Court Dedicated to the Iba Family
Sports royalty originated in Easton, Mo.
Legendary former University of Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart spoke at the dedication banquet in St. Joseph on Thursday, November 21. He was one of several coaches to attend, including Larry Holley, Tom Smith and the Iba Family members.
For generations to come, young basketball players and fans that come through East Buchanan will know the legacy and impact the Iba Family of Easton, Mo. left on the sport.
The school district officially dedicated the basketball court at East Buchanan High School as the Iba Family Court on Friday, November 22, capping two days of events honoring the legendary basketball family, the roots of which were planted and grown just up the road in Easton.
That family includes Henry Iba, a revolutionary coach of the game who won Oklahoma State to two NCAA National Championships, and coached the United States team to a pair of Olympic gold medals in the 1964 and 1968 games.
Skip Iba, Moe Iba and Gene Iba recall their trips to Easton and their family’s basketball legacy during the dedication ceremony at East Buchanan High School.
The East Buchanan senior basketball players pull back the cover to reveal the Iba Family Court name on the basketball court.
His brother, Howard Iba, coached 26 seasons at Central High School, leading the school to a 26-3 record in 1958 and second place in the state.
Fellow brother Clarence Iba coached at the University of Tulsa for 11 seasons, helping lead the team to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1955.
Their youngest brother, Earl Iba, was drafted into the Army in 1943 and was a recipient of the Bronze Star. He coached eight years at Oklahoma Panhandle Sate.
All four brothers are members of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Their sister, Lucille, was the oldest and most beloved of the siblings. She played basketball at Easton and its agreed she may have been the best player of them all if there had been more opportunities for women in athletics at the time.
From the siblings, three more noteworthy college basketball names were born. All three were in attendance at East Buchanan last week. Moe Iba, the son of Henry, coached at Memphis, Nebraska and TCU, collecting 239 wins. Gene Iba, the son of Clarence, coached at Houston Baptist, Baylor and Pittsburg State. And Skip Iba, the son of Clarence, played basketball for Oklahoma State under his uncle Henry, during which they won the Big Eight Conference championship in 1965.
The three were among more than 30 members of the Iba Family who were in attendance on Friday night for the court dedication, serving as a de facto reunion for the family – a truly special occasion for both the community and the Ibas.
“They were coming in from all over the United States. Skip said this evening it was from coast to coast, and to hear that this is the first time some of those family members have ever met, it is special. I’m a family-oriented type of person and to be able to be the middle person with all of that, it is something special that I was able to do, I guess.”
The evening kicked off with a video presentation outlining the history of Henry Iba’s career, including a special video message from famed Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who personally thanked the East Buchanan School District and the community for honoring Mr. Iba and the entire family.
Dave Riggert was the night’s master of ceremonies and introducted Skip, Moe and Gene for a discussion at center court, where the three recalled the family’s history in the sport and the Easton community.
Afterwards, the senior members of the East Buchanan boys and girls basketball teams pulled back the covers on the baselines of the court, which now read “Iba Family Court.”
East Buchanan activities director Dave Elms spent more than a year planning and organizing the event. He had often wondered in his 11 years why the community of Easton – in which East Buchanan Middle School is located – hadn’t honored the family. When he started to ask around about people’s feelings about naming the court after the family, he found some people didn’t know about the history.
But after the dedication Friday, students and community members will always have a reminder of the Iba family, and that even from Gower or Easton, everything is possible.
“It’s a great example that small town kids can do great things,” Elms said. “If they put their mind to it and work hard, they can succeed and they don’t need to come from a big city. Good things happen to good people and if they work hard, good things can happen to them. Hopefully they can get a little more pride knowing that a family like that is from a small town and from your school, and like I said before, bring that legacy back to the forefront for the community and Northwest Missouri.”
PHOTO: Mid-Buchanan quarterback Javan Noyes and Lathrop running back Tyler Paul are up for the Fontana Award as the best small school football player in the Kansas City area.
BY CLINT DYE | THE CLINTON COUNTY LEADER
Currently, in the six Missouri classes of eleven-man high school football, there are 22 teams left vying for a possible state championship. Of those 22 teams, two reside in the Kansas City Interscholastic Conference.
For the second year in a row, the Lathrop Mules (13-0) and Mid-Buchanan Dragons (12-1) are one win away from proudly carrying the banner of the KCI into the state championship game of their respective classes.
