The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.

Sports round-up 2011.09.08

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS: Fayette’s cross country squad won a tri-match August 29 at Montpelier.

The Eagle girls captured four of the top five spots to win 22-45 against the host team. Fayette’s boys placed only two runners among the top six, but a strong secondary pack gave them a 31-41 edge against Hilltop and 31-58 win against Montpelier.

Hilltop’s Zach Smith and Brad Livensparger took the top two positions, followed by Skylar Lantz (19:48) and Trevor Cox (20:35). Montpelier took the next two spots before Fayette scored four in a row.

Dalton Goeltzenleuchter captured seventh at 22:08, followed by Dylan Aschemeir (8th, 22:08), Jared Wagner (9th, 22:22) and Nathan Seiler (10th, 22:33).

Other Eagle runners were Tim Stoltzfus (12th, 22:58), Cole Burkholder (13th, 23:04) and Dylan Stannard (15th, 23:37).

Melani Seiler won the girls race at 23:56, ahead of Jill Stuckey in second place at 24:41. 

Other Eagles were Liz Maginn (4th, 25:31), Sarah Kovar (5th, 26:03), Madelyn Maginn (10th, 27:38) and Ashtyn Baker (13th, 29:20).

JUNIOR HIGH—Fayette’s girls took a 21-36 win against Hilltop and the boys only faced one other runner.

Haley Purdue led the Eagles (2nd, 15:19), followed by Kaela Seiler (3rd, 15:24), Kelsey Fruchey (4th, 16:02), Alexis Fruchey (6th, 16:37) and Taylor Griffiths (9th, 17:59).

Casen Burkholder led the boys (1st, 14:06), followed by Alex Jaramillo (2nd, 14:46), Christian Suarez (3rd, 15:09), Jared Seiler (5th, no time given), Bryce Conklin (6th, 15:49), Joel Smith (8th, 16:11), Mason Maginn (9th, 16:13), Cole Stuckey (10th, 16:51) and Jason Stuckey (11th, 17:02).


Morenci’s fans were feeling a little giddy during the half-time break Thursday at Hudson.

The Bulldogs were on top, 18-13, and they were moving the ball. Maybe this would be the year that Morenci’s long drought against the Tigers would end.

The excitement didn’t end at intermission—not with a second half kickoff runback by Max Gautz—but the thrill didn’t last through the third quarter.

After the 72-yard touchdown run by Gautz for a 25-13 Morenci lead, the Tigers answered with five consecutive touchdowns to win the game 47-25.

Bulldog coach Taz Wallace said he wasn’t surprised at all by how well his squad played against Hudson.

“I have a lot of confidence in the kids,” he said. “I wasn’t surprised about going out and doing that.”

Some mistakes, however, cost the Bulldogs the game.

“We did some good things, but when you play a quality team you can’t make mistakes,” Wallace said.

The Tigers drove for a touchdown to pull within six points, and a costly Morenci fumble led to another score.

Then came another sort of mistake. Hudson recovered the ball through an on-side kick and two plays later their quarterback broke loose for a 47-yard touchdown run.

They followed with another on-side kick and took possession at Morenci’s 37. The Bulldog defense held and Morenci took possession, but only for one set of downs. The Tigers took over and scored again to make it 40-25 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Morenci quarterback Cody Powell threw his first interception of the season which was run back 22 yards for one final touchdown.

The Bulldogs drove from their own 46-yard-line to the Hudson six before losing the ball on a pitch-out.

Morenci opened scoring in the first quarter after the Tigers fumbled the opening kickoff, giving the Bulldogs possession on the Hudson 30. 

Morenci needed five plays to reach the end zone. Powell passed to Simon Jeffers to move the ball to the two yard line. Jordan Bach left his lineman position to run the ball for a touchdown.

Hudson answered with a score, but Morenci was soon on the scoreboard again. After a 13-yard run by Gautz, Powell raced around right end for a 53-yard touchdown and 12-7 lead.

