by John Unrein
The second half was unkind to the Lady Eagles basketball team on January 29th in their 49-33 loss to the Barstow Lady Knights in the championship game of the Sonic Showdown. Turnovers and missed shots by Grain Valley along with the athleticism of Jaelyn and Brylee Glenn for Barstow permitted the scoring gap to widen in favor of the Lady Knights.
The Glenn twin sisters for Barstow are committed to play basketball at Kansas State University. Jaelyn led all scorers during the contest with 19 points, while Brylee added 7 points of her own. The length of both 6 foot sisters on defense hindered the operating space of the Lady Eagles offense to which they are accustom.
Both Glenn sisters and freshman guard Holly Woods were selected to the all-tournament team for Barstow. Grace Slaughter, Gabbi Keim, and Ella Clyman enjoyed being chosen as all-tournament team selections for Grain Valley. Slaughter’s stat line for the Lady Eagles included 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals. Keim would add 5 points and 6 rebounds, as Clyman would contribute 2 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist.
“Both of the (Glenn) twins have really long arms and we were not use that. We have Grace (Slaughter), but one person can only do so much. There’s always room for improvement and we will work to get ready for some of the tough teams we will face down the stretch,” Keim said.
Slaughter added, “We struggled to get fast breaks tonight due to their (Barstow’s) quickness and speed. They were staring at us as we were trying to get our offense started on possessions. It was good for us to see this physical play in knowing what we need to work on moving forward.”
Grain Valley (9-4) is scheduled to play five of their final eight regular season games at home. Avoiding bus trips late in the season is typically welcome for a basketball team. Lady Eagles head basketball coach Randy Draper is cognizant of what he wants to see from his young team on the cusp of February basketball.
“We need to get use to playing a team with that type of physicality. Our upcoming games are going to test us in that realm further,” Draper said.
“I was pretty happy with our effort defensively. I told them we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about defense, but this game will be decided offensively.”
“At the end of the first half they only had 18 points, but we had 13. We have to learn how to open and close in the toughest games. You don’t learn that without playing though.”
Draper finished, “We typically speed people up with the way we play, but that happened to us tonight. There were times when we were open and not ready. The film will open our eyes to that, and we can improve.”
Grain Valley point guard Grace Slaughter moved closer to attaining 1,000 career points in the loss to Barstow. A crazy milestone to consider with Slaughter only being a sophomore.
The Lady Eagles will take on William Chrisman and St. Joseph Benton the week of February 1st. The two opposing teams boast a combined record of 18-10, with both upcoming contests being a solid test for Grain Valley.
Senior Jordyn Weems attempts a free throw. Photo credit: John Overstreet
Left to right: All-Tournament team selection members Ella Clyman, Grace Slaughter, Gabbi Keim. Photo credit: Valley News staff
Grace Slaughter receives an entry pass into the post, looking for space.
Photo credit: John Overstreet
by John Unrein
Rare is it in high school football to have the physical attributes and leadership skills necessary to be a starter at varsity quarterback for three seasons. Finding a head coach that possesses the trust and patience to put a sophomore at 15 to 16 years of age in that position is rare, especially in Class 4 and 5 Missouri high school football.
The relationship between Senior Cole Keller and Grain Valley Eagle head football coach David Allie was one of those unique instances. Sideline conversations between the two have evolved since the 2018 season. Keller has become more vocal and stubborn over the years due to his competitive nature. Allie has shifted from being a “take a deep breath” coach to engaging in direct and honest dialogue with Keller as his maturation process continued.
Both Keller and Allie have benefited from their “thick skin” in the figurative marriage between quarterback and head coach. Evidence of this is provided in the dual threat Keller became as he harnessed the concepts of Allie’s spread offense. One that is “heavy” on the quarterback making the correct option reads running the football as well as recognizing coverage and where to deliver the football through the air.
“Cole has always seemed mature beyond his age. Even as a freshman, being thrown into varsity competition, there was never any hesitation to go in or outward nervousness displayed by Cole. Much of that maturity stemmed from the confidence he had in his abilities,” Allie said.
