready for school or a sports duty, the other brother would have to deal with the noise of the shower or just general banging around. To say the noise could be annoying at times would be putting it mildly.
Now, as it always does, life has changed.
“It’s a lot different,” Quade Greiwe said. “There’s no one else down there with me. It’s weird.”
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It’s weird in a good way, considering that last Nov. 12, big-brother Brock suffered a seizure that led to the discovery of a brain tumor.
It appeared that Brock Greiwe, one of the state’s top high school defensive tackles, wouldn’t be going anywhere as he launched a fight for his life.
Fortunately, doctors identified the growth as a benign dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor and removed it. Brock has since competed in East’s baseball season before beginning college life this semester at Indiana State, where he is running drills with the football team although he hasn’t been cleared for contact.
Life has moved forward for Quade Greiwe as well in many positive ways. Last year at this point, Greiwe was a defensive lineman who played a limited role. He has developed into a player who can take control of a game.
Besides his gains in speed, strength and technique, Quade Greiwe has grown as a person as he was forced to come to grips with his older brother’s agonizing journey.
“I had a lot of good friends and teachers, and my family,” he said. “We all made it through.
“It definitely was a life lesson, not to take people for granted. I realized how important everyone in my life was to me.”
After his brother’s tumor was removed and he began his recovery, Quade Greiwe could focus his attention on his junior wrestling season. He won Hoosier Hills Conference and regional championships at 195 pounds.
That success launched him toward a busy summer of working toward becoming a better football player.
“Wrestling definitely got my (football) skills better,” Quade Greiwe said. “I was in better shape and I learned how to move people around. It helped me in knowing what success feels like and not being as nervous playing football on the varsity (level).”
East head football coach Bob Gaddis thought it would only be a matter of time before Quade Greiwe made his mark.
“He played behind some good players as a junior,” Gaddis said. “We felt he could be an impact player and he’s definitely fulfilled that role. He had a great off-season.”
Gaddis said wrestling was an important part of his improvement. “He had a great wrestling season, as did (offensive lineman) Sean Galligar. He understands quickness and leverage and he does a great job with his hands. And the thing that Quade has done is to show our younger players that they will get the opportunity if they keep working. Their time will come.
“The sky is the limit for Quade. He brings that athletic ability, he is strong and fast. He has worked hard in the athletic development that all our kids do. He has made improvement through the use of good technique. He does a good job understanding his role in our scheme. He has kept working toward his opportunity.”
Although Brock Greiwe is 40 to 50 pounds heavier than Quade, Gaddis said he sees some important similarities in the brothers.
“They are both competitors and they are great kids to coach,” Gaddis said. “They are just (natural) football players.”
Now Brock has moved to college.
“Quade looks up to his brother a lot,” Gaddis said. “They were competitive with each other. Now Quade feels it is his turn.”
Brock Greiwe agrees. “I think Quade has made a big step,” he said. “I think wrestling has helped him. I am afraid to tussle with him now because he probably would take me down. And that has translated to the (football) field.”
Although Brock Greiwe, who has a Dec. 4 doctor’s appointment to see if he can begin taking contact, managed to get to East’s first two football games, he hasn’t been around Quade on a daily basis as always was the case.
“It is kind of weird now,” Brock Greiwe said. “Quade always looked up to me and I think he has had a couple of issues missing me. But I am so proud of him.”
In the 28-21 win against Columbus North, Quade Greiwe suffered a leg cramp in the third quarter and was helped to the sideline.
“I knocked about eight people over getting out of the stands and running over to see him,” Brock Greiwe said. “I told him, ‘You’ve got to get back in the game.’”
Quade Greiwe already made a big impact in the North win, driving a blocker back into the punter, a play that resulted in the blocked punt and set up a one-yard drive for an Olympians’ touchdown. The play completely changed the momentum of the game.
“We had gotten off to a slow start and I knew somebody needed to make a play to get us some momentum,” he said. “I didn’t know it would be me.”
With East off to a 3-0 start and in position to roll through the regular season unbeaten, Greiwe could be making a lot of big plays.
Whether he makes big plays for a college team is undecided. At 6-foot, 210 pounds, he would be a very small defensive lineman at the next level. Plus, he has to lose 15 pounds when the season ends for wrestling.
“I will wait and see what the schools are saying,” he said of the possibility of playing in college. “I feel like I am strong for my size.
“I wish I could play football forever.”
SCHOOL: Columbus East
POSITION: Defensive end
SIZE: 6-foot, 210 pounds
2015 STATISTICS: 3 games, 14 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recover, 1 blocked punt