The Tigers scored again but Gautz ran the first of two kickoff returns back for a touchdown, covering 74 yards for the 18-13 lead the Bulldogs took into intermission.

Powell led Morenci in rushing for the second week with 60 yards.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Trojans are 0-2 this season, but they fell short against Perry by only six points.

Coach Wallace said the team has some backfield speed and they’ll try to use that speed to get outside for yardage.

The trip to Whitmore Lake is Morenci’s third game on the road this season.

Wallace expects to see a better performance from the Bulldogs.

“We’ll get better every week,” he said. “We have a chance to be a great football team, but we have to eliminate some mistakes.”

Week three of the season—and the first week of league play—should give a better indication of how Tri-County Conference teams will progress this year.

Sand Creek, after walloping Blissfield, was beaten badly by Leslie. Blissfield, on the other hand, came back to defeat Whiteford, a team that won big in week one. Clinton is still winless, but against two good teams, while Britton-Deerfield has the only unbeaten record.

“The truth will come out Friday night,” Wallace said.

FOOTBALL JV: Morenci’s JV grid team got off to a good start last week against Hudson, but the Tigers got their offense in gear to win 28-8.

Caleb Thomas started the game after missing the first contest due to an injury. He put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a 48-yard touchdown run and added the two-point conversion for an 8-6 Morenci lead.

Thomas left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter, but still ended as the Bulldogs’ leading ground gainer with 57 yards.

Hudson came back with two touchdowns in the second quarter and added one more in the fourth, with less than two minutes remaining.

Michael Heinze was next in line in offensive statistics with 52 yards, followed by Chris Hinkley with 25.

Torin Merillat and Nick Stutzman each tallied 13 tackles, while Colin Smith and Daiton Lemmon finished with a dozen each.

Smith grabbed one interception and Heinze had a fumble recovery. Daiton Lemmon made two catches for eight yards.

MORENCI CROSS: Morenci runners earned a pair of top-20 finishes last Wednesday at the Adrian Early Bird Invitational. The annual event is run at Heritage Park.

Morenci’s Tatyana Pless placed eighth with a time of 22:56 in her first time running at the invitational. Teammate Mariah Gillen returned for a second run and an 18th place finish, knocking more than a minute off her time a year ago. This year she turned in a 24:26.

Taylor Baugh placed 60th among the girls at 29:44—two minutes better than last year—and Mary Margaret Hollstein placed 73rd at 37:07.

The girls race was won by Coldwater’s Becca Schott with a time of 20:55.

Erie Mason’s Nick Raymond took first in the boys race at 16:58.

The Bulldogs were led by Luke Spaulding (27th, 20:03), Jake Spaulding (36th, 20:43), Reagan Stowell (45th, 21:27) and Spencer Elliott (79th, 24:26).

Stowell cut more than a minute off his time from a year ago.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: A volleyball quad meet at Manchester last week ended up as a three-way contest and Morenci’s varsity finished with a win and a loss.

The Bulldogs defeated Addison in three games, 25-17, 25-14, 15-12, then lost to Manchester 21-25, 19-25, 11-15.

That puts the season record at 6-4-1.

 Serving: Matea Garcia, 23-23, 2 aces, 12 points; Carolyn Blaker, 20-20, 1 ace, 12 points; Hannah Jeffers, 21-22, 3 aces, 11 points; Brooke Bovee, 16-17, 1 ace, 9 points; Erin Vanderpool 11-11, 3 aces, 6 points.

Hitting: Bovee, 21 kills, 4 blocks; Chelsea Phillips, 10 kills, 2 blocks; Garcia, 7 kills.

 Setting: Garcia, 21 assists; Bovee, 18 assists.

 Passing: Jeffers, 29 digs, 14-16 service reception; Vanderpool, 26 digs, 28-32 service reception; Blaker, 17 digs, 22-25 service reception.

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