The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2002.11.27 Too late for dodge ball

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Some people complain about being born too late. They look back at the way things were a few generations ago and they wish they could have been a part of it.

For others it’s just the opposite. Born too early, they didn’t have the opportunity to take part in what’s available now. There were no jet airplanes/TVs/computers, etc. available when they grew up.

The too late/too early dilemma entered my mind during this season of football. In regard to the so-called pigskin, I guess I was born at just the right time. No regrets, other than the fact that I scored only two touchdowns.

I still think I was cheated out of another one during an eighth grade game, but superintendent Henry Geisler, serving as referee, ruled that my forward motion was halted and the play was dead. Actually, I broke free and scored when those incompetent defenders couldn’t bring me down. Mr. Geisler acted too fast, but what can you do?

If I would have been born earlier, I’d have been part of an era when a football helmet had no face mask. If I’d been born a generation later, I would be part of the current era when football is a year ’round endeavor—at least for the dedicated players who are expected to hang out in the weight room all year and grow abnormally large necks.

Those guys are easy to spot and I know I wouldn’t want to be part of it. I notched six years of football during my era in the 1960s, but I wouldn’t make it these days. I don’t think I’d be the kind of football player that contemporary coaches would appreciate.

I suppose there are some kids today who think they were born too late. They missed the days when football started around Labor Day and ended in mid-November. That was it until Labor Day.

Some kids today were born too late for dodge ball. A few schools are dropping it from their gym classes. Now before you start complaining about “political correctness” and all that stuff, listen to the arguments.

First of all, dodge ball supporters say the game provides an opportunity to teach throwing mechanics, catching skills, agility, hand-eye coordination, and lateral and forward movement.

Is that what really happens? Physical education class is supposed to develop skills, but look what happens in dodge ball. The clumsy and the slow are the first ones to get hit. They aren’t learning anything by sitting on the sidelines, but that might just be where they feel most comfortable.

Dodge ball has made it onto some writer’s Gym Class Hall of Shame. It’s called a punishing game that pits “athletic kids against clumsy ones, aggressive against timid.”

In 1995 a PE task force suggested national standards for students in every grade to achieve. For someone in a small town, these guidelines might take a while to put into place. Get the buses lined up for field trips, too.

A 12th grader should be able to participate in a tennis match with some consistency; pass the Red Cross intermediate swimming requirements; navigate a kayak through white water; successfully play racquetball; demonstrate skills for a black belt in karate.

Here’s a quote from “The Death of Dodge Ball” in Northwest Education Magazine.

In schools where PE has managed to hang on, enlightened teachers are introducing kids to activities they can take with them through the years. Instead of dodging a hard rubber ball, kids are mastering cool moves on inline skates and cross-country skis.

Instead of doing a million jumping jacks, they're learning to maneuver mountain bikes, balance unicycles, bounce on pogo sticks, juggle plastic bowling pins—even manipulate wheelchairs with ease. They're paddling white-water kayaks. Dancing to Latin music. Fishing for rainbow trout. Climbing vertical rock walls.

 We wouldn’t have enough wheelchairs or pogo sticks to go around here in the small town.

And lacking trout, exposed bedrock and a white water river, I guess we’ll have to stick with football. Into the weight room we go.  You’ll know us by our necks.

    – Nov. 27, 2002 

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