Sports round-up 9.24

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY—Fayette’s boys placed third at the Van Wert County Hospital cross country run Saturday, and that’s as good as it was going to get.

There was no way anyone else was going to compare with New Bremen and Minster, who tied at 57 points each. Together, the two teams placed 10 runners in the top 20.

Three runners finished under 17 minutes, with a Minster runner coming in first at 16:45. Fayette sophomore Darrell Randall wasn’t too far behind, placing fifth at 17:06.

All but two of the Eagles’ 10 boys finished under 20 minutes. After Randall came Dakota Brooks (17th, 17:51); Hunter Colegrove (25th, 18:16); Trevor Cox (28th, 18:23); Logan Keefer (34th, 18:37); Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (51st, 19:07); Ben Kovar (57th, 19:12); Jerry Minzey (72nd, 19:47); Tim Stoltzfus (98th, 20:53); and Skylar Sommers (124th, 21:57).

“I was really happy with them,” coach Bryan Stambaugh said about the improvements shown. “They’re all so young, too, except for Ben and Logan.”

The girls team was missing the usual number two runner, Danni Wyse, and had to settle for sixth place overall. Stambaugh figures the Eagles would have probably taken fourth with Wyse in the lineup.

Seven girls placed under 20 minutes and the Eagles’ Erica Goeltzenleuchter was disappointed she wasn’t among them, Stambaugh said. But she ran a strong 20:33 for 11th place.

Several Fayette runners showed improvements. Goeltzenleuchter was followed by Hannah Schrock (33rd, 22:32); Alexa Kessler (39th, 22:45); Olivia Molina (57th, 23:43); Sarah Kovar (70th, 24:21); and Mara Raker (104th, 26:37).

Minster won the team standings easily and  their runner crossed the line at 19:03.

JUNIOR HIGH—Jill Stuckey ran a 13:58 to place 27th in the girls race, followed by Madelyn Maginn (52nd, 14:43) and Sadie Molina (117th, 16:39).

In the boys race, Tyler Cox was 41st at 13:07, followed by Ben Grieser (42nd, 13:09); Ian Schrock (104th, 14:15); and Ben Kessler (138th, 14:59).

BBC—Erica Goeltzenleuchter claimed a BBC win Sept. 16 at the Hilltop jamboree. Even without Wyse in the lineup, the Eagles managed to nip Stryker 51-53 for the win. Pettisville was close behind with 59 points.

Other Eagles runners were Kessler (8th, 22:42); Schrock (11th, 22:50); Molina (15th, 23:50); Kovar (16th, 24:33); and Raker (23rd, 25:47).

In the boys race Randall placed 5th at Hilltop with a 17:36, well behind winner Cody Livensparger at 16:48.

Hilltop claimed the win with 39 points, followed by Fayette’s 52 and Pettisville’s 64.

Other Eagle runners were Brooks (6th, 127:41); Cox (10th, 18:00); Keefer (14th, 18:36); Goeltzenleuchter (17th, 18:52); Colegrove (20th, 19:01); Kovar (28th, 19:40); Minzey (37th, 20:27); Stoltzfus (42nd, 21:07) and Sommers (51st, 22:11).

In the junior high race, Stuckey was 27th at 13:58, followed by Maginn (52nd, 14:25) and Molina (10th, 16:28).

In the boys race, Grieser was eighth at 12:55, followed by Cox (10th, 12:55); Dylan Aschemeier (15th, 13:22); Chandler Sanford (18th, 13:30); Schrock (21st, 14:03); and Kessler (23rd, 15:29).

FAYETTE VOLLEYBALL—At home Sept. 16, Fayette faltered in its opener against Pettisville, then came back to challenge the Blackbirds in the final two contests. Pettisville went home with the BBC win, 25-8, 25-21 and 25-22.

The Blackbirds took a 4-0 lead in the third game, but Sierra Griffiths served seven straight points to put the Eagles on top. Pettisville rattled off five points to take a 19-16 lead and stayed ahead for the victory.

Fayette looked as though it might make a game of Edon’s visit Thursday, jumping to a 5-0 lead and then hanging around at 6-9, but the Bombers’ big hitter, Megan Wiler, started placing spikes that gave Fayette defenders trouble.

Edon finished the game on top 25-15, then put a 13-point string together in the second game to win 25-4. The match went to Edon after a 25-8 final win.

