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.

State OKs eight-player football 6.24.09

Written by David Green.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association last month approved a plan for an eight-player football playoff division.

 Only those Class D schools with a maximum enrollment of 223 for the 2009-10 school year will be eligible for the eight-player division playoff.  Schools with enrollments too large for the MHSAA eight-player playoff division may still sponsor eight-player teams.

Games may take place during the regular season between schools which have declared for the eight-player or eleven-player division of post-season play, but those games will not count toward playoff or bonus points.

Eight-player competitions will comply with National Federation playing rules, and the field size approved by the Council for MHSAA Playoff games will be the traditional 100 yards from goal line to goal line, with the width of the field only 40 yards, to allow for games to be played on existing fields with a minimum of physical changes.  The MHSAA will also facilitate a meeting of schools sponsoring eight-player football to assist them in the development of regular-season schedules.

“The option of an eight-player division will benefit our smaller schools which have struggled to maintain sufficient numbers to sponsor football programs, and at the same time create an opportunity for other members of similar size to offer the football experience,” said Jack Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA.

In looking toward the 2010 season, schools will have to indicate in writing on two occasions—Nov. 19 by the athletic administrator, and then April 1, 2010 by the superintendent—their commitment to the eight-player division. If a minimum of 20 schools commit to the eight-player format, the MHSAA will conduct a 16-team, four-week playoff in 2010. If more than 40 schools commit, a 32-team, five week playoff will take place.

• OUT OF SEASON—Four changes were made to out-of-season regulations effective Aug. 1, 2009. The requirement that out-of-season “open gyms” have a diversity of activity was eliminated; but there will continue to be an emphasis that no organized drills, practice structure or sport instruction take place.

Schools will now be allowed to use non-competition practice jerseys at out-of-season camps and competitions.

The “three-player” rule has been increased to a four-player rule for all sports out-of-season during the school year for coach-athlete interaction, provided practice or competition with students or others not enrolled in that school district does not take place. 

Finally, the limited-player rule (three or four) will now end on the Monday following Memorial Day beginning with the 2009-10 school year, rather than ending on the final day of classes for each school.

• SOFTBALL—Beginning in 2009-10, the international tiebreaker rule will be used in all MHSAA softball tournament contests beginning in the 11th inning; and the rule may be used by league or conference adoption for regular-season games any time after seven innings. The international tiebreaker rule takes the player who was the last batter for a team in its last at-bat, and places that player at second base to begin the inning.

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