“As early as his sophomore year, there was no doubt who was in charge of the huddle, or the offense on the field. He had the proverbial ‘moxie,’ and could back it up with his athleticism and physical abilities. But, he was also mature enough to understand there was always room for growth. As much as he grew physically, he actually grew more mentally.”
Allie continued, “Cole drastically improved his grasp of the offensive schemes and took ownership in watching film of the opponent to best prepare himself and his team. Though his belief in himself and his teammates helped Cole mature, his intense desire as a competitor also played an important part in that development.”
“It did not matter if it was a group activity in our teambuilding off-season program or a play being ran in practice, Cole was always wanted to win.”
Keller’s career numbers are eye popping to say the least. Furthermore, the Eagles record has progressed positively each season that Keller was under center and Allie was at the helm. Grain Valley went from 5-5 during 2018, to 9-4 during 2019, and 10-2 during the 2020 season, including back to back district championships in the final two years of that stretch.
Grain Valley assistant football coach Ryan Adams is the team’s statistician and provides local media with excellent support in getting the story correct by the numbers. His expertise was used in compiling Keller’s high school football career stats.
Completions/Attempts: 231 completions out of 429 attempts. 53.8% Completion Rate
Passing Yards: 3,597
Rushing Yards: 1,914
Yards Per Carry Average: 6.1
Rushing Touchdowns: 35
Keller’s aptitude on the gridiron raised more than a few eyebrows of NCAA football programs, including those of Craig Schurig who is the head football coach of the Washburn Ichabods.
Topeka, Kansas is the location of Washburn University that claimed a 2019 enrollment of 6,285 students. The Ichabods play NCAA Division II football and are part of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). The entire 2020 football schedule was suspended for Washburn due to the current pandemic.
Keller shared his thoughts behind his recent verbal commitment to Washburn University and what he is most excited about in continuing his academic career as a student athlete. A nod to the faith Allie bestowed in him was also offered.
“I feel like Washburn is where I can fulfill my potential. They offer a good mentor for me, great facilities, and a solid coaching staff,” Keller said.
“I am most excited about the vision they have for me within their offense. Playing many different places on the field will allow me to showcase my athleticism and versatility.”
“Coach Allie got the ball in my hands and let me make plays. Without his trust in me, I would not be the player I am today. That trust made it special.”
Allie was mutual in his admiration for what Keller has accomplished and where it may lead at the next level.
“Cole’s athletic and academic prowess has secured him a significant scholarship offer to Washburn University. While he was recruited by many schools as a quarterback, and even as a linebacker by a couple of schools, he chose to select a school closer to home that will use his athletic talents at wide receiver,” Allie said.
“In talking with their coach, they plan to utilize his big frame and great speed in a variety of offensive positions, from H-back, to slot, to wideout. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they used him occasionally as a ‘Wildcat’ quarterback that can run or pass.”
Keller’s cheering section and positive sphere of adult influence date back to middle school. Craig Hastings was Keller’s 7th grade science teacher and currently serves as an assistant principal at Grain Valley South Middle School. The two have stayed in touch through the years and have not stopped sharing postgame handshakes and laughs.
“Cole was well mannered, a respectful kid, and an exceptional student. I really enjoyed talking football with him, coaching his dodgeball team, and watching his progress through high school,” Hastings said.
“Cole will succeed at the college level, and in life, because he is such a hard worker and great leader. He has always been athletically blessed from a young age, but he is respected by his coaches and peers because of the work he puts in and his refusal to lose.”
The echoes of the 2020 football campaign continue to reverberate for the Eagles. Keller is one of the latest Grain Valley student athletes to make a verbal commitment to leave the nest.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance to establish the Grain Valley Mercado Community Improvement District (CID) during its January 25th meeting.
Following a public hearing on the matter, the board approved the first reading of the ordinance which allows for the establishment of the CID located west of S. Buckner Tarsney Road and abuts the north side of NE McQuerry Road. The district covers approximately 12 acres with properties assessed at a value of $131,849.
