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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  • Cheer
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Sports roundup 5.7

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE SOFTBALL: Fayette’s softball girls added one league victory and one non-conference win to its season tally last week.

Mara Raker drove home a run in the first and third innings Thursday at North Central to put Fayette on top 2-1 four innings.

The Eagles padded their lead in the fifth when Rachel Seiler led off with a double, Shenae Nuoffer walked, and Raker singled to notch two more RBIs.

In the seventh, Katie Borer walked and advanced on another base hit by Raker. With two outs, Tricia Bates reached first on an error to drive in both runners.

North Central added two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all they got as Fayette went home with a 6-4 win.

Nuoffer struck out seven batters, walked two and gave up six hits.

Saturday at Waldron, three costly errors led to three runs in the fifth inning and helped give the Spartans a 5-1 victory.

Fayette’s only run scored on a double by Raker.

Rachel Seiler took the loss despite giving up only two walks and three hits. She fanned six.

In the second game, Nuoffer allowed six hits, but came through with a 4-1 win. She struck out three and walked none.

Borer scored in the first inning on a base hit by Danni Wyse. Three runners came home in the fourth inning on walks to Rachel and Brittany Seiler and base hits by Nuoffer, Leah Brinegar and Borer.

An error-filled game gave Pettisville a 7-3 advantage Monday on Fayette’s diamond.

Nuoffer pitched the first three and a half innings and was pounded for seven hits, including four for extra bases. Rachel Seiler came in for relief and gave her best showing of the season, said coach Sheila Killam. She struck out three and allow no hits.

Bates had an RBI single in the third inning and Rachel Seiler drove in a pair with a triple in the fourth. Katie Downing and Brinegar each finished with a pair of base hits.

FAYETTE TRACK: Fayette’s track teams may be small in number, but the Eagles came close to claiming wins against Antwerp April 29. The boys squad fell three points short of the Archers and the girls finished down by 10. Edon was the overall winner.

On Monday, however, Fayette’s boys did come through with a victory against Ottawa Hills, 62.5-58.5.

Season-best efforts were recorded last week by Eliott Richardson in the shot put (39-9.5), Dakota Shay in the 100-meter dash (:12.22) and Nicole Shaffer in the 300-meter hurdles (:54.8).

The boys 3200-meter relay improved its season mark to 9:04 and the girls cut their 1600-meter time to 5:03.

Friday at the Hilltops Relays, Shaffer and Elisha Hartman combined efforts to place first in the long jump relay. Third-place finishes were earned by the sprint/distance medley relay team (Shaffer, Hartman, Kessler and Schrock) and by the same four running in the sprint medley.

Two boys’ teams finished second: the 3200 relay (Keefer, Colegrove, Hookstadt and Stoltzfus) and the sprint/distance medley team (Shay, Hylander, Curry and Franks).

Third place spots went to the high jump team (Hylander and Curry), long jump team (Franks and Hookstadt), distance medley team (Colegrove, Fykse, Keefer and Stoltzfus) and 400 relay (Shay, Hylander, Curry and Franks).

MORENCI TRACK: Morenci boys and girls track teams both swept a double dual meet Thursday against Clinton and Lenawee Christian School.

Morenci’s boys downed Clinton 93-59 and LCS 82-46. The girls won 88-64 and 75-50.

Alex Burton topped competitors from both schools in the 110-meter hurdles (:16.8) and 300-meter hurdles (:45.9). That was a career-best time for Burton in the 110s.

Chas Frey finished on top in the 100-meter dash (:11.4) and Justin Swett took the 200-meter dash (:24.2).

Winning relay teams were the 800-meter (Piercy, Swett, Grieder and Frey) at 1:39.1, the 400-meter team (Correa, Graham, Frey and Swett) at :54.2 and the 1600-meter team (Swett, Phillips, Roller and Frey) at 3:43.

For the girls, Kate Gallup defeated all competitors in the 100-meter hurdles (:17.4) and the 300-meter hurdles (:51.9), and Leslie Montijo won the 3200-meter run (13:50).

The Bulldogs’ 1600-meter relay team was best at 4:40.

Nicole Elarton wasn’t a winner, but she delivered her best discus toss ever at 97-4.

Saturday at the Hudson Relays, Morenci’s 1600-meter relay team (Swett, Phillips, Roller and Fry) placed first at 3:42.

Second-place finishes went to four relay teams: Lucas Johnson, Tom McVay and Nick Erbskorn in the discus; Johnson, Brandon Correa and Sam Majchrowski in the shot put; Trey Tompkins, Zach Phillips, Micah Gillen and Jeffrey Nofziger in the four-mile relay; and the shuttle hurdle team of Dustin Roller, Zach Piercy, Correa and Burton.

Fry ran his top 400-meter dash time of the season at :53.6.

For the girls, the high jump team of Phoenix Duncan, Tricia Black and Liz Gautz placed first, along with shuttle hurdle team of Black, Gautz, Tequoia Jarrell and Gallup.

In the open 300-meter hurdle event, Gallup turned in her best of the season at :51.

MORENCI BASEBALL: Nothing like a good come-from-behind victory to make a team feel good.

That’s what the Bulldog baseball team came up with Thursday at North Central. A back-and-forth contest finally ended up in Morenci’s favor, 7-6.

