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.
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    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.
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Sports roundup 2.20

Written by David Green.

Fayette boys: Many people will miss Stryker’s unique basketball court when The Stage is replaced by a new gymnasium next year, but the place left a bad impression in the minds of Fayette’s boys team.

The Eagles visited Stryker Friday to close out play in the old gym. The Panthers responded with a “historically” good shooting night to lambaste Fayette 66-38.

The game didn’t start off in such a lop-sided fashion. Fayette managed to keep pace through the first quarter, trailing 10-6, but Stryker broke loose in the second period to go ahead 32-10.

That’s it, said Eagle coach Todd Mitchell: Only 10 points on the board for the entire first half.

Stryker took another six-point advantage in the third quarter and the teams played even up in the fourth. There was no catching up with the Panthers’ shooting pace.

“They shot 60 percent from both the two- and three-point range,” Mitchell said. “We shot 28 percent.”

The Eagles wouldn’t give up trying to hit from the outside, but only three of 17 tries found their mark.

“We just weren’t attacking the basket,” Mitchell said, “and so we weren’t getting to the line.”

Evan Hibbard was the leading Fayette scorer with nine points.

SECTIONALS—The Eagles enter the sectional tournament tonight at Bryan High School with the aim of posting their second victory against Edon. After the regular season, both teams won once.

The first time around Fayette won in overtime. More recently, the Bombers came through with a two-point margin of victory.

Fayette plays the second game tonight, scheduled at 8 p.m., following the sectional opener between Stryker and Edgerton at 6:15.

The winners meet at 8 p.m. Friday before action moves on to Napoleon.

Morenci boys: Morenci’s long-distance attack against Whiteford wasn’t enough here Thursday, not with the Bobcats living off the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs hit an unusually high 13 three-point shots—a bonus of 13 points—but Whiteford put 23 of 28 through from the line to win 77-66.

Morenci came back to pull within five points midway through the fourth quarter, but fouls got in the way and Whiteford maintained its lead.

Seven Morenci players scored from outside the arc, the Bulldogs went to the line only six times.

Jacob Bovee led scoring for Morenci with 16 points, including four three-pointers.

HUDSON—When Hudson visited Saturday for a non-league contest, it was  Morenci that faced a barrage of outside shooting, with the Tigers connecting on 10 shots. They also outpaced Morenci at the line and went home with a 67-52 win.

It proved to be a good trip for Hudson as they picked up only their fourth win of the season.

Bovee was the leader for the Bulldogs with 20 points. Morenci hit 75 percent from the line, but only had eight chances.

• The regular season comes to a close Thursday at Clinton when the Bulldogs try to pick up a final TCC victory against the league’s newest entry.

The Bulldogs drew a bye in the opening round of district tournament play next week at Blissfield.

Morenci plays the winner of the Whiteford-Blissfield game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.

At 7:30 that night, Sand Creek faces the winner of the Madison-Summerfield contest.

Morenci girls: Good looks, but not too many baskets.

That’s how Morenci’s first half went when Lenawee Christian School’s girls team visited Feb. 12.

But after the half-time break, the Bulldogs got both the looks and the baskets and went on to stop the Cougars 49-33.

“We just needed to get the ball in the hole,” said Morenci coach Jim Yatzek, and that’s what he got.

Starting off the second half trailing 20-16, Morenci broke the game open with a 15-3 quarter. Most everyone got in on the scoring act.

Nicolette Swimmer started it off, then Chanler McCaskey tied the game. Next it was Jackie Paris’s turn with a three-pointer, followed by a bucket from Morgan McVay and then another from Jessica Jones.

Brooke Barrett was next in line as the Bulldogs went on top by nine points at the end of the quarter and 16 at the end of the game.

“They’re a decent shooting team,” Yatzek said about the visitors, “but we’re playing a darn good defense now. I thought they had a pretty difficult time with our defense all night long.”

Paris hit three three-pointers and finished with 10 points, along with Swimmer and McCaskey. Paris also collected seven rebounds. Jones finished with three blocks and seven boards. Swimmer grabbed six steals.

Morenci wrestling: Three Morenci wrestlers will advance to regional competition Saturday after top-four finishes in the district tournament. Two of those Bulldogs will compete in the same weight class.

Dustin Roller came through with a fourth place finish in the 130-pound class. Jeffrey Nofziger and Kyle McClain both made it through at 145 pounds.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better with having them both at 145,” coach Scott Clark said. “It stayed close and they wrestled hard.”

Nofziger took third place by topping his teammate in the consolation finals.

It made for a relaxing bout for Clark and his assistant, Jesse Bach, who didn’t have to worry about which one came out on top.

With three wrestlers qualifying at 145 pounds, Clark moved McClain up to the 152-pound class for most of the season.

Clark was pleased with McClain’s finish since the two-time regional qualifier was seeded down at number nine despite having beaten some of the those ranked ahead of him.

Clark said Nofziger never looked better this season. He’s been fighting injuries and will go into the regionals with a 21-7 record. McClain and Roller are the only two wrestlers to advance out of the districts with losing records.

Roller opened with a 22-9 decision against Grass Lake before losing to a returning state champion from Hudson in a 3:12 pin.

He came back with a 19-4 decision against Michigan Center and lost in the finals to a regional qualifier from Sand Creek.

Nofziger pinned a Reading opponent at 4:22 and out-pointed a Jonesville wrestler 21-5. He lost to the eventual champion from Addison, 3-0, and came back in the closing seconds to defeat Grass Lake 6-5.

He defeated his teammate 4-3.

McClain opened with a 3:13 pin against Union City and lost to the Addison champ, 15-3.

He came back to defeat Jonesville 7-2 and upset a Hudson wrestler 3-2.

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