This season's success of the Mules and Dragons further solidifies the claim that the KCI Conference is one of the best and toughest small school conferences in the state of Missouri. The rate of postseason success the conference has had is telling of just how tough it is to maneuver through every season.
Since 2010, all but one of the KCI’s eight teams have won a district championship. Eight times during that span, multiple KCI teams added a district title to their trophy case, and on three occasions (2013, 2014, 2018) three teams were crowned district champions.
The conference's postseason success doesn’t end at district play. From 2011 to 2018, the KCI Conference has had a representative reach the semifinals every season. (East Buchanan 2011, Hamilton 2012, Lawson 2013, Hamilton 2013, Hamilton 2014, Hamilton 2015, Hamilton 2016, East Buchanan 2017, Lathrop 2018, Mid-Buchanan 2018). Five of those times, KCI teams advanced to the state championship, and twice (both by Hamilton in 2012 and 2016) brought home a state title.
Adding even more merit to the success of the KCI is the fact that Lathrop senior running back Tyler Paul and Mid-Buchanan junior quarterback Javan Noyes have been nominated for the Fontana Award for the best football player in Class 1 through Class 4 the Kansas City area – a recognition bestowed by the Thomas A. Simone Awards.
The Thomas A. Simone Awards are presented yearly to the most outstanding high school football players in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It’s a rarity for Class 1 or Class 2 conferences to have just one player nominated, so having two in one year is a major accomplishment – something both Lathrop head coach Chris Holt and Mid-Buchanan head coach Aaron Fritz couldn’t be prouder of.
“It is a great honor to be nominated,” Holt said. “I am positive Tyler would be the first to tell you that he shares this nomination with his teammates.”
“I was very excited to learn that Javan was being looked at for this award,” Fritz said. “This is a huge honor for him, our team and our school. He is very deserving to be on this list with all these great players. We are very lucky to have Javan be a part of our football family and are very excited that he is nominated for such a prestigious award.”
Standing in the way of the Mules and Dragons and their quests for their first state championships are two programs with rich pedigrees in Lutheran North and Valle Catholic. The two programs combine together have a combined 19 state championships.
Missouri Class 2 Semifinal: Lathrop (13-0) at Lutheran North (12-0)
The Mules, who suffered a tough loss in the Missouri Class 2 State Championship last season, rolled through the regular season to a second-consecutive KCI Conference Championship.
From there, they dispatched their first two district opponents (Trenton, Richmond) with ease before defeating Maryville in an epic district title game that ended the Spoofhounds' 67-game home winning streak.
In the quarterfinals, they had no trouble ending Summit Christian Academy’s dreams of a state championship for the second year in a row. Which brings us to Saturday and Lutheran North.
The Crusaders dominated their way through the regular season and first two rounds of district play before winning a tightly contested district championship game over Lift for Life Academy, 6-0. A week ago in the quarterfinals, they dominated Scott City, 57-8.
On paper, these teams are almost identical. Lathrop enters the game scoring 49 points per game to Lutheran’s 48. Both defenses are allowing less than ten points per game, with Lutheran North holding the slight edge, allowing only seven per game to Lathrop’s nine.
Both teams are led by players coming off enormous quarterfinal performances in Lathrop’s Tyler Paul and Lutheran North sophomore quarterback, Brian Brown.
Against Summit Christian Academy, Paul carried the ball eleven times for 260 yards and scored four touchdowns, three of which were over 60 yards.
Brown was just as impressive for the Crusaders, throwing for 380 yards and four touchdowns in their rout of Scott City. Two hundred of Brown’s passing yards came before halftime.
The Mules' road to redemption continues Saturday, but a stiff test stands between them and returning to the state championship game.
Missouri Class 1 Semifinal: Mid-Buchanan (12-1) at Valle Catholic (12-1)
One point separated the Mid-Buchanan Dragons and a date with destiny in the 2018 State Championship last season. That one point has haunted head coach Aaron Fritz, and now his Dragons have a chance to vindicate themselves this Saturday.
This season has been one for the record books for Mid-Buchanan, as they set a program record for wins in a season, with their lone loss coming in Week Three against Lathrop. In district play, the Dragons easily dispatched Polo before eliminating two KCI Conference rivals – East Buchanan and Hamilton – in back-to-back weeks.
