by John Unrein
It took a total team effort across four quarters for the Grain Valley Eagles to defeat the Park Hill South Panthers by a score of 35-28 on Friday, September 11th. The Eagles recipe for success included the rushing efforts of senior quarterback Cole Keller behind a solid offensive line, a timely fourth quarter interception by senior cornerback Brayden Terry on defense, and the second half strategy shift by Grain Valley to high angled “pooch” kickoffs on special teams to avoid the ball getting into the hands of Panther playmakers. The culmination of efforts allowed for Grain Valley to stay undefeated as they boost their record to 3-0.
Keller would rack up 219 yards on the ground on 26 carries, including a 74 yard scamper to pay dirt with 26 seconds left in the first quarter. The yeomen effort by the Eagles signal caller was largely due to his ability to make correct decisions reading the blocks of pulling guards on “George” quarterback sweeps for the second week in a row.
Keller was also proficient in reading when to pitch or keep the football on option runs. The decisiveness displayed by Keller in reading the alley defender led to a well timed pitch to running back Hunter Newsom for a rushing touchdown of 4 yards with 23 seconds left in the second quarter. This allowed Grain Valley to extend their lead to 28-14 as they headed into halftime.
“Last week in the first half, I learned that I need to trust the guys around me as much, if not more than myself. I did that again tonight, and it turned into my night to get the ball the most based on what their defense was giving us. I did my part in helping this team win,” Keller said.
Park Hill South features a rushing attack based on outside zone runs and the dangerous wide receiver tandem of seniors Gaige Warren and Eric Avery. Both Warren and Avery are being recruited by Division I and II NCAA football programs. This left the Eagles black shirt defense with their hands full, especially in the defensive backfield.
Grain Valley senior linebackers Jayden Jacobson and Hunter Newsom were effective in shedding blocks and taking the proper angles in limiting the Panthers ground attack. Newsom would lead the Eagles with 10.5 tackles. Jacobson refused to let the Panthers run wide to his side of the field while manning his outside linebacker position. The result was Jacobson compiling six tackles on the evening as the Eagles third leading tackler.
“The key for us tonight was to focus on your job. We had to fit up (in our gap of responsibility) and be damn near perfect every time. If I took on a lead blocker, I had to trust that the guy next to me would be there to clean things up,” Newsom said.
The Eagles discipline in maintaining gap integrity against the run compelled the Panthers to throw the ball to the outside. Thus, is the reward for taking away one of your opponent’s strengths. Panthers junior quarterback Nathan Ricco used wide screens and sideline fade passes to push the ball downfield to Warren and Avery.
Terry and fellow Eagles senior cornerback Trent Knox found themselves on an island for much of the game isolated in coverage due to the Panthers up-tempo spread offense. Terry bounced back from being beaten down the Panthers sideline on a long pass play in the first half to produce the biggest turnover of the game. Terry’s interception on 4th down in the end zone with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter helped seal the win for the Eagles.
Terry did not give up his fight for the football on the play. He was able to wrestle it away from the Park Hill South receiver on the way the ground. Terry’s interception was in part due to coverage discipline against the Panthers bunch formation (a trio of receivers compressed tightly together on the field allowing for multiple route combinations and easier releases from the line of scrimmage).
“They had run bunch formation a lot all night. We have rules we are taught to follow in coverage when we see that formation. I was playing over the top of their second vertical receiver. When I saw them throw to my receiver, I went and got the football,” Terry said.
Grain Valley Eagles Head Football Coach David Allie was happy and relieved after the game in knowing that his team fought hard to hold off an athletic opponent who matched up well against them.
“We are a confident team. There are things we can do (on offense) when they try and take things away from us. We found success rushing the football tonight which led to them blitzing the house. We continued to adjust in finding answers,” Allie said.
“Our quarterback (Cole Keller) took a few more hits tonight then we would like, but he was a warrior as well as our running backs tonight. The thing that shows we are a relentless team is that we feed off each other. The defense creates a turnover and we go down and score. Each side of the football is vocally thanking the other. That shows the belief we possess as a team.”
