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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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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