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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Sports round-up 1.28

Written by David Green.


After a game like Friday’s against Edon, it was all too easy for Fayette’s varsity boys to fall in love with the outside shooting game.

Unfortunately, those long-distance shots weren’t falling Saturday when Holgate visited.

The Eagles (6-6) hit nine threes against Edon (4-8)—the same as the Bombers—but the next night only one of 12 tries made it through the hoop.

The result was a heart-breaking loss, coach Todd Mitchell said, with Holgate (3-9) claiming a 38-34 victory in overtime.

It was a low-scoring game even by Holgate standards, Mitchell said. Both teams hit only one first-quarter bucket from the field and Fayette took a 5-3 lead.

The Tigers came through with 12 in the second and the Eagles only scored three. Fayette was back into contention in the second half, shooting seven for eight from the line in the fourth quarter to keep it tied at 30-30 when the buzzer sounded.

Fayette was in a good position to win in regulation, Mitchell said, but needed more patience to control the game.

In overtime, the Tigers shot three for four from the line to pull out the victory.

“We played much more aggressively in the second half,” Mitchell said. “We cut turnovers to three which was a big key in getting back into the lead.”

Jason Rodriguez led scoring with nine points. Tyler Keefer finished with six rebounds and Coty Griffiths made three steals.

EDON—Fayette forged a 40-28 half-time lead against Edon, but the Bombers threatened when the Eagles hit a third-quarter slump.

“We should have put it away in the third quarter but we let them back in,” Mitchell said.

The Bombers came through with 23 third-quarter points, but the Eagles stayed on top in the final period with Austin Hylander scoring seven of his 22. Rodriguez also hit double figures with 15 and Evan Stoltzfus finished with 11. Hylander collected eight rebounds while Keefer and Griffiths each finished with six.

• Fayette will try to avenge an earlier loss to Stryker (6-6) at home Friday. They travel to Montpelier on Saturday.

JV BOYS: Fayette’s varsity boys team wasn’t the only one to experience overtime heartbreak Saturday night. The JV team also fell to Holgate in an extra session, 32-31.

The Eagles made a remarkable comeback from an early 13-0 deficit. In the end, a rebound and last-second shot win the game for Holgate.

In the first half, the outside shots weren’t falling, coach Matt Maginn said, so the Eagles penetrated in the second half and turned the game around. Fayette’s press also gave the visitors a challenge.

Trevor Cox finished with 18 points and scored all nine of the team’s free throws. He also collected three rebounds and three steals. Travis Kline brought in four rebounds.

The Eagles couldn’t hold on to their half-time lead when Edon visited Friday. Fayette connected on three threes in the fourth quarter—two from Cox and one from Nelson Barnhiser—but the Bombers shot six-for-six from the line to stay on top.

Cox scored 15. Hunter Colegrove collected five rebounds while Cox and Dakota Lantz each had four. Lantz also finished with four steals.

FAYETTE GIRLS BASKETBALL: Fayette’s foul trouble paved the way for Hicksville’s varsity girls Jan. 20. The Aces connected on 17 of 28 tries to claim a 61-51 non-conference victory.

The Eagles were down by nine at half-time, but Hicksville padded the lead with an 11-4 third quarter.

Fayette responded with a strong, 24-point fourth quarter, but the Aces nearly kept pace to notch the win.

Danni Wyse hit a pair of three-point shots in the final quarter, scoring 11 of her 14-point total that period. JeriAnn Lewellen also sank a pair of threes and finished the game with 12 points. Heather Cuff added three buckets in the fourth.

Elisha Hartman and Amber Scott each scored eight points, but Scott left the game with five fouls.

Hicksville hit eight free throws in the final quarter.

Thursday at Edon, the Eagles let a close game slip away in the fourth quarter, sending the Bombers to the line 13 times. Six of those went through the hoop to help Edon post a 49-36 BBC win.

Fayette came through on five of 15 tries from the line.

Wyse was the top scored for Fayette with 11 points.

• The Eagles travel to Stryker on Thursday and play at Montpelier on Saturday. The JV game begins a 3 p.m. The boys teams play later in the evening. A rescheduled game at Hilltop will be played Monday.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls made it past Hicksville Jan. 20, but when they traveled to league foe Edon on Thursday, they fell short.

The Eagles trailed Edon by 10 points going into the final quarter, but managed to trim off only three points in the 32-25 loss.

Fayette went to the line only four times, with Tori Lichtenwald sinking three of the four. She ended the game with seven points, just behind Leah Brinegar with eight.

The third quarter made the difference for the Eagles at home against Hicksville. Fayette took a 10-4 advantage to wrap up the close contest 34-27.

The Aces had their chances at the line, but hit only four of 15 shots. The Eagles came through with a seven-for-eight showing.

Nicole Shaffer led scoring with 12 points.

MORENCI BOYS BASKETBALL: Morenci was nearly the giant-killer last week at Summerfield. At that time the Monroe County team was still unbeaten in the league and Morenci played them closely.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to one point with less than three minutes to play, but ended up losing 70-59.

Instead, it was Whitmore Lake that delivered Summerfield’s first loss three days later.

“The kids played hard and I was really pleased with their effort,” coach Tim Bovee said. “We had some inopportune misses on some relatively easy shots. We have to concentrate on the little things.”

