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Eagles happy to be learning 'life lessons'

Bill Althaus
bill.althaus@examiner.net
Grain Valley senior offensive lineman Jack Bailey, left, talks with a fellow senior, wide receiver/cornerback Trent Knox, after an OTA (organized team activity) at Moody Murry Field on an overcast Tuesday morning.

While many of their teammates are collecting their personal gear, Grain Valley seniors Jack Bailey and Trent Knox are soaking in every minute of an OTA (organized team activity).

“We’re out here with our brothers, the guys we love being around,” said Knox, a wide receiver/cornerback. “There’s nothing better than this.”

Bailey, an offensive lineman, nodded in agreement.

“All the seniors feel like we want to leave a legacy, even though that legacy is in doubt because no one really knows if we’re going to be able to play football this fall,” Bailey said. “But that’s not going to keep us from working hard and getting in shape. That way, we can feel good about ourselves no matter what happens.”

The football gods were smiling on the Eagles Tuesday as a cloud-filled sky brought down the temperature and helped raise the players’ enthusiasm.

“This is great!” Knox said. “It’s a little bit humid, but I could practice in this all day. Our coaches do such a great job running practices and our conditioning practices. We’re always busy, we start early in the morning and are done by 8:30, so it’s great. It’s a great way to start your day.”

Bailey believes all area prep athletes are learning something special this summer.

“We’re learning a lot more than football, or whatever sport a high school student might be playing.” Bailey said. “We’re learning life lessons. We’re learning about caring for our teammates, our brothers on the field. We’re learning how to listen to and respect our coaches and we’re learning that there are some things we can’t control, but that’s not going to stop us from working hard.”

As the two senior leaders left the field, Allie smiled in approval.

“You need good senior leadership and we’re getting it from Jack and Trent and all our seniors,” the veteran coach said. “They want to create a legacy, and right now, that legacy is in limbo. But they’re here to get better, and our underclassmen see how hard our seniors are working and that makes them want to work hard and get better, too.”