Last week in the quarterfinals, they took the lead early on South Harrison and dominated their way to victory, setting up this Saturday’s contest.
Their opponents Saturday, Valle Catholic, also suffered their only loss of 2019 during Week Three before dominating their way through the remainder of their schedule.
The Warriors were tested in the quarterfinals, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to narrowly defeat Thayer, 15-14.
Entering Saturday’s contest, Valle Catholic holds a slight edge in points per game, averaging 48, while Mid-Buchanan is averaging 37. Defensively, the Dragons are giving up only nine points per game compared to the Warriors ten.
Both offenses like to spread the ball around, creating mismatches for their plethora of playmakers, meaning this contest could come down to who’s defense bends the most without breaking.
It's a holiday special from our friends at Fries Ag & Turf!
BY BRETT ADKISON | LEADER EDITOR
While Lathrop's win over Maryville for the district championship continues to resonate throughout Missouri, the road to state championship game rolls on without stopping.
And that road is bringing a familiar face to Lathrop High School on Saturday, November 23.
The Summit Christian Academy Eagles (11-1) are back in the Missouri Class 2 State Quarterfinals for the second straight year, knocking off Lafayette County (9-3) last week, 35-14, to repeat as the Class 2, District 7 champions.
And according to Lathrop head coach Chris Holt, Summit Christian has been eyeing this rematch for 12 months.
“Last year when we were shaking hands, a lot of (their) kids were saying, 'See you next year.' 'See you next year.' 'See you next year,'” Holt told The Leader earlier this week. “They had full intentions of getting back to see us in the quarterfinals. Whether it was here or there doesn't matter. They planned on playing us. We will get there best effort.”
In last year's quarterfinal match at Lathrop, Summit Christian struck first to go up 7-0 and were threatening to extend their lead to double digits – something the Mules had avoided all season – but an interception by then-junior Drew O'Connor swung the game back Lathrop's direction.
The Mules went on to win in convincing fashion, 41-14, and a week later upended seven-time defending state champion Lamar in the semifinals, advancing Lathrop to the program's first-ever appearance in the state championship game.
Similarly, Lathrop enters this postseason rematch undefeated at 12-0, winning both the district and KCI Conference championships. SCA's lone blemish in their 11-1 mark came in the final week of the regular season, where they fell to Lincoln Prep 35-21. Prep has had a reemergent season in 2019, winning their first 11 games of the year before losing to Platte County last week in the Class 4, District 8 championship, 23-8.
SCA comes into this week with similar credentials to Lathrop, scoring 44.4 points per game while allowing just 9.3 points per game. The Eagles have compiled five shutouts while allowing a single-digit score total nine times.
Lathrop has scored 49.5 points per game while allowing 9.25 points per game. The Mules have three shutouts while allowing a single-digit point total five times. That comes with a caveat many Lathrop fans have been familiar with over the past two seasons – the Mules often blew out their opponents in the first half this year, and the full varsity squad rarely played the entire second half, if at all.
Here's a look at the stat lines for each team's leaders in the respective phases of the game.
Blake Gordon: 47 completions, 82 attempts, 57.3 completion percentage, 1,040 yards, 18 touchdowns, 1 interception
Grayson Sprouse: 118 completions, 201 attempts, 58.7 completion percentage, 1,891 yards, 26 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Tyler Paul: 83 carries, 1,318 yards, 15.9 yards per carry, 25 touchdowns
Caden Rardon: 38 carries, 619 yards, 16.3 yards per carry, 8 touchdowns
Blake Gordon: 64 carries, 515 yards, 8 yards per carry, 7 touchdowns
Tanner Dalinghaus: 63 carries, 481 yards, 7.6 yards per carry, 6 touchdowns
Lucas Eckles: 130 carries, 1,383 yards, 10.6 yards per carry, 23 touchdowns
Grayson Sprouse: 108 carries, 482 yards, 4.5 yards per carry, 15 touchdowns
Zack Oppriecht: 33 carries, 374 yards yards, 11.3 yards per carry
Chris Moore: 14 receptions, 363 yards, 25.9 yards per catch, 7 touchdowns
Caden Rardon: 10 receptions, 211 yards, 21.1 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns
Tyler Paul: 10 catches, 199 yards, 19.9 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns
Grant Lewis: 8 catches, 236 yards, 29.5 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns
Christian Newsom II: 39 receptions, 528 yards 13.5 yards per catch, 10 touchdowns
Lincoln Sprouse: 28 receptions, 469 yards, 16.8 yards per catch, 6 touchdowns
Zack Oppriecht: 23 receptions, 290 yards, 12.6 yard per catch, 2 touchdowns
Tyler Paul: 70.5 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks
Colton Nichols: 59.5 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks
Tanner Dalinghaus: 53.5 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 1 sack
Brady Wheeler: 43 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack
Chris Moore: 6 interceptions (11 team interceptions)
Jake McIlhaney: 89.5 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss
Zeke Oppriecht: 89.5 tackles, 25 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks
Zack Oppriecht: 49 tackles. 6 tackles for a loss
Christian Newsom II: 6 interceptions (21 team interceptions)
BY CLINT DYE | SPECIAL TO THE LEADER
So far in 2019, the teams of the Kansas City Interscholastic Conference and the Grand River Conference have faced off a total of 12 times, continuing a long-standing, competitive series between the two small school conferences.
