by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
It has been sixty years since Grain Valley had a Blue Springs football team on their schedule. And it had been sixty-four years since Grain Valley defeated a Blue Springs football team. Charlie Richard quarterbacked the 1958 team that defeated Blue Springs. With Grain Valley’s victory last Friday night, that losing streak is HISTORY!
This week, I visited with Richard Danner, the quarterback from the 1962 team. I truly believe that football players, regardless of their age or the number of years that have past, remember every game they ever played. Richard was quick to tell me the Eagles lost that game by a score of 0-6. He also remembered that the Blue Springs quarterback had the same last name, Danner.
Richard played in several varsity games his freshman year, filling in for the QB, Bob Richard (Charlie’s younger brother).
Danner told me he never wanted to be the quarterback. Instead, it was his wish to be a running back like his classmate and good friend, Frank (McMillian). Ron Martin was supposed to be Grain Valley ‘s quarterback in 1962, but a preseason ankle injury sidelined Martin, so Richard took over, again.
Coach Bill Beam, (1958 Grain Valley alumnus) told him he could finally be a running back his junior year. However, due to a tragic swimming accident during the summer of 1963, Stanley Vose, the designated QB drowned.
Once again Danner was moved from half-back to quarterback for the 1963 season. Grain Valley had moved to a new athletic conference in 1963 and the Grain Valley-Blue Springs rivalry ended until last Friday night. This time, the Eagles came out on top!
The 1962 Eagles Football Team
The 1962 Football Captains
Editors’ note: Richard Danner was also the quarterback for the 1964 season,. He may be the only four-year varsity quarterback in Grain Valley football history. He and Frank McMillian shared the Napier Award in 1964. It remains the only time in the 75-year history of the award that there were two winners!
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society