by Michael Smith
COLUMBIA – Grain Valley senior Sevreign Aumua has said throughout her wrestling career, her success hinges on her confidence.
She said she felt more mentally prepared than she did her sophomore year going into the Missouri State High School Girls Wrestling Championships this weekend at Mizzou Arena.
She needed that confidence going in against Rockwood Summit sophomore Madeline Haynes, who had a 40-1 record coming into the 140-pound championship match.
Aumua was ahead by one going into the third period, and when Haynes chose the bottom position, the junior had to make sure her opponent did not escape or else the match would be tied.
She did just that when she used a half nelson to turn Haynes and pin her in 5 minutes and 20 seconds to earn her second consecutive state individual title.
After getting the pin, Aumua flexed her muscles and turned toward the Grain Valley fans who were sitting in the upper level. After greeting her coaches and leaving the mat, she jumped into the arms of boys’ wrestler Justin Deweese in the tunnel.
The junior is now the only wrestler in Grain Valley history with two state championships.
“I feel like I was more prepared mentally,” Aumua said. “I had a lot of support and a lot of my family members came and I had new coaches come. It was a really good moment for me. I felt like I actually deserved this one.”
“(The Grain Valley wrestling team) is like my second family. I cannot thank them enough. They got me where I am today. My youth coaches helped me a lot, too, everyone helped me a lot.”
Aumua pinned her two opponents on Friday to advance to Saturday’s semifinal match. She defeated Holt’s Maria Slaughter 10-3 to advance to the title bout against Haynes. In the final match, she led 2-1 at the end of the first period after getting a takedown and Haynes getting an escape.
She chose the bottom position in the second period but was unable to escape from Haynes’ grasp, keeping the score the game going into the final period. Haynes needed an escape to tie the match, but Aumua kept her grounded. The junior turned Haynes to get a 3-point near fall before getting the pin on her second turn.
“She’s a good opponent and I am really glad I faced her,” Aumua said of Haynes. “I am really glad I got the competition. It made me a better wrestler and helped me learn what I need to focus on. She was strong and had good technique.”
For the first time in her career, Aumua had company at the state tournament. Freshman Jayden Moehle had an excellent debut in her first state tournament. In the 235-pound bracket she finished fourth to earn a medal.
The freshman lost in the first round to eventual state champion Catherine Dutton of Willard by pin but she bounced back and went 4-1 in the consolation bracket. She earned falls in all of her wins, including one in 2:06 against Lebanon’s Makenna Lewis in the bubble match, the one Moehle needed to win to qualify for a medal.
In her third place match, she was pinned by William Chrisman’s Kiara Boldridge.
“I am really proud of myself,” Moehle said. “I was super proud of myself in my third match because I hadn’t beat her. Then I finally got my revenge on her. I got her on my outside single and pinned her.”
Of the seven boys wrestlers that qualified for the state tournament, four ended up with medals.
Senior Tanner Barker closed out his high school career with the highest place he’s ever received at state as he finished third in the 165-pound bracket.
He won his first two matches, including a 4-3 victory against Davion King of Carthage in the quarterfinals, in which he got a clutch takedown in the third period.
Barker fell 3-0 in the semifinals to eventual state champion Aidan Hernandez of Francis Howell Central but rebounded for a 5-1 victory against Jackson Jones and met King again and won 3-1 in overtime. Barker avenged a loss earlier in the season to King.
“I have just been keeping my head down all season and grinding,” Barker said. “I came out with third place. Only two losses this season, so I will take it.”
His fellow senior, Dru Azcona (132), mirrored the placement he had last season at state, once again taking fourth place to close out his career. Azcona finished his career with three state medals, including a fifth-place finish his freshman season.
Azcona made it to the semifinals after a pair of wins, which included a pin in 2:43 in the semifinals of Eureka’s Andrew Stubblefield. However, he ran into eventual state champion Zan Fugitt in the semifinals and put up a strong fight and fell 7-3.
The senior then went 1-1 in the consolation bracket, which ended with a 5-3 loss to Oak Park senior Jamieson Tunstill.
