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Throughout Elsberry there are tall tales of men and women who have achieved greatness, who’s names will forever be stamped in
the hearts of its residents. However, none of them could seemingly compare to the legacy of “Meat and Cheese.”
Not the meat and cheese a person would use to make lunch or dinner but Meat and Cheese, who’s names have echoed throughout baseball fields, basketball courts and football audiences, the boy’s known as Ryan and Brennen Hurley, aka Meat and Cheese.
But how did these two get their most memorable names? Did one have an obsession with ham as a child and the other was smooth like cheese? Questions some have wondered for years, where did the legacy of Meat and Cheese begin?
According to Brennen, aka Cheese, the story of Meat and Cheese began when him and his brother Ryan were kids playing in the pool.
“My brother got his name when we were kids splashing around in the pool, all of us Lakeview kids – Scott Kroeger, Kevin Dotson, me and my brother,” Brennen said. “Our dads were throwing us around in the pool and when my brother stepped up to get thrown, and seeing that he was one of the “Huskier” kids, my dad and Mark Kroeger decided to give him grief about his size. So when my dad went to throw him he yelled out, ‘Damn! Meat.”
Brennen said that Mark Kroeger found it absolutely hysterical and made the name stick. Ryan Hurley from that day forth was always known as Meat. However, the legacy of Cheese didn’t come until many years later, according to Brennen.
“Everybody thinks I got the name because my brother is known as meat or because I smile a lot, but that’s not exactly the truth,” Brennen said. “I actually got the name while playing basketball in Kevin Dotson’s driveway one day. We were all being dumb, giving each other nicknames. Well Scott Kroeger said the top of my head looked like a cheese wedge.”
Although the boy’s of Lakeview found the name to be suitable and humorous, Brennen said it was Coach Brennan Scanlon, (former Elsberry Boy’s Basketball Coach) and Donnie Tapley that really help the name stick.
“They heard about the name Cheese Wedge and just seemed to love it, although the name was shortened down from Cheese Wedge to Cheese,” Brennen said. “At that point everyone picked up the name and began calling me Cheese.”
So for anyone wanting to know where you can find ‘Meat and Cheese,’ all anyone would need to tell them is in Elsberry probably playing sports and looking for crackers.