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Examiner
  • Valvo thankful for new scenery at Grain Valley

  • At a time most high school kids are still in bed, members of the Grain Valley softball team are in full practice mode around the batting cage on the south side of the high school.

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  • At a time most high school kids are still in bed, members of the Grain Valley softball team are in full practice mode around the batting cage on the south side of the high school.
    Running the show early Wednesday morning is new coach Calvin Valvo, a retired coach/teacher from Las Vegas who replaced longtime coach Jim Oliver. And he seems to be having as much fun as his team.
    “You don’t need to write about me, this is about the girls,” Valvo said. “I’m having so much fun with this. My wife and I feel so blessed that this opportunity came along.”
    Oliver, who led the Eagles to five consecutive conference crowns and a second-place state finish last season, is the new activities director and assistant principal at Pleasant Hill High School.
    Valvo coached baseball (head coach for 20 years), football, boys and girls golf, wrestling and bowling at Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas the past 28 years and was looking for a change of scenery.
    “When it’s 114 degrees from June 6 to September 20, you look for a change,” he said, chuckling. “So my wife and I had a plan. We were going to give it two to three years and see what happened.”
    His daughter and the family’s two grandchildren – with another one on the way – live in Overland Park, Kan., and his brother lives in O’Fallon, Mo., near St. Louis.
    “We were looking for something in between the two cities,” he said. “I sent out some resumes, but nothing was happening.”
    He then sent a resume to Grain Valley activities director Mike Tarrants.
    “A coach I knew from the Baker University wrestling team knew someone who knew someone, who told me about Grain Valley,” Valvo said. “When I got the call from Mr. Tarrants about the interview, I was so excited.
    “My wife and I came up to Grain Valley and fell in love with it. It’s about as opposite as you can get from Vegas. I knew they had some different job openings, and when Mr. Tarrants called, I was expecting to be offered an assistant football or baseball position.
    “He said, ‘Calvin, are you sitting down?’ He offered me the head softball position, and of all the sports I’ve coached, I’ve never coached softball. But I couldn’t be any more excited. You know, they lost nine seniors off that team that finished second, so we’re going to have a challenge this season.
    “I like a challenge. We have some great players back from last year’s team and some outstanding young talent in the freshman and sophomore classes.
    “I have young assistants who would be great head coaches someday. Since I’m retired, I won’t be in the classroom every day. I will be a sub, and work in the classroom where they need me. And I’ll have a little bit of freedom, too.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Valvo will also replace Oliver as head baseball coach Mark Lyford’s new assistant.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     

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