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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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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  • Cheer
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Sports roundup 12.17.08

Written by David Green.

MORENCI/FAYETTE BASKETBALL: Morenci took the first half, but not by much. When the second half was finished, this game belonged to Fayette—and by a big margin.

A tale of two halves, said Morenci coach Tim Bovee.

“In the second half, we just didn’t make any shots,” he said. “We broke their press in the second half and had some good shots. We just couldn’t convert.”

The Bulldogs went cold to the tune of a 20-3 third quarter margin. It didn’t get much better for Morenci in the final period, either, with the Eagles out-scoring 18-7.

The close first half ended with Morenci on top, 31-25. The game ended in Fayette’s favor, 63-41.

Turnovers were the Eagles’ problem in the first half.

“We turned the ball over way too much,” Fayette coach Todd Mitchell said. “I think we were too amped up.”

Opening game jitters, along with an aggressive Morenci press, slowed the Eagles down. They also missed some easy looks and started fouling in the second quarter as the defense got a little lazy, Mitchell said.

“We made some adjustments at half and held them to three points in the third,” he said.

Not only that, Fayette adjusted to the pressure and took care of the ball better, finishing up the second half with just three turnovers.

It was Morenci that dished out the fouls in the second half—12 trips to the free throw line for Fayette in the third and 13 in the fourth—and it was foul shots that clinched the win. The Eagles sunk 22 of 33 attempts for the night. Morenci was good on only four of 16 tries.

“I think we panicked some after the lead slipped,” Bovee said, “and it’s hard to rein that back in.”

With Morenci’s shots not going through the hoop, the Bulldogs started to lose control of the flow.

“We missed a shot and couldn’t set up our press,” Bovee said. “They made a shot and put on the press. Fayette did a nice job.”

The Eagles went to the boards well, Bovee said, and boxed out. Morenci got caught watching too many shots.

He has no complaint about the overall effort of his squad.

“The effort, intensity and desire was there.”

Austin Hylander turned in an overall strong performance for Fayette with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jason Rodriguez and Coty Griffiths each finished with seven rebounds.

Hylander hit seven of eight tries from the line and Evan Stoltzfus went four for four.

Brett Bovee was the only Morenci player to reach double figures with 11 points.

FAYETTE BOYS: Fayette’s boys almost got the job done through the long-distance shot, but it wasn’t quite enough. Stryker took the edge at the free-throw line and posted a 52-48 BBC win Dec. 11.

The Eagles found it impossible to control Stryker’s Jordan Jaggers. He hit 13 buckets to finish with 33 points, including 12 of the team’s 15 points in the final quarter.

Fayette’s outside game was led by Austin Hylander with three three-pointers. He finished the contest with 18 points. Coty Griffiths broke into double figures with 11 points.

In a non-conference clash at home Saturday, the Eagles fell behind in the third quarter and got swamped in the fourth to lose 59-44.

After three quarters, the Archers were up by three, 40-37, but they went wild at the line in the final stanza. The stepped to the line 18 times and canned 13 of them—just when Fayette’s offense went to sleep. The final quarter margin was 19-7 in Antwerp’s favor.

No one scored double figures for the Eagles. Hylander and Jason Rodriguez each finished with eight points.

• After a trip Thursday to North Central, the Eagles are off until Jan. 3.

FAYETTE GIRLS: Amber Scott pumped in three three-point shots Saturday when Fayette’s varsity girls entertained Antwerp, but they weren’t enough to keep the Eagles in the game.

A weak second quarter with only a single basket pushed the Eagles off track and the Archers won 44-30.

Fayette went to the line for only four shots while Antwerp had 13 chances and converted on seven.

Scott led Fayette’s scoring with 12 points, followed by Danni Wyse with seven.

The Eagles fell behind quickly Dec. 12 against an offensive onslaught by Stryker. Panther Brooke Hancock scored 10 points to lead her team to a 21-7 advantage.

In the second quarter, Stryker was sent to the line 13 times and only missed three as the lead grew to 37-10 by intermission.

The teams played close in the second half, but Stryker finished with a 55-27 win in the Eagles’ first league game of the season.

The Panthers ended with 16 points from the line compared to Fayette’s four. Scott and Wyse each scored seven points to lead the Eagles.

