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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Meghan Smith earns all-state honors 2011.06.29

Written by David Green.

meghansmithBy DAVID GREEN

That home run in the regional softball finals sealed the deal for Morenci’s Meghan Smith.

Driving the ball over the fence against one of the premier pitchers in the state caught the attention of many coaches.

“Her home run off of Summerfield’s Emily Puterbaugh at regionals got a lot of attention at the all-state selection meeting,” said Morenci coach Kay Johnson. “Puterbaugh was one of the top Div. 4 pitchers in the state for the last two  years.”

Johnson, of course, is well aware of Smith’s prowess at the plate. The recent graduate led the team with 37 RBIs, 13 doubles and four home runs. She was second in triples with three, second in hits with 44, and second in batting average at .376.

“She also led the team in walks,” Johnson noted. “She wasn’t being given good pitches.”

Every team has its offensive leader, but Smith was part of a team from the Tri-County Conference—a league known for softball champions. Each team’s schedule and results must be included when honor teams are chosen to help judge the quality of competition. This year the Tri-County Conference produced two state champions, up one from the previous season.

“Our  strong league with Summerfield and Clinton and our non-league schedule that included Adrian, Ida, Blissfield, Manchester, Allendale, etc., qualify that the stats presented are not against a season of poor competition,” Johnson said.

Coach Johnson was impressed with the improvement in Smith’s swing this season—something she worked hard toward improving.

“Last year, she was a pull hitter,” Johnson said. “This season she was able to go with the pitch and hit it up the middle or to right center. To me, this separates the good hitters from the average ones. Once hitters gain confidence to wait on an outside pitch, they are able to hit to all fields.”

Smith could feel the difference herself.

“I could tell that my hitting had improved,” she said. “It was as if I had become a more confident hitter and I was actually having fun. It felt amazing. It could also have been my realization of the senior season and the fact that I had to be a leader.

Softball has always been her favorite sport, and although she could have excelled at track, it was an easy choice to decide which way to go when she reached high school.

Johnson said Smith took the game seriously once she decided she wanted to be good. She put in a lot of effort toward improving her skills and knowledge.

“Meghan would constantly ask questions at practice on any situation that needed more clarification,” Johnson said.

If you’re going to do something well, Smith says, you have to approach it whole-heartedly.

Her sports career was sidelined for a season due to a torn knee ligament and she was placed at first base as she recovered during her first season back. Centerfield was where she wanted to play, but that wasn’t going to happen with her wounded knee.

“I would have rather played anywhere else but first, but I guess you could say it grew on me,” she said.

With her height and quick reflexes, Smith committed only three errors during her senior season.

Her injuries didn’t end with the first ACL tear. It happened again at the end of the volleyball season in her senior year—this time on the left leg. Fortunately, her recovery was surprisingly fast.

She feels as though she still has some competition owed her due to the time she missed. She plans to play basketball for Calvin College, but now she’s thinking maybe softball should be her choice.

“I may try to do both because they have a young team and my basketball coach actually suggested doing both when I went for a visit.” she said.

“If they are willing to let me, I would love to try. I cannot see my athletic career ending now. I have about two years left, at least, because of my injuries.”

• Smith is the daughter of Tom and Maureen Smith. Her teammate, Tess Ramsey, was given honorable mention on the all-state squad as a second baseman.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015