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 Round-up

Written by David Green.

Fayette Boys: The third meeting of Fayette vs. Edon wasn’t much different from the other two—close contests that went down to the final seconds of play.

The final meeting this year—last Wednesday at the sectional tournament in Bryan—was more like the first contest, one that was decided in overtime.

The difference this time around was that Edon came out on top at the end, winning 58-51. They got the victory at the line.

“We were forced to make fouls and they kept making them,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “We had a decent night with free throws, but we didn’t get to the line as much. We need to be more aggressive against a zone.”

The Eagles missed only four tries, shooting 10 of 14, but the Bombers went to the line 26 times and converted on 18. They scored 10 free throws in the overtime session.

Austin Hylander’s 22-point night was cooling down by the fourth quarter under heavy pressure by Edon. He still played an important role, grabbing four fourth-quarter steals and often getting the ball to Eliott Richardson who had three buckets in the final quarter.

Richardson tied the game with more than two minutes to play and the Eagles played for a last shot to win.

“We held on to the ball for two minutes, but the last shot didn’t go in,” Mitchell said.

Edon came through with 14 points in overtime—more than they scored in any of the first four quarters.

Richardson finished the game with eight rebounds, what Mitchell called a solid defense against Edon’s big players underneath.

Morenci Girls: It wouldn’t have taken much, not the way Sand Creek was matching—even exceeding—Morenci’s turn-over pace.

Just a few more buckets and it would have been Morenci’s girls taking on Madison in the district finals Friday at Whiteford.

But the Bulldogs couldn’t get the shots to drop. Despite coming back to pull within six points late in the game, Morenci wasn’t able to catch up and dropped the contest 43-37.

In the finals Friday night, Sand Creek walloped Madison 69-37.

With nine Aggie turn-overs in the first  quarter and eight by Morenci, it took both teams time to put many points on the scoreboard. Sand Creek led 6-3 after a quarter and finally got its offense into gear in the second period.

For the Bulldogs, the scoring surge never arrived until the third quarter and that made the difference in the outcome.

Jessica Jones hit a two and a three and notched a pair of blocks, but Sand Creek was on top 20-10 at intermission.

After the break, Jones came out to can a three-pointer and Morgan McVay followed with a pair from outside the arc to pull within three. But a string of five turn-overs and some missed shots allowed the Aggies to lead by as many as 15 points late in the third quarter.

Morenci went on an 11-2 run to make a comeback win look possible.

Jones and Chanler McCaskey each hit threes as the Bulldogs whittled the lead down to six points with a minute to play.

Morenci was forced to foul and Sand Creek put half of them through the hoop to stay ahead. Jackie Paris hit a final three-pointer with six seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs had run out of time.

Morenci Boys: Morenci played it out perfectly Thursday at Clinton, but ended up an inch away from a victory.

They trimmed the score to two points on a three-pointer by Justin Swett, then took a chance that the Redskins would miss at the foul line in the final 20 seconds.

Clinton made half of their tries, but Clayton Wolf added a pair for the Bulldogs and Morenci had possession for a last shot to tie the game.

Jacob Bovee launched a three-pointer just before the buzzer. The ball bounced off the rim and Clinton held on for a 49-46 victory to end the league season.

“The kids didn’t quit,” coach Tim Bovee said. “They came back, but it breaks down to simple things.”

Simple things such as shooting 50 percent from the line in a three-point loss, and missing a handful of lay-ups.

“We played consistently,” Bovee said, “we just had to make the shots.”

The contest was fairly close throughout, but the Bulldogs were generally playing catch-up.

Matt Hoadley scored just before half-time to make it a two-point game and Wolf scored early in the third to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter.

Clinton went up by eight, but Morenci came back to take its first lead since early on with a bucket by Bovee at 2:28 in the third.

The Redskins went ahead by nine with less than three minutes to play, but again the Bulldogs closed the gap. Bovee scored a bucket and a free throw followed by a pair of free-throws by Swett to make it a three-point game with 35 seconds remaining.

Clinton made one of two free throws before Swett sunk his three leading up to Morenci’s final attempt to tie the game.

Coach Bovee was pleased with Wolf’s physical game and strong showing at both ends of the court. He also mentioned Devin Martinez’s play under the boards.

Bovee led scoring with 16, just ahead of Wolf’s 15.

Morenci Wrestling:  If Morenci’s Jeffrey Nofziger faced teammate Kyle McClain at the regional wrestling tournament Saturday, one of them was going to qualify for the state tournament.

Coach Scott Clark knew that if McClain won his second match of the day, one of those two would advance.

McClain got the job done. An 8-0 decision against Manchester put him up against his teammate for the second weekend in a row.

The bout produced a closer contest than the previous week—so close that Clark needed to check the scoreboard when the match ended to see who won.

“Kyle gave Jeffrey everything he wanted,” Clark said. “I had to look up at the scoreboard to see if Kyle was awarded some late points.”

He wasn’t and the senior’s season came to an end in a 5-4 loss. Instead, Nofziger will advance to the Div. IV tournament March 6 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Nofziger defaulted in his final match of the day due to a recurring rib cage injury.

“We have two weeks to get healed up and we’ll see what we can do,” Clark said.

As a fourth place finisher, Nofziger is bound to face a tough opening match against the winner of another region in the state. The junior goes to state with a 23-9 record.

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