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West Newsmagazine 2-14-18

Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.

090 16 I SCHOOLS I

090 16 I SCHOOLS I Union, MO | 636.234.5090 New Patients are Always Welcome! February 14, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE 2 Car Garage A Lifestyle That Reflects Life Made Simple Sandy La Beau - Agent CALL DOLAN AND START PACKING Conveniently located at Hwy. 50 and Old Hwy. 50 East in Union, MO (1 mile east of East Central College) Follow Us On • 10 years experience as a certified physicians assistant • St. Louis University honor graduate • Multiple academic awards • Skin Cancer detection/treatment • Cosmetic services • Treatment for acne, eczema, psoriasis, hair/nail conditions and more Dr. Anne Riordan A Lifestyle That Reflects Life Made Simple Franklin county’s Finest 55+ Villa Living GrayHawk Village is a maintenance-free community for active adults 55 and over. Vaulted rooms of 1,400 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and 2 car garages. Here are some of the things we do so you’ll have carefree living... • Lawn Care with inground irrigation • Snow Removal • Emergency Call System • Auto Garage Door with Remote and Keyless Entry Now Offering Basements and NON-Basements CLUBHOUSE AMENTITIES INCLUDE: • Theater Room • Flat Screen TVs • Game/Card Tables • Kitchen Facilities • Shuffleboard Table • Gutter Cleaning • All Exterior Painting and Repairs • Cable TV • Slide-out Trays in Cabinets • Other Features Offered PHASE III in the $160s • Board Games • State-of-the-Art Fitness Room • Patio • Wireless Internet Access • Activities, Card Tournaments & Lectures Like & Follow our page for more coverage Share your photos with us for a chance to be featured as “Photo of the Week” Mari Janko, PA-C • Early morning and same-day appointments available • Sessions covered by all major insurance plans, MediCare and AARP supplemental plans 636-458-8400 16516 Manchester Road • Wildwood, MO By BONNIE KRUEGER Seyoon Choi is, by all accounts, your typical Parkway high school student – one who is making the most of the opportunities the district has afforded him. He plays the flute in concert band and percussion in marching band. He ran cross country his freshman year and joined a private hockey club a few months ago. What makes his pursuits extraordinary is that Choi is blind. He has no vision at all in his left eye but said he can see shadows and bright lights in his right. At the age of 4, he discovered he had an ear for music. Living in South Korea at the time, he was able to reproduce songs on the piano that his mother played for him on a CD player. While he eventually learned basic music theory, Choi said he can identify and play a note just by hearing it. Building upon his natural ability, Choi also learned how to play guitar before moving to the U.S. at the end of his fifth-grade year. He stopped playing because of the natural tendency for guitarists to develop callused fingertips, which inhibited his ability to read Braille, which he relearned as an English as a Second Language [ESL] student at Central Middle. ESL also offered Choi an unexpected opportunity. Amanda Kraft, his ESL teacher’s assistant, played a pivotal role in Choi’s pursuit of cross country participation. “His adapted PE teacher and I would talk fairly often and, toward the end of his eighth-grade year, she said that he was interested in running boys cross country at the high school. [She said] they were looking for a running buddy for Seyoon. I said if they didn’t find someone, I would be interested. They didn’t find one and, when cross country started in August, I joined him for his first practice,” Kraft said. Kraft served as his eyes, tethered together for safety, running five or six days a week and attending most of the meets. Of Choi’s dedication, she said, “In the end, he worked so hard and improved his time [so much] that I could barely keep up with him anymore.” It also was during middle school that Choi learned to play the flute, a talent he continued in high school. As for marching band, Central High Band Director Doug Hoover, who has been at Central for 33 years, said Choi seemed a “natural fit.” “Seyoon is such a congenial, easy going and kind student. He navigates the school @WESTNEWSMAG WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM Believing is seeing for Parkway Central High student Seyoon Choi and the campus so easily that we forget that he has limitations or needs special accommodations.” For marching band, those accommodations meant playing percussion – specifically the bass drum or triangles on some of the smaller percussion parts. Playing percussion allowed Choi to remain stationary, only needing guidance to get into formation on the field. However, when Central’s marching band had the opportunity to attend a Disney clinician workshop and march at Disney’s Magic Kingdom this past winter, Choi didn’t hesitate but he did make a performance change. “Since there were limited rehearsals, we thought it would be safest if I carried the banner and Mr. Hoover walked beside me as a guide, giving me clues about pavement changes,” Choi explained. “I loved it and met lots of great people. We can always do things we put our mind to; using adaptations, you can always make it work!” Seyoon Choi [second from right] and fellow Central High classmates pose in front of Epcot Center. Choi recently joined the St. Louis Blind Hockey Club. A partnership between the St. Louis Blues and The Spirit of Discovery Park, the club is open to individuals who have a visual ability of 20 percent or less. Last month, Choi and the club had the opportunity to play with the Blues at Scottrade Center, which he said was an amazing experience. With his junior year quickly winding down, Choi is looking toward his future. He plans to attend the St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind summer orientation program, which is an intensive residential training program for independent living. He said it will help prepare him to attend college, where he will study sound and media technology engineering. “Seyoon is such an inspiration, not only to his classmates but also his teachers. Anytime I think I am not capable or don’t have the energy to try something, I think about all he has accomplished. Certainly, if Seyoon can do it, the least I can do is try,” Kraft said.