“I am extremely excited about how my career went,” Azcona said. “I definitely learned a lot. It’s not about the medals, I am more happy with what I learned and the life lessons I learned.”
Grain Valley junior Gavin Parks earned his first state medal on Saturday as he took fourth at 12- pounds. During his freshman season, he fell in the bubble match at state and as a sophomore, he had to miss state because of a concussion.
This time, he was 4-2 at the state tournament. He won his first two matches to make it to the semifinals, which included a big 11-8 victory against Seckman’s Matthew Cook. Parks fell to Lee’s Summit North junior Charlie Dykes 4-1 to move to the consolation bracket.
Parks defeated Liberty North’s Michael Domino 4-0 in the consolation semifinals before falling to Staley’s Miller Sipes 3-2 in the third-place bout.
“Overall, I am proud of what I did and getting my first medal,” Parks said. “There are some things I could work on and I could’ve done better. Next year, I will do better. I think I did good overall, especially with the amount of hammers in this bracket.”
Freshman Zac Bleess made a stellar debut at the state tournament as he took sixth place in the 113-pound bracket. He went 3-3 and qualified for a medal after beating Staley’s Craig Omozeje 2-1 in overtime in the bubble match.
“It feels great, this has been the goal since the start of the season,” Bleess said of getting a state medal. “I had a couple of hard matches. I wish I could have gotten a little higher on the podium but not too bad for my freshman year.”
Brock Smith (120), Justin Dewees (157) and Tyler Groves (144) competed in the tournament but were eliminated.
Photo credit: Clara Jaques
The February 16, 2023 Grain Valley school board meeting began with an update from Nicole Young, hollis + miller architects, who provided an update on plans for the new fieldhouse at Grain Valley High School. The scope of work includes a new student and activities entrance, attendance office, restroom and concessions area, weight room, fieldhouse gymnasium, batting cages, renovation to the existing gymnasium, and renovation to PE and varsity locker rooms.
As previously reported, the original plans included a second level track and seating area in the new gymnasium. This feature was removed due to budget constraints and a desire to focus on renovation of other areas.
Demolition begins summer 2023, with weight room renovations, and continue through August 2024.
Next on the agenda was the review of the district's culture & climate program evaluation. All students (grades 3-12), staff, and family members were surveyed during the month of November 2022. The strengths identified in the report included 97% of students in grades 3-5 and 92% of students in grades 6-12 believe their teachers care for them. 94% of parent/guardians reported believing adults at their child's school cares about students, and 87% believe their child's school has a great school culture. 97% of team members believe students are treated with dignity and respect by employees.
Among the challenges identified in the report, 27% of parents disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement that the school system provides school culture and climate data and reports periodically to all stakeholders. In addition, survey data suggested students struggle with conflict resolution (36% of students in grades 3-5 and 52% of students in grades 6-12 reported students at their schools do not stop and think before doing anything when they get angry). 28% of students in grades 6-12 report students do not respect one another, and 40% of students in grades 3-5 report students are teased or picked on about their race or ethnicity, 33% on cultural background or religion, and 35% based on a disability.
In terms of educational and career goals, 23% of parents/guardians disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that their school has helped students establish educational and career goals.
The district identified several goals to address areas of concern, including developing a scope and sequence for advisory lessons in conflict resolution for all students in grades K-12. The district will also survey teachers by May 2023, with the goal of an increase in satisfaction level for the ability to address negative behavior and support provided by administration. A welcome program at each grade span (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) will be created by May 2023, and a report to all families on the outcome of culture and climate survey data will be completed spring 2023.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nick Gooch reported the district has seen a marked increase in breakfast and lunch debt, totaling approximately $19,000. Calls to parents and guardians over the previous two weeks resulted in a $1,000 decrease in the debt balance.