Allie concluded, “You have to have a short memory if you play defense. We missed some tackles early and they have a couple of (NCAA) Division I receivers out there. We knew they were going to try and run the fade against us. They did and caught one early.”
“The best thing about (Brayden) Terry is that any lack of speed or athleticism he possesses is made up for with his focus on technique and having a short memory. He is willing to compete, and it showed on his interception in the end zone. It was huge, as it was a momentum changer.”
Grain Valley will travel to Independence to face the Truman Patriots on Friday, September 18th. The Patriots current record is 0-3. However, they have lost by three points or less twice this season (to Grandview and Winnetonka during the first two weeks of the season).
by John Unrein
The Grain Valley Lady Eagles tennis program served up a shutout win against the visiting Fort Osage Indians on Tuesday, September 15th. Grain Valley improves to a 2-2 record on the season with their 9-0 win. Single match winners for the Eagles included Chelsea Gorden, Finley LaForge, Kennedi McCord, Bailey Jenkins, Emma Thiessen, and Kyla Hunt.
Gorden is the Eagles number one seated player and was victorious in both doubles and singles play. LaForge joined Gorden in their doubles win, 8-3 prior to Gorden going on to defeat Fort Osage senior Dharma Craig by a score of 8-1.
Gorden’s formula for victory during singles play included forcing her opponent to use her backhand, well placed shots inside the line, and successfully surviving hard hit shots by her opponent in sending lobs back across the net that allowed Gorden to reposition in recovery for the next volley.
“Last year we graduated a lot of seniors. Finley (LaForge) and I have both duked it at really hard in practice and she’s an amazing player. I have tried to lead by example as an upperclassman so far this season. My favorite part of tennis is how close we are as a team even though we play a lot of individual matches on the court,” Gorden said.
“The mental side of tennis and how well you bounce back (from adversity) is more important than your skill. You can be down a point and then find yourself behind significantly. It becomes about believing in yourself and your ability instead of getting down.”
“I’m proud of our two wins so far this season based on how young our team is.”
Joining Gorden with an impressive singles win was Kennedi McCord by a score of 8-0 over Indians senior Courtney Huffner. McCord was consistent with her forehand throughout the match and used it as her ally in sending the ball deep into the other end of the court.
“I kept the ball in play and my serves were good today. I am happy with how we did,” McCord said.
Lady Eagles Head Tennis Coach Randy Draper continues to be pleased with the progress of his young squad. Draper would offer affirmation and suggestions to his players throughout their matches much like a hitting coach would in baseball. The approach would draw nods, smiles, or at the very least “OK, Coach” throughout the contest.
“I think we’re definitely getting better. It’s nice that we had two seniors get wins tonight. We also have a lot of young players and we have to keep accelerating through the season,” Draper said.
“Right now, that’s happening along with bumps that will be coming, but we are learning a lot on how to play and compete.”
The Eagles continue with a hectic period in their schedule with matches on Thursday, September 17th against William Chrisman at Santa Fe Park prior to competing in the Blue Springs Varsity Tournament on Friday, September 18th again at Santa Fe Park in Independence.
The Board of Aldermen met September 14th, approving the tax levy for 2020 and authorizing the City Administrator to enter into an agreement to undergo a full codification review.
The Board approved a levy of $1.5994 to fund general municipal government operations, the retirement of general obligation debt, park maintenance, and public health.
The Board also approved a resolution allowing the City Administrator to contract with General Code to conduct a full review of the Municipal Code to identify inconsistencies and errors. City Administrator Ken Murphy explained a full recodification is recommended every 12-15 years and the current code established in 1996 has been updated over the years but in need of a full review.
The Board also approved the first reading of an ordinance requiring food trucks to obtain a business license to sell in Grain Valley, as well as the first reading of an ordinance to provide greater detail pertaining to the sale of merchandise services on park property and who has authority to waive the park ordinance.
