FOOTBALL: Olszewski brothers witness Harvey from BSU

BEMIDJI -- The effects of Hurricane Harvey are being felt beyond Texas this week. That includes the confines of the Bemidji State football locker room.

EJ (left) and Gunner Olszewski, pictured after the Bemidji State football team's practice Tuesday, have witnessed the effects of Hurricane Harvey on their hometown of Alvin, Texas, from afar. (Austin Monteith | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The effects of Hurricane Harvey are being felt beyond Texas this week. That includes the confines of the Bemidji State football locker room.

Brothers EJ and Gunner Olszewski have witnessed the devastation the hurricane has wrought on their home state from more than 1,000 miles away. The siblings hail from Alvin, Texas, located about 25 miles south of Houston and about 30 miles northwest of Galveston.

Fortunately, the Olszewski family has been spared from the historic flooding that has hit the region in the last week.

“All of our family’s houses down there, no water got into our house,” said Gunner, a junior cornerback and NSIC North Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. “But I’ve seen pictures from buddies back home and other people’s houses and there’s fish swimming around in living rooms and stuff like that.”

“We know some friends that are taking on some water in their houses,” added EJ, a senior cornerback. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them. But for the most part, our family is safe so we don’t have to worry about it too much.”


Rainfall totals have surpassed three feet throughout much of the Houston area since Harvey made landfall Friday night.

“I’ve got buddies with jon boats and stuff riding around town trying to help as much as they can,” Gunner said. “That’s for sure what I would be doing if I was down there.”

The Olszewskis, like many living near the Gulf Coast, have become accustomed to storms like Harvey.

“It’s not cool but I mean we’ve been through how many hurricanes?” Gunner asked his older brother.

“Probably three since we’ve been growing up,” he continued. “The Houston area knows how to handle that and I think it will be good. We’ll rebuild.”

No mandatory evacuation was ordered for Alvin residents so the Olszewski family stuck it out at home.

“Our dad’s kind of against evacuating,” Gunner said. “He’ll stay home until something forces him out I guess.”

The brothers were relieved when their mother called to let them know their house was fine.


“Right away when I saw the hurricane coming I was worried about it but our mom called us and told us that our house is all good,” Gunner said. “So that took the weight off our shoulders and (now we can) just focus on Bemidji.”

“All of our friends, even if their house is in trouble right now, they’ve got people to go to,” EJ said. “Everyone’s healthy so that’s the important part. We don’t have to worry about it too much.”

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
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