In those 12 contests, the KCI holds a 7-5 advantage, with the thirteenth and biggest match-up taking place this Saturday, when the Mid-Buchanan Dragons host the South Harrison Bulldogs in the Missouri Class 1 Quarterfinals.
The proximity of the schools within each conference makes for perfect scheduling opportunities to begin each football season. That also leads to exciting postseason match-ups, as most of the teams within the KCI and GRC compete in two districts (Missouri Class 1, District 7 and Class 1, District 8), leading to an eventual quarterfinal show down.
Both coaches in Saturday’s final KCI-GRC contest feel that proximity is what has made this inter-conference rivalry special.
“The GRC is such a historically great conference. Year in and year out, it is a very good conference with very good coaches and teams,” said Mid-Buchanan head coach Aaron Fritz. “With the proximity of the GRC schools to the KCI schools, it allows us to play a lot of games against each other and I think you have started to see some rivalries come about over time because the two conferences play so much against each other.”
“I think the biggest thing between the GRC and KCI head-to-head match-ups are that we are all so close together, but don’t get to play each other very often,” said South Harrison head coach Chris Schoning. “A lot of us play each other weeks one and two, but after that don’t see each other until the playoffs. I think it’s a good rivalry when the GRC and KCI meet up and gives that winning team some bragging rights for their conference.”
Entering Saturday’s contest with identical 11-1 records, Mid-Buchanan and South Harrison have more in common than just win-loss records.
During week one, Mid-Buchanan defeated Princeton 35-0, while South Harrison fell to the Tigers in the final week of the season, 20-14. That is the only discrepancy between their common opponents, as both teams earned victories over East Buchanan, Maysville, Polo and West Platte.
Both offenses enter Saturday’s contest averaging over 30 points per game and are led by a trio of playmakers.
Leading Mid-Buchanan’s offensive attack is junior quarterback Javan Noyes. This season he has combined for nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and scored 37 touchdowns. Joining Noyes in the dangerous Mid-Buchanan backfield is fellow junior T.J. Runyan, who has run for 1,107 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Noyes's biggest threat in the passing game has been senior Christian Scaggs, who has close to 500 receiving yards and has scored four touchdowns.
“Offensively, they have a lot of weapons that they can hurt you with,” Schoning said. “Their quarterback is an all-around great athlete that can run and pass, so we are definitely going to have to do a good job of containing him and try to put him in tough situations.”
South Harrison’s offense is all about running the ball and physically imposing their will on defenses. They have three players that have rushed for over 1,000 yards this season starting with senior tailback Collin Haffey and his 1,355 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Austin Lasher has run for 1,180 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, while junior fullback Grady Linthacum has rushed for 1,043 yards with 10 scores.
“They run the flex bone on offense and are very good at creating match-up problems for defenses,” Fritz said. “They are big up front, so they get a good push all of the time and they have some very talented runners in their backfield. All of them can turn a play into a long touchdown if we aren't assignment sound and get lined up correctly.”
There is some brief history between these two teams. Since 2004, they have played four times and are tied at two wins each. From 2004 to 2007, they played each other and alternated wins, with South Harrison winning the 2007 match up, 35-6.
