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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
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  • Front.walk Across

Sports round-up 12.15.2010

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE VARSITY BOYS: Fayette varsity boys coach Todd Mitchell figures about half of his team’s turn-overs are of the unforced variety, and that’s hard to take in a close game.

“We’re getting possessions and then not even getting off a shot,” he said. “We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot. Turn-overs is the thing that’s really frustrating now.”

That and the absence of two keys players.

“We’re not real deep right now, but we’re doing a lot of good things,” Mitchell added.

He’s hoping Nelson Barnhiser and Darrell Randall will both be back in action for the Fairview game Dec. 28.

Antwerp claimed a 53-45 non-league win Friday in Fayette, breaking open a one-point game going into the fourth quarter.

The contest was a low-scoring affair until the final stanza when Antwerp came through with 24 points to Fayette’s 17. The visitors scored only 29 points in the first three quarters.

The Archers hit 10 of 16 from the free throw line in the foul-filled fourth period, while the Eagles connected on seven of nine. Three Fayette players fouled out before it was over.

Zayne Colegrove scored two quick fouls in the first period and then two more quick ones in the third, Mitchell said, putting their best ball handler on the bench.

The Eagles committed 21 turnovers, and that statistic alone probably cost them the game, Mitchell said.

Trevor Cox led scoring with 17, boosted by a 10-for-10 showing at the line. Tyler Keefer added 13 points.

The Eagles played fairly even-up with Edon, except for the second quarter, and they never made up for that shortfall. The Bombers took the BCC contest 57-45.

Keefer led scoring with 15 points, followed by Zayne Colegrove with 13. Keefer also finished with 11 rebounds.

JV BOYS: If Fayette’s JV boys can get their turn-overs under control, coach Matt Maginn expects to see a different outcome for his squad.

“We need to take care of the ball and get into our offense,” he said.

Neither of those things happened Thursday when Edon visited. The Bombers scored only 24 points, but it was enough against Fayette’s 14.

The Eagles turned the ball over at least 30 times, Maginn said, squandering many scoring opportunities. In the final period, Fayette put up five shots from inside the paint, but nothing dropped through.

The fourth quarter Saturday against Antwerp was Fayette’s best yet. Five players contributed for 11 points, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the first three quarters. Antwerp claimed the non-league win 23-18.

“We started putting pressure on their guards in the fourth quarter,” Coach Maginn said. “We forced some turn-overs and converted them to points. We need to carry that over into our next game.”

The Eagles shot eight for 11 from the line.

FAYETTE VARSITY GIRLS: It wasn’t a win, but as coach Tim Nicely sees it, Fayette’s girls loss to Antwerp Saturday was the Eagles’ best showing of the year.

After losing badly to Edon the night before, and knowing that Antwerp scored a big win against Edon, Coach Nicely knew his squad was in for a challenge.

They nearly met the challenge. The Eagles had a two-point advantage at half-time and trailed by one after three quarters. Finally, Fayette was forced to foul as time ran down and the Archers went home with a 60-55 victory.

“We had to foul in the end and they made them,” Nicely said.

Eight free throws made it through the hoop in the final period—18 for the night—while Fayette had only five opportunities all night.

“We’re not getting to the line enough,” Nicely said. “We’re not being aggressive enough underneath.”

There was no question about their outside game working. Four players combined for seven three-point shots, including three by Amber Scott with her break-out 24-point game.

Ashtyn Baker helped balance out the scoring with 10- points and Leah Brinegar added nine. Makayla Smith suffered a head injury before intermission, but other players stepped in to fill the gap, Nicely said. Melani Seiler took over the point guard role.

The Eagles shot an impressive 54 percent from the field, but that Antwerp topped that with a 60 percent average.

Smith led the squad in rebounds, grabbing six in less than two quarters on the court.

EDON—Fayette lacked the intensity and momentum Friday night against Edon, Nicely said. The Bombers were on top 22-11 at half-time and finished with a 49-30 BBC win.

“If we could have played Friday the way we did Saturday, we could have beaten Edon,” Nicely said.

The Eagles travel Friday to Stryker and Coach Nicely is hoping to see more of the intensity that will let him know his squad is headed in the right direction.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls team got some good defensive work done Saturday when Antwerp visited, but the Eagles didn’t quite come through with offense needed.

The visitors went home with a 20-19 non-league win.

“With both Edon and Antwerp, we got the stops on defense we were looking for in the second half,” said coach Sarah Bird, “but were just unable to capitalize on the offensive side.”

The Archers shot only three for eight from the line in the fourth quarter and the contest stayed close.

“We only have seven girls so I think fatigue was starting to set in at the end of both games,” Bird said.

