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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Brooke Barrett named an all-state softball player 6.25

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

As the lead-off hitter for Morenci’s girls softball team, Brooke Barrett often set the tone for the batters to follow.

And she often did it with an extra-base hit.

Barrett is one of four Div. IV first-base players recognized with all-state honors by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

The honor came as a surprise to her, but one she’ll cherish. Softball, after all, is her favorite sport.

“It’s the sport I was best at,” she said.

Barrett went through the summer ball routine, starting with T-ball, and joined the varsity team as a freshman. She got some playing time in the outfield, but the next season—with the graduation of Emilie Yatzek—she started at first base and stayed there for three years.

Morenci coach Kay Johnson saw a lot of improvement in Barrett’s defensive work and she appreciated her role as the infield leader who directed the Bulldogs’ defense.

Barrett also moved into the lead-off position in the batting order as a sophomore.

“She settled into that position pretty well,” Morenci coach Kay Johnson said.

Barrett often reached base and she had enough speed to move around to second or third.

“It’s nice to set the tone for the team and the get girls ready to play,” Barrett said.

She was on the low end of the statistics for striking out and often managed to get on base. A combination of power and speed helped move her beyond first base.

This season she finished with two home runs, five triples and six doubles. She scored 27 runs, drove in 14 runners and batted .370—second best on a team that played a challenging schedule.

As the first batter of the game, Barrett often smacked a hit against a good pitcher to serve notice that Morenci was ready to take the challenge, Johnson said.

“We won eight games in a row going into the regional finals and Brooke often led the way,” she said.brooke.barrett.jpg

Barrett was an all-league selection three years in a row before moving on in the honor team selection process this season.

“It’s a lot easier when you have a good team behind you,” Barrett said.

It’s also better when you’re having a lot of fun, and that’s exactly what this season was all about.

“We were always laughing,” she said. “We did a lot of crazy things. We were one big family.”

Looking back over her high school career, Barrett lists her sophomore year over-the-fence homer as a highlight.

The toughest pitcher? That would be Summerfield’s Jordan Ratliff—another all-state selection.

She quickly comes up with the funniest moment, as well. Mariah Bovee at second base moved back into the outfield to catch a fly ball and tripped over the umpire. He helped her up and asked if she was all right.

There are teams and players with better numbers, Coach Johnson said, but the all-state selection committee also considers the schedule that a candidate faced.

As a member of the tough Tri-County Conference, Barrett knows all about that.

Barrett  epitomizes the characteristic of this year’s team, Johnson said. Nothing flashy, no one standing out as the star of the squad.

Instead, the Bulldogs were made from a great collection of role players—each one adding her unique strength to the team.

The squad’s three seniors, Salena Martinez, Rachael Rutkowski and Brooke Barrett, provided a core of leadership that every team needs to succeed.

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