POWER-LIFTING: Three Morenci lifters mixed with some of the best last weekend at the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals in Killeen, Texas. All three earned top-10 finishes.
“Although each of the Morenci kids had hoped to end with higher totals,” said coach Dan Hoffman, “they still enjoyed the honor of lifting among the best power-lifters in the U.S. and even some of the best in the world.”
Sophomore Naomi Hoffman came through with a fourth place in the 114-pound junior varsity girls division.
She compiled a score of 550 pounds from a 209-pound squat, a 110-pound bench and a 231-pound dead lift—her best dead lift by six pounds.
“On her final attempt she pulled up 248 pounds, but lost her balance before she was able to set it down,” Coach Hoffman said.
Her division featured very close competition where any of the top four lifters could have won, Hoffman said.
Hoffman completed eight of nine attempts, but half of those were not counted due to technical violations.
In the 123-pound varsity girls division, Salena Keller ended up with only four of her lifts counting, and two other lifts didn’t pass the judges’ decisions.
Her 606-pound total was good for seventh place. She scored 226 on her squat, 105 on the bench and 275 in the dead lift.
“Salena’s weight class was exceptionally talented,” Coach Hoffman said. “The two-time world champ won, finishing with a 410-pound dead lift and two other girls were seriously challenging her title.”
Morenci senior Levi Hoffman, competing in the 181 boys varsity division, used his personal best competition score in the bench to come in third place. He was seeded fifth going into the event.
He scored 507 pounds in the squat, 342 pounds in the bench and 529 in the dead lift for a 1,378-pound total.
“Levi’s weight class was also extremely talented,” Coach Hoffman said. “The first and second place finishers totaled 150 pounds above any 181 male totals ever in a high school national meet.”
Each of the two top lifters had squats and benches well over 600 pounds.
The second-place finisher is the son of 10-time world power-lifting champion Gene Bell.
SOFTBALL: Two double-headers, four wins.
That’s how it went for the Bulldogs in the early season last week, first taking two games from Lenawee Christian School March 31 before knocking off Hudson twice on April 1.
Morenci coach Kay Johnson was pleased with the victories—raising her career win total to 703—but she knows the Bulldog offense will have to improve to find success in the Tri-County Conference again this season.
“I’ve read that pitchers are really dominating the early season games and that is to be expected,” she said.
“Hopefully, our hitters will improve as the season goes along, because we’re not going to win a lot of games in our league if we keep striking out more than 10 times every game.”
The Bulldogs scored four runs in each of the two victories at LCS and added a few more Wednesday at Adrian College where Morenci faced Hudson.
Jade Pfund claimed both wins against the Tigers as Morenci took the opener 7-2 and wrapped it up with a bigger 12-2 win.
Pfund fanned 18 Tigers in the opener while allowing two walks and two hits.
Nicolette Swimmer drove Pfund home in the first inning after Pfund reached second on a double. In the second inning, Chanler McCaskey doubled and scored on Pfund’s base hit.
Three runs scored on three errors in the fifth inning. McCaskey scored in the seventh on a bunt by Megan Cox. Pfund doubled and scored on a sacrifice by Swimmer.
Pfund struck out a dozen batters in the 12-2 nightcap. The senior walked one and gave up three hits.
The Bulldogs scored four runs in the first inning on base hits by Cox, Swimmer, Tess Ramsey, Mariah Bovee and Jacklyn Paris.
Three more came home in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded walk to Ramsey, singles by Pfund and Swimmer and a ground ball by Bovee. Shaden Olmstead scored as a runner for Pfund.
Pfund gave up no walks at LCS and struck out 15. Five of those came in the first two innings of the second contest before she gave up the mound to Barbara Hollstein.
Coach Johnson put Hollstein in to give Pfund a rest and she never took her off the mound. Hollstein struck out three and walked four to allow the Cougars two runs in their 4-2 loss to Morenci.
In the first game, the Bulldogs opened up with two runs in the first inning singles by McCaskey and Pfund, followed by a two-run ground ball error with two outs.
In the second inning there were two outs when Pfund singled and came home on Swimmer’s double.
Again in the fifth inning, Pfund came to bat with two outs. She reached first on an error and scored on Swimmer’s base hit for a 4-1 victory. LCS scored on an error and a double.
In the second game, the Bulldogs scored single runs in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh on a single, double and triple by McCaskey and a double by Swimmer.
DONUTS (OR DOUGHNUTS): Morenci’s Athletic Boosters are willing to bet dollars to donuts that people are going to like the taste of Tom’s Donuts.
The Boosters have a donut sales fund raiser underway to bring in money for all of the school sports programs.
Morenci’s new football coach Tom Saylor—the owner of Tom’s Donuts in Indiana—offered the Boosters an opportunity to earn funds for the sport of their choice through donut sales.
Now through April 20, orders are being taken for a dozen mixed variety donuts for $10. The donuts will be delivered April 25. A few extra dozen will also be available that day at Wakefield Park where athletes will pick up their orders for delivery.
“It’s 100 percent profit,” said Athletic Booster officer Tracy Clegg. “All the proceeds go back to athletics. He’s donating all the materials.”
Prizes will go to those selling the most donuts.
Students indicate on their order form which sport they want the proceeds to benefit. All high school varsity and junior varsity sports are included.
Coach Saylor has tried the fund-raiser in another school district and he likes how it forces students to go out and talk with the public and learn about making a sale.
To place an order, call any of these Booster members: Penny Baumgartner, 517/403-4109; Tracy Clegg, 458-8158; or Phil McCaskey, 517/286-6893.