Head Girls Basketball Coach Randy Draper was pleased with his team’s effort overall against the Fort Osage Indians on January 25th. The Lady Eagles hosted the third-place game in the Sonic Showdown, coming up short 46-56.
The game was a tale of two halves. The first quarter was highlighted by nine Fort Osage fouls. The Indians ran a 2-3 zone that Grain Valley attacked with ball movement and drives to the basket. The Eagles were successful in converting free throw attempts at the line and keeping the game close.
The second quarter saw the Lady Eagles turn the ball over with some frequency. This halted their run at trying to take the lead heading into half.
“Turnovers and empty trips. We don’t shoot the ball great to begin with, and we need to score as many times down the floor as possible. Our ball movement has gotten better. There are a lot of things I’m happy with. Some of the unforced stuff like turnovers are opportunities for improvement for us,” Head Coach Randy Draper said.
Key first half contributors for Grain Valley included Junior Forward Keely Hill with a block under the Fort Osage basket along with a strong post bucket, and a made free throw by Senior Forward Gracelyn LaForge. Each of these took place with under two minutes left in the first half and helped reduce the deficit to 25-29 heading into the half.
The second half saw an eruption of scoring by Senior Guards Kendra Seibert and Brittney McKay, making them the Eagles leading scorers on the evening. Seibert poured in 18 points while McKay contributed 15 points.
Their styles varied in how put the ball through the hoop. McKay sank two third quarter three pointers from behind the arc. Seibert was aggressive in breaking down the Indians defense with her successful drives to the basket.
“Those two are both four-year varsity players that have started for three years. They have played in big games and they’re both super tough kids who I trust. It doesn’t mean it will always work out, but you don’t mind them having the ball because they are going to do all that they can to help the team,” Draper said.
The Lady Eagles have a tough stretch of games coming up over the next few weeks. They will be hosting Grandview, Smithville, and Winnetonka at home prior to playing at Grandview on February 7th.
Senior Forward Gracelyn LaForge attempts a free throw.
Photo credit: John Overstreet
Senior Guard Brittney McKay attempts a shot on basket.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
by John Unrein
We all have a favorite comfortable article of clothing. Perhaps it’s an old pair of jeans, a faded flannel shirt, or a worn in pair of boots. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid chose new Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo out of comfort.
He was a former assistant with Reid in Philadelphia. Spagnuolo learned under the pressure heavy 4-3 system of defense led by the Eagle’s Jim Johnson before Johnson passed away of cancer in July of 2009.
Spagnuolo also has experience as the Defensive Coordinator of the New York Giants (2007-2008) and New Orleans Saints (2012), as well as stint as the St. Louis Rams Head Coach, sandwiched in between from 2009-2011.
It’s hard to argue with the 59-year old’s resume or Reid’s attraction to wear this article of clothing in pursuit of a Super Bowl title; especially, when you consider the Chiefs were the NFL’s best offense in 2018 scoring 35.3 points a game and racking 425.6 yards of total offense each time they played.
Reid would like to keep his focus on the offensive side of the football. It will allow him to keep the finely tuned sports car that runs by the names of Mahomes, Hill, Watkins, Kelce, and Williams revved up and ready to put points on the board.
Spagnuolo is someone that Reid feels he can trust to run the team’s defense, a unit which was ranked 31st in the league during the regular season. Much has been made about the system of defense that Spagnuolo will bring to Arrowhead and how well the Chiefs current personnel will fit.
And for good reason; mainly due to the curiosity of how much of the team’s draft capital and cap space in free agency will need to be used to supplement the Chiefs defense. The team will be evolving from a 3-4 defense (three down lineman and four linebackers) formerly under Bob Sutton to a 4-3 defense (four down lineman and three linebackers) with Spagnuolo.
The Chiefs new defensive coordinator is a good teacher. The NFL network asked him to talk defense this season during his year away from football. He’s also someone who his former players attest to believing in them and thus getting the most out of them.