This Saturday, it’s the next chapter in the ongoing KCI-GRC rivalry and a bigger prize than conference bragging rights is on the line – a spot in the Missouri Class 1 Semifinals goes to the victor as they take the next step towards a possible state championship.
1969: Dance Recital
(Cynthina Speckman – Joni Bocquin)
Miss Debbie Harless presented her pupils in a recital “Babes In Danceland” November 13.
The students who performed were: Roxanne McCulloch, Patty Smith, Nancy Stevens, Janis Mead, Teresa Huckaby, Sandy Strong, Joan Bocquin, Cynthia Speckman, Tracy Holman, Kelly Anderson, Cindy Cureton, Shonda and Rhonda Kennedy, Lori McKanna, Kim Hydeman, and Stefanie Taylor.
1989: “Tombstones for the Forgotten” Are Finished
HIRLEY BONER HONORED…..Shirley Boner was the guest at a lunch last Wednesday, Nov. 15th, 1989 at the Fire Station in Plattsburg. Awarding her the state MCB plaque are State Senator Pat Danner, center and Speaker of the House Bob Griffin.
Clinton Manor Nursing Home Administration and Staff became family and friends to the residents of the nursing home. Some residents have no known family or living relatives at the time of their death. A grave site and service is provided but the grave marker furnished is soon weathered and illegible. The Administration and staff of the home wanted their friends to be remembered with permanent head stones for the graves. A garage sale and bake sale was held at the American Legion Post in Plattsburg to help raise funds for the project. Commander of the Post, Mike Russell, took interest in the project and enlisted the help of others. Cam Collins, Plattsburg Lumber, donated materials and labor. Vance Vanderwerken, FFA sponsor; and FFA members provided labor to construct the name plaques for the stones. On May 23, 1989, ground was broke and the stone set by Mr. Collins, Mr. Russell and Ms. Boner. The residents/friends of Clinton Manor will be long remembered.
2009: LHS set for a Charlie Brown classic
Lathrop High School will be performing the play “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” for the 2009 fall play. They will be holding performances on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21, at 7 p.m. both evenings. Front row (left to right): Haley Bradley as Sally, Trey Bennett as Linus, Kevin Hieronymous as Charlie Brown, Raven Wilkinson as Lucy, Zak Heaviland as Schroeder. Second Row (extras) Sophie Khan, Jess Eads, Alyssia Scobee (the little read headed girl) Miranda Byrd and Becca Smith. Seated on doghouse, Darian James as Snoopy. Directed by Carmen Bennett.
The Wall That Heals won’t be coming to the area in 2020
The community of Gower won’t be hosting The Wall That Heals next year, but that won’t dampen its commitment to bringing the memorial to Northwest Missouri.
Cynthia Long, program Manager for The Wall That Heals – a scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – notified Gower Mayor Chip Holman on Wednesday, October 30, that Gower was not selected to be a host city for the wall in 2020.
Long said there were over 100 applications received requesting the wall for the 2020 calendar year, and that was a record-breaking year for requests to host the wall. Also in the email, she encouraged the Gower Area Chamber of Commerce – the entity that applied for the wall – to reapply for the 2021 tour. The applications process for that would open on May 25, 2020.
Although disappointed in this decision, members of the Gower Area Chamber of Commerce Committee are not deterred from reapplying to be a host on the 2021 tour.
“We were not selected to host the wall in 2020, but it is something that is important enough to the veterans and public in this area for us to continue to try,” said Tony Gardner, American Legion Commander and a member of the committee
The site the committee first selected to display the wall was not approved but the alternative site submitted was approved in early October.
The site schedule for 2020 is available for anyone interested and may be accessed on the wall’s website.
Plattsburg Chamber of Commerce Christmas Homes Tour
Saturday, December 7, 2019
9:00AM - 4:00PM
Join us during this festive season for a tour of five of Plattsburg's historic homes, beautifully decorated for the holidays. Homeowners will open their doors and invite you to enjoy the spirit of Christmas!
The Historical Society Museum will also be open for guests
Purchase online at: www.plattsburgchamber.org or in person at City Hall, Platte Valley Bank, or Bank of Plattsburg.
Tickets will be available at the Community Courtyard the day of the tour.
Plattsburg Community Christmas & Forever Christmas Bazaar
December 6 & 7