Morenci football season to open 08.25.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Jonesville football roster lists only 20 players for 2010, but even that looks like a luxury to Morenci coach Tom Saylor.

The Bulldogs had only 14 players when they faced three teams in scrimmage action last week, and that included a couple boys who will be ineligible for the season opener this week.

“If everybody comes back who should, I would have 16 players Friday,” Saylor said.

That includes two sophomores moved up from the junior varsity.

Saylor said a squad this small is something he’s never experienced in his long coaching career, but he’ll take what he’s got and get ready for a visit from the Comets Friday night.

The 7 p.m. game might be the first time the two teams have ever met—at least in 60 years. Records going back to 1950 show no match-ups between the two schools.

“Jonesville looks pretty good,” Saylor said, noting a very highly regarded senior tackle (6-4, 300 pounds). “They’re disciplined and they get off the ball well.”

Saylor figures into an ironic twist to the contest. The Jonesville coach, Josh Lindeman, was coached by the Luma brothers at Hudson who were in turn coached by Saylor.

Morenci has two starters out with injuries and two others sitting out from academic problems last spring. Mitch Schmucker, a would-be two-way starter, is out for the season from an automobile injury suffered several weeks ago.

Still, Saylor says he had a solid core of talented players along with some inexperienced ones that he’ll have to work into the lineup.

Quarterback Brett Bovee is back to call signals and sophomore Hayze Wolf will serve as a backup.

Senior lineman Nick Wilson will be moved to a tight end position, but there will still be plenty of size in the interior of the line. In fact, three players alone tally about 1,100 pounds, with Peter Bach in the middle.

With so many key players missing from the Bulldog lineup, Jonesville could be hard to beat, Coach Saylor, but it’s not an impossible task.

• Morenci’s junior varsity team kicks off the football season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with a trip to Jonesville.

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    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.
  • Front.bank.2
    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.
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    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • 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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