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.
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    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 10.17.09

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Fayette’s cross country boys took a sixth place finish Saturday at the Fostoria Invitational, led by Darrell Randall in fourth place.

Randall turned in a 16:38, a few seconds behind the leader from Sandusky Catholic Central, Brian Ferber at 16:23.

Stryker placed six runners in the top 25 to place first in team standings.

Other Eagle placers were Trevor Cox (24th, 17:54); Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (35th, 18:14); Tyler Keefer (65th, 18:53); Tim Stoltzfus (72nd, 19:03); Clay Burkholder (91st, 19:34); Skylar Sommers (124th, 20:42); Dusty Lantz (127th, 20:56) and Nathan Seiler (137th, 21:27).

In the girls race, Seneca East’s Brittany Stockmaster was first at 18:56.

For Fayette, Olivia Molina was 39th at 22:37, followed by Sarah Kovar (62nd, 23:40); Alexa Kessler (68th, 23:49) and Rachel Seiler (124th, 26:56).

At the BBC meet Oct. 6 at North Central, Randall ran close with Stryker’s Kenny Graber, but couldn’t quite catch the winner. Graber finished at 17:02 and Randall crossed the line at 17:10.

Other Eagle finishers were Goeltzenleuchter (14th, 18:27); Keefer (21st, 19:14); Chase Hookstadt (22nd, 19:24); Stoltzfus (28th, 19:47); Burkholder (34th, 20:23); Sommers (35th, 20:29); Lantz (40th, 20:44); Seiler (56th, 21:59) and Andy Karathansis (70th, 24:12).

Fayette’s Erica Goeltzenleuchter returned to limited action after resting an injury and placed second behind Tanner Hostetler of Pettisville who won at 20:03. Goeltzenleuchter turned in a 21:16.

Other Eagle runners were Kessler (12th, 23:12); Molina (14th, 23:26); Kovar (22nd, 24:48); and Seiler (31st, 26:58).

Junior High

Fayette’s boys squad won the Fostoria Invitational on Saturday.

Chandler Sanford placed fourth at 11:53 and Ben Grieser was fifth at 11:53. Other scorers were Tyler Cox (8th, 11:58); Skylar Lantz (33rd, 12:25); Ian Schrock (34th, 12:25); Dylan Aschemeier (39th, 12:36); Ben Kessler (78th, 13:12); Jared Wagner (125th, 14:12) and Thomas Ehman (142nd, 14:30).

The winner crossed the line at 11:42.

Jill Stuckey placed third in the girls race at 12:54, followed by Liz Maginn (30th, 13:59) and Miranda Minzey (120th, 16:12). The winning time was 12:16.

At the BBC meet at North Central, Fayette claimed an easy win, 37 to Stryker’s 52.

Grieser was fourth at 12:10, followed by Sanford (5th, 12:13); Cox (6th, 12:13); Lantz (10th, 12:39); Schrock (12th, 12:42); Aschemeier (13th, 13:07); Kessler (16th, 13:49); Wagner (24th, 14:29) and Ehman (27th, 14:36).

The winning time was 11:53.

Stuckey took 14th (13:14) in the girls race, followed by Maginn (26th, 14:30) and Minzey (41st, 16:43).

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY: Luke Spaulding led the way for Morenci’s cross country team Saturday at the Hudson Booster Invitational, placing 24th at 18:51.

His brother Jake was next for the Bulldogs (41st, 19:30), followed closely by Micah Gillen (42nd, 19:30). Logan Drummond took 53rd at 19:47.

Clinton’s Kenny Cooper was first Tri-County Conference runner across the finish line, placing second at 16:47. Hudson’s Steve Tennis won the race with a time of 16:22.

Waldron’s Blake Fix took third at 17:07.

Sand Creek won the team trophy.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Close wasn’t quite enough when Britton/Deerfield’s volleyball squad visited Thursday.

The match took five games to determine a winner, and each game but one ended four points or closer.

The Patriots won the opener, 25-21, but  Morenci came back to take the next one 25-22. B-D won the third game, 27-25, but Morenci kept it going with a 25-18 win.

In the final, the Patriots won 15-13.

Mariah Bovee served 24/26, with four aces and 18 points. Tia Tompkins went 16/17, with three aces and 11 points. Chanler McCaskey scored seven aces and served 11 points. Tess Ramsey was perfect on all 11 serves and scored one ace. Mercedez McCaskey served 11/13 with two aces.