The Board meets September 17th at 6:00pm for a workshop focused on strategic planning at City Hall. The Board’s next regular meeting will be held Monday, September 28th at 7:00pm at City Hall.
Grain Valley will host its annual City Wide Clean Up event on Saturday, September 26th from 8:00am—2:00pm at the Public Works Maintenance Facility, 405 James Rollo Drive. Proof of residency in the form of a utility bill or driver’s license is required.
Residents are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times and wear masks when face-to-face with City staff.
Residents may dispose of unwanted items during this free event. Metal recycling will be available, and batteries (including car batteries) are accepted items. Loose items must be bagged.
Items not accepted include paint, oil, refrigerators, household cleaners/chemicals, air conditioner units, bagged trash, yard waste or clippings.
Senior citizens (age 65+) are eligible for curbside pickup, but must call 816-847-0091 to schedule before September 22nd. Curbside pickup will occur Thursday, September 24th and Friday, September 25th.
For more information or for questions, call 816-847-0091 or email email@example.com.
That was kind of fun! I was surprised. I had just finished an exercise in a required course in college. Our professor instructed us to do some creative writing in class. Although I’ve always struggled with grammar, the process of clustering, and then writing a short story was entertaining, energetic, and kind of fun. The exercise brought out something in me I didn’t know was in me. I liked to use words.
Sometime later (this was in the day of the newspaper), a friend of mine said that he had written an editorial for the local paper and they had printed it. I was excited for him and also intrigued. “How did you go about doing that?” I asked. “I just wrote a letter to the editor,” he said.
I took that as a personal challenge and decided to try to get something printed, too! I laugh now, but rather than trying to communicate an important idea, my only motivation for writing was to try to get something printed in the paper.
I emailed several papers and shared a few stories. I was shocked that they printed them! I realized that I enjoyed communicating ideas through the written word. That led me to becoming a writer for our local newspaper and doing a few articles in magazines. And here I am, this many years later, continuing to write and share ideas.
Historians note that in the middle ages (5th to the 15th century), most people could not read or write. The only communication was oral communication. The spoken word. Spoken words are great, but they need an immediate audience. It’s one person communicating ideas in earshot—or close proximity. Communication was also limited by the memory of the hearer. All of that changed in the middle of the 15th century. Words would take on new life.
Although writing was nothing new, it was Johannes Gutenberg who is credited with the invention of the printing press around 1440. Mass communication began. We may scoff at the idea of mass communication being tied to such an ancient device, but before this time, mass communication was limited to someone speaking to a large group. Written documents were somewhat scarce and copied by hand, and even then, very few people could read. Once words and ideas were spoken, like a vapor, they simply dissipated into the atmosphere and were forgotten. Perhaps hanging somewhere over Lake Michigan.
With the invention of the printing press, a whole new medium emerged. Now, words and ideas were not merely limited to memory and oral transmission. Instead, someone’s words had the chance to be crystalized, duplicated, widely disseminated, and perhaps, immortalized.
In addition, logic and reason took on new life. The speaker now had the opportunity to think through words and ideas for maximum impact upon a reader or hearer. These ideas could be written down, examined, and edited.
In addition, the reader benefited as well. They could read the material at their own leisure and did not have to be in close proximity to the actual author. They could take their time reading and reflecting upon the information and, if necessary, read it again. This was not always the case with oral communication. Sometimes, you had one chance to hear. As history reveals in the enlightenment, the printing press led to increased logic, reason, and rationale thought.
Writing is not only for others—it can be very personal. Many of us keep a “to do list” or have them impressed upon us. Before written language, I guess they just had to tie strings around their fingers and depend upon their memories.
Writing is also therapeutic. In our current society, we have multiple opportunities to write and record our ideas. Many people choose to keep a journal. Every morning they remember, reflect upon, and write out the significant events that happened to them the day before and how they felt about those events. They also write how God spoke to them and they record blessings or hardships.
As a people who need to process and destress, journaling is a great way to get our thoughts out of our head and heart and onto paper, a hard drive, or cloud. There is a unique power when the words hit the paper. For some strange reason, visualizing the words on the page helps us to grapple with their power. They bring clarity and focus. Sometimes, we say, “did I really think that?”
