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 2009.09.30

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Darrell Randall turned in a personal best Saturday at Van Wert to finish just four seconds out of first at 16:29. East Canton’s Josh Schleappi was the winner.

The team placed eighth overall and coach Bryan Stambaugh wasn’t all that displeased.

“You won’t hear me say very often that I was happy with eighth place,” he said, “but I was actually pretty impressed with the team.”

The Eagles probably would have moved up a few notches if Trevor Cox had been in the lineup, but he missed due to illness.

“Darrell looked really good,” Stambaugh said. “He was pretty happy with it. It even beat his PR from regionals last year. I was really impressed.”

Other Eagle finishers were Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (44th, 18:27), Hunter Colegrove (45th, 18:29), Tyler Keefer (50th, 18:48), Chase Hookstadt (66th, 19:17), Tim Stoltzfus (71st, 19:22), Clay Burkholder (99th, 20:19), Skylar Sommers (105th, 20:35),Dusty Lantz (137th, 21:28), Nathan Seiler (148th, 21:52) and Andy Karathanasis (169th 23:53).

In the girls run, Alexa Kessler placed 32nd at 22:55, with Olivia Molina following at 41st (23:20), Sarah Kovar at 57th (24:10) and Rachel Seiler at 91st (27:42).

 A Spencerville girl won the race at 19:32.

Junior high

Fayette’s boys had the opportunity to stop Minster from winning all four divisions, but some late advances by Minster runners gave them a one-point advantage.

The Eagles beat the team earlier in the season and the loss Saturday was Fayette’s first of the season.

“This was definitely their toughest meet,” Coach Stambaugh said.

A Crestview runner was first at 11:06, but three Eagles broke the 12 minute mark.

Chandler Sanford placed 11th at 11:48, Ben Grieser was 12th at 11:52 and Tyler Cox was 17th at 11:57.

Other Eagles were Ian Schrock (31st, 12:28), Skylar Lantz (32nd, 12:28), Dylan Aschemeier (40th, 12:45), Ben Kessler (61st, 13:13), Jared Wagner (71st, 13:23) and Thomas Ehman (129th, 14:39).

In the girls run, Jill Stuckey placed 10th at 13:14, Liz Maginn was 37th at 14:24 and Miranda Minzey took 108th at 16:34.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s varsity spikers made some progress against a tough Whitmore Lake squad—winning one game—but the Trojans claimed another TCC victory.

Morenci hadn’t won a game against Whitmore Lake in recent years, coach Dennis Owens said, but one is all they got. The Trojans took the opener 25-17, 25-12 and 25-16, then won the second match 25-14, 25-13, 24-26 and 25-10.

“We just had too many digging errors,” Coach Owens said. “You can't do that against a good team. The digging errors led to fewer attacking attempts.”

The Bulldogs also lost the services of front row starter Meghan Smith who went to the bench in the first match with an ankle injury.

“Barbara Hollstein stepped in and did a nice job off the bench in Meghan's place,” Owens said.

The loss puts the Bulldogs’ league mark at 1-4.

Serving leaders were Mariah Bovee 22-24 with 1 ace, Chanler McCaskey 16-18 with 4 aces, Tess Ramsey was 12-12 and Tia Tompkins served 6 aces. Mercedez McCaskey led the way with 9 assists. Phoenix Duncan had 10 kills with 2 blocks, Tia Tompkins had 8 kills with 3 blocks. Digging leaders were Chanler McCaskey with 33, Mariah Bovee had 25 digs and Kelsi Stover came off the bench and was 8 for 8 on digs with all 8 going to the setter.

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY: Morenci’s freshmen runners placed third out of 20 teams Saturday in the Pittsford Invitational.

It takes three runners to make a team in this event, coach Brad Brown explained, and scoring goes by each high school class.

Luke Spaulding placed sixth in the freshman run at 19:45, followed closely by his brother, Jake, who took 8th at 19:59. Mitch Gallup placed 29th at 22:29.

In the sophomore run, Logan Drummond placed 28th at 20:29 and Micah Gillen placed 24th in the junior race at 19:34.

Overall, the Bulldogs placed 12th out of 26, beating Pittsford and North Central—both of whom beat Morenci earlier this year at Pittsford.

