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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Tom Saylor to coach in Morenci 12.17.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The decades old Morenci-Hudson football rivalry will never be the same, not with Tom Saylor on the Bulldogs’ side of the field.

Saylor, 66, served as head coach of the Hudson football team for 11 years, including the eight-year run when the Tigers forged their nationally-acclaimed winning streak.tomsaylor.jpg

Including the coaching he did while still in college, Saylor has more than 40 years of experience, despite taking off three years to develop a donut franchise and the past three years in an attempt at retirement.

Now he’s discovered that he’s not quite done with coaching. You might say that Tom Saylor has an itch that needs scratching, and he’s chosen Morenci to satisfy the urge.

“It’s kind of like coming home after all these years,” said the Deerfield native. “Deerfield is still very dear to me and I owe an awful lot to Pat Connors, my football coach there. He was a coach’s coach.”

Saylor helped another Deerfield coach, Dave Hinkle, while he was still a student at Eastern Michigan University. Hinkle was influential not only as a coach.

“He taught me to do donuts,” said Saylor, who bought Hinkle’s donut shop at Lake James, Ind., in 1968.

That enterprise has provided a livelihood ever since. With the help of a son, Saylor now owns Tom’s Donuts franchises in many locations.

Saylor took a teaching job at Hudson right out of college and at age 22, he volunteered to serve as head football coach when Jack Zimmerman became ill and a replacement was needed quickly.

He left Hudson after the 1976 season—with a 94-5-1 record—to take a job at Angola, Ind., serving as head coach for nine years before stepping down to the assistant level. He moved back up to head coach for one more stint until a younger coach was established, then three years ago he left football all together.

Until now.

When Morenci’s assistant athletic director Joe Farquhar heard that Saylor wanted back in one last time, he gave him a call and Saylor was interested.

He’s aware of the football tradition in Morenci—despite defeating the Bulldogs all 11 years that he faced them—and he felt very welcomed by Farquhar, principal Nate Parker and superintendent Kyle Griffith.

“If they think it’s OK for an old guy to step in there,” Saylor said, then he’s ready to give it a try.

Although his name might be known to many parents and grandparents, he realizes that it probably means little to today’s students. That’s all right with Saylor.

“I’m not going to Morenci on an ego trip,” he said. “I’m going because I think it’s the right thing to do. I want to work with some younger coaches and see if we can get something going.

“I coach for the kids and about the kids. I don’t want it to be a spectacle about me. I want to help the kids.”

It’s not only about wins and losses, Saylor adds.

“It’s also about what you can teach,” he said. “About fighting battles to get them through life. They need to have some background in teamwork, about hanging in there when the going gets tough, about finishing what you start, about how to take care of your buddies.”

He’s committing to three years in Morenci to help establish a strong program. Saylor wants to start things off with a parents meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 30 to explain why he thinks he could be a good fit for the football program and to answer questions about his coaching.

About that itch to scratch.… Would Saylor like to reach the top with a team?

“Is there unfinished business? Yes. Is there time? In my coaching days? Lord only knows. Will it happen quickly? No.”

Sure, he would love to guide a team far into the playoffs, but there’s more to his return than that.

“That’s not at the top of the list,” Saylor said. “I just like to coach.”

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