The Board approved four new certified positions for the 2023-24 school year: a high school special education teacher, a high school math teacher, an elementary life skills special education teacher, and a District 504 coordinator. Superintendent Brad Welle also reported that the position to be vacated by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beth Mulvey upon her retirement will not be filled. Instead, work will be distributed among existing Assistant Superintendents and a Director of Communications position will be added in the 2023-24 school year to coordinate the district's communications program.
Under Board Policies, board member Jeff Porter continued to raise concerns around IF-AP(1) Curriculum Development. Porter has expressed concerns that the board does not currently have a say in the composition of curriculum development committees. The superintendent currently appoints members as outlined in the administrative procedure, and once work is completed, the board receives a report. Porter is seeking a change which would give the board more say in how the committee is structured on the front end.
"I think the board should be part of that process in saying we agree that this committee is going to be a level playing field and the community is going to have some type of a voice. The board needs to approve the committee members that are part of the review of all the curriculum," Porter said.
"My recommendation would be if the board decides to take that on that that is captured in policy language rather than procedural language. The board will create a community committee, or the board will approve a committee. And then we'll probably need a separate process for what criteria the board would set for who they wanted on that committee so that the administration had more expectation of what we would be looking for," Welle said.
Porter asked about the process of drafting such language, and Welle said he could have language drafted for review if that were the will of the board. President Jared English said he was fine with language being drafted for review, but stated he had no intention of bringing it up for a vote within weeks.
"I think that it's ok to have some language drafted. I don't intend to vote on it or bring it to a vote in two weeks. I think this is something we would really need to chew on for awhile. But I am ok with having the language drafted and presented," English said.
The rest of the board voiced no support or opposition, and Welle stated he would have language drafted for review.
To view the current procedure, visit View Administrative Procedure IF-AP(1): CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT (eboardsolutions.com)
In other business, the Board approved the 2023-24 school year calendar (PDF and image file provided below). The first day of school will be August 22, 2023.
A volleyball clinic for 2nd - 6th graders will be held Saturday, March 11th from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at Grain Valley High School. National Honor Society member Haylie Jennings is heading the effort, which will raise funds for the high school volleyball program.
The head GVHS volleyball coach and club volleyball players with years of experience will be coaching 2nd-6th graders to learn the skills of volleyball. The clinic is $20 per participant, paid at the door (cash or check).
To register for the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ward II alderman Darren Mills is seeking a second term in the April 4, 2023 municipal election and is running unopposed. Mills said he is pleased with the progress the Board and City has made over the past two years and looks forward to seeing several projects through in his next term.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the police station completed. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last two years with several improvement projects, including the water tower, street repairs, and looking at adding additional parks and trails on the north side of town. I’ve enjoyed the last two years, and I think I have made a difference on the Board,” Mills said.
Mills is also pleased with the selection of the newly hired police chief, Ed Turner.
“I think the City handled the process really well, and I am excited to see what he is going to do.”
Mills is also excited about the City’s recent branding process, and the efforts to revitalize downtown.
“The census figures showed us how much our population has grown over the past 10 years. We experienced a bigger population growth than our neighbors in Blue Springs and Lees Summit. The challenge is to provide the growth residents need and want and keep our small town feel.”
One of the challenges with a growing population is housing, and Mills said he is also focused on making sure there are options for all residents.
“We need to provide affordable housing for the next generation. We don’t want to shoo them out of city if we have no options for them. Having apartment and multi-family options is going to benefit the city and bring in more tax dollars. This way we can keep tax dollars here and continue to grow the city.”
As far as goals in his own ward, Mills is still focused on providing more sidewalks, particularly in Winding Creek where he said they are lacking.
Mills enjoys representing the city at business events, including the Grain Valley Partnership luncheons and ribbon cuttings, and said he has enjoyed working with the board to do what they can to promote business development in the area.
Mills is the Sales Manager with Blue Compass RV (previously Lifestyle RVs) in Grain Valley, is a past President of the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), and is an active member of First Baptist Grain Valley, where he leads the Kids Connect program.
Valley News will profile each candidate on the ballot in the weeks leading up to the election, provide a voter guide, and plans a candidate forum on March 21st at Grain Valley South Middle School. To search for all election related articles, click on “Elections” under the categories on our News page. For voter information and links to resources, visit our Voter Resource page.
