The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.

Sports Round-up 5.21

Written by David Green.

Fayette softball: Fayette’s softball tournament hopes were dashed Friday when Hilltop’s Jagielski tossed a one-hitter.

The Cadets scattered runs across four innings to finish with a 10-0 victory in five innings.

Shenae Nuoffer took the loss for Fayette.

Fayette track: Fayette’s track teams produced just one league champion in this year’s BBC event, along with three seconds and six thirds.

Hilltop was the easy winner in the boys standings with 165 points, but the next three spots were tightly contested. Edon finished with 99, Pettisville with 91 and Fayette with 85. North Central trailed with 46 and Stryker with 37.

In the girls standings, Edon edged Pettisville 161-157, followed by North Central at 104. Hilltop finished with 32 while Fayette and Stryker tied at 31.

“Everybody did really well,” coach Andrew Van Zile said. “The boys placed fourth, but missed second place by only 14 points.”

Van Zile looks ahead to a better season next year with so many young competitors on the squads.

“If we get some more kids out, we could be a winning team,” he said, adding that Hilltop will still be a big challenge next year.

Austin Hylander was the BBC champion in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of :16.7. He also picked up fourth place in the  330-meter hurdles, while teammate Shelby Franks took second (:44.9). Franks also was second best in the long jump at 18-1.25 and fourth in the 100-meter dash at :11.9.

Nathan Stoltzfus came through with a good 1600-meter run, Van Zile said.

“He nipped the two Livenspargers in the final 100 meters,” he said. “All of a sudden he just wen into another gear.”

Van Zile was also pleased with Darrell Randall’s 3200-meter run—a race the freshman didn’t really want to enter. Randall was convinced to run it and came through in sixth place.

The biggest disappointment of the day for Coach Van Zile was Erica Goeltzenleuchter’s nagging ankle injury. She was hoping she would be able to compete again and she did manage to scored fourth in the 1600-meter run, but her time was off and Van Zile pulled her from the 3200 event to avoid risking further injury.

The sophomore still has a promising career ahead and he wants to make sure she’s ready for the future.

Morenci baseball: The Bulldog baseball team suffered a pair of big league losses in the last week, but the weekend action was more to coach Roger Pontious’s liking.

Morenci lost a close 4-3 decision to Addison at the Panthers’ tournament Saturday before falling to Farwell 8-2.

“The kids really came together,” Pontious said about the Addison game. “Their coach said it was a totally different Morenci team than the first time we played.”

In some ways, it was a different team. Two more players were lost due to ineligibility and the Bulldog roster has shrunk to 10.

Devin Martinez pitched the entire game for Morenci, striking out four and walking six.

Anthony Barron put Morenci on top early with a two-run homer, but costly errors allowed Addison to get back in the game. Morenci left the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.

Barron fanned eight Farwell batters in the rain-delayed second game and gave up four hits.

CLINTON—Coach Pontious saw a good team effort Monday when Clinton visited, but the contest fell apart for the Bulldogs late in the game.

Clinton turned a 6-0 sixth-inning lead into a 12-0 win.

Clinton’s sophomore pitcher fanned 14 Morenci batters and gave up only single hits to Martinez, Nick Wilson, Isaac Jeffers and Steven Pontious.

SUMMERFIELD—Summerfield’s promising freshman hurler tossed a one-hitter last week as Morenci fell 14-0. Only Barron came through with a base hit, and he tool the loss on the mound.

Morenci softball: With top-ranked Summerfield leading by a run after their half of the seventh inning here Thursday, some of the team’s fans started folding their chairs to prepare for the victorious drive home.

Big mistake, said Morenci coach Kay Johnson when she learned about it later.

It’s softball superstition to never pack up gear if you’re leading in the seventh inning. Someone should have told the fans to keep their chairs in place because there was a lot more coming up in this game.

With the Bulldogs up to bat, Megan Cox reached first on an error and advanced on a sacrifice by Chandler McCaskey. Brooke Barrett drove her home to tie the game at 4-4, and it never ended until four innings later.

Summerfield finally put a runner across the plate in the top of the eleventh with a walk sandwiched between a pair of base hits.

By this time, Summerfield’s chairs were back in use and they stayed put as Morenci came up to bat. After a ground out, Tess Ramsey drew a walk and scored when freshman Meghan Smith drilled the ball to the right center fence for a triple.

Rachael Rutkowski drew a walk and Salena Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Cox—number eight in the lineup—put a blooper behind the first baseman and the game ended as Smith crossed the plate.

The 6-5 loss was nothing to shrug at for Summerfield (15-6) who was rated number one in Div. IV last week. It bumped them from the Tri-County Conference tie with Clinton as the season winds down.

The Bulldogs lost 9-0 to Summerfield two weeks earlier and it looked as though a repeat might be in the works as the visitors took a 3-0 lead in the first inning after a pair of Morenci errors.

But Summerfield started off their first time in the field with an error and Barrett scored on a triple by Nicolette Swimmer. Swimmer came home on a pick-off attempt for a 3-2 score.

Morenci stranded a pair of runners in the second inning, but Swimmer scored in the third on a sacrifice by Ramsey.

Summerfield went ahead 4-3 in the fourth inning and held on until Morenci tied it in the seventh.

Morenci Track: Morenci will send seven athletes to compete in five events at the Div. IV state meet May 31 at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern High School.

The Bulldogs produced one regional champion when junior Lucas Johnson gave a career best in the discus with a toss of 143-4.

In the preliminary rounds Johnson couldn’t get out of the 120-foot range, but he came through with two tosses in the 140s in the finals. His top throw was about nine feet better than second place.

Morenci had two medal winners in the 200-meter dash. Chas Frey will advance to the state meet with his second-place finish at :22.99, Josh DuPree who crossed the line at :22.26. Nathan Grieder ended up in eighth place with a time of :26.21. Frey cut two-tenths of a second off his previous best.

After cruising through a speedy opening leg of the 3200-meter relay, Zach Phillips couldn’t match his time in the open 800-meter dash, but his fifth place finish at 2:05.2 met the qualifying time for a trip to Grand Rapids. Phillips ran a 2:01 earlier in the week. Pittsford’s Josh Hatfield ran a 2:00.43 Saturday at Hillsdale College.

The Bulldogs’ 400-meter relay team (Brandon Correa, Frey, Reese Graham and Justin Swett) didn’t make it as a top-two finisher, but their fifth-place time of :46.22 met the state qualifying mark. The winners from Camden-Frontier ran a :45.81

Morenci’s final qualifier also made the cut by meeting the state minimum. Freshman Phoenix Duncan placed fifth overall, but her 5-0 leap will send her to Grand Rapids. Whitney Thorp of Reading won at 5-4. Morenci’s Tricia Black placed eighth at 4-10.

Morenci’s boys placed third overall with 57 points, behind Sand Creek’s 88 and Jonesville’s 81.

The girls finished 11th of 16 teams with 23 points. Reading was on with 112.5 points.

Waldron’s Tim Jagielski was the regional champ in both the 1600-meter run (4:31) and the 3200-meter run (9:58.5).

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