Against Edgerton on Monday, the Eagles gave a pair of weak performances mixed in with two better ones.

The Bulldogs had few problems taking the opener, 25-11, but Fayette came back for a close match in number two, losing 19-25.

Game three went in the Eagles’ favor, 25-19, to force another round. This time Fayette couldn’t get into the swing of it and Edgerton ended the match with a 25-7 victory.

• North Central visits Thursday, followed by a trip to Liberty Center on Monday and to Hilltop on Tuesday.

JVS—Fayette’s JV spikers played closely with all night with Pettisville, but the Blackbirds took the edge.

Game one went to Pettisville 25-21, but Fayette came back to claim the next game 25-22. In the deciding game, the Blackbirds came out on top 25-21.

Reba Rash served strings of six points and five points in game two and another five-point streak in game three.

Edon won in two games, 25-14 and 25-16, and Edgerton made it even more decisive, 25-15 and 25-9.

FAYETTE GOLF—Who had the best day at the BBC league golf meet Friday?

That honor might go to Fayette sophomore Chase Hookstadt.

It was no surprise to see the other members of the All-Buckeye Border Conference first team, but Hookstadt gave his performance of the season to make the grade at Ironwood.

Nobody could touch medalist Zach Erb of Stryker who blazed the course with a 72. His teammate Josh DeGroff was next in line at 81, followed by Fayette leader Caleb Brinegar with 82.

Jake Wells of Edon followed at 84, then came Hookstadt and Troy Saunders of Stryker with 85s.

Fayette’s Eliott Richardson was one stroke back at 86 to make the BBC second team. No other Fayette scores were provided.

Stryker won the event with a team score of 324, followed by Fayette (344), Edon (365), North Central (369), Hilltop (486) and Pettisville (503).

SECTIONALS—Brinegar will be one of the top returning district qualifiers at the Div. III sectional tournament scheduled Thursday at Ironwood.

The senior qualified last season as one of the top four individuals not on a qualifying team. The top three teams also advance to the Bowling Green Stone Ridge district Oct. 2.

Brinegar placed sixth last year with a 38-40–78. Erb took medalist honors at 73.

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY—Morenci’s harriers had but one outing last week—a good one for the boys, but not so good for the girls.

Zach Phillips placed third in the senior boys race Saturday at the Pittsford Invitational, turning in his season-best at 17:22 and improving last year’s time by 17 seconds.

The top two runners were way ahead and the number four runner was quite a ways behind, coach Brad Brown, so Phillips was left to pace himself alone.

A Potterville runner won the race with a blazing 16:19.

Jeff Nofziger took second for Morenci and 15th overall at 19:31.

In the sophomore race, Micah Gillen placed 13th at 20:05 and David Brown came in at 20:46 for 23rd. Logan Drummond took 33rd in the freshman race at 23:41.

Candi Evers turned in the top time for Morenci in the girls’ races. Her 26:59 was good for 22nd place in the sophomore race. Ashley Clark was still recovering from illness and placed 36th.

In the senior run, Jackie Paris was off her usual pace for a 26th finish at 29:46. Rachel Sodergren crossed the line at 29:36 for 22nd place in the freshman run.

As a team, the boys placed 11th among 23 teams while the girls were 20th.

Several team members competed the next day in the Neal Singles Memorial 5K.

• After traveling Tuesday to Whitmore Lake for a league Jamboree, Morenci visits Haslett on Saturday for an invitational. This replaces the Carson City date from recent years.

MORENCI JV VOLLEYBALL—Morenci’s JV volleyball squad swept a double-header from Whiteford Sept. 16 in league play.

The Bulldogs won the opener 25-16, 20-25 and 15-11, then wrapped up the second match 25-12 and 25-22.

Mercedez McCaskey scored six aces and Phoenix Duncan added five. Alexis Baker served a steady 10 consecutive points to help Morenci seal the second win.

Naomi Hoffman had a great passing night, coach Kindra Baron said, with 16 good passes on 19 attempts. McCaskey provided eight sets that led to kills and Matea Garcia also furnished plenty of good sets.

At the net, Duncan finished with 14 kills and Meghan Smith notched five.

At the Hudson Invitational on Saturday, Morenci fell to Sand Creek in their opening match, then split with Hudson and downed the Hudson freshman team. They finished the day with a loss to Lansing Christian, losing in three tough games.

