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
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  • Front.walk Across

Sports round-up 2011.11.02

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS: Fayette’s two cross country regional qualifiers came home short of their goal and missed qualifying for the state finals.

Sophomore Jill Stuckey finished in the 39th spot at 21:21, with teammate Melani Seiler, a junior, coming in at 43rd with a time of 21:47.

“They were both bummed,” said coach Bryan Stambaugh, “but they had a pretty strong finish. Hopefully they can both get there next year.”

After walking the course prior to the race, Stambaugh expected times to be on the slow side due to the muddy conditions.

“I told them to forget about their time,” he said. “You’re just going to have to run for place.”

Stuckey had a close encounter with the mud.

Runners face a tough hill about half a mile from the end and there was lots of mud at the bottom. Stambaugh was positioned farther along the course and noticed some of the runners that were near Stuckey earlier, but she was nowhere in sight. She soon appeared with mud from a fall.

This year’s run marked Seiler’s second regional run and the first for Stuckey.

A freshman from Liberty Center was the champion Saturday, turning in an impressive 18:46. Ten runners finished under the 20-minute mark.

In the boys run, a senior from Coldwater finished at 16:16.


MORENCI CROSS: One Morenci runner will advance to the Div. IV cross country finals Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Sophomore Tatyana Pless will make her second trip to the state finals after qualifying a year ago when she attended Blissfield schools.

A year ago Pless qualified as a freshman in Div. III and she repeated this year in Div. IV Saturday at Hudson, placing eighth at 20:49. At the state finals a year ago, she lowered her time to 19:56 and placed 61st.

“The state meet tends to do that to people,” said Morenci coach Brad Brown.

That time would have placed her at 23rd in Div. IV.

“She has an opportunity to be in the top 30 this year,” Brown said, but she will likely need to get below the 20-minute mark.

Pless’s run Saturday was her best of the season.

Morenci sophomore Mariah Gillen was hoping for a return trip, also, but finished in 21st place at 22:08. Only the top 15 runners advance to the finals. That was Gillen’s top run of the season.

Junior Taylor Baugh trimmed more than a minute off her regional run time from last year at Hudson, placing 40th at 24:56. Senior Kortney Cousino followed in 46th place at 25:21 and Mary Margaret Hollstein took 63rd at 30:58.

Hillsdale Academy’s Shaley Albaugh won the girls race with a time of 19:19.

Pless will compete Saturday in the first race of the day at 10 a.m.

In the boys regional race, eight runners finished under 17 minutes, led by Stephan Biggs who turned in a 16:10.

Morenci junior Luke Spaulding led the Bulldogs with a 26th-place finish at 18:32. His brother, Jake, followed in 37th at 19:09, followed by sophomore Reagan Stowell who trimmed 35 seconds from last year’s run to place 49th at 19:41.

Freshman Spencer Elliott was just behind at 19:42 and freshman Tyler Sterling placed 81st at 23:31.

That was Elliott’s top performance of the season, Brown said, as he continues to adjust to the longer course after middle school. Brown was also impressed with Sterling’s run. The rookie runner joined the team late in the season and continues to make large improvements.


MORENCI FOOTBALL: It didn’t look like easy going, but it looked like Morenci could come out the victors Friday night at Pittsford.

Neither team was gaining much headway in the first half, but a 51-yard pass from Bulldog quarterback Cody Powell to Chris Howard game Morenci a 7-0 lead at intermission.

And then came the second half.

The Bulldogs (5-5) were held to negative yardage; Pittsford (8-2) moved through Morenci’s defense over and over.

It looked like a different Wildcat team in the second half, and that half belonged to them.

“We just didn’t get it done,” said Morenci’s first-year coach, Taz Wallace.

A lack of execution on both sides of the ball took the Bulldogs out of post-season play in a 20-7 loss. The Wildcats will move on to the district finals this weekend against top-10 ranked Climax-Scotts, a team they lost a close battle with earlier in the season.

Pittsford lost possession on a fumble in the first half and punted on all the others, wrapping up the first two quarters with only a pair of first downs.

Morenci’s offense was hampered by a pair of fumbles, but the Bulldogs’ Austin Sandusky managed to recover each one. 

After a Pittsford punt, Morenci picked a pair of first downs before Powell found Howard open for the touchdown pass.

After that there was only a trading of punts until half-time.

Pittsford put together a steady ground gain to score and trail 7-6, then got the ball back almost immediately when Morenci fumbled on a double-reverse. They were soon in the end zone again to take the lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats took over on downs and ran through the Bulldog line again for a final score with 1:40 to play. Morenci fumbled the on-side kickoff and Pittsford controlled the ball until time ran out.



Sand Creek 7-0 8-1

Summerfield 5-2 6-3

Britton-Deerfield 4-3 6-3

Clinton 4-3 4-5

Morenci 4-3 5-4

Whiteford 3-4 4-5

Whitmore Lake 1-6 2-7

Madison 0-7 1-8


Six Morenci football players were named to the Tri-County Conference first team honor squad.

First team offensive players are senior guard Jordan Bach, junior tight end Hayze Wolf and freshman wide receiver Austin Sandusky.

First team defensive players are senior lineman Lucas Hollstein, senior defensive end Jacob McVay and senior defensive back Jay Howard.

Senior Larry Barron and junior Kendrick Taylor received honorable mention, and Simon Jeffers was Morenci’s sportsmanship team representative. 

Junior Cody Powell was the only Bulldog named to the all-academic team, an honor earned by juniors and seniors.

Other first-team offensive picks are Whiteford senior center Justin Holz and senior running back Aaron Kellerbauer; Britton-Deerfield senior wide receiver Eli Browning, junior center Jared Wielfaert and junior running back Brock Prain; Clinton senior guard Mike Felts; Sand Creek senior tackle Nolin Livingston, quarterback Sam Mehan and running back Nathan Sutherland; Summerfield senior tackle Jacob Nowak and sophomore running back Josh Golkiewicz; Whitmore Lake senior wide receiver William Wagner; and Madison junior running back Walter Carter-Thomas.

Other defensive choices are Whiteford senior kicker Austin Bischoff; B-D senior punter Andrew Prielipp and junior outside linebacker Josh Reau; Clinton senior inside linebacker Kevin Cook, defensive end Ken Marion and defensive back Brayden Vires; Sand Creek senior outside linebacker Isaac Hawkins and defensive back Cody Wilt, junior lineman Garrett Miller and inside linebacker Elliott Rains; Summerfield senior lineman Zach Ladd, outside linebacker Dakota Ladd and defensive back Chris Sylvester, and junior inside linebacker Travis Hunter; and Madison senior lineman Jose Rivera.

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