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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Sports Round-up 5.06

Written by David Green.

MORENCI BASEBALL: Southfield Christian saw some pitching here Saturday that no one else has seen.

Between sore arms and ineligibility, Bulldog coach Roger Pontious had to dig deep to fill the mound position.

“Our pitching is what’s hurting us,” Pontious said. “We’re still so young. We’re definitely relying on experienced kids.”

Morenci has two freshmen now in starting positions along with two seniors who are playing for the first time.

The visiting Eagles took a four-inning 15-0 win in the opener as Daniel Stutzman, Johnnie Gilbert and Joe Perez each took a turn on the mound.

The Bulldogs gave Southfield Christian a better game in the second half of the twin bill with veteran Cody Long pitching. Long had to leave after five innings due to arm pain and the Eagles finished with a 13-6 win.

With two outs in the first inning, Simon Jeffers came through with an RBI-single to bring his brother, Isaac, home from third.

Morenci tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning with three extra-base hits. Anthony Tompkins belted a double and came home on Nick Wilson’s long home run. Michael Snyder followed with a double and Isaac Jeffers brought him home with base hit.

The Eagles scored seven in the bottom of the sixth.

SAND CREEK—Morenci came through with only three hits in an 18-1 loss to Sand Creek at home Monday.

Wilson started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs, but a cut finger prevented him from putting much speed on the ball.

Finally, Coach Pontious took him out and gave Snyder and then Perez some pitching time. Sand Creek also took advantage of six infield errors by Morenci.

Wilson had two of Morenci’s hits off Aggie winner Tim McCarty.

Morenci scored its only run in the first inning when Jay Howard walked, advanced on a balk and a ground out, and came home on Wilson’s base hit.

SUMMERFIELD—Morenci played close with Summerfield last week, dropping a 6-4 contest.

“We committed seven errors and that’s what cost us the game,” Pontious said.


MORENCI SOFTBALL: Just one run made the difference for  Morenci’s softball girls here Monday.

The Bulldogs (15-4) scored a pair of runs on base hits and one more run on an error to down Sand Creek 3-2 here Monday.

“We had nine hits, but we spread them out,” coach Kay Johnson said.

The Bulldogs finished the contest with only three strikeouts.

The Aggies weren’t as fortunate at the plate. Jade Pfund fanned 11 of the visitors, walked one and gave up three hits. Morenci committed no errors.

Sand Creek put the first run on the board when a fly ball was misplayed and dropped between two Morenci outfielders.

The Bulldogs came back with one run in the bottom of the inning when Matea Garcia hit a two-out single and scored on a base hit by Tia Tompkins.

In the fourth, Jackie Paris drew a walk and scored when a fielder threw wild on Tompkins’ sacrifice bunt. Tompkins also came home when Chanler McCaskey singled.

In the sixth, Sand Creek closed the gap to 3-2 with a run on a passed ball. A runner advanced to third base, still without an out, but Pfund struck out the next three batters.

McCaskey, Garcia and Tompkins each finished with two hits. Nicolette Swimmer, Pfund and Megan Cox each got a hit.

ALLENDALE—Morenci started off against the best at the Allendale Invitational, falling to Covenant Christian 10-1.

Once Morenci fell behind by five runs in the fifth, Coach Johnson gave Pfund a rest with two games yet to play. Swimmer and Barbara Hollstein took turns on the mound.

Pfund gave up four hits and two earned runs. She also had an uncharacteristic four walks, but Johnson said her heel kept slipping on a second pitching rubber positioned closer, just inside the mound.

Cox drove Chelsea Tompkins home in the sixth for Morenci’s only run.

Pfund struck out 10 Allendale runners in the next game, but Morenci lost 4-3.

Tess Ramsey drove Swimmer home with a sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning. A base hit by Cox in the fifth scored Chelsea Tompkins.

McCaskey, who was on base with a double, scored on a suicide squeeze with Pfund at bat to give Morenci a 3-2 lead.

Chelsea Tompkins led off with a triple in the seventh, but a good fielding play ended the game.

The Bulldogs downed Hopkins 12-2 in the final contest. McCaskey belted two doubles and a single that went all the way to the fence. Cox and Ramsey each had a pair of hits.

Pfund fanned 11 and gave up two hits.

SUMMERFIELD—Three of Summerfield’s four runs came courtesy of Morenci errors when the two top-10 teams tangled here last week.

Pfund gave up only two hits and a walk, but Morenci never threatened. Mariah Bovee singled in the fifth and Cox in the sixth. Paris drew a walk—the only other Bulldog base runner.

Summerfield scored on a disputed call in the second inning when a base runner collided with Morenci catcher Chelsea Tompkins on a perfect throw from Ramsey in centerfield. Ramsey repeated the play later in the inning for an out.

Ramsey also doubled a runner off second base in the sixth and made a good running catch in the seventh.

Pfund was injured by a line drive in the sixth inning with a 2-0 score, but she kept pitching. Summerfield scored runs in the seventh on two Morenci errors followed by two base hits.


MORENCI TRACK: Morenci track coach Brad Brown just wishes it would have been a fair fight, so to speak.

He knew the Bulldog boys had no chance against Whitmore Lake last week. No one is coming within 40 points of the Trojans, he said. But Madison is a different matter.

Morenci could have been the victors against that other set of Trojans if the entire team had been present. Instead, three of the top point-winners were absent and Madison claimed a 79-54 win. Whitmore Lake won 97-31.

“We couldn’t even field our relays,” Brown said.

Chas Frey made his presence known, claiming first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400 against Madison, but he was outpaced by Whitmore Lake speedster Steve Machin in the shorter sprints. Frey’s :23.6 on the 200 is his best of the season.

Zach Phillips won the high jump and 3200-meter run against Madison. Levi Hoffman took first in the shot put against both opponents with his season-best 37-10.

Morenci’s girls squad fell to Whitmore Lake 81-47 and to Madison 111-26.

Phoenix Duncan placed first in the long jump and high jump against Madison. Nichole Elarton came through with her best discus toss of the season (100-7) to top both opponents.

Hudson Relays

Morenci’s boys team placed second Saturday at the Hudson Booster Invitational, well behind Vandercook Lake and a point ahead of Hudson in third.

The Bulldogs were winners in the discus relay and second in the shot put. Frey won the 100-meter dash and placed second in the 400.

Morenci’s girls placed fifth overall, but the long jump team took first. Chelsea Howard placed fourth in the open 3200-meter run at 6:30.


• No Fayette sports news was received this week.

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