FAYETTE CROSS: Six Fayette runners posted sub-20 minute times for the first race of the season Saturday, but then a league opponent gave them everything they could handle at home Monday.
Falling to Hilltop by 15 points Monday raises the bar a little higher for the Eagles’ goal of a BBC boys championship this year, but the season is young—and so is the Fayette team.
“I was disappointed,” coach Bryan Stambaugh said about the Hilltop loss. “I thought we would be a little farther up than that.”
But he has a squad with no seniors and there’s a lot of learning to do. Fayette is also hurt by the absence of last year’s number two runner, Dakota Brooks, who moved out of the area.
At the Defiance Early Bird Open Saturday, junior Darrell Randall placed fourth for the second year in a row, finishing at 17:13 behind two Defiance runners and one from Napoleon. Trevin Flickinger of Defiance won at 16:25. Randall has been fighting some back pain, Stambaugh said.
Fayette’s other placers were returning sophomore Trevor Cox (21st, 18:39), returning sophomore Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (26th, 18:54), returning junior Hunter Colegrove (34th, 19:12), returning junior Chase Hookstadt (35th, 19:13), rookie junior Tyler Keefer (48th, 19:40), rookie junior Clay Burkholder (76th, 20:52), returning sophomore Tim Stoltzfus (87th, 21:09), freshman Dustin Lantz (101st, 21:48), returning sophomore Skylar Sommers (115th, 22:35), rookie sophomore Nathan Seiler (117th, 22:48) and rookie junior Andy Karathanasis (135th, 25:08).
Coach Stambaugh hopes to have a full girls team, but he’s not sure if that’s going to happen.
Eagle standout Erica Goeltzenleuchter suffered with a stress fracture during track season and she might have another. She didn’t run Saturday.
Sophomore Rachel Seiler didn’t compete either. She’s recovering from a knee injury that occurred last winter and she’s hoping to get in shape for basketball season.
Returning junior Alexa Kessler was first across the line for Fayette at Defiance, taking 27th at 23:29. Returning sophomore Sarah Kovar cut three minutes off her time from a year ago to place 44th at 24:40. Returning senior Olivia Molina placed 53rd at 25:06.
Megan Vogelsong of Defiance placed first overall at 19:40.
In the junior high race, Tyler Cox paced the Eagles with a sixth place finish at 12:40, followed by Skylar Lantz (8th, 12:41, Ian Schrock (12th, 13:13), Ben Grieser (13th, 13:13), Ben Kessler (25th, 13:50), Thomas Ehman (33rd, 14:22) and Jared Wagner (39th, 14:42).
The winning time was 11:36.
In the girls race, Liz Maginn placed 13th at 14:50 and Miranda Minzey was 38th at 17:57. The winner finished at 13:09.
FAYETTE GOLF: Fayette golf coach Ryan Colegrove has a little experience among his 14-person squad, but not a lot. Seven freshmen and four sophomores are backing up a pair of junior veterans.
Junior Chase Hookstadt has started his third year with the team and he turned in a pair of strong showings last week. Classmate Nelson Barnhiser is also in his third season and playing fairly consistently, Coach Colegrove said.
Junior Sye White is out for the first time and only started to play golf last month.
The Eagles’ four sophomores—Amanda Gilmore, Quintin Keefer, Jon Boesger and Kevin Ferguson—were all on the team last season. Colegrove is looking for greater consistency from most of that pack, and he’s seen some potential.
Among the freshmen, Zayne Colegrove has played in every match this season, Dustin Lantz has been in two and Tiffany Bates has played in one. Colegrove and Lantz have come through with some good rounds, Coach Colegrove said.
Freshmen Patrick Hookstadt, Logan Franks, Matthew Storrs and Alec Hylander haven’t yet been in a match.
Chase Hookstadt and Lantz are keeping busy by also running on the cross country team.
Chase Hookstadt earned medalist honors twice last week, but the Eagles didn’t come through with a win.
The junior fired a 40 Thursday at Ironwood as Pettisville took the match by one stroke, 190-191. The Blackbirds had three team members in the 40s.
Ferguson came through with a 45, followed by Barnhiser and Boesger at 53, Colegrove at 55 and Lantz at 56.
At White Pines course Tuesday, Delta claimed a win with 166 strokes, ahead of Fayette at 183 and Hilltop at 235.
Hookstadt’s 41 tied with Delta’s Austin Abbott and Aaron Valadez.
Colegrove was next for the Eagles with a 45, followed by Barnhiser (46), Ferguson (51) and Boesger and Keefer (54).
• After entertaining Edon last night, the Eagles take a break until the Stryker Invitational Sept. 12.
FAYETTE VOLLEYBALL: With only seven full-time varsity players plus a pair who will move between varsity and junior varsity, one thing Fayette volleyball coach Danni Keefer doesn’t need is any injuries.
But that’s just what she got last week when Tara Lichtenwald showed up with broken wrist. The junior was to find out this week when she might be able to return to action.
Lichtenwald is an important back row player who wears the libero jersey. Her sister Tori will serve as the Eagles’ lead setter.
Coach Keefer has three seniors back on the squad from a year ago. Jacy Lewellen is a front-row specialist, while Sierah Griffiths and Elisha Hartman are all-around players who will see action in both the front and back rows. Griffiths will also put in some time as the backup setter.
Junior Leah Brinegar is a front-row player and strong server who put in some time with the varsity last year.
Junior Andrea Canfield specializes in back row play, but she also has hitting and setting skills.
Juniors Brooke Croskey and Sydney Coger will move back and forth between the varsity and JV squads. Croskey, a back row player, was a JV member last season while Coger sat out last year. Coach Keefer describes her as a very strong hitter and a good blocker, but she’ll need some time to work back into the flow after a year off.