Spagnuolo’s biggest challenge facing him in his new role is how well he’s paid attention to the Chiefs recent defensive play and his use of data to rebuild a once proud defense.
One area the Chiefs could benefit in gaining from is DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average). DVOA is cited by Football Outsiders Information as a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single snap to a league average based on situation and opponent.
Contributing factors to the formula include yards obtained by down, red zone efficiency, quality of opponent, and offensive scoring. The Chiefs ranked 26th defensively in this category during the 2018 season.
Tackling efficiency and the number of defenders in aggressive pursuit are also issues that when addressed will boost a beleaguered unit. Tackling efficiency is measured by percentage, how well a defender gets the offensive ball carrier on the ground when they have the opportunity.
Pursuit is the rate of speed and angle at which defenders get to the football on a down. The Chiefs could stand to significantly improve in both areas.
The 4-3 defense by nature allows teams to cover up more gaps at the line of scrimmage with four down linemen penetrating a single gap. This will afford the Chiefs to become stouter against the run. Spagnuolo will also have his work cut out for him in making in game adjustments. This was a criticism of Coach Sutton that was brought to the forefront upon his dismissal and on display in the AFC Championship game as called out by commentator Tony Romo.
Noticeable things during that game included not bracketing Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski with safety help over the top when he was isolated on the single receiver side of a 3 by 1 formation. This burned the Chiefs on more than one occasion.
Another issue was the Patriots motioning to stack receivers to get off the line for a clean release and running free despite coverage in the Chiefs secondary.
Lastly, the Chiefs were out personnelled again by the Patriots. The Patriots would substitute and catch the Chiefs in their Nickel or Dime packages with only two down defensive linemen, thus affording the Patriots an advantage in running the football.
Reid may be comfortable with the defensive coordinator he’s chosen. However, Spagnuolo has his work cut out for him in making sure he’s a good fit, which is no small task for a team that feels it is on the verge of winning a Super Bowl.
The Grain Valley Partnership’s annual Golf Classic has been renamed the Kissick Classic in honor of Jim Kissick, a great supporter of the Grain Valley community.
The Kissick Classic, to be held May 3, 2019 at Adams Pointe Golf Club, is the 3rd annual tournament for the Partnership.
“Jim Kissick was a huge supporter of the Grain Valley community who loved to give back to those organizations that helped those who needed a little extra support, especially when it came to education. His presence will be greatly missed,” Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership said.
Friends and family recalled when Jim wasn't working or watching his favorite sports teams, he would have a golf club in his hand.
The Partnership decided to honor Kissick by mixing two of his favorite things: golf and giving back.
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit area charitable organizations and will also help create a scholarship to be given to a graduating senior going into the construction or engineering field.
“Jim's passion for the construction field was shown in the success of Kissick Construction Co. We want to help someone else achieve their dreams like Jim Kissick did,” Lindsey said.
The four-man scramble begins with a shotgun start at 8:00am.
For more information on the tournament and sponsorship opportunities, contact Tasha Lindsey, 816-443-5162, or register online at www.growgrainvalley.org.
The Kissick Classic will honor Jim Kissick, a supporter of the Grain Valley community.
Photo credit: Diana Luppens, Switch Focus Studios
by Wayne Geiger
In the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, Summer Wheatley campaigns to be the school class president. The ever-popular Summer, born with a great name, reveals her campaign slogan as, “With me, it will be summer all year long. Vote for Summer!” Great slogan. Who doesn’t love summer!
Growing up in Miami was kind of like that—summer all year long. We did have some “cold” weather, but back then, I thought that 60s were cold. After moving to the Midwest, one of the things that fascinated our family was experiencing the seasons for the first time. Seasons were a totally foreign concept to us.
Our first fall was nothing short of amazing. The cool, crisp breeze was delightful and refreshing. The beautiful colors of the season, majestic.
