2008.12.24 Tim Decker: Coach Tom Saylor

Written by David Green.

An Opportunity that Only Comes Once in a Lifetime


I read, “It’s Just High School Football.” I played for Coach Saylor; it was a major commitment and it was an experience of a lifetime. I wish everyone could have had the experience and thrills he and his staff gave to a select group of young men, a small community and a small school district during his time in Hudson.

We packed our stadium for every home game. With every road game we brought large crowds to other school stadiums and large revenue to their schools. The same has been true with select Morenci programs through the years. During the years I have lived in Morenci, I have seen some great teams and I have witnessed people coming from all around to see how good our teams really were. Our school pride is second to none.

During the 1940s and 50s, Morenci set standards for Michigan high school football. Some of their records still stand to this day. Coach Saylor was always emphasizing you will remember and respect those that set the standards before you. I moved to Morenci in 1981. Harold Hall was coaching. He demanded respect, commitment and effort from his players and he got it. I thought of mentioning some of the exceptional names of outstanding players I have seen in Morenci, but what comes to mind is the part of the game that Coach Saylor always stressed—Team.

Coach Saylor has always been huge on “Team.” Team—there was never one person more important than the team. With a true team, a comradeship develops and can last for a lifetime.

A good coach—and that is what I consider Tom Saylor to be—can help develop character in young men. That quality is something that will live on long after the football experience has ended. His door was always open to us. I still reflect from time to time on the demands that were required of us to be a successful team and what Coach Saylor taught us. Nothing is given to you, you have to make the commitment, put out the effort and earn your rewards. It is never easy to be successful or to be a winner.

Coach Saylor always stressed the importance of family, church, school, team, pride, preparation and effort. These values are first taught at home, but then need to be stressed outside the home. I have tried to live by these values all of my life. Coach Saylor was adamant that you are not to embarrass your parents, your community or your school. This philosophy, if embraced, helps build character needed in young people today.

In closing, I would like to wish Coach Saylor, his staff and his new Morenci football team good luck. I would recommend to any young person that may have a desire to play football to go play. Coach Saylor will find a place for you and you will be part of a successful team. You can’t ask for a better chance to grow as a person and to be able to compete at a higher level than you ever thought you could than the one that Coach Saylor presents to you now.

– Tim Decker

Coomer St., Morenci

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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