STAR Acquisitions, Inc. and the City worked on the development incentive program which is expected to provide 85,000 square feet of fast food, retail, office, and industrial use. Construction is expected to begin by December 2021 and be completed by December 2024.
If approved, the district will establish a district sales tax of up to 1 percent (1.0%) for the funding of improvements and services that serve the property within the district.
The board also approved a contract with Midwest Pool Management to continue to provide management of the aquatic center through the 2023 season.
The board will meet for a workshop session on Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:00pm prior to the next regularly scheduled board meeting on February 8th at 7:00pm.
by John Unrein
The 6th seeded Grain Valley Eagles boys basketball team successfully defended their home court in the Sonic Showdown tournament opener against the 3rd seeded Barstow Knights. The Eagles would pull away from their opponent during the fourth quarter for a 58-47 win. Grain Valley head basketball coach Andy Herbert emerged from the locker room after the game with water spots covering his blue Under Armour pullover.
“I got a shower and returned the favor. It was a celebration in the locker room that was well earned. Everyone who played in this game did something to help us win. That is why this is a team sport,” Herbert said.
Among the Eagles putting forth a stellar effort in securing the victory were Cole Keller, Keagan Hart, and Owen Herbert. Keller’s 28 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 4 blocks cemented his team’s triumph, and was the second game in a row the senior would deliver a double-double. Keller found a way to stay aggressive on both ends of the court despite picking up two early fouls.
Herbert did not let his occasional early misses from behind the arc halt his confidence as the game unfolded in continuing to hoist long range shots. The sophomore guard continues to display a keen understanding of floor spacing beyond his years in finding open spots on the floor after maneuvering through traffic on the court. Eleven points, including a trio of three pointers and two made free throws late in the game capped Herbert’s successful night.
Hart exploded in the fourth quarter to slow down Barstow senior point guard Connor Arment in helping to hold him to 14 points. The Eagles free safety in football did not shy away from contact defensively. Hart consistently went underneath the screens set by the Knights at the top of the key in their pick and roll offensive set to limit Arment. Adoration from his teammates was abundant for the Eagle sophomore upon exiting the locker room. Hart would finish with 6 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
“I picked up two (fouls) early, knowing that I usually play significant minutes, I understood that I would need to be cautious. You can still be aggressive. You just have to pick and choose your moments. I continue to focus on finishing offensively in the post through both shoulders,” Keller said.
Herbert added, “In the past, I would stop shooting after missing a few. I am encouraged by coaches though to keep shooting. I can tell now by feel how my shot is going. I’ve been watching these games (the Sonic Showdown) for a lot of years and it’s awesome to be on the good side of the bracket after one game.”
Hart concluded, “My role is as a defensive player on this team. Coach Herbert told me in the fourth quarter to go pester the heck out of number 23 (Connor Arment). Having five fouls to do that with made it a fun assignment.”
Grain Valley was strategic under Herbert’s discretion in using an eight man rotation during the game to stay fresh during the second half. The judgment paid dividends as the halftime score was knotted at 23 apiece.
Herbert was vocal from the sideline in providing instruction on beating the full court press. It was the second game in a row that an adversary would try to create turnovers and instant offense through defensive intensity. Senior point guard Jayden Yung was more aggressive with the dribble in getting across the half court line then he was previously against Fort Osage. The difference was notable in permitting the Eagles to get into their offensive sets with more fluidity.
“It seemed like Cole got to every loose rebound in the second half. Keagan did a great job slowing down their offense late in the game. His intensity and confidence were special, including a back cut layup and the steal and finish he had,” Herbert said.
“All we have talked about since last Friday night was defeating the press. You cannot wait to get trapped and Jayden (Yung) did a good job tonight understanding when to continue with the dribble and when to throw it. We finally got guys in the right place in the second half to catch it, which helped a lot.
