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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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