As a forgetful people, journaling is a way to help us remember where we’re been and where we’re come from. For example, as we read back in our journal, we remember past thoughts and emotions—and often the reasons why we did what we did.
Sometimes, reading and remembering these events helps us remember why we chose to avoid some things, people, or situations and reminds us not to go down that road again. Other times, reading back reminds us of God’s faithfulness and blessings. We’re reminded that, in times past, God came through for us in a very difficult time. Then, we’re able to face the future with faith and peace knowing that He is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. There is great power in the printed word.
If you’ve never journaled or just sat down to write out your thoughts, I would encourage you to try. You can journal in a notebook or find an online source that is password protected. Don’t worry about what you’re going to write—just begin writing and let the words take shape. It’s as much about the process as the product. There is a healing process is writing.
One site that I use allows me to write and to include pictures. This app also notes the time of day and the weather. In addition, like most databases, it’s searchable. When I look back, I’m often reminded of the exact emotion at the time.
The greatest and most powerful word of all is the eternal one. Is it any wonder that Jesus is called “the Word?” The gospel writer, John said, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). The Bible tells us that Jesus is the essence of all things and is the embodiment of divine communication. The writer of Hebrews echoes this concept saying, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb 1:1-3). The divine mystery is that the essence of God, is imprinted upon, the Word, the person of Jesus.
God gave us his Word to communicate His heart and desire. His eternal Word brings salvation, comfort, and peace. All we need to do is listen. There are a lot of voices out there. Jesus is the first and final word. As the Father said, “this is my beloved Son; listen to Him” (Mark 9:7).
Dr. Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The Missouri Bicentennial is just around the corner and I’m concerned that COVID-19 has upstaged our excitement for this milestone in our history. Other than the small print on our license plates, “Missouri bicentennial” and “1821-2021” at the bottom, I have seen very little in the way of promotions for this very important occasion.
Last month in Jefferson City there was a ground breaking for the 765-foot Bicentennial Bridge that will span the Union Pacific railroad tracks to Adrian's Island — 30 acres of forest and wetlands that lie between the Missouri River and the tracks that stretch about one mile from the Capitol to the former Missouri State Penitentiary.
The internet tells me that small towns and cities around the state are making plans for celebrations. So what about Grain Valley? What are we doing for the bicentennial?
On September 17th at the Historical Society, a small “masked” group from Lone Jack, Oak Grove, Blue Springs and Grain Valley will meet to discuss how we might promote the event. Unfortunately, Grain Valley has nothing in our collection about the 1921 Centennial. Apparently, it was huge in Sedalia.
The twenty-first Missouri State Fair marked the centennial anniversary of Missouri's statehood, and the Fair's coming of age with a two-week extravaganza. Fair organizers surveyed the state for suggestions for old time songs and games.
Special editions of the monthly publication 'Fair Facts' were produced, offering suggestions for celebrating the centennial throughout the year and advertising the special features of the Fair.
Congress authorized 250,000 commemorative silver half-dollars, former governors and their descendants were honored, and President Warren G. Harding made an appearance. For the Fair's climax, a 5,000 member-cast pageant was produced to commemorate the event and “A Description and Historical Explanation” was written for the souvenir program.
As a part of my column, I will attempt to give you a bit of “Missouri trivia” each week from now until the 200th date of statehood, August 10, 2021.
Many Americans scream for ice cream, but Missouri loves it so much they declared ice cream the official state dessert. Missouri and ice cream cones go way back — they made their debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was so hot that summer that a vendor selling waffles rolled them up and filled them with ice cream and voila, that’s how the world came to know waffle cones. It was also at the fair that iced tea was first served as a beverage to cool off the hot, weary fair goers.
Whether your child is going to school in-person or learning from home, this year is nothing but unusual. Keeping your child healthy and happy can make for a successful learning experience no matter what their “classroom” may look like. Here are some health and nutrition tips to start your school year off right.