We had never seen the changing of the leaves before or had the chance to watch as they fell helplessly from the trees. My wife still tells the story of how she almost ran off the road because she was enthralled by the spectacular beauty of that first fall.
I wasn’t prepared for our first winter. I honestly never dreamed it could get so cold and had never experienced snow. The first time it snowed overnight, I pulled up to work about 4 AM. I was the first one there and the uncleared lot had about six inches of snow.
I called a coworker and said, “I’m not sure where to park.” Silence. “what do you mean?” he said. Thinking that maybe he didn’t hear me, I said, “I’m not sure where to park. There is snow all over the lot.”
More silence. I added, “I can’t see the lines and I’m not sure if I should just pull into the snow!” “Just pull in somewhere,” he laughed, “everybody will just pull in next to you.”
Now, springtime is my favorite. The bitterly cold, harsh winter has finally released its unrelenting grip and surrendered to the promise of new life. The temperatures are pleasant and, all around us, we see evidence of new life.
I love seeing the grass, trees, and flowers make their reappearance. I don’t even mind the sudden emergence of dandelions. In spring, we get to exchange our winter coats for short sleeves and bright colors and once again enjoy the outdoors without Under Armour and gloves.
“It gets really hot here in the summer!” everyone warned us. They were right. Living in Miami, and then New Orleans, we rarely saw triple digit temperatures. Also, in Miami, we always had a little breeze and it rained gently almost every day—just enough to cool things off.
However, New Orleans was another story. The heat was sweltering and there was no breeze. In addition, we were surrounded by waterways, called bayous, and the humidity was unbearable at times. I can remember stepping outside early in the morning and feeling like I had stepped into a sauna.
All in all, I love the changing of the seasons. I also love the fact that it gives us something to talk about, or sometimes, complain about. During the long, bitterly cold winter we complain about how cold it is and we long for warmer temps.
Then, in the summer, as the heat wave and the incessant talk of the triple-digit heat index continues, we long for the relief of cooler temps. It seems we’re always looking towards the next season.
In each of the seasons there is variety—a mixture of beauty, an element of fun. Of course, in each season, there are struggles and difficulties. For example, the winter snow is beautiful and can provide so many fun experiences, but it can be bitterly cold, dark and dreary, and we fight the winter flu.
Springtime means new life and the opportunity to be outside again. But tissues become a regular part of our wardrobe as allergies cause so many to suffer. Summertime means fun in the sun—a time of vacation and recreation. But, for many, it does get unbearably hot and then there is the drudgery of continually cutting the grass.
Finally, the fall, is gorgeous, but raking the leaves is no fun at all and the return of cool air reminds us of the impending winter looming on the horizon, awaiting to pounce.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve noticed that life is seasonal. Sometimes, life is like the summer season. We’re enjoying the sun, got the top down, the wind is in our hair, and life, overall, is good. At other times, like the season of winter, life can be dark and dreary. There is sadness, sickness, or heartbreak.
In each season of life there is an element of fun and excitement, but also unfortunate struggles, disappointments, and sorrow. In each season of life, it’s important to remember that it is only a season. Although I would have voted for Pedro, I would prefer that it was summer all year long. But that’s not possible. Thankfully, seasons are temporary and transitional. The cold, bitter winter will eventually give way to reveal the beautiful colors and fragrances of spring.
Jackson County Public Works Environmental Health Division inspects all restaurants, grocery stores, schools, mobile food and temporary food establishments in the City of Grain Valley. The following violations were reported in the last 30 days:
El Maguey Mexican Restaurant
102 Buckner-Tarsney Rd.
Stacks of clean cups were stacked while still wet.
The nozzle to the Horchata beverage had some residue build-up. Corrected on site.
Scoop handles in the ice and salt did not have the handles facing up above the top of the food. Corrected on site.
Boxes of food were on the floor in the walk-in freezer.
Leak in the roof above the dishwasher.
Accumulation of dust on the ceiling of the walk-in cooler.
