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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Sports round-up 01.12.2011

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS: Fayette played to win in the closing minutes Thursday when North Central visited, and the effort paid off.

The Eagles broke a festering losing streak with a 47-41 BBC victory.

“They were pressing us and we’ve had trouble with that this year,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “but we got the ball down the court and scored.”

A turning point in the contest came in the third quarter when Coach Mitchell made a defensive change.

“North Central’s Dancer was getting into the key too much so I put Trevor Cox on him and he shut him down,” Mitchell said.

Dancer finished the game with 16 points, but he scored only one bucket in the second half.

North Central (4-4, 2-1) beat Pettisville in December and lost to Wauseon by a point in a tournament, so Mitchell saw the win as a key league victory.

Cox gave six assists, Tyler Keefer collected 10 rebounds along with his 20 points and Darrell Randall finished with eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Turnovers were held to nine and the Eagles shot 10 for 13 from the line.

HICKSVILLE—Fayette held on for a 41-39 non-league win at home Saturday when Hicksville visited.

Fayette was on top by 10 points at half-time, but the Aces came back in the second half to knot it up.

The Eagles were on top by a point when Keefer was fouled on a rebound with seven seconds to play. He made one of two for the 41-39 lead and Hicksville missed its final shot with about two seconds to play.

“I thought we had it won a couple of times,” Mitchell said, “but then they would come back with another big shot. We had to stay patient to pull through.”

Randall left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and scored only two points.

Keefer collected 10 rebounds and Hunter Colegrove grabbed five.

JV BOYS: Some early pressure by Fayette’s JV boys gave them an edge last week when they visited Morenci. The Eagles finished it off and went home with a decisive 56-34 victory.

“We still had a lot of turnovers,” coach Matt Maginn said, “but we played a little better defense than in our previous games.”

Fayette went to the line 24 times in the foul-filled contest—scoring on 11 attempts—while the Bulldogs hit 10 of 21.

“Overall we moved the ball well and looked to attack,” Maginn said.

Chandler Sanford scored 13 points, followed by Alex Hylander with 12 and Logan Franks and Cole Burkholder with nine each.

Turnovers got in the way Thursday when North Central visited Fayette. The Eagles lost possession 21 times and lost the contest 47-25.

Patrick Hookstadt was out of action due to an injury suffered in the Morenci game.

Coach Maginn got better ball handling from his squad Saturday against Hicksville and Fayette finished on top, 39-32.

Both Sanford and Jon Boesger gave good offensive showings, Maginn said. Burkholder collected six rebounds and shot five of six from the line.

Free throws made the difference, with the Eagles hitting 12 of 15 and Hicksville scoring on only three tries.

FAYETTE GIRLS: Fayette’s varsity girls spent a lot of time at the free throw line Friday at North Central and it paid off.

The Eagles shot a sharp 20 for 26—scoring seven more than North Central—and came home with a 56-54 BBC victory.

Three girls hit double figures for both teams.

“We scored a lot of points, but our defense wasn’t the best,” coach Tim Nicely said.

The win gave Fayette (2-7, 1-3) its first victory since the second game of the season while North Central dropped to 2-7, 0-3.

“It was just a good game and it gave the kids some confidence,” Nicely said. “The kids felt great afterward. It was nice to see the smiles.”

After leading by two at intermission, Fayette trailed by seven with about three minutes to play. Nicely called for a press and the Eagles got a couple of turnovers that they converted into points.

With time running out and a tie game, Mikayla Smith hit a bucket with about 10 seconds remaining and the narrow lead held.

Fayette shot a perfect nine for nine from the line in the fourth quarter. Smith went six for eight for the game and Ashtyn Baker shot four for four.

Leah Brinegar was good on eight of 11 free throws and led all scorers with 18 points. Smith was next in line with 16.

Baker grabbed seven rebounds. Amber Scott collected five and Tori Lichtenwald finished with four. The team made 10 steals and gave 10 assists.

JV GIRLS: Make that three in a row for Fayette’s JV girls.