Break the Fast
Start the day with a healthy breakfast including some protein and carbohydrate such as eggs and whole wheat toast, Greek yogurt, fruit and a whole-grain waffle, just to name a few.
Keep them Hydrated
Dehydration can make your child feel sluggish and tired. Always keep a water bottle near so they can sip throughout the day.
Have a Plan
Kids flourish on routine, so keep a consistent schedule. Bedtime, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks should be close to the same times every day.
Let them Sleep
Limit screen time to at least 30 minutes each night before bedtime. Kids ages 6-12 need nine to twelve hours of sleep while teens need eight to ten hours. Sleepy kids don’t make good learners, so make sleep a priority.
Keep them Active
Due to the unusual circumstances this school year brings, kids may be missing out on recess, physical education and other activities. Make time for some outdoor activity, weather permitting.
Let them Help
Kids are more likely to eat the food they help prepare, so include them in the planning, shopping and preparation of meals. Help them choose a vegetable, starch and protein to make a complete meal.
Create a Healthy Snack Box
Instead of letting kids just grab any snack throughout the day. Stick to consistent snack time and create a box of healthier options in baggies in both the refrigerator and the pantry to choose from.
Some healthy options are cherry tomatoes, carrot and celery sticks, individual hummus packs, whole grain crackers, cheese cubes, cut-up fruit and individual natural peanut butter packs.
Try this slow cooker taco dinner for a quick weeknight dinner.
Things don't last as they used to and that is true in a sense. In our digital world, most computers, smartphones, and tablets usually don't last longer than a couple of years. When you have problems that occur with your smartphone, you're probably tempted to purchase a new one than to get it repaired.
Times are changing and more and more people stopping the trend of getting new smartphones every two years and holding on to their devices for three years or longer. This is understandable with the average price of an Apple or Android smartphone starting at $1,000.
If you take the right steps, you can make your smartphone last a long time. If you want to save some money on smartphone purchases and extend the life of your device, check out the following tips.
1. Reset your Smartphone Back to Factory Defaults.
If you start to experience problems with your Apple and Android smartphones, reset it. Doing this will remove any virus, glitches, and other odd things that could be occurring with your devices and make it work as if you just took your phone out of the box.
For iPhones: Find the reset option under Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
For Androids: Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options> Erase all data (factory reset)
Keep in mind resetting your device will erase all of your information such as pictures, videos, documents and passwords so make sure you back up all of your information to Google Drive, Google Photos, or iCloud.
2. Get a protective case for your phone.
A broken screen or case can lead to an expensive smartphone repair bill. Your best bet is to get a protective case and screen for your phone. You will drop it at some point and it's better to shell out $40-$50 dollars for a case rather than a $250 or more bill to repair your smartphone.
3. You know you can replace the battery.
Batteries are normally the first thing to fail on an aging smartphone. Batteries that are in smartphones only have a short lifespan, usually only lasting two years or a little longer. Some models of smartphones allow users to easily change out batteries, but many newer models will require you to have a professional do it for you.
When getting a replacement battery, make sure you get manufacture approved battery or else you will experience problems down the road.
4. Your smartphone can be fixed.
A bad battery, cracked screen, phones dropped in toilets, they can all be fixed. Most repair shops can take care of all of your issues easily, but keep in mind the repair might not be cheap ... but cheaper than the price of a new phone ... even if you're still under contract. Your jaw may drop if you experience a $250 - $300 repair bill on a smartphone, but remember you'll still owe for that phone even if you broke it.
5. Don't load up your phone with too many files and apps.
When your smartphone starts to slow down, it could be a sign you have too much stuff on running on your phone. Pictures and videos usually take up the most room, so it's a good idea you save your information with iCloud or Google Photo. Check to see if your phone storage is a capacity. If it is, remove items to clear up some room and restart.
Check storage settings on iPhone: Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. You'll see a list of apps sorted by the amount of storage space used. When you select an app, you'll have the option of deleting it. You can also automatically offload any apps you haven't used in a while. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores and toggle on Offload Unused App. This will remove the app but leave the data behind, in case you want to reload the app at a future date.