Ramsey gave 10 assists and Mercedez McCaskey gave seven assists. Bovee finished with 23 digs and Tompkins came through with 13.

At the net, Tompkins scored 11 kills and one block, Phoenix Duncan had seven kills and two blocks, and Chanler McCaskey had five kills and two blocks.


Would it be fair to say that Morenci has  had some second half difficulties this season?

You bet, and a lingering doubt gave fans some discomfort Friday at Sand Creek. The Bulldogs were on top 14-0 by the middle of the third quarter, but an opportunity to make it even better was halted inside the Aggies’ 10-yard line.

Morenci got the ball back in the fourth quarter, but ended up fumbling and giving Sand Creek possession at the Bulldogs’ 26.

This is where it could have all fallen apart, but instead it’s where the Morenci defense came together.

Credit the Aggies with some costly penalties to help with the matter, but the Bulldog defense shined all night. Sand Creek was forced to punt, and they were stopped once again with less than five minutes to play.

Morenci’s lead held fast and the Bulldogs posted their first shutout against league rival Sand Creek in many years.

“It was a wonderful win,” coach Tom Saylor said. “I think we finally got organized and we had a good game plan.”

It was also the first time all season that Morenci (3-4, 2-3) had its entire team ready to play. Although starter Mitch Schmucker was out with an injury, the contest marked the return of Clayton Wolf and the senior made his mark on both sides of the ball.

Wolf was the leading ground gainer with 78 yards and he also finished on top of the defensive stats with 11 tackles.

“Wolf was the component that glued it back together,” Saylor said. “We needed to get the ship back on course. I’m very pleased with the defense and the scheme we set up.”

Saylor said Jarrett Keller played his top defensive game of the season—always in the right place. Michael Snyder moved to a down tackle position and “gave them fits all night.” Chas Frey played a splendid game, Saylor said.

He and assistant coach Lance Thompson wanted to get the quickest defense possible on the field to combat the Aggies’ option offense.

“I think our defense was even better in the second half than in the first,” Saylor said.

The two teams traded punts in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs capped a scoring drive early in the second. Wolf carried for an eight-yard touchdown on the first play of the quarter.

The Aggies got big breaks via Morenci penalties on their next drive and advanced to the Bulldog 22 later in the quarter. Morenci defenders ended both drives.

The biggest break came as intermission approached. A Morenci defender tipped a long pass into the hands of the Aggie receiver for first and 10 at the Bulldog 11. A penalty along with the Morenci defence ended that scoring threat.

The Bulldogs took the third-quarter kickoff and scored on a 66-yard drive. At third-and-three at the 36, quarterback Brett Bovee called the play at the line and kept the ball. He found a hole in the line and threaded his way through the defense, eluding three tacklers. Wolf carried for the conversion and the 14-0 lead.

Coach Saylor named Snyder and Mason Sanders as the two unsung heroes of the game—Snyder for his punting game and Sanders for his snaps with the wet ball, and for the blocking he provided for Wolf. When Snyder got in a fix on a fumbled punt snap, he grabbed the ball and tossed to Bovee for a first down.

Saylor was also pleased with how David Stutzman filled in at guard—a position at which he doesn’t have much experience.

“I think the fans appreciated the way our players performed,” Saylor said. “This game validated the fact that we’re a pretty good team.”

JV FOOTBALL: It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when things really got going at the Morenci-Sand Creek junior varsity football contest. Thirty-two points onto the scoreboard in the final 12 minutes—16 too many for the Bulldogs to handle.

Morenci matched the Aggie’s first half total, but Sand Creek added two more touchdowns to win 32-16.

“We didn’t play the greatest defense,” coach Ryan Love said. “We had trouble stopping their option.”

With three starters out of the lineup, the Bulldogs had some players working at new positions. Two of the missing players were the team’s leading tacklers.

Sand Creek scored a touchdown near the end of the first quarter and added another shortly before half-time to lead 16-0 at intermission.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Aggies went up 24-0 early in the fourth. With about five minutes remaining, Morenci quarterback Hayze Wolf passed to Brad Funchion for a five-yard touchdown. Cody Graham ran the conversion.

A minute later, Sand Creek scored again. With time running out, Wolf carried on a seven-yard run to score and Graham ran the conversion for the final 32-16 score.

Graham tallied 124 yards on 32 carries and Simon Jeffers gained 122 on 18 carries. Wolf completed three of eight passing attempts for 13 yards.

Justin Hauser finished the game with nine tackles and Wolf was in on eight.

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