Morenci had a narrow lead after a quarter and was down by just three at intermission.

When the Bulldogs pulled to within one late in the game, Bovee called time-out to make some final plans. After the in-bound, one pass was made before Morenci turned the ball over.

Summerfield came back with a bucket and then another one to secure the win.

Turn-overs, close-range shots and missed free throws (10 for 24)—that’s what left Morenci short, Bovee said.

“We shot a better percentage overall, but we still missed some lay-ups,” he said.  “We’re getting the opportunities but we just aren’t capitalizing.”

Summerfield’s Eric Cogan scored 30 points.

WHITEFORD—Tuesday’s game was against the top team. Friday brought the highest scorers to town.

Brandon Albright surpassed team-mate Jake Dupree as the TCC’s top scorer. His 29 points against Morenci raised his season average to 22.2 points a game. Dupree stands at 20.9.

Whiteford took a commanding 36-21 lead at half-time and ended with a 71-48 win.

Matt Hoadley led Morenci’s offensive effort with 15 points and Clayton Wolf added 11.

The Bulldogs travel Thursday to Clinton and Saturday for a make-up game at Deerfield. The JV contest starts at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs face Whiteford again on Tuesday.

JV BOYS: With the number of players dwindling, Morenci’s junior varsity basketball team is taking some losses.

Leading scorer Andrew White is likely out for the season with mononucleosis, said coach John Craig. Brad Funchion and Max Gautz are out with injuries.

Even with the absent players, Craig said, the team has done well.

The Bulldogs played close with Whitmore Lake here Monday until late in the game when the Trojans pulled away with some three-point shots and claimed a 64-52 victory. Morenci led most of the night.

Both teams finished with seven shots outside the arc and Alex Tompkins hit three for Morenci.

Luke Craig led the Bulldogs’ scoring with 14.

“We went down fighting,” Craig said about the 57-42 loss at home Friday to Whiteford. “We played tremendous defense late in the game.”

The Bulldogs outscored Whiteford 19-10 in the fourth quarter.

Lucas Hollstein scored 15 points, followed by Craig with 13.

Morenci played even with Summerfield during the second half, but the damage was done by then. Summerfield claimed a 65-49 victory.

“Summerfield is a very strong, very deep team,” Coach Craig said.

MORENCI GIRLS BASKETBALL: Morenci’s girls never could wrap up the win early at Deerfield last week. The Bulldogs ended up with a 59-48 TCC victory, despite a comeback attempt by the the Minutemen.

“We played well, but we couldn’t hit the hole,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “And Deerfield’s not a bad ball team. They can be feisty.”

Morenci’ led by eight points at half-time  while dealing with some foul trouble. The lead swelled to 19 in the big third quarter, but Deerfield managed to trim the margin below 10 points in the fourth.

“I challenged the girls to hold them to six points in the third quarter and Deerfield ended up eight.”

But in the final period, the Bulldogs didn’t protect the ball as well and turnovers helped the Minutemen come back.

Tia Tompkins finished with 21 points, all but two coming in the second half. The sophomore scored 12 in the third quarter, hit from both inside and outside the paint.

Nicolette Swimmer had a strong second half and finished with 12 points. Jade Pfund shot three for three from the field and four for four from the line for 10 points.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Coach Yatzek said, but this week will determine where the Bulldogs end up.

Morenci traveled to Whitmore Lake last night and follow that up with make-up game at Summerfield tonight. They’re on the road to Madison Thursday and to Sand Creek Friday.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci produced a second-place finisher Saturday at the tough Hudson Super 16 tournament.

Twenty-eight teams were invited to the annual event in which the top 16 individuals in each division face off. A “B Division” tournament is run concurrently for wrestlers rated lower.

Morenci senior Jeff Nofziger earned two pins and a decision win before falling 6-11 in the finals to a Dundee opponent.

Nofziger started the day by pinning an East Jackson foe at 3:57 and followed that with an 11-6 decision against Sand Creek. A Highland Park wrestler was pinned at 3:13 to earn a place in the tournament finals.

Other Bulldogs earning points were Lucas Johnson who opened the 189-pound competition with an 8-4 decision against Highland Park.

Johnson then withdrew from the tournament due to an elbow injury.

Sam Majahrowski scored a quick 53-second pin in his opening bout in the 285-pound class, but he was later pinned by Caro at 1:04 and by Hart at 2:04.

Tyler Guelde (112) lost 0-16 to the eventual tournament runner-up from Hudson and was pinned by an Adrian wrestler.

Corey Williams (152) was pinned by a Blissfield wrestler at 1:20 and he lost to Hudson 0-6.

Nathan Grieder was pinned by Dansville at 1:28 and lost to Napoleon 7-10 in the final seconds of the match.

Dustin Roller didn’t compete due to a shoulder injury.

In the “B Division,” Marcus Burciaga claimed a 6-4 decision against St. Mary Catholic Central before losing to Manchester by a pin in the finals.

Loren Delmonico was pinned by wrestlers from Martin and Summit Academy.

In team points, Morenci placed 20th of 28 teams. Dundee edged Hudson for the title.

“There was a lot of really good wrestling and some very tough teams,” coach Scott Clark said. “I saw some state champs taking third place.”

• Morenci competes Saturday at the Jonesville team tournament with seven teams participating.

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