MORENCI FOOTBALL: How can you give up a 27-0 first quarter lead and lose 40-33?

It wasn’t a simple case of losing focus. This wasn’t like the similar Whitmore Lake loss.

Madison unleashed a secret weapon in the second half: starting quarterback Drew Theisen.

The senior was forced to sit out the first half of the season due to disciplinary action, and that penalty ended about the time Morenci’s Homecoming Queen was walking off the field, with the Bulldogs leading 27-7.

Theisen came onto the field looking like he had half a season of pent-up energy to let out. A quarterback generally hands the ball off to a carrier; Theisen did most of the work himself.

In the final two quarters, he ran for 136 yards and passed for another 115.

It wasn’t just Theisen. Five other Madison starters weren’t able to play until the second half. Four Morenci starters missed the entire half-time planning session due to Homecoming duties and the Bulldogs came out to face a much different Madison team.

Those facts aren’t excuses Morenci coach Tom Saylor can accept.

“It’s still my fault for not being able to coach them through it,” he said. “It was another very depressing way to lose a football game.”

The Trojans took the second-half kick off and soon cut the Morenci lead to 27-13. Theisen ran for two first downs, pitched to a halfback for another and threw for the touchdown.

Just 14 seconds later it was 27-21 when Morenci fumbled on its first play and a Trojan scooped up the ball and ran for a touchdown.

Then it happened once again. The Bulldogs were on the 50-yard-line following a short kick and a long gain on the first play became a Madison possession on a fumble.

On fourth and 18 at their own 20, the Trojans faked a punt and made it to Morenci’s 45. Theisen handled most of the drive to the end zone himself and finally scored from two yards out to tie the contest with 2:32 to play in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs made a penalty-aided drive to the goal-line and Dustin Roller scored for a 33-27 lead at 9:29.

Madison was stopped on its next drive, but Theisen scored again to tie the game at 4:14. Morenci had to punt and Theisen ran for two first downs before throwing for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs had two minutes to score, but suffered two penalties and four incompletions.

Madison’s third quarter rally nearly matched the lop-sided first quarter that went in Morenci’s favor.

Roller ran back the opening kickoff for an 88-yard return and Reese Graham caused a fumble on the following kickoff. After a gain by Jarrett Keller, Brett Bovee scored on a keeper for a 14-0 lead.

The Trojans were forced to punt and Roller soon scored on a 63-yard sprint. After a Madison punt, Keller and Chas Frey combined for first downs to the 14-yard line.

Michael Snyder was given the ball and was hit near the line of scrimmage, but he broke free and scored, giving the Bulldogs what seemed like a safe 27-0 lead with 1:17 left in the opening quarter.

SUMMERFIELD—Seven underclassmen starting and undefeated. That’s the position Coach Saylor would like for his squad, but its Summerfield that hasn’t yet lost.

Morenci (2-3) travels to Summerfield’s homecoming game Friday to face their pro-I formation with another talented quarterback and a couple good receivers.

Quarterback Michael Hewitt rushed for a touchdown and threw for three more in the 40-35 win against Sand Creek.

RESERVE FOOTBALL: There’s no such thing as overtime in Tri-County Conference junior varsity football and Morenci ended with a 26-26 tie Thursday at Madison.

Morenci made its first touchdown at 3:41 in the first quarter when Cody Graham capped a long drive with a seven-yard run. Madison tied it up quickly.

In the second quarter, Jay Howard covered the final yard and then ran for two to give the Bulldogs a 14-6 lead.

Madison scored again and Howard crossed the goal line once more just before half-time for a 20-12 lead.

Morenci took the second half kickoff and fumbled in Madison territory. The game was soon tied and there was no more scoring until 7:33 in the fourth quarter when Graham made a 31-yard run.

With two minutes remaining, Madison tied it up again and went for the conversion. The Bulldogs stopped the run and later halted one more Madison possession.

Extra points—or the lack of—are what left it in a tie, coach Ryan Love said.

Graham tallied 144 yards on 18 carries. Howard covered 96 yards on 26 tries. Jacob McVay finished with 11 tackles and Brad Funchion was in on seven.

Love expects a tough challenge at home Thursday against Summerfield who suffered its first lost last week to Sand Creek.

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