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
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Sports Round-up 12.22.2010

Written by David Green.


A slow start and weak ending.

In between that, Fayette’s varsity boys gave Stryker a good contest, but that wasn’t enough to topple the Panthers. Stryker finished on top of the league contest, 48-37, and the Eagles are still looking for their first win of the season at 0-4.

“We’re still having trouble getting the ball in the hole,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “and we’re still making too many turnovers.”

Fayette came back to take a brief lead in the third quarter and then the score stayed close until the fourth quarter.  Stryker made a run leaving Fayette to play catch-up.

But the Eagles never scored a field goal in the final quarter—only four points from the line—while Stryker got a good mix of points from the field and the line.

“It was a pretty physical game and I only had six varsity players,” Mitchell said. “Our defense is looking pretty good, with a few things to correct, but on offense we’re making too many unforced turnovers.”

Tyler Keefer led scoring with 15 points and also collected 15 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive end.

Darrell Randall is starting to practice with the team following his wrist injury and Mitchell is hoping presence will change things for the Eagles.

“I’m hoping we can open things up more with everyone back,” he said, noting that opponents will have one more shooter to focus on.

The Fairview contest Dec. 28 will provide a good test with their big inside presence.

JV BOYS: Fayette’s JV boys committed 14 turnovers by half-time Thursday against Stryker, and it showed in the score. The Panthers were on top 33-16 at intermission and went on to win 55-36.

Only four turnovers occurred in the second half and the visitors padded their advantage by only three points.

“If we could have taken care of the ball better...” coach Matt Maginn said. “Our offense wasn’t doing too badly, but the turnovers cost us.”

Quinton Keefer’s value generally doesn’t show in the scorebook, Maginn said, but he plays hard all night and makes a difference on the court. He grabbed four defensive rebounds. Patty Hookstadt came up with three rebounds from his guard position.

Chandler Sanford led scoring with nine points, followed by Alec Hylander with eight.


When Stryker’s girls visit Fayette in February, the assignment is obvious to Eagle coach Tim Nicely: stop Brooke Ruffer.

“We’ll have to shut her down the next time,” he said, following her 26-point night against Fayette.

The Panthers took the league game 52-43, leaving the Eagles (1-6, 0-3) still looking for that first league win.

“The kids are staying positive,” Nicely said, “but we really need a win to boost our confidence.”

He’s hoping for boost in leadership and points when Rachel Seiler returns to action next week following injury.

The Eagles have been falling behind early and finding it difficult to come back. Turnovers—22 against Stryker—are making it difficult to stay on an even keel.

The Panthers were on top 25-17 at half-time, but Fayette managed to come back to within five points before letting it slip away.

That comeback effort pleases Nicely.

“The kids are still working hard and working to stay motivated,” he said.

Amber Scott finished with 16 points to lead the Eagles. The team had another good showing from the free throw line, hitting 12 of 16 tries.

EDGERTON —The Bulldogs claimed a 56-43 non-league win last week. Once again Fayette fell behind early but came through with a much stronger second half.

“We need to get more aggressive on the defensive end,” Nicely said, “and to do a better job blocking out.”

Leah Brinegar led scoring with 11 points, followed by Ashtyn Baker with nine and Allison Cuff with eight.

“The girls continue to work hard and they expect to win every game,” said the coach.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls dropped a pair of contests last week, but the Eagles were in contention both nights.

“We did have a lead by a few points in each game,” coach Sarah Bird said. “We just were unable to finish them out in the end.”

Allison Cuff scored eight points and collected five rebounds in a 31-26 BBC loss Friday at Stryker.

Cuff was also the leading scorer last week at Edgerton in a 40-32 loss. She scored 12 and finished with four rebounds.

Sydney Brown added 10 points and also collected four rebounds.

MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: One step behind.

That’s how it seemed to Morenci boys coach Tim Bovee Thursday when he took the Bulldogs to Madison.

“I have to give credit to Madison,” he said. “Their tempo stayed the same all night and we seemed to be a step behind from the start.”