Ward II Alderman Darren Mills is running for re-election on the April 4th ballot. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley
Grain Valley News is pleased to once again host a candidate forum for residents to learn more about the Board of Aldermen and Board of Education candidates on the April 4, 2023 ballot.
The Candidate Forum will be held Tuesday, March 21st from 6:30pm - 8:00pm at Grain Valley South Middle School, 901 E Ryan Road, Grain Valley. There is no cost to attend and all are welcome.
All Board of Education and Board of Aldermen candidates were contacted in advance regarding their availability, and as of press time, all candidates indicated they plan to attend.
Grain Valley News will also public a candidate guide in addition to our ongoing candidate profile articles in the weeks leading up to the election. For voter information and resources, visit our Voter Resources page.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) crews will begin bridge replacement work along Interstate 70 at Route AA/BB in Grain Valley beginning on Friday, Feb. 24. This work will require the following traffic pattern changes. All work is weather permitting.
Friday, Feb. 24
Motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention while driving in work zones. Not all work zones look alike. Work zones can be moving operations, such as striping, patching or mowing. They can also be short term, temporary lane closures to make quick repairs or remove debris from the roadway.
One of the key components of heart health is blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, you are at higher risk of developing other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The good news is that there are some diet and lifestyle modifications you can make to help reduce your risk.
What is high blood pressure? As blood circulates, it presses against artery walls, creating pressure. Too much pressure forces the heart to work harder, potentially straining it. A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers: systolic pressure, measured as the heart pumps, and diastolic pressure, recorded between heartbeats. A resting blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg is considered normal. Prehypertension is 120-139/80-89 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg or higher is hypertension.
Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day; it tends to increase with exercise and strong emotions. But consistently high blood pressure is affected by many factors, including genetics, some medical conditions, diet, heavy alcohol use, tobacco use, stress and limited exercise.
When it comes to diet, high intake of sodium and low intake of fruits and vegetables may increase your risk for high blood pressure. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to no more than 2,300 mg per day and eating at least 1½ cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium and contain potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Also try to eat lean sources of protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish and beans. Consider whole-grain breads and pastas and look for lower-sodium versions of packaged foods.
Diet alone can’t completely cure or prevent high blood pressure, but it can help. Some factors are out of your control, such as a family history of high blood pressure or pre-existing medical conditions, including diabetes and some autoimmune diseases. People over 40 should be tested annually – while those under 40 should get tested every 2 to 5 years. If you’re diagnosed with hypertension, work with a doctor to help manage it.
During the month of February 2023, you can get a free biometric screening at select Hy-Vee locations. A Hy-Vee dietitian will collect a blood sample from a finger prick to determine cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels. Resting blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage and waist and hip circumference are also measured. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Fasting for a period of 10 to 12 hours in advance is required. These screenings are made possible by these generous sponsors: RxSugar®, Perfect Bars, Sweet Loren’s Less Sugar Cookie Dough, Belgioioso Ricotta and Parmesan Cheese, and the National Peanut Board. Request your free screening by speaking with your Hy-Vee dietitian or follow this link.
Try out this twist on corn chowder the whole family will love. We made some ingredient swaps from the original recipe, such as using unsalted vegetable stock and frozen corn and reducing the amount of other higher-sodium ingredients, to help keep the sodium level under control.
Thai Corn Chowder
Serves 6 (1½ cups each)
All you need:
1 (13.66-oz) can unsweetened coconut cream, divided
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 (11-oz) can Hy-Vee Mexican style corn, drained; divided
½ cup chopped red onion
3 tbsp green curry paste
2 tbsp refrigerated lemongrass paste
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sambal oelek chili paste
¼ tsp Hy-Vee salt
1 (32-oz) container unsalted vegetable stock
3½ cups frozen corn
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
All you do:
Per serving: 290 calories, 16g fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 920mg sodium, 32g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 13g sugar (0g added sugar), 4g protein. Daily Values: vitamin D 0%, calcium 0%, iron 6%, potassium 8%.
