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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Sports Round-up 5.20.09

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE TRACK: Three Fayette athletes earned individual league champion status Saturday at the BBC track meet and one relay team also finished on top.

Senior Eliott Richardson closed out his high school career by winning the discus title with a toss of 132-0. Richardson also placed third in the shot put at 42-1.

The Eagles’ 800-meter relay team nipped North Central by a tenth of a second to win at 1:41.5. Team members were Caleb Brinegar, Shelby Franks, Austin Hylander and Dakota Shay.

In the girls races, junior Erica Goeltzenleuchter was back on top in the 3200-meter run after a disappointing race a year ago due to an injury. Her 12:41 topped the second place time by 17 seconds. Goeltzenleuchter also placed third in the 1600-meter run with a 5:59.

Junior Elisha Hartman turned from sprinter to middle distance runner to win the 800-meter run at 2:34.8—her career best.

“She has always been a sprinter and long jumper,” coach Ryan Colegrove said. “Then at the Hilltop Relays she ran an 800 in the distance medley. She ran a good time so she became an 800 runner.”

Other Eagles earning points were Alexa Kessler, sixth in the 800-meter run at 2:44; the 3200-meter relay team (Goeltzenleuchter, Hartman, Kessler and Hannah Schrock), third at 11:28; and the 1600-meter relay team (Hartman, Kessler, Sarah Kovar and Schrock), fifth at 5:03.

Others earning points for the boys were Franks, second in the long jump at 18-3 and second in the 300-meter hurdles at :43.7; Hylander, second in the 110-meter hurdles at :17.8, third in the 300-meter hurdles at :47.2 and fourth in the high jump at 5-2; Darrell Randall, fourth in the 3200-meter run at 10:47 and fifth in the 1600-meter run at 5:01; and Shay, fifth in the 100-meter dash.

The boys 400-meter relay team (Brinegar, Taylor Curry, Chase Hookstadt and Jerry Minzey) placed third at :51.9; the 1600-meter relay team (Brinegar, Hunter Colegrove, Franks and Hookstadt) placed third at 3:56.9; and the 3200-meter relay team (Colegrove, Logan Keefer, Ben Kovar and Randall) placed fourth at 9:19.

The boys placed fourth overall with 84 points, behind Hilltop (136.5), Edon (107.5) and Pettisville (95). The small girls team finished last. Pettisville won the championship.

• Fayette will compete at the district meet Thursday and Saturday at Ayersville.

MORENCI BASEBALL: The score looks bad, said Morenci baseball coach Roger Pontious, and unfortunately it’s no indication of how hard his squad played.

Summerfield claimed an 11-1 league victory in five innings against Morenci’s young squad that continues to dwindle in numbers.

For that game the Bulldogs had only nine players on the roster and Pontious was forced to make some changes on the field.

Not only were there several young players on the field, but even some of those with experience were standing in new positions.

Twice Morenci put runners on second and third with no outs, but neither resulted in runs.

The Bulldogs put their only run on the scoreboard when Nick Wilson scored on a base hit by Anthony Tompkins. Wilson got on base with a walk and advanced on two passed balls.

Brett Bovee went two for three at the plate and six runners were left on base.

Cody Long took the loss for Morenci, giving up eight runs—only three of them earned. He walked four and gave up eight hits. Michael Snyder threw the final inning and three runners came home.

• Morenci entertains Whiteford at 4:30 p.m. today and wraps up the regular season with a visit from Britton-Deerfield at 4:30 p.m. May 27.

In district tournament play, the Bulldogs face Lenawee Christian School at 10 a.m. May 30 at Whiteford.

MORENCI SOFTBALL: It’s bad enough dropping a close, extra-inning contest to highly-ranked Summerfield, but to give up a seventh-inning lead? Now that really hurts.

The Bulldogs were poised to topple Summerfield Friday on the opponent’s diamond when it suddenly fell apart.

An error and a pair of hits allowed Summerfield to tie game in the bottom of the seventh and they finally pulled out a 6-5 victory in the ninth—on another error.

“They were amazingly as poor as we were,” coach Kay Johnson said about the error-strewn contest. “It was rainy and windy, not a great night for softball.”