Accumulation of dust on the vents in the ceiling and surrounding ceiling tiles.
El Tequilazo Cocina Y Cantina LLC
522 S Main Street
Missing food handler cards for the following employees: Feliz Alicia
Hand sink faucet not turning off properly.
Employee personal phones stored on prep table in kitchen. Corrected.
Mop sink drain pipe was disconnected.
Raw eggs stored over ready to eat food/cooked food in walk-in cooler. Corrected.
Raw ground beef stored over produce in walk-in. Corrected.
712 N Main Street
Dishwasher was not sanitizing.
Inside of dishwasher and top have residue and stuck on debris.
Butter left out on prep table with expired sticker time at 7:23AM and time at observation was 8:30.
Employee drink stored on top of tea dispenser in drive through area. Corrected.
Walk-in freezer with trash and debris on floor.
No food handler cards provided for the following employees: Ashley W Abigail M Austin H Bob W Brandon H Christina H Cathi M Jenavieve H Keenan R Mariah M Makiah E Rain S.
by Daniel Strader, Vice President & Loan Officer, State Bank of Missouri
The New Year holiday creates a feeling of starting fresh and encourages us to set new goals. While diets come to mind, setting new financial goals should be on the top of our lists. As you reflect on the past year, focus on your experiences – build on what worked and what didn’t – to shape this year’s money habits. Here are some ideas to consider as you set your financial goals for the New Year.
New Year, New Savings Account
Think about what you want to save for the coming year and commit to opening a savings account to reach that goal, whether it’s creating an emergency fund or setting money aside for your kids’ future college tuition. There are many types of savings accounts available to save for both short term and long-term goals.
A great tip is to decide on the type of savings account that will meet your goal and commit to depositing a set amount on a regular basis to get into the habit of saving. For example, if you open a basic savings account, deposit $25 every month and sign up for direct deposit or automatic withdrawals from your checking account to ensure that amount is saved. Once you’re comfortable with saving a small amount consistently, you can increase it.
Pay Down That Old Debt in the New Year
Confronting your debt and thinking about how to pay it off can be scary and overwhelming. Use the New Year to face your fears. Make a list of your debts, noting the monthly payment, current balance, and interest rate, and make a plan to start paying down the debts.
Many experts recommend focusing on either debts with the highest interest rates or debts with the lowest balances to pay off. While you will likely save more money paying off debts with the highest interest rates, it may be faster to pay off the smallest balances first and seeing this progress may help keep you motivated. Whichever method you choose for paying down debt, start by adding a small amount to one of your current payments.
For instance, if you are focusing on paying off a credit card with a minimum monthly payment of $100, add $25 to that amount to start (for a total monthly payment of $125). Once you are comfortable with that new amount, add more when you’re able and stay focused on the goal.
Keeping your finances organized will help you control your money and achieve your financial goals. Some basic tasks to help you get organized include making a budget, tracking your spending, and putting a system in place to ensure you pay your bills on time every month. Be sure to monitor your credit card and bank statements for any unexpected fees or unusual activity too. The sooner you find mistakes or unauthorized transactions, the easier it is to correct those issues.
Like dealing with debt, organizing your finances can be daunting, so start small by picking one organizational task and focus on that task for one month before adding another. For example, you might start by making sure your bills are paid on time by setting up automatic bill pay from your bank account, giving yourself one month to learn about it, set it up, and get comfortable using it. Next month, focus on creating a budget, which gives you several weeks to learn about budgeting and working on it.
Protect Your Money All Year, Every Year
With so many financial transactions occurring electronically, it’s important to proactively protect your personal information, including your credit card and bank account numbers. Use the New Year to take charge of protecting your money.
Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or over the Internet. Always track your bank and credit card statements and your credit reports for unusual activity. Catching abnormal transactions early will allow you to take steps to prevent more harm if your information has been stolen.