Keefer was pleased with her squad’s performance in a scrimmage against Wauseon.
“I think they played very well against them,” she said. “They kept up with them and they saw their mistakes that they have to work on.”
Several of the girls participated in a summer league that put them on the court one night a week against a variety of teams.
It was a very good experience, Keefer said, and it kept volleyball in their lives for the summer.
Now, with the fall season coming, she needs to get something else into their lives: move the feet.
“I’ve just got to get them to move,” she said.
• The Eagles opened the season Monday night at Swanton and travel to Edgerton Thursday. After a week off, Fayette opens the league season at home against North Central.
Morenci’s coaches and players alike wondered how much improvement Auburn Hills Oakland Christian would show in its second year of varsity football.
A year ago, the young Lancers opened their inaugural season with a 63-0 loss to Morenci, although they did manage to earn a couple victories later on.
How much did they improve? The answer is apparently not a whole lot. The Bulldogs allowed the Lancers a 42-yard field goal but not much more in the 51-3 defeat.
Morenci didn’t start off the way new head coach Tom Saylor was expecting.
“We were a little groggy after that long bus ride,” Saylor said. “Oakland Christian moved the ball well the first series and got a couple first downs.”
The Bulldogs soon adjusted to the Lancers’ spread offense and gave up only four more first downs the entire evening.
Morenci started its second possession with a 25-yard punt return by Jarrett Keller. Chas Frey raced 26 yards for a touchdown.
Keller returned the next punt for 35 yards, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brett Bovee to Isaac Jeffers. Frey carried for the conversion.
Dustin Roller returned the next punt for a 50-yard gain and Bovee passed to Jeffers again, this time for an 18-yard touchdown play. Keller added two more for a 22-0 lead.
With about two minutes remaining in the half, Bovee passed to Roller for a 29-yard touchdown. Frey ran for two and a 30-0 lead.
Keller returned the second half kickoff for 33 yards and Frey soon had his second touchdown on a 7-yard run. Eddie Cousino kicked the extra point—the first of three.
Frey’s score sent the mercy clock into action just two minutes into the second half.
Roller returned a punt for 40 yards and Frey carried for 33 yards and a touchdown.
After the Lancers’ field goal, Roller returned the kickoff for an 87-yard touchdown.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our special teams,” Coach Saylor said. “They did a wonderful job and you don’t often see that this early in the season. Coach Bostick has worked hard on that.”
Keller led rushers with 105 yards on 10 carries. Frey added 87 on seven carries. On defense, Nick Wilson finished with 17 tackles and Travis Janish collected 13.
MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s volleyball squad won two games and lost a pair of close ones in pool play Saturday at Blissfield. The Bulldogs dropped a close match in bracket play to end the day.
“This was a tough invitational, given the teams involved,” coach Dennis Owens said.
Lenawee Christian School defeated Madison to win the tournament.
Morenci started the day with a split against Dundee, winning the opener 25-13 and dropping the second game 23-25. The Bulldogs earned a split with Sand Creek, also, winning 25-23 and losing 21-25.
Lenawee Christian took two games, 25-14 and 25-13.
Morenci advanced to face Michigan Center which moved through pool play with only a loss to Blissfield. The Cardinals won 25-18 and 25-22.
“In the first game we fell behind 8-2 before battling back,” Owens said. “In the second game we were leading late before letting it slip away. We lost in two very hard fought games.”
Chanler McCaskey missed only one of 27 serves, collecting eight aces and 15 points. Tia Tompkins went 21/23 with nine aces and 16 points.
Tess Ramsey went 21/23 with six aces and 16 points. Mariah Bovee served 17 points.
Bovee was good on all but two of 35 serve receptions and she made 23 passes to the setter. Ramsey gave 20 assists and Mercedez McCaskey gave 17.
Digging leaders were Tompkins and Chanler McCaskey with 32 each. Bovee contributed 20.
The Bulldogs faced some good defenses, Owens said, and Morenci’s attack game never got into high gear. Leaders were Phoenix Duncan and Chanler McCaskey with 14 kills each. McCaskey also finished with two blocks.
MORENCI CROSS: Morenci cross country coach Brad Brown isn’t sure how long it might take his youthful squad to develop, but he’s seeing some potential.
There’s only one junior, one sophomore and four freshmen on the squad, but that collection came through with a good achievement at the county preview meet.
All five of the runners competing that day came home with medals—the awards go 20 deep—and Coach Brown doesn’t recall that ever happening before while he’s been in charge.
Junior Micah Gillen placed seventh in the junior-senior run at 20:35. In the freshman/sophomore race, ninth grader Luke Spaulding took ninth in his first race ever at 20:48.
Sophomore Logan Drummond was 11th at 20:56, followed by freshman Jake Spaulding (13th, 21:25) and freshman Billy White (19th, 22:01).
Freshman Mitch Gallup joined the team late and hasn’t yet competed.
Brown knows he has to convince the younger runners to step up and try to compete with the older, faster athletes. He also needs the rookie freshmen to learn that cross country running isn’t like a track meet where the terrain remains constant.
In cross country, every course is different and each presents its challenges.
This became evident last week when Morenci competed at the tough Pittsford course. Everyone’s time was worse than at Tecumseh’s relatively flat preview course.
Gillen finished seventh for the Bulldogs at 21:13, followed by Drummond (8th, 21:27), Jake Spaulding (10th, 22:04), Luke Spaulding (15th, 23:31) and White (16th, 23:57).
North Central won the boys run with 31 points, ahead of Pittsford with 49 and Morenci with 56. Pittsford’s Brent Smith was first across the line.
Coach Brown has a squad that points toward future success.
“It’s a good group of guys and no graduates,” he said.
In addition to that, he has three middle school boys and three girls out for the first time.