“Now they know they can come from behind to win,” coach Roger Pontious said. “We’re getting stronger. We’ve finally got eight games under our belts.”

Some teams the Bulldogs have faced have already played 17 or 18 games, he said, but weather, ineligibilities and injuries have left Morenci short.

The Eagles opened with three runs in the first inning off Bulldog starter Nick Wilson. Morenci came back with two in the third on a lead-off single by Brett Bovee and doubles by Steven Pontious and Michael Snyder.

A sacrifice by Devin Martinez tied the game at 6-6 in the fifth inning, and Martinez provided the go-ahead run in the seventh. Snyder singled before Martinez drove the ball into right field.

North Central threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on a walk, an error and an intentional walk. Anthony Barron, who pitched the final three innings, fanned the final batter on three straight strikes.

Barron finished with seven strikeouts and Wilson had four. The Bulldogs committed only three errors.

SUMMERFIELD—Morenci led for a couple of innings at Summerfield April 29, but ended up on the short end, 11-7.

The game turned around quickly in the fourth inning on seven Summerfield runs.

Pontious and Barron split pitching duties. Pontious struck out the side in the second inning and finished with seven.

Cody Long finished with two RBIs and Bovee had one. Morenci batters came through with only five hits.

CLINTON—The Bulldogs trailed by only a run, 3-2, going into the sixth inning at Clinton, but the Redskins broke it open with four in the sixth.

Bovee and Wilson drove in Morenci’s two runs. Barron pitched the first four innings and then finished it off late in the game, relieving Cody Long.

MORENCI SOFTBALL: Spilts with Sand Creek, Clinton and Hudson; two out of three at the Whitmore Lake Invitational; it was one busy week of play for Morenci’s softball team, and the Bulldogs came through with some good results.

Monday at Sand Creek, Morenci scored some late runs to prevent a blowout in the opening game, losing 9-5, then came back to turn the tables in the second contest with an 11-5 win.

The Aggies scored four runs on a third inning grand slam and added five more in the fifth to go ahead 9-1. In the sixth, Brooke Barrett drove in a run on a base hit and two came home on Jade Pfund’s single.

The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the nightcap on singles by Tess Ramsey and Salena Martinez against a new Sand Creek pitcher, but the starter came back to the mound in the second inning as Morenci went on top 8-0.

Martinez knocked in another run in the fourth and Ramsey drove in her third and fourth RBIs of the game in the sixth.

INVITATIONAL—Morenci opened with a 13-3 five-inning game against Morrice in the Whitmore Lake tournament Saturday.

Eight consecutive hits led to an 11-run fifth inning. Pfund had a triple that inning and Nicolette Swimmer pounded a triple and a double.

The Bulldogs topped Dundee 4-2 in eight innings. A triple by Swimmer tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning and it stayed locked until the top of the eighth.

Pfund led off with a single followed by bunts from Swimmer and Martinez. Ramsey singled for two runs. Fourteen Morenci batters struck out.

Div. I Livonia Churchill dealt the Bulldogs an 11-2 loss. The game was tied 2-2 when Pfund turned over pitching duties to Swimmer, but seven fielding errors didn’t give her the support she needed.

Rachael Rutkowski and Swimmer each finished with two hits, including a triple from Swimmer.

CLINTON—Swimmer threw well enough to win at Clinton last week, coach Kay Johnson said, but errors led to a 9-0 first-inning lead for the Redskins.

Meghan Smith doubled in the game and Barrett singled as the Bulldog batters lost their confidence after the early deficit.

In a non-league second game, younger players got into the act. Morenci fell behind 9-1, but came roaring back to win 13-12.

Smith belted a home run. Tia and Chelsea Tompkins each smacked triples to the fence.

Barbara Hollstein started on the mound for Morenci and was relieved by Mariah Bovee.

SUMMERFIELD—Morenci faced number-one-ranked Summerfield’s drop ball pitcher April 29 and lost 9-0, but only three of those runs were earned. The Bulldogs committed eight infield errors.

Pfund gave up seven hits and struck out only two.

HUDSON—Morenci led Hudson 5-2 after four innings here Thursday, but settled for a 5-4 non-league win.

Smith drove three runners home with a double in the fourth inning.

The Tigers stayed with their starting pitcher in the second game while Swimmer threw for the Bulldogs. She gave up only three hits in the 9-5 loss, but Morenci had to put a rookie catcher behind the plate when Martinez had to leave the game due to illness.

Morenci knocked Hudson’s hurler for nine hits, including two singles and a triple by Barrett and a single and a triple by Swimmer. Smith doubled in the sixth.

MORENCI GOLF: Morenci’s golf team topped Blissfield Saturday in the Royals’ annual best ball tournament.

Bedford finished on top of the 12-team field with a score of 231. Morenci came through at 304, ahead of Blissfield with 314.

Dalton Townsend and Zack Brigman  teamed up to lead the Bulldogs with 95. Adam Barnett and Colin Walker joined for a 104, a stroke ahead of Gavin Vanderpool and Drew Tompkins at 105.

In a league outing Thursday, Morenci fell to Whitmore Lake 191-211.

Vanderpool was tops with a 50, followed by Townsend and Walker at 53 and Barnett at 55.

Vanderpool, Townsend and Walker each scored par on one hole.

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