State Bank of Missouri is happy to offer several savings accounts to fit your new year money management goals. We also offer free online and mobile management services for saving and budgeting including our Mobile App for Android and Apple devices and the CardValet app for real-time debit card monitoring. Visit with a member of the State Bank of Missouri team today to learn more or online at www.gostatebank.com. Member FDIC
Michelle Toczek, owner of new business Exclusively Dogs KC, may have a new store front, but she is certainly not new to the industry. Toczek’s parents bred and showed Shetland Sheepdogs, also known as Shelties, for many years.
“My mother had a grooming shop also, and the last 20 years, I have been showing dogs at AKC shows,” Toczek said.
After her employer of 30 years left the area, Toczek took the opportunity to open her own grooming salon.
“As they say, when one door closes, another one opens. Every time I began to think about looking for another job, I kept coming back to the thought that it was time to open my own shop. This space came open close to home, and we have two new groomers who also live in the area, so everything just clicked,” Toczek said.
“My philosophy is creating an environment that people trust, hiring the best groomers, and creating a great team.”
Exclusively Dogs is located north of 1-70 in the shops just south of Price Chopper, 1060 NE McQuerry Rd, Ste. F, Grain Valley.
For appointments, call 816-721-5486 or visit www.exclusivelydogskc.com.
Members of the Grain Valley Partnership join Exclusively Dogs KC owner Michelle Toczek for a ribbon cutting on January 30th. Exclusively Dogs KC is located at 1060 NE McQuerry Rd, Ste. F, Grain Valley.
Photo credit: Diana Luppens, Switch Focus Studios
Photo credit: Diana Luppens, Switch Focus Studios
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In 1861 Merrick and Sarah Herrington buried their first-born son, Dwight Dairs, in a tiny grave marked Infant at the back of their 83-acre farm. Johnny Marion Herrington (1863-1883) was placed next to his brother some 22 years later.
As years passed, only 5 more graves were added to the tiny burial spot including Sarah Francis (Holland) Herrington in 1916. However, it wasn’t until Merrick passed in 1927 that the large tombstone was placed at the rear of the current cemetery to mark their gravesites.
Six of their remaining seven children and their spouses are also buried in the Herrington Cemetery: Anne (Herrington) and Jasper Newton Sanders, David Clifton and Carrie Herrington, Maybelle (Herrington) and Zackery Taylor, Margaret (Herrington) and Harvey Peal, America (Herrington) and Marshall A. Graham, and Mamie Herrington. Irvin Herrington, son of Merrick’s youngest brother Clay, and his wife Bess are also buried there.
The cemetery remained primarily family and extended family until years later when a cemetery board was established, the size was extended west to Seymore Road and it became the Grain Valley Cemetery. Today there are Herrington descendants from 5 generations buried there.
America Merrick Marion Herrington was the first child born to Julia Ann (Kirby) Herrington and Dewitt Clinton Herrington on April 24, 1836 in Simpson County, Kentucky. In 1857 he came to Jackson County and engaged in farming. On November 1, 1860 he married Sarah Holland.
In August 1962 he enlisted in the Confederate Army after receiving word his family farm was pillaged by the Union Army. He also lost his father Clinton BC Herrington and a brother to the war.
Merrick participated in over 30 battles before he was taken prisoner in Lafayette County during Price’s raid. He was released June 21, 1865 and returned to Jackson County.
The Historical Atlas Map of Jackson County Missouri, published in 1887, shows that MM Herrington owned 83 acres of land in Township 49, Range 30, Section. His post office was Pink Hill.
In 1903 he built a home on Buckner Tarsney Road, just north of McQuerry Road. The house was later sold to Lucy and Alonzo Rowe, and finally to Charles and Mildred Napier (Merrick’s great-granddaughter).
The house was torn down in 1968, following the construction of Interstate 70. Merrick continued farming and from 1914 until it closed in 1926, he was vice-president of the Sni-A-Bar Banking Company. He died on January 12, 1927.
Note: I am the great-great granddaughter of Merrick and Sarah Herrington.