The Trojans finished up on top, 50-37.

Madison jumped to a 7-0 lead as the Bulldogs turned the ball over on four of their first five possessions. Buckets by Daiton Lemmon and Brett Bovee, followed by a three-pointer from Luke Craig, closed the gap to 9-7. After that, things just went downhill.

Another string of turnovers early in the second quarter gave Madison an 11-point lead.

The Bulldogs forced some turnovers after the half-time break, but they couldn’t turn them into points.

“We had three possessions there where we could have closed the gap to five points,” Bovee said, “but we couldn’t get a bucket.”

Morenci managed to trim the lead to seven points near the end of the game, but Madison made good at the free throw line to stay on top.

The Trojans made their slow, deliberate game work against the Bulldogs who didn’t show enough patience, Bovee said. Madison showed excellent ball control; Morenci never seemed to get into a flow.

Coach Bovee chalked the loss up to experience.

“We’ll learn from it and improve,” he said, about the Bulldogs’ first loss in three league outings.

BD—Against Britton-Deerfield at home Dec. 14, the Bulldogs took an early lead, then started rushing things and let the Patriots back into the game.

“We had a 36-31 lead in the third quarter and suddenly the momentum shifted,” Bovee said.

A turnover, a foul, a three-point game—the contest remained tight the rest of the night.

On the final play of the game, Brett Bovee took the ball and dumped it off to Nick Wilson underneath the basket. Wilson scored for a 50-48 Morenci to win to celebrate his return to action in his first game of the season.

JV BOYS: Morenci JV boys are still adjusting to a pressure defense, said coach John Craig, and that got them into trouble twice last week.

“Our inexperience is showing,” he said, “but we’re going to get better. We just have some work to do.”

Two big quarters for Madison Thursday gave the Trojans a 54-31 TCC win. The Bulldogs took the second and fourth quarters, 24-19, but Madison took control in the other two and outscored Morenci 35-7.

Cody Powell scored nine points for the Bulldogs, followed by KC Clegg with seven.

Morenci kept it closer when Britton-Deerfield visited last week, but the Patriots posted a 49-36 victory after leading by five at intermission.

“B-D has good depth,” Craig said, “with a lot of sophomores out of their freshman program from last year.”

Jordan Pruitt scored 14 points, including a five-for-five showing from the line. Powell added 12.

MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Sand Creek showed a defensive intensity that Morenci’s girls couldn’t handle—at least not in the first half.

The Aggies sped to a 33-14 first half lead, and even the Bulldogs took the scoring edge in the second half, they put themselves in a hole too deep to climb out from.

The 59-47 win puts Sand Creek alone in first place while Morenci (3-2, 2-1) is tied in second with Clinton and Madison.

“The Robichaud girls really put the pressure on Brooke (Bovee),” coach Tim Yatzek said. “Brooke didn’t get a lot of help bringing the ball up the court in the first half.”

She didn’t get the ball through the hoop either, finishing the night with just two points.

Sand Creek knows only one speed—full steam ahead—and it took a half for the Bulldogs to adjust. After scoring only 11 points by half-time, Morenci added 33 after the intermission.

Matea Garcia came through as the scoring leader for the Bulldogs again this game, finishing with 15 points—nearly all in the second half. She also gave five assists.

“She knows how to find the basket and she knows how to shoot the ball,” Yatzek said.

Tia Tompkins came alive in the second half to finish with 13 points, and she also collected 10 rebounds.

Chelsea Tompkins gave the Bulldogs a good boost off the bench, Yatzek said, and Chelsea Phillips continues to show improvement.

“She’s learning how to be stronger with the ball and improving with every game,” he said.

JV GIRLS: A series of little mistakes added up and proved costly for Morenci’s JV girls last week when the Bulldogs fell to Sand Creek 28-26 in double overtime.

The Bulldogs weren’t taking care of the ball well, said varsity coach Tim Yatzek, and had a weak rebounding night.

Hannah Jeffers led scoring with 14 points.

Coach Yatzek sees a lot of potential in the hard-working crew.

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