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.
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Sports Round-Up 4.30

Written by David Green.

Fayette Softball: Fayette gave Hilltop a good scare in the seventh inning Thursday, but threat never moved onto the scoreboard.

Two runners were left stranded and the Cadets went on to post a 2-0 BBC win.

“It was a battle of defenses,” coach Sheila Killam said. “There were some great plays by outfielders Katelyn Downing, Kate Borer and Leah Brinegar. They kept Fayette in the game with six put-outs.”

Hilltop got its defense work done at the plate. Cadet pitcher Jagielski struck out 13 batters, including the final two of the game.

In the top of the seventh, Brittany Seiler drew a walk and Danni Wyse singled down the third base line. Both stole a base, but two strikeouts ended the game.

Fayette’s Shenae Nuoffer struck out one, walked two and gave up five hits.

ANTWERP—Rachel Seiler returned to the lineup following an injury and pitched five innings in a 5-0 loss Friday to Antwerp. Seiler fanned two, walked three, gave up three hits and hit two batters.

Nuoffer came in for relief in the sixth and gave up one hit.

Borer had the Eagles’ only hit of the game.

HOLGATE—Nuoffer struck out nine Holgate batters, but she also allowed a few extra base hits.

Fayette was on top 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Tigers came up with three runs on two doubles and two triples for a 5-4 win.

Wyse batted two for three with a single and double and three RBIs. She and Mara Raker each stole a base and Raker batted two for four. Downing had four throws for put-outs.

In the second game of the double-header, Rachel Seiler finished with 10 strikeouts and only one walk, but defensive problems led to a 9-0 win for Holgate.

Nuoffer and Seiler combined pitching duties Monday in a 10-0 loss to Edon. Tricia Bates had Fayette’s only hit.

Fayette Track: Two Fayette boys bettered their season-best marks Saturday at the Hicksville Invitational in a competitive meet highlighted by six records.

Eliott Richardson wasn’t too far behind the meet record discus toss set by North Central’s Scott Zimmer at 141-5. Richardson gave his best toss of the season at 136-7 for third place.

Austin Hylander improved on his best 110-meter hurdle time of the season with a third-place :16.7. Edgerton’s Gaskill won at :16.1.

Shelby Franks took third in the long jump at 17-9 and sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at :44.8. Montpelier’s Devon Zuver set a record in that event at :41.4

Nathan Stoltzfus placed third in the 3200-meter run (11:05) and fourth in the 1600-meter run (4:52). Darrell Randall was next in line at 5:00.

The Eagles’ 3200-meter relay team (Keefer, Colegrove, Randall, Stoltzfus) placed fourth at 9:14.5 and the 400-meter relay team came in sixth.

Randall took fifth in the 800-meter run at 2:16 and Dakota Shay was fifth in the 200-meter dash at :24.6. Hicksville’s Fofanah set a meet record at :22.7.

In the girls’ competition, Erica Goeltzenleuchter won a pair of distance titles, winning the 1600-meter run at 6:04 and the 3200-meter run at 13:03.

Points were also earned by Elisha Hartman in the 400-meter dash (fourth, 1:08.2) and the 1600-meter relay team (sixth, 5:12).

Morenci Baseball: Bulldog baseball coach Roger Pontious says he could be happy with four-inning games. Things tend to fall apart after that.

Morenci had a 5-4 lead going against Whitmore Lake here Wednesday, but a six-run fifth inning by the Trojans led to a 14-6 TCC victory.

“We scored enough for what should have been a win,” Pontious said, “but too many mistakes take us out of games.”

With a lot of inexperienced freshmen and sophomores on the field, mistakes are bound to happen, Pontious said, and it’s taking its toll.

“The young guys get down from their mistakes and then they make more,” he said. “They don’t yet realize they can shake them off and come back.”

Steven Pontious opened on the mound for the Bulldogs. In three innings, he struck out three, walked two and gave up four unearned runs.

Nick Wilson pitched two innings with two strikeouts, three walks and four earned runs. Cody Long finished it off, giving up one hit while striking out four and walking three. Morenci committed seven errors.

The Bulldogs scored one run in the first inning on an RBI double by Wilson, a freshman batting .429. In the second, Kyle McClain tripled and scored on a base hit by Garrett Keller.

Wilson, Long and Brett Bovee all scored on errors in the third inning. In the seventh, Pontious led off with a single, followed by a base hit from Michael Snyder. Wilson drove in one run with a double.

Loren DelMonico had two hits for the game.

B-D—Twelve Bulldog batters struck out at home Friday in a 9-4 loss to Britton-Deerfield. The visitors were aided by seven Morenci errors.