Hoffman and Smith were strong in passing and Smith gave 22 of 23 playable passes. Smith also finished the day with 10 kills. Duncan tallied 18. Chelsea Phillips was solid at the net, Baron said, both in hitting and blocking.

Hoffman and Carolyn Blaker stood out at the serving line with 10 aces each. McCaskey and Garcia combined for 24 sets leading to kills.

MORENCI FOOTBALL—After the Bulldogs fumbled away their first possession of the game Friday night, Morenci coach Dan Hoffman was seeing visions of a repeat performance from the previous week with five lost fumbles.

And when the Bulldogs fell behind 13-0 in the second quarter, he was wondering if his crew was about to toss the season aside.

No such thing.

Morenci defenders never allowed another score from the Patriots (1-3) and the offense started scoring points.

The Bulldogs came back for one touchdown before intermission, then added four more in the second half to raise the season tally to 2-2 by dropping Britton-Deerfield 35-13.

Even though things weren’t going well, there was something about the team that Coach Hoffman noticed.

“We were shooting ourselves and we gave up some opportunities,” he said, “but they kept their heads.”

They didn’t get lost in the unfortunate turn of events and they came out hitting hard in the second half.

“Once we got going, there were three or four guys getting racked most every play,” he said.

Dustin Roller intercepted a BD pass early in the contest, but on the next play, Morenci turned the ball over. The Patriots put together a nine-play scoring drive, then did it again in the second quarter.

With a couple minutes left in the second quarter, Chas Frey broke loose for a 40-yard touchdown run and Nick Wilson kicked the first of three extra points.

Frey scored again on Morenci’s first drive of the second half. On the kickoff, Levi Hoffman caused a fumble and Wilson jumped on the ball.

Next came some frustration again reminiscent of the Whiteford game. Jarrett Keller tossed a touchdown pass to Trey Tompkins, but it was nullified by a penalty. On the next play, Dustin Roller scored on a run, and once again, a penalty cancelled the score.

Finally, Reese Graham carried the ball in for a touchdown and a 21-13 lead—14 points  scored before the Patriots got in an offensive play.

Dustin Roller capped a drive in the fourth quarter with a 26-yard run and a pass to Clayton Wolf was good for two points. Frey was in the end zone for the third time on a 15-yard sprint for the final touchdown.

Hoffman was pleased with the efforts of his lineman, particularly in the second half.

“There were a lot of big hits and a lot of pancake blocks,” he said.

• Morenci takes on undefeated Whitmore Lake on the road Friday. Coach Hoffman knows the Trojans must have a good team to stand at 4-0, but he’s not sure how good they are.

Whitmore Lake has topped its opponents 170-24 this season, but those opponents have only four wins among them in 16 games.

“Whitmore Lake started off 4-0 last year and ended up at 4-5,” Hoffman said.

He’s hoping this year’s streak ends Friday.

JV FOOTBALL—The Bulldogs bent, but they never broke, said JV football coach Mike McDowell.

Britton-Deerfield managed to gain nearly 200 yards on the Bulldogs here Thursday, but they never made it into the end zone.

Morenci, on the other hand, scored on every possession but two—when a pass was intercepted and when the ball was lost on a fumble. The Patriots went home with a 35-0 loss.

The Patriots’ first possession ended on a blocked punt by Brad Funchion. After a couple of big gains by Jacob Baker, Andrew White scored a touchdown and kicked the first of five extra points.

B-D picked up a couple of first downs before they were stopped. Baker capped a drive for a 14-0 Morenci lead midway through the second quarter.

The Patriots advanced to Morenci’s 12 before half-time but were stopped short of a score.

In the second half, Simon Jeffers ran a counter play for a 57-yard gain. Baker soon had another touchdown. Morenci fumbled its next possession, but soon had the ball back. Brett Bovee got away from tacklers to travel 61 yards to the goal line for a 28-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.

After a Patriot punt, Baker broke loose for an 80-yard touchdown sprint to start the running clock with about eight minutes to play.

The Patriots’ final drive ended when Luke Craig intercepted and traveled 50 yards before he was brought down.

Baker gained 172 yards for the night on 11 carries. White added 78 yards on nine tries.

Lucas Hollstein led in tackles with 11 (two for losses). Bovee finished with 10, Austin VanBrandt with nine (one), Mitch Schmucker and Baker with eight each (two), and White and Jay Howard with seven each.

• Whitmore Lake visits Thursday for a game scheduled at 6:30.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
    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.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.

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