• Fayette entertains North Central on Friday and competes in the Ayersville Holiday Tournament Dec. 29 and 30.

FAYETTE JV: Fayette’s JV boys jumped out to a good lead at Stryker Thursday, then the scoring shut off. The Panthers tied the game at 16 each by intermission and kept pouring in the points to win 48-28.

“We didn’t box out well,” coach Matt Maginn said. “We really need to work on rebounding. We just seemed to run out of gas.”

The Eagles scored only four points in each of the two middle quarters. Trevor Cox led scoring with 11 points.

Maginn saw an improved overall showing Saturday when Antwerp visited, but Fayette still finished on the short end, 42-34 in overtime.

The Archers took a 10-2 advantage in the extra session to win.

Fayette gave Antwerp too many second chances by failing to box out underneath.

Travis Kline played his best game of the young season, Maginn said, and Nelson Barnhiser did a good job taking care of the ball and getting the offense started.

Kline and Hunter Colegrove each finished with 10 points.

Fayette’s JV girls picked up a win Saturday when Antwerp visited, following a close loss to Stryker at home Friday.

The Eagles took a 6-0 lead after a quarter, but were on top by only a point at half-time and also leading into the final period.

The Archers converted only one of seven tries from the free throw line in the fourth quarter while Fayette hit four of nine to win 21-19.

Nicole Shaffer sunk all three of her fourth-quarter shots from the line. Leah Brinegar led all scorers with 12 points.

A good performance at the free-throw line kept Fayette in the game against Stryker, but it wasn’t quite enough to win. The Panthers’ big second quarter led them to a 38-30 victory.

The Eagles hit 10 of 12 from the line, including four for five from Jacy Lewellen and four for four from Brinegar. Lewellen finished with 10 points.

MORENCI BOYS: Trailing by a point with less than a minute to play, it looked like Morenci found the way to defeat the visitors from Addison here Friday.

The Panthers were cutting some time off the clock when Clayton Wolf stole the ball to give the Bulldogs 40 seconds to make a game-winning bucket.

But as they worked the ball in toward the basket, they lost control and Addison had 20 seconds to hold on.

Instead, they were called for traveling on the inbound play and Morenci was given another chance.

Three seconds later, Morenci committed a foul and the Panther lead grew to three.

Ten seconds to play and this time a Bulldog pass was knocked out of bounds. One last opportunity remained with three seconds to go, but an Addison player managed a steal and the game ended. The Panthers claimed a 59-56 non-league victory as Morenci dropped to 0-2.

“We got a lucky break, but then we never got a shot off in the last 20 seconds,” said Bulldog coach Tim Bovee. “We had some opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them.”

The two teams played to a 14-14 first-quarter tie and stayed close into the third quarter.

The Panthers canned a pair of three-point shots that put them up by six half-way through the third—the biggest lead so far for either team. Wolf scored two from the line and soon made another bucket to close it up again.

With about 6:30 to play, Brett Bovee hit a three-pointer and followed it up with a two. Jarrett Keller hit both ends of a one-and-one and Morenci was on top by eight points with 5:32 to play.

After three Morenci turnovers, the Panthers were back in the game.

“I think we got a little nervous again trying to work the offense,” Coach Bovee said. “But we’re coming around. The kids are playing hard and defensively we looked better.”

The Bulldogs connected on only one of 10 three-point attempts while Addison scored on five of 12 tries.

Wolf collected six rebounds and Matt Hoadley finished with five. Anthony Tompkins made five steals and Bovee gave six assists. Wolf finished with 19 points.

• Morenci’s Athletic Boosters are urging fans to flood the Sand Creek bleachers with maroon Thursday night as the Bulldogs open the TCC season. After that, Morenci is off until Jan. 3.

MORENCI GIRLS: Morenci’s girls coach Jim Yatzek depends on his defense to keep the Bulldogs in contention when the offense isn’t producing.

That didn’t happen in the second half Thursday when Madison visited.

The Bulldogs faltered at both ends of the court, and in one devastating quarter, Madison ran away with the game.

After a two-point difference at the half, the Trojans outscored Morenci 19-6 to break the game open. The two teams played even up in the fourth, when the Bulldogs needed to make a comeback, and Madison improved to 3-1 with a 48-23 TCC win. Morenci slipped to 0-3.

