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 2011.09.21

Written by David Green.

MORENCI FOOTBALL: Madison turned the ball over; Morenci took advantage of the gift.

Four fumbles lost, three passes given away—the Bulldogs (3-1) used those to claim a 39-6 TCC victory over the Trojans (1-3) for their second league win of the season.

It was only a win for Morenci Friday night. The team also experienced a loss. Senior Max Gautz, a leader on both sides of the ball, suffered what his doctor believes is a torn ACL in his knee. If that’s the case, his season ended on the fourth-quarter punt return when he was injured.

Someone had to step up and fill the gap after his injury, said Bulldog coach Taz Wallace, and that’s what needs to be done Friday when Morenci travels to Summerfield.

Wallace was pleased with his squad’s performance Friday.

“I think we played well,” he said. “We gave a good, physical game. We made some mistakes and we still need to eliminate penalties. We’ve doing a better job of it.”

After Austin Sandusky intercepted a Madison pass in the first quarter, the Bulldogs needed only four plays to reach the end zone. Gautz scored on a five-yard run.

Cody Powell intercepted next and led Morenci on a 10-play scoring drive. Sandusky carried the final two yards.

In the second quarter, Morenci got possession on a fumble and drove 47 yards to the goal line. Hayze Wolf brought in a pass from Powell for a 27-yard scoring play.

Sandusky scored from four yards out in the third quarter and the Bulldogs took a 27-0 lead. After the injury to Gautz, Morenci moved the ball 74 yards to score, with Sandusky sprinting the final 28 yards.

In the fourth quarter, Jay Howard intercepted and raced 53 yards for a touchdown.

Lucas Hollstein led the defensive effort with 10 tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries. Wolf and Howard were each in on seven tackles. Simon Jeffers notched four solo tackles.

Coach Wallace was pleased with his team’s pass defense, pressuring the quarterback who completed just three of 22 attempts.

Sandusky was the leading ball carrier with 77 yards, followed by Gautz with 60 and KC Clegg with 53.

MORENCI JV FOOTBALL: Morenci’s JV football team racked up the points last week at Madison, but they weren’t the only ones. Madison followed suit in the 56-42 win for the Bulldogs.

After leading by only 22-18 late in the second quarter, Morenci scored 14 points in the final 26 seconds of the half to take a 36-18 lead.

The Bulldogs scored again early in the third quarter, but Madison scored the next two touchdowns to keep the game interesting. 

Both teams added more points in the fourth.

Colin Smith scored on runs of 52 yards, 70 yards, five yards and 12 yards. He ran two conversions.

Smith passed to Derrick Tule for a 12-yard touchdown and to Daiton Lemmon for a 28-yard touchdown.

Chris Hinkley scored on a 75-yard kickoff return and Torin Merillat scored on a three-yard run. Merillat also had a conversion run.

Smith completed three of three passing attempts for 45 yards. Morenci tallied 401 yards of rushing behind the offensive line of Shawn Feltz, Malachi Hoffman, Nicholas Pless, Hunter Borton, Jacob Morin, Tule and Lemmon.

Smith rushed for 276 yards on 18 attempts. Michael Heinze added 74 yards on 10 attempts.

On defense, Nick Stutzman led with nine tackles. Hinkley made three interceptions and Dalton McCowan made two fumble recoveries.

“We blocked well and ran the ball well,” said coach Dan Hoffman, “but we certainly need to improve tackling.”

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci swept a pair of matches from Sand Creek Sept. 13 to open the league season.

The victories move the Bulldogs’ overall record to 8-4-1.

“We had almost two weeks off and I was worried we might be stale,” said coach Dennis Owens, “but I was really pleased with our effort.”

He said he Bulldogs were a little slow with their blocking and serve reception was not what it should have been, but there was plenty to like.

“Everyone served well and our back row movement was the best of the season,” he said.

Brooke Bovee had a fantastic night at the net, Owens said, with 41 kills and a block, and the whole team served well.

Morenci took the opener 25-12, 23-25, 25-13, 22-25, 15-4, then followed with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 win.

Passing: Hannah Jeffers, 27 digs, 29/36 service reception; Erin Vanderpool, 25 digs, 30/31 service reception.

Serving: Matea Garcia, 49/50, 7 aces, 39 service points; Jeffers, 33/36, 5 aces, 23 points; Carolyn Blaker, 26/26, 4 aces, 15 points; Bovee, 25-25, 4 aces, 12 points

Setting: Garcia, 28 assists; Bovee, 11 assists

Hitting: Bovee, 41 kills, 1 block; Garcia, 9 kills; Chelsea Phillips, 7 kills, 3 blocks.

MORENCI JV VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s JV volleyball team members continue to improve their game as they spilt their pool play matches Saturday at Hudson tournament.

In pool play, the Bulldogs lost a close match to Jackson Northwest, 24-25, 25-22, 18-25, then came back to defeat Lenawee Christian School, 25-24, 25-18, 19-25.

Hudson knocked them out of the tournament in the semifinals of the Silver Division, 16-25, 21-25.

Ali Piercy scored 13 kills and went 17/18 from the serving line. Melissa Burk scored 14 kills and Rebecca Heinze added 11, including four block kills.

Hilary Falor missed only one of 31 serves and Emma Binegar had 12 setting assists.

In a loss Sept. 13 to Sand Creek,  libero Julie Terry led the defensive effort with her leadership and a strong game.

In a double-header loss to Whiteford on Thursday, Falor was perfect from the serving line at 18/18 and Piercy went 10/10. Binegar scored nine kills and was good on 56 of 57 setting attempts.

The JVs’ record stands at 2-10.

MIDDLE SCHOOL—Morenci’s middle school volleyball teams both scored victories Monday against Sand Creek to open the 2011 season. 

The girls are coached by Ashley Joughin and Kay Johnson.

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