Check Storage settings on Android: Go to Settings > Storage > Free up space. To delete an app, tap the empty box to the right to select and then tap Free up.
If you have an Android phone, you have the option of adding a microSD card to your phone to give you additional storage.
6. Clean the charging port.
If your smartphone isn't charging, the charging port is probably dirty. With your phone being stored in your pocket or purse, it's easy to get dirt and lint which will block your phone's ability to charge. A wooden or plastic toothpick is the easiest way to clean up your smartphone's charging port.
Android and Apple normally support their phones for about 4 years so keep this in mind when owning your smartphone. Eventually, newer software upgrades will force you to get a new phone, but you might as well use the above habits to experience a long life with your smartphone.
Looking for More Useful Tech Tips?
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by Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension- Jackson County
Like it or not, we are gradually saying goodbye to summer and moving into fall. The daylight hours are already getting noticeably shorter. Many people welcome fall in Missouri because it means cooler temperatures and a chance to do many gardening activities before winter arrives.
Here’s a list of fun and useful gardening activities for September:
Peonies- Never tried peonies? Do you admire their brilliant spring color and wonderful scent in other people’s yards? September is a good time to transplant them and introduce them to your garden. They come in a range of colors: white, pink, and red, and last for decades in a well-drained, sunny spot in your garden. Somewhat shallow planting is required since flowering is reduced or inhibited if the growing points of the crown are set more than 2 inches deep.
Peonies can often remain undisturbed in the garden for 20 or more years without a decline in flowering. Divide them only if growth is poor and plants fail to bloom after years of performing well.
Want more information on more ornamental perennials? Here’s a link to a MU Extension publication Flowering Perennials: Characteristics and Culture: https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6650
Planting cool season vegetables- Yes, you still have time to plant those quick maturing cool season crops that mature in 25- 55 days. Arugula, leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, radishes, turnip, sugar snap peas, and mustard greens are some of the cool season crops you can plant now in sunny garden and harvest by mid to late October and sometimes on into November depending on the weather.
Choose a sunny area in your vegetable garden. Remove old crop residue. Cultivate the soil and plant seeds of cool season crops. Protect your crops from sudden cold snaps by using floating row cover. It is a spun polyester fabric that lets light and rain in, yet creates a microclimate next to the plants that can be 2 to 3 degrees warmer than temperatures outside the fabric. It is fairly inexpensive and lasts for a couple gardening seasons if stored after use.
Lawn care- September is the prime time to renovate your cool season grass lawn. The cooler temperatures benefit the cool season grass seed as it germinates and weed competition is not as challenging as it is in the spring. Cool season turf grasses include fescue and Kentucky blue grass. For more information on cool season turf grasses and how to manage them, check out the following publications:
Cool Season Grasses: Lawn Establishment and Renovation- https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6700
Cool Season Grasses: Lawn Maintenance Calendar- https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6705
Natural Lawn Care- https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6749
Planting Trees- Planting trees in the fall gives them time to get established when the temperatures have moderated in September and October. Roots continue growing underground even when the above ground temperatures drop to near freezing.
“Right Tree in the Right Place” is a saying to remember before purchasing and planting trees. Do some research on tree species you are interested in and then study the conditions in your yard. Remember to keep in mind over head wires, underground wiring, and other utilities before digging.
Call Dig Rite (1 800 Dig Rite or 811) before digging to have utilities marked, especially if you are planting trees and shrubs in new areas near your home. Here’s a link to a publication on planting trees- https://extension2.missouri.edu/g6850
Need more gardening information? Here are several options:
Plan to attend the free, online Horticulture Town Hall on Wednesday mornings. Register for our Horticulture Town Hall at https://ipm.missouri.edu/townHalls/
Enjoy all the MU Extension educational horticulture videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/MUIPM
And feel free to contact our MU Extension office at 816-482-5850 for more horticulture information.