Four third-quarter turnovers didn’t help Morenci’s cause and the Bulldogs scored only two points in the final four minutes of the quarter.

• Morenci wraps up the December schedule at home Friday against Deerfield.

MORENCI JV: Morenci’s JV boys cage team tried to keep pace with Fayette in the season opener in Morenci Dec. 9, but it didn’t last long.

With Eagle freshman Trevor Cox scoring 13 by half-time and Dakota Lantz adding 12, the Bulldogs slipped to a 36-20 deficit by the break. In the end, Fayette was on top 65-39.

“Fayette has a nice team,” said Morenci coach John Craig. “I’m not too disappointed with how we played. It was a big improvement from scrimmage. We have an all-freshman team and it was our first game. Fayette did a nice job of exposing our weaknesses.”

Fayette coach Matt Maginn was impressed with the Bulldogs’ effort, and he was also pleased with Cox’s performance, at both ends of the court. Cox finished with 23 points and Lantz added 16.

Jesus Moreno also brought a lot of energy to the game, Maginn said, and scored 10 points.

Andrew White paced the Bulldogs with 14 points, followed by Luke Craig with 13.

Addison tried to press its way back into the game late in the contest here Friday, but Morenci’s JV boys held on for a 61-50 victory.

“They put some pressure on and we had a couple of turnovers,” coach John Craig said. “We settled down and hung on for the win. I’m really impressed with how we finished the game.”

The Bulldogs came from behind to forge a 10-point lead before half-time, but that slipped to four when time ran out. Morenci brought the margin back up to 10 and held on.

Addison had a much bigger team, Craig said, but his squad did well at controlling the pace of the game.

“For a freshman team to go against a JV team and succeed, that shows how much potential these kids have,” he said.

Luke Craig and Andrew White each scored 17 points. Lucas Hollstein added 14.


Morenci’s wrestlers picked up a pair of victories Saturday at Pittsford despite a few empty weight classes and a pair of injuries.

Dustin Roller, Jeff Nofziger and Jordan Bach were undefeated for the day.

“We were looking pretty good going in,” coach Scott Clark said.

In the first bout of the day, Loren Delmonico and Lucas Johnson received injuries that put them out of action for the remainder of the tournament.

“It’s the same old story,” Clark said. “You can’t put a good team score together with that many voids.”

Morenci dropped its opener 42-28 to Pittsford. The Bulldogs picked up a couple of void wins in the lightest weights. Roller (130) won 21-6 and Nofziger (145) won 23-8. Levi Hoffman (189) earned a pin at 3:10 in his first career match. Sam Majahrowski (285) scored a pin in 23 seconds.

Mitch Schmucker (160) and Corey Williams (171) lost to state qualifiers.

The Bulldogs knocked down the inexperienced Colon team 57-18.

Marcus Burciaga (103) scored a pin in 28 seconds and Tyler Guelde (119) pinned in 2:54. Roller took a 13-12 decision. The remainder of the team all scored pins: Nofziger at 1:28; Nate Grieder (150) at 1:51; Schmucker at 1:53; Williams at 5:23; Bach at 2:33; Hoffman at 1:14; Majahrowski at :51.

Vandercook Lake fell 60-18, with pins earned by Guelde at :11; Roller at 1:11; Nofziger at :50; Grieder at :56; Schmucker at 3:38; Hoffman at :44 and Majahrowski at 1:36.

Next came a couple better established squads. Morenci fell to Reading, 54-25, and to the tournament champions from Constantine, 60-23.

Against Reading, Guelde won 19-5, Roller won 13-2 and Nofziger won 19-4. Bach scored a pin at 1:15. Burciaga picked up the remaining six points in a void win.

Roller claimed a 20-5 decision against Constantine. Pins were earned by Nofziger at 1:51; Schmucker at 2:27 and Bach at 2:52.

Roller and Nofziger remain unbeaten this season while Bach has two losses and Majahrowski has three.

• The Bulldogs take on Michigan Center and East Jackson tonight at Onsted and finish up the 2008 schedule with a trip to the big East Jackson tournament Saturday with 20 teams.

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