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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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Tom Saylor to coach in Morenci 12.17.08

Written 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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