I am happy with the effort we have played with and we're going to continue working hard and getting better in games to come,” Coach Bird said.

Cady Stockburger and Sydney Brown each scored six points to lead the offense Saturday.


It was a matter of free throws—too few for the Bulldogs, too many for Addison—that made the difference at home Friday.

With the Bulldogs’ expected big scorers not lighting up the scoreboard, those trips to the free throw line became more and more important.

Addison had the final opportunity at the line. With the score tied 57-57 and six seconds to play, a Panther missed his first try, then sank the second for the winning margin.

Morenci’s Brett Bovee got off one final shot at the buzzer but missed his mark.

Bovee hit only two field goals for the night, but he cleaned up at the line with a seven-for-10 effort.

“They played box-and-one on him and he had a lot of pressure,” coach Tim Bovee said. “He did finish with 11 assists, so he got other people involved.”

One of those was Max Gautz who scored 16 points. Freshman Daiton Lemmon scored the first points of the season for Morenci and finished with 10 points. The Bulldogs’ other varsity freshman, Colin Smith, scored Morenci’s first free throws, and Coach Bovee was pleased with what his youngsters brought to the court.

“I think we’ll get better as we go,” he said, but he wants to see fewer than 17 turn-overs.

The Bulldogs trailed by nine points early in the fourth quarter, but free throws from Bovee and Luke Craig, plus a bucket from Craig, brought Morenci to within three points, 53-50.

Craig was on the bench with foul trouble earlier, but came back in during the fourth.

“With one fewer shooter, it makes things difficult,” said the coach.

Smith hit a bucket to trail by one, and Bovee scored a three-pointer to tie it up with 26 seconds remaining.

“Defensively, I think we adjusted well against some good athletes,” Coach Bovee said. “I was pleased with our effort.”

Bovee cited Gautz’s good ball handling and important baskets to keep the Bulldogs in the game.

JV BOYS: Addison’s JV boys took a narrow lead in the first quarter here Friday, but Morenci’s defense took over in the second quarter and the Bulldogs were on top at intermission, 18-8.

Morenci kept its advantage throughout the second half and posted a 46-24 victory in its season opener.

Morenci poured on the offense in the final quarter to score 18 points.

Austin Thomas led all scorers with 20 points.


With big scorers Tia Tompkins and Brooke Bovee on the bench with foul troubles, it was up to the remainder of Morenci’s girls to keep the tempo with Madison.

They got the job done and the Bulldogs claimed a 66-56 victory over league foe Madison.

The Trojans were picked to be one of the top teams of the league, said Morenci coach Tim Yatzek, but this early point in the season, he’s not sure if the win says more about Madison or Morenci.

No matter which, he’s savoring the victory, not just in that game, but in the two previous close wins.

“It always seemed like we were at the opposite end of the close games last year,” he said, “but we seem to be learning how to win. This year we’re taking care of the ball and we’re hitting free throws.”

Matea Garcia made a big difference for the Bulldogs against Madison.

“Matea really stepped it up for us,” Yatzek said.

It wasn’t just her 22 points, he said, but her defensive work and her ball handling really gave the team a boost. The junior took over point guard duties when Bovee went to the bench.

Garcia hit five three-point shots and she got plenty of support from others. Tia Tompkins finished with 14 points, Bovee added 11 and Mercedez McCaskey scored 10, including three buckets from outside the arc.

Madison trailed by three points with 3:15 to play, but Garcia hit a three followed by two buckets from Tompkins. The Bulldogs’ lead briefly hit 13 in the final minute of play.

BD—Britton-Deefield took a 13-point lead before the Bulldogs switched to man-to-man defense and took the lead away.

“It really boosted our intensity after we came out flat,” Yatzek said.

In a half-time conversation, Yatzek challenged the girls not to let the first league game end with a loss. They responded with a 22-point third quarter and held on for a win.

Tompkins scored 12 in the fourth quarter and Bovee added eight. Tompkins collected 12 rebounds and Bovee gave six assists.

JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls team dropped their first two contests of the season, but they’re showing good effort, coach Emilie Beach said.

The Bulldogs fell last Tuesday in a low-scoring 27-20 decision to Britton-Deerfield. Hannah Jeffers scored nine points and Mariah Gillen added six.

Jeffers led the way with 11 points in a 45-27 loss at home Thursday to Madison. Morenci matched up with the Trojans in the second half, but couldn’t recover from Madison’s big first half.

Brittany White scored six points, followed by Chloe Molitierno with five and Emma Binegar with four.

Hannah Jeffers is working hard in every game, Coach Beach said, with a strong all-around performance at both ends of the court. Gillen’s defense is looking good, also, she said.

“We’re waiting for that game where we put it all together,” she said.

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