FACEBOOK.COM/WESTNEWSMAGAZINE WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM February 14, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE I SPORTS I 17 37 Clarkson Rd. 1 Block North of Manchester (636) 527-2227 It's Cold Ouside ... Warm Up with a Cup of Hot Chocolate and a Fresh Donut at The Donut Palace & Creative Cookie Kitchen Family Owned & Operated for Over 20 years! Become our Facebook Fan Now Hiring 99 ¢ KITCHEN COOKIE With the purchase of $4.99 & up With Coupon Only! Limit One Per Coupon Offers may not be combined! Expires 2-21-18 10 % OFF Your DONUT Purchase Maximum $5 Discount With Coupon Only! Limit One Per Coupon Offers may not be combined! Expires 2-21-18 The Principia girls basketball team at the Affton Tournament sports briefs By WARREN MAYES Principia girls win tourney The short-handed Principia Panthers won their second basketball tournament of the season with a 58-49 decision over Brentwood in the eighth annual Affton Winter Classic. “I laugh a little at this because, in some ways, we were just trying to survive. Due to school trips, players not feeling their best or physically able to play, we played this entire tournament with six varsity players the first game, and five the last two games,” Principia coach Shad Nichols said. “For the last game, we only had six players total, including one up from the JV. “It concluded a stretch of four games in five days with only five players. It was tough but the team showed up each day excited to play with what they had, and persevered through four quarters with minimal to zero substitutions.” Senior Kate Hinds had a career-high 26 points in the title game over Brentwood. Hinds and teammate Jordan Fredrickson were named to the all-tournament team. Whitfield girls win tourney For a second consecutive year, the Whitfield girls basketball team scored a 59-51 win over Metro in the 38th annual Queen of Hearts Tournament at Villa Duchesne. Junior forward Aijha Blackwell scored a game-high 31 points. Junior guard Nia Griffin added 11 points for the Warriors. Senior Taylor Lawson-Hicks and junior forward Tajah Foster-Walker each contributed nine points each. MICDS girls win tourney The MICDS Rams girls basketball team reached its third tournament championship game and captured its second title of the season. MICDS defeated Ladue 66-57 to win the recent Lindbergh Tournament. Sophomore forward Jessica Brooks led the Rams with 24 points. Senior forward Lindsey Parks added 23 points. Both Brooks and Parks were named to the all-tournament team. This was MICDS’ second year playing in the tournament. The Rams lost in the championship game to Jackson last season. Earlier this season, the Rams fell 61-60 to Lutheran North in the Lutheran St. Charles Tournament. In December, the Rams won their own MICDS Holiday Tournament. High school hockey It was a record-breaking season for the Priory Rebels hockey team. The Rebels finished with a sparkling 20-1 record in the regular season. That was good enough to get Priory back to playing in the Challenge Cup, the top postseason tournament in the Mid-States Club Hockey Association. Coach Jeff Smith is happy with how his team played this season. “The team has exceeded all expectations,” Smith said. “The boys led Mid-States in total goals and goal differential for the first time in team history. Given our youth, we can’t ask for much more.” The 20-1 regular-season record is the best in team history. “Two current assistant coaches are Priory alums who played on the Wickenheiser Cup championship teams roughly a decade ago [2007]. Both say the talent on this team exceeds the talent back then. We’re incredibly proud,” Smith said. The only blemish on the Rebels’ record came Jan. 1 to MICDS. The Rams scored a 3-1 victory. Earlier in the season, Priory had beaten MICDS 6-1. Senior Scott Berni sparked the offense. He scored 41 goals in the regular season, leading the league for the most goals scored. “Scott is a terrific leader. His impact is beyond words,” Smith said. “He’s highly skilled and patient with the puck. He led Mid-States in goals and overall scoring this season, so that tells you a lot. That’s not where it ends with him though. He makes everyone on the ice with him better due to his selflessness. He’s also a 4.0 student and a mentor to junior schoolers at Priory. Not sure there’s a more well-rounded young man at the school.” But the Rebels were not a one-man band. Smith noted that everyone plays a role in the success of the team. “Sean McAtee and Jesse Au have been rocks on our blue line,” Smith said. “Both goalies finished in the top 10 in goals against with save percentages over .900. Logan Boatright and Sawyer Lownsdale are both sophomores who finished in the top 20 in overall scoring. “Those are the numbers guys, but we’ve gotten great leadership from juniors Chris Friemel, Sean Dolan, Mike O’Keefe and Patrick Carr who never miss a team event and work incredibly hard to get better every day. They lead the young guys by example.” High school wrestling The defending Class 1 state champ Whitfield Warriors won the Kyle Thrasher Tournament at Francis Howell. Whitfield captured the two-day, 36-team event with 201 points. Defending Class 4 champion Staley of Kansas City was second with 190.5 points. Lafayette finished third with 172.5 and Eureka was fourth with 136. Warriors senior Mike McAteer, a threetime state champion who signed with Army last November, won at 126 points. McAteer earned a 6-2 decision over Eureka’s Ryan Lester. It was his second Thrasher MICDS Rams at the Lindbergh Tournament See SPORTS, page 18