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 5.14

Written by David Green.

Fayette Softball: The first time ever?

Fayette’s come-from-behind victory over Holgate Monday was the first tournament win anyone is recalling for the Eagles’ softball program.

If there are others from past years, a lot of innings have gone by since then.

The sectional win almost didn’t happen. It took some last-inning heroics to get the job done as Holgate fell 5-4 at Liberty Center.

The Tigers held a 4-3 advantage going into the last half of the seventh. Shenae Nuoffer wasn’t about to let her victory slip away and she led off with a base hit.

Nuoffer advanced when Katie Borer was safe on a dropped fly, and both runners moved up on a double steal.

Brittany Seiler drove Nuoffer home with a base hit to tie the game at 4-4. With one out and Borer on third, Mara Raker hit the winning single to end the game.

The grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Holgate took a 3-1 lead in the third and added one more in the fifth.

Rachel Seiler singled in the fourth inning and came home on Leah Brinegar’s RBI.

In the sixth, Raker led off with a base on balls and scored from first on long ball by Danni Wyse to close the gap to 4-3.

Rachel Seiler threw the first four innings, striking out seven, walking four and giving up four hits. Coach Sheila Killam brought Nuoffer in to see if she could finish it off despite nursery a sore elbow. In the final three innings, Nuoffer gave up just two hits and fanned five batters.

After facing Hilltop at home last night in  a BBC match-up, the Eagles head back to Liberty Center Thursday for a 5 p.m. contest against Hilltop for the sectional championship.

The Cadets took a narrow 2-0 win against Fayette earlier in the season.

Fayette Track: Fayette’s track teams didn’t come up with enough points to challenge Edon or Hilltop last week at West Unity, but  a pair of Eagles gave season-best performances.

Nathan Stoltzfus turned in a 10:40 in the 3200-meter relay to place third, four seconds behind Hilltop’s Livensparger and two seconds back from Edon’s Brown.

Nicole Shaffer gave the long jump a try and reached 14-6 for first place, edging out teammate Elisha Hartman at 14-2.

Austin Hylander was the only other Eagle to take a first, winning the 110-meter hurdles at :17.8.

At the tough Lamberson Invitational Saturday in Montpelier, the Eagles’ boys team finished with 20 points, far behind leaders Archbold (95), Edgerton (78) and Hicksville (74).

Shelby Franks earned the highest finish with his third-place spot in the long jump at 18-6. He was edged out in the 300-meter hurdles by teammate Hylander by just two-hundredths of a second. Hylander qualified for the finals and placed eighth at :46.3, not quite as good as his :44.83 in the preliminary heat.

Hylander also placed seventh in the 110-meter hurdles. His best time of :16.9 came in the semifinals.

Eliott Richardson tossed the shot 41-7.5 for an eighth-place finish and took fourth in the discus at 126-8.

Stoltzfus rounded out the boys scoring with sixth-place finishes in the 1600-meter run (4:45) and the 3200-meter run (10:52).

For the girls, Hartman placed seventh in the 400-meter dash at 1:06 and Shaffer took seventh in the long jump at 13-7.

Both girls qualified for the 100-meter semifinals, but failed to make the final run.

Archbold won the team standings with 110 points, ahead of Patrick Henry with 90 and Toledo Christian with 78.

Morenci Softball: After placing second Saturday in the Allendale Tournament, Morenci’s softball girls took the long ride to Whitmore Lake Monday for a 10-2 TCC victory.

Jade Pfund pitched the Bulldogs to the win at Whitmore Lake, giving up no walks and three hits, while striking out 10.

Nicolette Swimmer blasted the first of Morenci’s three triples to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Brooke Barrett opened the game with base hit. Swimmer scored on a wild pitch.

Barrett had an RBI-single in the second inning and Salena Martinez pounded a triple in the third. Rachael Rutkowski had an RBI-single that inning.

Tess Ramsey and Martinez singled in the fifth, and Meghan Smith drove in a run in the seventh with a triple.

TOURNEY—Morenci broke open a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning Saturday against Hastings on a base hit by Swimming, a double by Pfund, a base hit by Ramsey and a triple by Martinez.

Hastings closed the gap to 6-3 leading into the final inning, but base hits by Rutkowski and Mariah Bovee, along with a double by Martinez, assured the win.

Swimmer struck out three and walked three and allowed four hits.

Pfund went to the mound against Grand Rapids Covenant Christian and came through with a 4-2 victory. She fanned six, walked none and allowed six hits.

Morenci scored three runs in the opening inning on doubles by Barrett, Swimmer, Pfund and Ramsey. After adding one run in the third, the Bulldogs never came through with another hit.