Grain Valley moves to a 4-9 record on the season with a win each of their last two games. The Eagles continue play in the Sonic Showdown tournament at 7:00pm on January 28th.
The Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl! Although COVID-19 may have put a halt to large parties, you can still have a small family gathering at home and enjoy the festivities. But what if you’ve been trying to eat healthier and you’re afraid the game time snacks may derail your plan?
Especially when the top foods for Super Bowl Sunday are cookies, cheese and crackers, nachos, pizza, chicken wings and chips and dip. Don’t just sit on the sidelines and avoid food altogether—just keep from overdoing it with these simple tips.
Don’t Save Up Space
One of the worst things you can do before a party or any food occasion is to starve yourself during the day so you can binge at the party. A better solution is to have something light and semi-filling before the party so that you are able to make better choices and have better portion control when you’re around all of those tempting foods.
Make Something Healthy
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. Make something that you truly enjoy that isn’t super high in calories, sugar or fat. And you don’t even have to tell anyone that it’s healthy. You will be surprised to find out that your guests will love the food you make. Need an idea? Try the healthy, yet delicious appetizer in this column.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Alcohol has calories and at parties we tend to overindulge. Not only do you need to be concerned about the calories in the alcohol itself, but studies have shown that drinking alcohol makes you consume more food.
Try alternating alcohol with water, or some of the new flavored sparkling waters, to decrease your intake and to stay hydrated which will also prevent that awful hangover the next morning.
If you know you may eat more than usual during the evening game, make sure you are a little more active earlier in the day. Take a walk or do a workout burn some extra calories.
The following information is derived from the Grain Valley Police Department daily calls for service log for the week of January 13-19, 2021.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The Grain Valley Herald went out of business in December, 1918. The owner, R. C. Hague sold his subscription list to The Oak Grove Banner. At that time, he agreed to edit a “Grain Valley page” in the Banner.
From Volume 37, Number 35 published on April 30, 1926, available at the Grain Valley Historical Society, I found they were still including our news in their paper.
By 1926, Mrs. A. M. White was the news correspondent. Like most news of the day, it was mostly “society” news –who ate dinner with whom and who was visiting from out of town. There was one birth announcement and several reports of illness. Well over half of the page was advertisements. I did learn that the Grain Valley baseball team had played on Sunday afternoon at the diamond north of Grain Valley High School. They defeated the Beacon Hill team of Kansas City by a score of 13-2!
On another page under the title, “It Happened Ten Years Ago,” I read the following announcement:
A marriage license was issued in Kansas City last Saturday to Byrl Baumgardner, of Grain Valley, and Miss Ona Stephenson, southwest of Oak Grove. Miss Stephenson is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Stephenson.
From the advertisements I learned you could buy a Ford battery for $12.95 at Edgar Huff’s garage and Dr. A. L. Dwyer was in town on Wednesday with offices in the Sni-A-Bar bank building. He was prepared to furnish modern reliable dentistry at reasonable prices.
In the 1920s many newspapers carried advertisement for “Bull” Durham tobacco. Will Rogers, Ziegfeld Follies, screen star and American humorist, was a spokesperson for the American Tobacco Company which marketed the Durham brand. He became well known for his column, The Bull’s Eye. His comments in this particular issue of The Oak Grove Banner might be considered somewhat timely today.
He writes, “Congress, No 2: Statistics have proven that only one-half of one per cent of the speeches made in Congress are listened to. A great many Congressmen speak IN, but not TO, Congress. But every speech is published in the record. They send the records back home to show ‘What they told ‘em up there in Washington.’ Now the people back home think Congress heard their ‘Lem’ tell ‘em this.”
Will Rogers continued, telling folks how to resolve the situation, but the important message came at the end when he stated why “ …they won’t listen to anybody up there? They have gone out to smoke, that’s why, and you know why they’ve gone out to smoke? Why, ‘Bull’ Durham, of course. It’s better than any speech ever made.”
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society and take a look at our collection. I think you would enjoy both the history and the humor found in these old newspapers.