Recipe source: adapted from February 2023 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine
Hy-Vee dietitians are available to help with your heart health all year long! Get started today with our complimentary On-Demand Heart Health Virtual Nutrition Store Tour where you will learn the basics of a heart-healthy meal plan! Plus, get shopping tips and product recommendations to help add more nutrition to your cart. Register for your on-demand tour today at https://www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/default.aspx.
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls service log for the week of February 15-21, 2023.
February 15, 2023
900 Blk NW Magnolia
1400 Blk NE Mary Ct
NE Erin/NE Greystone
Area check for shots fired
1200 Blk MW Hill Top Ln
February 16, 2023
200 Blk NE Cypress St
300 Blk SW Eagles
200 Blk NW Michael
600 Blk NW Valley Ridge Cir
900 Blk Lindenwood
100 Blk NW Barr Rd
Motor vehicle accident
700 Blk NW Joseph Cir
NW Meadow Rd
200 Blk NW Barr Rd
100 Blk SW Pebblebrook Ln
200 Blk NW Gregg St
1300 Blk NW Valley Woods Ct
1200 Blk Eagles Pkwy
500 Blk Main
1300 Blk NW Sycamore Dr
February 17, 2023
1200 Blk NW Hill Top Ln
2300 Blk NW Hedgewood Dr
100 Blk E Walnut
1100 Blk NW Pamela Blvd
300 Blk SW Crestview Dr
900 Blk NW Persimmon Ct
800 Blk SW Lee Ann
SW August Ln/SW Tisha Ln
700 Blk SW Tish Ln
1100 Blk SW Ephraim Dr
400 Blk SW Cross Creek
February 18, 2023
400 Blk NW Woodbury
800 Blk NE San Karr Dr
700 Blk Main
February 19, 2023
400 Blk SW Cross Creek
NW Crestwood/ NW Rymeg
2200 Blk NW Hedgewood Dr
100 Blk NW Woodbury
700 Blk Main St
1100 Blk S BT Rd
Motor vehicle accident
1300 Blk W Ryan Rd
SW Sandy/SW Laura
700 Blk N Main
February 20, 2023
SW Cross Creek/SW August
1100 Blk NW Baytree
700 Blk NW Green Dr
February 21, 2023
900 Blk SW Shorthorn
400 Blk SW Foothill
900 Blk NW Eagle Ridge Dr
100 Blk Sunny Lane
Additional calls for service:
Suicidal subject: 2
Domestic assault: 1
As promised in January, the last article of each month will feature information about the photograph in the 2023 Grain Valley Historical Society calendar.
Grain Valley Band
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society
The 2023 calendar may look a bit like a “school” calendar as half of the photographs are school related. It only speaks about the role of the school in our community. Academics, sports, drama, and music were the one constant in Grain Valley, particularly during the depression and the war years.
The photo above was in the 1946 Treasure Chest yearbook. Mr. Phil Turner, far right, organized the band in 1941 or 42 (Valley News, June 3, 2021). Mr. Turner was the owner of Turner Music Company, just off the square in Independence. He was not a “full time” teacher but came to Grain Valley a few hours each day to teach music.
The 1943 Treasure Chest (yearbook) featured a story about raising money for band uniforms and the discovery of “several very talented girls who have organized a Majorette Corps to perform in front of our band.” As you can see by message on the bass drum, he got them off to a rousing start. The were Western Missouri Conference Contest Winner in 1943, 1944 and 1945.
Since the photo was taken before I was born, I can only identify one student in the photo. The cute little boy on the front row, far right and holding his clarinet, is my 12-year-old cousin, Donald Fristoe!
by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff at the Lake City Shooting Range near Blue Springs will offer two free programs during March for newcomers and experienced firearms owners. The shotgun, rifle, and pistol target ranges offer a variety of target shooting opportunities. But MDC staff also teaches classes about firearms, ammunition, and the outdoors. Registration is required for many programs.