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.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
    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.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.

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