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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  • Cheer
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Sports Round-up 02.03.10

Written by David Green.


After watching its offense evaporate Friday at Stryker, Fayette’s varsity boys came back Saturday to dump non-league Montpelier, 50-39.

“We need to find some consistency,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “We’re Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Apparently the Eagles aren’t the only ones. Montpelier’s only win this season came on the night they beat Stryker.

“It’s the most bizarre season ever,” Mitchell said. “A lot of coaches are saying that.”

Fayette needed a league win at Stryker, but the squad didn’t seem quite ready for the challenge.

“Stryker ran a zone and we stood around,” Mitchell said.

The Eagles made too many turn-overs both nights, he said, including plenty of unforced ones, and that took away a lot of scoring opportunities.

Fayette finished with 17 turn-overs and not too many more points in the 46-26 loss.

Both teams started the game slowly as the Panthers led 8-4 after a quarter. Stryker opened it up in the next period with 16 points, but the Eagles made only three buckets in each of the final three quarters.

MONTPELIER—Free throws carried Fayette to their victory against the Locomotives, with nearly half of the points scored at the line.

Trevor Cox went 12 for 12 and Tyler Keefer seven for eight to lead the team’s 22 for 26 effort. All 12 of the second-quarter points came at the line.

Cox finished with 26 points and Keefer added 15.

Fayette was on top by only two points at intermission, but padded its lead a little in the third quarter—helped by Cox’s two three-pointers—and added a few more in the fourth.

Coach Mitchell was pleased with his team’s zone defense that was run the entire game.

Keefer finished with his fifth double-double of the season, adding 14 rebounds to his 15 points.

JVs: Fayette’s junior varsity boys picked up a pair of solid wins last weekend, taking a league victory from Stryker, 56-42, and toppling Montpelier, 45-26.

“Jessie [Rodriguez] couldn’t miss,” coach Matt Maginn said about the Stryker game.

Rodriguez finished with 26 points and scored six from three-point range. He also hit four of four from the line. Chase Hookstadt made his showing on offense, too, with a season-high 17 points that included five for eight from the line.

Rodriguez and Jerry Minzey each collected three steals. Kruce Miller finished with eight rebounds.

Everyone on the team got into the action against Montpelier. The Locos were shut out in the second quarter against the Eagle press and fell behind 22-7.

Minzey collected five steals.

FAYETTE VARSITY GIRLS: Fayette’s girls varsity made good use of the free throw line Saturday when Montpelier visited, but not quite good enough.

The Eagles came back from a six-point half-point deficit to stay close to the Locomotives, but couldn’t quite pull off the comeback. Montpelier took the non-league affair 38-37.

Fayette went to the line 21 times and converted 14 of its attempts. Montpelier made good of seven of its 17 free throws.

Both squads came through with the biggest nights in the fourth quarter, with the Eagles scoring 15.

Katelyn Downing scored seven of her 16 in the final period, including a three-point shot. Rachel Seiler also broke into double figures with 12 points.

STRYKER—At home Thursday, Stryker opened its lead to eight points in the third quarter and wrapped up the BBC contest with a 54-40 victory.

Fayette never scored from the field in the fourth quarter, but sunk seven of 10 free throws. Heather Cuff went four for six that quarter and finished the game with 12.

Elisha Hartman scored three first-quarter buckets to propel the Eagles to a 14-13 lead. The Panthers held a two-point lead at intermission, 24-22.

Stryker cleaned up at the line, shooting 15 for 21, while Fayette was good on 10 of its 18 chances.

Cuff finished the game with four blocked shots and eight rebounds. Hartman and Seiler each made two steals.


JVs: Fayette’s JV girls added a pair of victories to the win column last weekend, stopping Stryker on Thursday, 27-16, and following that with a 32-12 trouncing of Montpelier on Saturday.

“We played a much better game on both ends,” coach Matt Schaffner said. “Our defense was much improved from our last game. On the offensive end, we still struggled from the field, however, I felt that we were more aggressive at attacking the basket.”

Fayette led 15-9 at half-time, then opened the game up in the third quarter with a 10-3 advantage.

The Eagles shot four for five from the line and committed 14 turn-overs. Ashtyn Baker scored nine points and Alexa Kessler added six. Tara Lichtenwald and Cady Stockburger each added four.

Montpelier took a slim lead at Fayette Saturday, but the Eagles took control after a sluggish start. In the next two quarters, Fayette took a 17-2 advantage to shut down the Locomotives.

“This was our best all-around game this far,” Coach Schaffner said. “We did a good job attacking the basket.”

The Eagles met a lot of goals, he said, holding turn-overs to 10 and getting 55 shots off.

Sarah Kovar was the leading scorer with eight points. Ten players scored.


The varsity boys were right there in contention for both of their games last week, but they ended up with a pair of losses.

“We had the opportunity to win,” coach Tim Bovee said. “We can compete with these guys, but it’s not a 25-minute game.”

In each game he saw some lapses where a comeback effort was derailed or a lead let go.

“It’s a matter of maintaining,” he said. “The effort is good but we need some better decisions.”

Whiteford claimed a 79-74 win in Morenci Jan. 25. The Bulldogs fell short at Summerfield on Friday, 75-62.

The Bulldogs trailed by seven at half-time against Whiteford, but trimmed the Bobcats’ lead to four to start the final quarter.