The Eagles downed Swanton Monday night, 27-15, after taking North Central 33-19 last Friday. That gives Fayette three consecutive wins.

“I think the girls are playing with some positive momentum now,” coach Sarah Bird said. “They have played with great effort the past few games and it has showed with the wins.”

Against Swanton, Allison Cuff and Sydney Brown lead the offense with eight and six points. Cuff also collected seven rebounds.

At North Central, Cuff scored 15 and grabbed four rebounds. Brown followed with nine points and two rebounds.

“The girls did a great job taking care of the ball,” Bird said. “We had very few turnovers and were able to hit shots.”

Cuff had a strong game with 15 points and 4 rebounds.

Brown followed with 9 points and 2 rebounds.

MORENCI BOYS: An 11-point lead in the first quarter.

A 10-point advantage in the second.

Still up by nine in the third quarter.

It just looked as though Morenci had a victory coming Thursday against TCC foe Sand Creek.

The Bulldogs had a nine-point lead still with 7:30 to play in the game, but then it fell apart quickly.

The Aggies scored, missed and then was called for a charge. Sand Creek came through with a three-pointer and later hit a pair of free throws while Morenci couldn’t get the ball through the bucket.

The Aggies finally tied it up 39-39 with just under five minutes remaining and took the lead with their third three-pointer of the quarter.

The game stayed tied until the end, but Sand Creek took the advantage in overtime.

The Aggies went ahead by five and held on for a 58-52 win.

Morenci committed 28 fouls and sent the Aggies to the line 37 times. They scored 24 points from free throws.

MORENCI GIRLS: Clinton’s Hannah Payne set the tone early Friday when Morenci visited and the Bulldogs fell hard.

Payne scored 10 in the opening quarter to lead the Redskins to a 62-31 thumping of Morenci. Clinton now stands in first place in the TCC, tied with Sand Creek.

Clinton doubled up on Morenci’s scoring by half-time and the Bulldogs never recovered.

Tia Tompkins handled the bulk of Morenci’s scoring with 19 points, including an 11-for-20 showing at the line.

BLISSFIELD—With the number of turnovers Morenci committed at home Wednesday against Blissfield, there was only one way for them to stay in the game: a similar number of turnovers from the Royals.

The two teams came through with a back-and-forth contest all night until the Royals pulled ahead by six, 44-38, with under three minutes to play.

Trailing by five with 33 seconds to play, the Bulldogs missed the front end of a one-and-one, drew another foul and missed two free throws.

With eight seconds remaining, Matea Garcia sunk a three-pointer to make it 46-42. Morenci stole the inbound pass but missed a shot. With two seconds left, Garcia stole another inbound pass and dished off to Tompkins who scored at the buzzer.

Tompkins finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Garcia scored 14 and made five steals.

JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls had plenty of trouble with Blissfield’s press last week and the Royals claimed a 46-18 win.

“We went up against a good team,” Morenci coach Emilie Beach said. “We played a good first half, but we just couldn’t score.”

Offensive production dropped even lower in the second half.

Hannah Jeffers led Morenci with nine points after spending a lot of time on the bench with foul trouble.

NICK WILSON: Morenci senior Nick Wilson signed a letter of commitment last week to play football for Siena Heights University.

Wilson was an all-county defensive lineman and an all-league offensive lineman. He was one of the top two tacklers on the Bulldogs’ 2010 team.

SPORTSMANSHIP: Morenci’s volleyball team was selected as the Good Sports Are Winners team from the Class D district tournament at Lenawee Christian School.

A total of 170 teams were recognized for displaying outstanding sportsmanship during selected fall Michigan High School Athletic Association post-season tournament competitions. Those schools will receive awards from MEEMIC Insurance, the Association's corporate partner in sportsmanship efforts.

The program is conducted in team sports, with schools being evaluated by tournament management at district, regional and final round sites.

The program recognizes one school at each MHSAA tournament center at all levels of play for having met the highest sportsmanlike standards.

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