The Bulldogs threatened with some serious scoring in the opening inning, but ended up with only one run. Anthony Barron doubled and came home on a base hit by Pontious. Snyder followed with a base hit. Pontious belted a double in the fifth inning to score Barron.

DelMonico came home in the sixth inning after drawing a walk and advancing on a single by Pontious.

Pontious ended the game batting three for four and driving home three runs. Wilson drove in the fourth run.

Devin Martinez pitched five innings with seven strikeouts, five walks and no earned runs. Long and Barron each pitched one inning, neither with an earned run.

Morenci Softball: The Britton-Deerfield win came easily for Morenci’s softball crew. The Whitmore Lake victory was more of a challenge, but the Bulldogs (4-0, 6-1) prevailed.

Morenci’s 7-2 win against Whitmore Lake was mostly of the slow-but-steady variety.

Brooke Barrett started it off for Morenci with a base hit, then advanced on sacrifices by Rachael Rutkowski and Jade Pfund. She scored when Nicolette Swimmer was safe on an error.

With two out in the second, Denae Merillat and Barrett singled and came home on Rutkowski’s single. Pfund brought Rutkowski home on a double for a 4-0 lead.

Whitmore Lake put two runners on base with no outs in the fourth, but only one came home on an error.

Morenci added one in its half of the inning on a walk to Rutkowski, a double by Pfund and ground ball by Swimmer.

Three errors led to another Trojan run in the fifth, but Morenci matched that on a double by Tess Ramsey and a ground ball by Megan Cox.

Morenci’s final run came home in the sixth. Swimmer reached base with a single and scored on a botched pick-off attempt.

On the mound, Pfund struck out eight, walked none and gave up three hits.

BRITTON-DEERFIELD—No hits, no walks, just one base runner. Pfund came that close to a perfect game as she fanned a dozen B-D batters in the Bulldogs’ 11-0 win here Friday.

Morenci opened the game with a six-run first inning. Rutkowski singled and scored on a triple by Pfund. Swimmer sacrificed and Salena Martinez singled to set up a two-run single by Mariah Bovee. Merillat also drove in a run with a base hit.

Freshman Meghan Smith led off with a triple in the third inning and scored on an error. Pfund drove home a runner for an 11-0 lead.

Tia Tompkins singled in the fourth inning, but was stranded with Smith who reached base when she was hit by a pitch.

Morenci Track: Phoenix Duncan did her part when Morenci’s track teams took the trip to Whitmore Lake April 22.

The freshman claimed four first-place finishes, but the Trojans won the meet 97-55.

Nichole Elarton won the discus and shot put, and along with Duncan’s wins in the high jump and long jump, the Bulldogs were on top 28-16 after field events.

In the boys’ competition, Morenci claimed 10 of 16 first place finishes, but the Tri-County Conference four-place scoring system gave Whitmore Lake an 82-69 victory. Had the traditional three-place scoring been followed, said coach Brad Brown, the Bulldogs would have won by 10 points.

Chas Frey came home with three wins while Lucas Johnson and Zach Phillips each claimed two. Dustin Roller and Alex Burton each won one event.

Johnson extended his discus best by 12 feet to 138-1, Phillips turned in his top 1600-meter run at 4:44 and Frey gave his top 400-meter run at :53.8. Duncan gave her best high jump effort at 4-10.

At Pittsford’s Crume Invitational April 19, Johnson gave his career best shot put at 43-10 and Frey notched a personal best in the 200-meter dash at :23.3.

The 1600-meter relay team (Burton, Phillips, Frey and Swett) gave its season best at 3:38.

A personal best was also recorded by Elarton in the discus (95-3).

Morenci Golf: Morenci’s golf team has completed just two outings so far this season—the first year the sport was moved to the spring—but the Bulldogs showed strong improvement.

Morenci opened the season April 18 at the Clinton Jamboree by scoring 223. Madison won the event with a score of 170. The Trojans’ Jake Agruda was medalist with 38.

For the Bulldogs, Gavin Vanderpool carded a 51, followed by Colin Walker and Zack Brigman with 57s and Adam Barnett with 58.

Last Wednesday at the Britton-Deerfield jamboree, Morenci sliced 11 strokes off to finish with 212. Vanderpool came in at 48, Dalton Townsend at 51, Brigman at 53 and Barnett at 60.

Summerfield was in the mix this time and claimed an easy win with 157 strokes, ahead of second-place Madison with 171. Clinton scored 179, Britton-Deerfield scored 184, Sand Creek scored 197 and Whitmore Lake came in at 208.

Summerfield had two players in the 30s: Casey Gooden at 37 and Austin Cress at 38.

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