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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Chanler McCaskey makes all-state team 2010.06.30

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

chanler.all-state.jpgYou might say it runs in the family.

1983: Phil McCaskey named an all-state football player.

1984: Ronda (Sutherland) McCaskey became Morenci’s first and only all-state volleyball player.

2010: Their daughter Chanler joined the ranks as an all-state softball player.

The recent Morenci graduate became the 15th Bulldog to earn all-state softball honors through coach Kay Johnson’s program.

In more than three decades of leading Morenci softball teams, Johnson wonders if McCaskey might be the finest third basemen she’s had.

“I don’t know if any of the others were as complete as Chanler,” Johnson said. “She really developed into an all-around player.”

Quickness, a strong arm and a feared presence at the plate.

That last quality wasn’t known during McCaskey’s first two years with the team.

She played left field in her freshman year, but soon earned a starting position at third base. She wasn’t given too many opportunities at the plate, however.

“I only had a few plate appearances because I couldn’t hit and I had quite a few strikeouts, so someone else hit for me,” McCaskey recalls.

Eventually she realized that wasn’t the way she wanted to finish her softball career.

“She worked on her swing form more than anyone else,” Johnson said, “and there was a change last year.”

McCaskey worked hard and gained confidence. Soon it all clicked, she said, and hitting became a strong point of her game.

The girl who used to strike out a lot finished her senior year with a .414 batting average, about 150 points higher than the team average.

She led the team with 41 hits and scored 42 runs. She finished with 31 RBIs and plenty of extra bases—24 of her 41 hits.

“She didn’t stop at first base,” Coach Johnson said. “When she put the ball in play, she did it with some authority.”

Her senior year produced 12 doubles, five triples and seven home runs—four of them over the fence.

That puts her in second place for homers in the Bulldog record book, behind Anna Sell’s 11. Sell batted back in the days before most schools had an outfield fence, when a hard hit ball kept on rolling.

Johnson said McCaskey earned respect at the plate and recalls two games this season when she received intentional walks.

McCaskey slammed doubles against two of the premier pitchers in the state, Johnson said, which gives some perspective to her batting average. Her quickness on the bases resulted in 19 steals.

Her quick first step also allowed her to play closer to home from her third base position. She developed into a “super arm,” Johnson said, and she cut her errors down to six this season.

McCaskey will play for Alma College next season.

“They’re really pleased with her,” Coach Johnson said. “Her athleticism, her agility and her versatility.”

“Softball is my favorite sport and definitely my best sport, but volleyball is fun to play and something that I would also like to continue at Alma College,” McCaskey said.

There was a time that neither softball nor volleyball were at the front of her mind.

“I started playing baseball and softball when I was five, but I was also a gymnast and I thought that was my calling,“ she said, “but I can’t even do a proper cartwheel.”

Then it was basketball that she thought might accompany her to college, but that wasn’t clicking like she expected.

In the end, softball was the sport to which she devoted the most time and effort, and that’s the one that will stay with her.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016