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society at 506 S. Main on Wednesdays or visit us online at ww.grainvalleyhistory.com and Facebook (@grainvalleyhistory).
Missouri is known as the "Show Me State," but maybe we should call it the "Read Me State."
Famous Missourian writers include T. S. Elliot, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder,Tennessee Williams, and Sara Teasdale. Or maybe with more than 6,000 known caves, Missouri should be "The Cave State."
by Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert
Last year was interesting, to say the least. Before the pandemic, businesses were running normally. Then overnight, many companies transitioned their workforce to work remotely.
When you're working from home, you may not be able to use the same equipment and support you enjoyed when working at your office. Maybe your home computer or Internet service isn't as robust as it was in your office. Also, cyber-criminals are aware that as a remote worker, you don't have the same protection as you did in the office, so they have increased their attacks. Hopefully, with the vaccines, we all will be able to return to a normal life, but in the meantime, here are some tips to make you more productive and sane as a remote worker in 2021.
1. Make Sure your Internet is Working at Warp Speed.
When was the last time you replaced your modem/router? Do you know these devices should be replaced at least every 5 years? If you're leasing your modem/router from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), you can call them and ask for a replacement ... free of charge, well not free since you are paying for it. Most Internet service companies introduce new models of modem/routers every few years, but they don't always inform their subscribers that they've switched to newer, better equipment.
If you've been with your service company for a while, it's time for a switch. Take the time or have your favorite computer guru call your ISP to inquire if you can upgrade that modem/router. Chances are newer equipment will help improve your speeds and might even give a boost to your Wi-Fi.
If you're struggling with slow Internet or no Internet, get with your tech buddies to help you find a good solution. It could be as simple as a low Wi-Fi signal in your home office or just a lack of good Internet providers in your area. It's worth the investment to have someone check out what your options are.
There are many products on the market such as range extenders, Powerline adapters, and stronger routers that can help you get better Internet.
2. Are You Cyber Secure?
Hopefully, your company (this means you if you're self-employed) is doing a good job keep you safe from all of the threats out there. Cybercriminals have changed their tactics because of the work at home situation many of you are facing. A few years ago, you had to worry about the threat of someone hacking into your computer.
In our current digital world, cybercriminals have resorted to scams that trick you into letting them in your computer and giving up your and your companies valuable information. Phishing schemes such as Smishing (text scams) , Whaling and Spearing (email scams that look like they came from your fellow employee), and Vishing (think about all of those scammy phone calls) have increased. Keep in mind that 99% of cybercrime requires user interaction.
As long as you don't click on suspicious email links, or give out your information to strangers, you will stay safe. Trust your gut. If you get a phone call from the office or an email from the boss asking for sensitive information, don't hand it out unless you verify it. Remember that Twitter hack from last summer? It was because a remote employee gave out sensitive information to a criminal.
Make sure you're following the usual cybersecurity tips such as using anti-virus software, working behind a VPN, or setting up a VPN for your mobile workforce to work from behind. Also, it's vital that you're not working on devices that have outdated operating systems and that passwords are kept private ... like your underwater to strangers.
3. Set Boundaries Between Work and Home.
Going to work is easy if you're just rolling out of bed. It should also be that easy when you stop working for the day. In recent years, 'grinding' and 'hustling' have become popular as a way to show people how hard they are working. How many of you have seen the quote "We all have the same 24 hours" which is to imply if you're not putting in 12-14 hour workdays, you aren't going to be successful.
This way of thinking has to stop with solo businesses, small businesses, and large businesses. Like your laptops, smartphones, and tablets, you need to recharge. It's okay to step away and enjoy life. Trust me, no one on their deathbed is making regrets that they wished they would have worked longer hours.
Dealing with this pandemic has caused a lot of strain on many of us as we have to isolate to stay safe. Hopefully, we can all return to a more social society soon, but in the meantime, a healthy balance of working smarter and relaxing will help you stay productive and sane as you work remotely from home in 2021.
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