Megan Cox made a big defensive play in the sixth inning that led to a double play and ended Covenant’s come-back bid.

In the finals against Caledonia, Morenci jumped on the backup pitcher for three runs. Barrett and Swimmer doubled, followed by base hits from Pfund, Rutkowski and Martinez.

Caledonia (18-3) then brought their starter to the mound and the Bulldogs never had another hit until the seventh inning.

Morenci was on top 3-2 going into the seventh, but Caledonia scored three and the 5-3 lead held. Morenci stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the seventh.

Morenci Baseball: Morenci’s baseball squad didn’t come up with any wins last week, but they played their best game against the best team.

League-leading Whiteford held a 4-0 advantage through six innings here Friday and finished it off with a 6-0 win.

“I thought we played a very good game,” coach Roger Pontious said. “Anthony Barron told me afterward that it was our best game as a team all season and I had to agree with him.”

Barron had a good game on the mound and the Bulldogs’ young defense kept errors to only three. Morenci just couldn’t get much going at the plate.

Only Barron produced hits—a lead-off single in the first and another base hit in the third. On the mound, he struck out 10.

WHITMORE LAKE—At the Trojans’ diamond Monday night, the first batter was safe on a fielding error, and that, Coach Pontious, set the tone for the game.

Whitmore Lake took advantage of seven Bulldog errors to win 11-1 in five innings. Four runs scored in the first inning and five more came home in the second.

Garrett Keller finished with two of Morenci’s three hits.

“We aren’t showing much patience at the plate,” Pontious said.

Younger batters seem hesitant to take a walk.

Steven Pontious pitched for the Bulldogs, striking out three, walking one and giving up nine hits.

Morenci Track: Morenci track runners turned in some season and career bests last weekend at Litchfield’s Purdy Invitational, just in time for regional competition Saturday at Hillsdale.

Zach Phillips is closing in on Morenci oldest track record—Rich Towne’s 4:33 1600-meter run from 1965. Phillips ran a 4:35.55 to place third at Litchfield.

“He should have broken it that day,” coach Brad Brown said. “After keeping pace with Waldron’s Tim Jagielski for two laps, he backed off a little, but he still was strong at the end.”

Phillips was also part of the 1600-meter relay team that came through with its top time of the season at 3:35.9 to place fourth. Teammates were Justin Swett, Nathan Grieder and Chas Frey.

Frey also came through with his best 200-meter dash time (:23.15) for a first-place finish, and Swett gave his best 100-meter dash effort (:11.98) for third place.

Phillips ran his best 800-meter run at 2:06 for sixth place and Alex Burton’s :43.96 300-meter hurdle run was his best and good for seventh.

Morenci’s 400-meter relay (Correa, Roller, Frey, Swett) trimmed its time to :46.24 and placed second. The 800-meter relay (Swett, Burton, Grieder, Frey) finished at 1:35.82 for third place.

Others placing high were Lucas Johnson in the discus (3rd, 133-02) and the shot put (4th, 43-10).

For the girls, Leslie Montijo improved her 3200-meter run to 13:33.52 for sixth place.

Other Bulldogs scoring points were Phoenix Duncan in the high jump (3rd, 4-10) and long jump (4th, 14-0), Chelsea Howard in the 1600-meter run (6th, 6:08) and Kathleen Barron in the 400-meter dash (1:07.7).

Hayli Cox advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter dash.

Most of the same team competing at Litchfield will be back with Morenci at regional competition Saturday at Hillsdale.

Morenci Golf: Morenci’s golf team turned in its top performance of the season May 6 at the TCC jamboree at Centerview Golf Course and picked up its first three wins.

A 197 placed the Bulldogs in fourth and gave them victories over Britton/Deerfield (201), Whitmore Lake (206) and Sand Creek (209).

Summerfield came out on top with 167, followed by Clinton at 176 and Madison at 179.

Gavin Vanderpool paced the Bulldogs with a 44, followed by Zach Brigman at 47, Colin Walker at 51 and Adam Barnett at 55.

Walker parred hole five and Brigman scored a par on the long hole two.

Summerfield’s Bob Burke finished as medalist with a 40.

The Bulldogs took a downward turn Monday at the TCC league meet at the Lenawee Country Club, coming through with their weakest showing of the season.

Eighteen holes were played as two rounds of nine to make up for the low number of jamborees this season.

On the front nine, Morenci scored 235 with Vanderpool at 53, Barnett at 58, Drew Tompkins at 60 and Walker at 64.

The back nine scored improved to 227. Vanderpool carded a 53, Walker a 56, Barnett a 58 and Tompkins a 60.

Madison edged Summerfield 167-172 on the front, but Summerfield was back to it dominating role on the back, winning 176-180 over Madison.

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