Morenci went on top by four late in the game, but didn’t show the patience needed, Bovee said. One pass, one shot and a miss gave the ball back to Whiteford. They made a basket with a foul and ended with a three-point play.

The Bulldogs hit just eight of 19 free throws in the close loss. The Bobcats connected on 16 of 26.

A couple extra lay-ups and a better percentage at the line would have given Morenci the win, Bovee said.

Clayton Wolf finished with 29 points, while Brett Bovee added 16 and Isaac Jeffers 14. Bovee hit four Morenci’s eight three-point shots.

SUMMERFIELD—Morenci scored another eight three-point shots Friday at Summerfield, including four from Luke Craig.

Morenci cut Summerfield’s 13-point lead to just five late in the contest, then the TCC’s top scorer, Eric Cogan, took over to secure the win.

Summerfield shot 15 of 16 from the line.

Wolf finished with 20 points, followed by Bovee with 19 and Craig with 12.


JVs: Morenci’s junior varsity boys basketball team took a pounding twice last week.

“We’re a young team and we’re taking our licks,” said coach John Craig. “We’re having trouble with offense and we’re facing some very good teams.”

He saw his squad out-sized and out-manned against two of the top teams in the league. Both games were without starter Lucas Hollstein.

On Jan. 25, visiting Whiteford scored a 68-31 victory. Hayze Wolf scored 13 of the Bulldogs’ points.

The situation got even worse Friday at Summerfield when Morenci lost 78-28.

MORENCI GIRLS BASKETBALL: A pair of impressive league wins were pushed aside at home Monday night when Morenci’s varsity girls fell to Hudson 49-39.

The first time around in December, the Bulldogs finished on top. On Monday, Hudson led by as many as 20 points when Morenci just couldn’t get its shots to fall.

The Tigers led by 11 at intermission, 23-12, but finished the third on top by 14. Fast break buckets by Brooke Bovee and Chanler McCaskey cut the Hudson lead to nine, 29-20, but a turn-over and three misses ended the comeback.

The Tigers took advantage of Morenci missed and a technical foul to post a 44-24 lead, but that soon fell apart. A flurry of Morenci baskets cut the lead to 10 in the final three minutes, but Morenci could get no closer.

Megan Smith led scoring with 16, followed by 10 from McCaskey.

MADISON—A strong second quarter put the Bulldogs ahead of Madison 27-14 at the Trojans’ court Thursday, but the third quarter sealed Madison’s fate.

Morenci outscored their opponent 24-9 and finished with a 61-45 victory. The loss was Madison’s third of the season.

The Trojans hit five three-pointers and shot eight for 12 from the line, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with Morenci’s scoring.

Smith had a season-high 27 points and Tia Tompkins added 21.

BD—Morenci took a 35-13 half-time lead at home against Britton-Deerfield last week and finished with a 76-39 advantage.

Smith scored 23, Tompkins had 18, Mercedez McCaskey scored 13 and Bovee added 10.

JVs: The varsity squad had Hudson on its schedule, but the Tigers have no junior varsity girls team this season. Instead, a game with Camden-Frontier was arranged and it turned out to be long ride home for the visitors.

The Redskins were shut out for the entire first half and Morenci claimed a 58-8 win.

Briana Gilson led the Bulldog offense with 21 points, followed by Matea Garcia with 18 and Chelsea Phillips with 15.

Four of Morenci’s five JV players hit double figures in a 61-23 victory Jan. 26 over Britton-Deerfield.

The Patriots scored only three points in the second half.

Phillips finished with 17, Gilson with 14, Amber Baker with 11 and Garcia with 10.

The Bulldogs had an uncharacteristically low scoring night Thursday at Madison and lost the TCC match-up 40-25.

The Trojans were up by five at intermission but the Bulldogs couldn’t come back.

Garcia and Phillips each scored eight.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci’s wrestlers picked up a team win Saturday at the Jonesville Invitational and finished fifth among six teams.

The Bulldogs’ victory came against Bellevue, 36-30. Morenci picked up three wins by void along with three by pins.

Corey Williams scored a pin at 3:43 in the 152-pound class, Tyler Arnett pinned at 3:01 in the 189-pound class and Jordan Bach won with a quick 33-second pin at 215.

Several wrestlers were bumped up a class after Jay Howard was injured.

Howard entered the 125-pound match to take a void win. Loren Delmonico (140) and Packard Smith (145) also won by void.

John Michael Martinez came close to a victory, but fell short in a 15-14 decision loss.

The Bulldogs started the day with a 56-14 loss to Jonesville. Williams (152) took a 15-0 major decision and Brady Canfield (171) won 10-8. Bach (189) pinned his opponent at 1:08.

Pittsford topped Morenci 38-24. Brandt Kelley (112) and Martinez (125) won by void. Jay Howard (119) scored a pin at 1:54 and Bach won at 3:49.

Edwardsburg shut Morenci out but ended up losing to Portland. The Bulldogs managed to win a pair of matches when they went up against Portland in a 70-12 loss.

Mitch Schmucker (160) scored a pin at 2:38 and Bach (189) needed only 16 seconds to pin his opponent. Morenci gave up 24 points in voided matches.

Coach Scott Clark continues to see small steps of progress taken by his young squad. For example, he said, some wrestlers are losing by decision when in the past they’ve been pinned. They’re gaining new experience each week as they learn the sport.

One wrestler returned to the squad last week to compete for the first time this season. On Saturday, two more competed for the first time.

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