The two teams went scoreless through two innings before Morenci put one run on the scoreboard in the top of the third. Chanler McCaskey was safe on a bunt single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Megan Cox. McCaskey came home on error.

Summerfield went on top 2-1 in the fourth, but Morenci came back with three in the fifth. McCaskey was safe on an error, advanced on another bunt by Cox and came home on Jade Pfund’s base hit.

Two more Summerfield errors allowed Pfund and Nicolette Swimmer to score.

Summerfield made it a 4-3 game in the fifth inning and the Bulldogs made it 5-3 in the top of the seventh when McCaskey tripled and scored on a base hit by Cox.

The game was tied on an error and two singles and remained deadlocked until the bottom of the ninth when the home team took advantage of one final Morenci error.

None of Summerfield’s six runs were earned, although they managed six hits off Pfund. Nine batters struck out.

Eight Bulldogs batters were fanned and Morenci also finished with six hits—two by McCaskey and Pfund and one each by Cox and Matea Garcia.

• After facing Clinton for two games Tuesday, Morenci entertains Whiteford for two games (one of them considered league play) at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Britton-Deefield visits for a 4:30 p.m. make-up game May 27.

The Bulldogs face Lenawee Christian School in the district tournament opener May 30 after the baseball team plays. The tournament will be played in Whiteford.

MORENCI TRACK: Four Morenci track and field athletes will have an extended season after qualifying for the Div. IV state meet.

The event is scheduled May 30 in Grand Rapids.

For two of the four, it wasn’t just a matter of qualifying. They also finished as regional champions Saturday at Hillsdale College.

Junior speedster Chas Frey won a pair of championships, first taking the title in the 100-meter dash with a time of :11.19, then following that up with the 200-meter dash title at :23.1.

Sophomore Phoenix Duncan nearly matched his feat. She started the day with a second-place finish in the long jump, leaping to a career-best 16-5.25, then came through with another career topper in the high jump, easily winning the event at 5-5.

Morenci’s other two qualifiers are also making return appearances to the state meet. Senior Zach Phillips will run the 1600-meter run after his third-place finish Saturday. His time of 3:35 was his top time of the season, but still four seconds short of his school record performance last season.

Senior Lucas Johnson returns to compete in the discus toss after placing third with a toss of 144-5—a foot better than last season’s best.

Other point-winners for Morenci were Johnson, sixth in the shot put at 44-3.25; 3200-meter relay team (Trey Tompkins, Drew Tompkins, Logan Drummond and Micah Gillen), eighth at 9:27; 800-meter relay team (Nathan Grieder, Dustin Roller, Jordan Bach and Frey), fourth at 1:39.7; 1600-meter relay team (Grieder, Roller, Phillips and Frey), fourth at 3:38.5; Nichole Elarton, eighth in the discus at 89-0; Tequoia Jarrell, eighth in the long jump at 14-8.25; 800-meter relay team (Duncan, Sarah Ragan, Jarrell and Kathleen Barron), sixth at 1:59.8; and Kate Gallup, sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at :53.89.


Waldron High School will send three qualifiers to compete in four events.

Junior Katherine Baker will compete in the 100-meter hurdles with a qualifying time of :17.0 and in the 300-meter hurdles with her second-place time of :50.19.

Sophomore Fletcher Masters placed second in the 400-meter dash with a time of :52.02 and Blake Fix took second in the 1600-meter run at 4:34.87.

HOLE IN ONE: De-Mor Hills Golf Course reported its first hole-in-one of the season Friday.

Brian Fruchey scored an ace on the 214-yard no. 18 at De-Mor Hills using a five iron.

His feat was witnessed by Larry Gorsuch, Kenny Shadbolt and Travis Williams.

BBC SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Thirteen Fayette students earned scholar athlete awards for spring sports participation.

Two students, seniors Hannah Schrock (track) and Brittany Seiler (softball) maintained a 4.0 GPA while participating in sports.

Others earning scholar athlete status are junior Elisha Hartman (track), senior track team members Austin Hylander, Logan Keefer, Ben Kovar, Dakota Shay, Caleb Brinegar, Shelby Franks, and senior softball team members Trisha Bates, Katie Borer, Mara Raker and Danni Wyse.

Only juniors and seniors are eligible for the award.

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