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.
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    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.

Jeffery Nofziger places 2nd in state wrestling tournament 3.18.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It was the toughest call Morenci coach Scott Clark was ever forced to make: calling off a match in the state finals, when his own son was wrestling.

“It wasn’t a call I wanted to make,” Clark said Monday.

But only about 30 seconds into the championship bout of the 140-pound weight class, the referee came over to Clark and asked if his wrestler was all right.

Clark knew he wasn’t. Jeffery Nofziger, the Bulldogs’ top wrestler this season, suffered a shoulder injury in the semifinals the night before and he was obviously hurting.

“He’s wrestled through pain in the past, so we had to give him a shot,” Clark said.

Nofziger made it through two rounds and wanted to go for more, but Coach Clark had seen all he could take. The match was halted in an injury default and Nofziger learned later that he tore a shoulder muscle in the rotator cuff.

Nofziger advanced to the finals but never really had the chance to try for the top spot.

“He didn’t have an overpowering opponent,” Clark said. “Jeff just couldn’t do anything with one arm.”

Nofziger opened the tournament with an impressive 22-5 technical win against Kaleb Myer (38-20) of Dansville. Next came William Hodge (28-4) of Bangor and Nofziger posted an 8-1 victory.

The score shows a clear win for Nofziger, but the tall, lanky Hodge put up a challenge.

“His height made it more difficult for me,” Nofziger said. “I’m used to wrestling shorter kids.”

Nofziger’s favorite match of the weekend came in the semifinals when he faced Cassopolis senior Cory Lowe (45-4).

“He was pretty tough, but I got three takedowns on him,” Nofziger said.

Nofziger took the match 12-3, and it brought a special feeling: “I realized I was that close to reaching my dream.”

But before the match ended, Lowe was on top and Nofziger was working hard to escape.

“I was trying to get out and stretched my arm and it popped,” Nofziger said. “I still had a lot of adrenaline so I didn’t really feel it. I just hung in for the last three minutes.”

He still scored six more points and when the match ended, medics at the Palace suspected a shoulder displacement.

But the damage was done, Clark said. You just can’t wrestle with one arm and Aaron Smith (50-4) of Mio claimed the top spot.

Up until the finals, Nofziger never gave up a point other than those he gave away through intentional escapes.

“That was a good run,” Clark said. “I figured he could end up in the top three.”

He finished his senior season with a 37-4 mark, with two losses coming from state champs.

DUSTIN ROLLER—Morenci’s 130-pound junior, Dustin Roller, didn’t come up with a win at the state tournament, but he showed some skills at the Palace.

“He looked good in both matches,” Coach Clark said. “He wasn’t outclassed. He proved that he belonged there.”

Roller missed five weeks of competition due to an injury and returned to action not long before qualifying tournaments got underway.

He opened action Thursday against Bronson senior Preston Lucas (32-8) who ended up fifth in the state.

“Dustin scored a take-down right off the whistle and almost had him on his back,” Clark said.

Lucas recovered to score a 10-4 decision.

In his second match Friday, Roller took on Dansville senior Cody Mulhollen (41-13). Roller was trailing 4-7 when he was pinned in the final period. Mulhollen went on to place eighth.

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