After the Friday night lights of Grain Valley High School football games have faded, the next generation of Eagles take to the field on Saturdays each fall.
The Grain Valley Sports League (GVSL) offers football, flag football, cheer, and basketball leagues for youth in Grain Valley.
GVSL is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and led and organized by an army of parent coaches and volunteers.
Coach Robbie Schatzer played college football and became involved as a coach when his son began playing football with the league. Schatzer has volunteered with the league for three years. On a recent Saturday afternoon, we caught up with Schatzer as his third grade team took to the field for a game.
“At this level, they are working on the fundamentals of the game. Holding onto the ball, and learning how to block and drive,” Schatzer said.
As the boys began warm ups, we asked Schatzer what the most challenging part of the game is for students at this age.
“Attentiveness,” Schatzer said with a smile.
“A lot of kids are timid about running the ball at this age. We work on getting them out of that with a series of drills.”
Schatzer also coaches a 7th grade team that took the field at Moody Murry Stadium later that evening.
Cheer coach April Watkins was on the sidelines as Schatzer’s third grade team prepared to take the field. Equipping a boisterous group of girls with pom poms, Watkins quickly had the crew prepped and lined up to get the crowd going.
The GVSL cheer program consists of 45 youth in Kindergarten—6th grade. Students focus on basic fundamentals of cheer and learning the basics of football, so they know when their team is on offense or defense.
Watkins said the cheer program is taking a break from cheering the League’s basketball program due to COVID-19, but are getting plenty of opportunities to cheer for the Eagles during football season.
Basketball signups are now available for boys and girls in Kindergarten—7th grade.
For more information and to register, visit the Grain Valley Sports League’s website at www.grainvalleysportsleague.com.