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 2011.12.21

Written by David Green.


A team ought to win nine out of 10 times when it gives up only 36 points, said Fayette boys varsity coach Todd Mitchell.

Thursday night was that one odd chance where 36 points just doesn’t do it.  Fayette won the second half Thursday at Stryker, but that wasn’t enough to overcome a weak first half and the Panthers claimed a 36-30 BBC victory.

“We played better defense in the second half and our shooting improved,” said coach Todd Mitchell. “But we were doing a lot of reaching and not moving our feet.”

The Eagles sent Stryker to the line 19 times and the Panthers used those opportunities to maintain their lead.

Stryker sank seven first-half free throws and took a 20-10 lead into the half-time break. Fayette narrowed that to six points over the next quarter and cut it further in the fourth.

“We cut it to two points with about three minutes to play,” Mitchell said. “We had three possessions where we had the chance to take the lead.”

The shots wouldn’t fall and Stryker stayed on top.

Fayette had trouble under the boards early on, Mitchell said, and didn’t respond well to the Panther defense.

“Stryker played a very aggressive defense and took us out of our game,” he said. “We didn’t react to it well.”

He appreciated his squad’s effort and said they fought hard to the end. Turnovers stood at 11 for the Eagles and 14 for Stryker.

Trevor Cox went four for four from the line in the fourth quarter and six for seven overall. He led the Eagles’ scoring with 12 points. He also finished with three steals and Tyler Cox recorded a pair of blocks.

 JV BOYS: A weak defense combined with some offensive troubles led to the inevitable  conclusion: a loss for Fayette’s junior varsity boys.

The Eagles put only three shots through the hoop during the first three quarters, then matched that in the fourth quarter on their way to a 32-19 loss at Stryker.

“We didn’t run our offense very well and we didn’t play much defense,” said coach Matt Maginn.

Rebounding suffered, also, giving the Panthers some second chances on offense.

Fayette hung close for a quarter, but lost point guard Logan Franks when he sat out two quarters to save some minutes for the varsity contest.

Maginn intends to practice more using a different point guard in case the Eagles are in the same predicament in the future.

Patty Hookstadt led scoring with five points, and Maginn said he played hard for all four quarters. Franks and Justin Stoltzfus each added four points.

The Eagles turned the ball over 15 times compared to Stryker’s 10. 


FAYETTE GIRLS BASKETBALL: A weak shooting night left Fayette on the short end of a league game at home Friday when undefeated Stryker posted a 65-28 victory.

“It was just a terrible night,” coach Tim Nicely said. “You can’t have 28 turnovers against a good team like Stryker.”

The Eagles (2-5) scored only a single bucket in the opening quarter as the Panthers (7-0) set the tone of the game with an 11-3 lead. There were lots of good looks, Nicely said, but the shots weren’t going in.

He thought his squad might shave off some of the lead in the second quarter when two Panthers got in foul trouble and Fayette finally started scoring, but Stryker kept pace. Standout Brooke Ruffer added 11 points to her tally, on the way to a 23-point night.

Ashtyn Baker hit a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter and scored 10 of Fayette’s 15 points that quarter, but the Panthers were still on top 31-18 at intermission.

Ruffer continued to pour on the points in the third quarter while Fayette’s scoring pace slowed. The Eagles hit only a single bucket in the final period.

Fayette was out of its regular game from the start with leader Mikayla Smith on the bench nursing a back injury. Melani Seiler filled in at point guard and did a good job, Nicely said, but it was only her second game of the season.

It wasn’t Stryker’s pressure that caused the most harm, said the coach. There were several unforced turnovers, especially in the second half.

 Nicely was impressed with the well-rounded Panthers and told his squad that Stryker is probably the best team Fayette will encounter this season.

“They’re very athletic and so well rounded,” he said.

EDGERTON—The Eagles produced a pair of productive quarters in the second half last week against Edgerton, but that wasn’t enough to contain the Bulldogs.

Fayette cut the lead to five points in the second half, but ended up sending Edgerton to the foul line in the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs shot eight for 15 down the stretch.

Edgerton opened the game shooting well over 50 percent in the first quarter to take a 20-9 lead.

Baker finished the game with four three-point shots and led scoring with 14 points.


JV GIRLS: Either Fayette or Stryker’s JV girls could have put the game away Friday on the Panthers’ court. A little better success at the free throw line would have made the difference.

Instead, the Panthers overcame a five-point deficit in the fourth quarter to eke out an 18-17 victory.

The Eagles shot two for five from the line in the final period (and six for 14 for the game) and made only a single field goal. Stryker sank six of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and 12 for 22 for the game.

Katelyn Bates led scoring with five points—all five from the line.

EDGERTON—Fayette outscored Edgerton for three of their four quarters last week, but the Eagles couldn’t overcome a terrible opening period.

The Bulldogs took a big 16-4 lead after the first quarter and led 25-15 going into the fourth. Bates put six points on the board in the final period, but Edgerton finished on top 33-24.

Jena Myers led scoring with 12 points for her best offensive showing of the season. She also collected five rebounds while Bates finished with three.

“Their pressure got to us and we dug ourselves in a hole early,” coach Sarah Bird said. “Once we started to settle down, good things happened.”

The Eagles fought hard to come back, she said, but ended up short.


MORENCI BOYS BASKETBALL: Clinton’s varsity boys are still undefeated at 4-0, but Morenci gave the Redskins a challenge.

The Bulldogs (1-2, 1-1) had a slim lead with six and a half minutes to play, but Clinton took the edge down the stretch to win 60-54.

“We had a lapse on defensive coverage in the fourth quarter,” coach Tim Bovee said, “and they scored three three’s. Overall, there were a lot of plusses for us. I liked our intensity and we went to the glass better.”

The lead swung back and forth throughout the first half. A three-pointer by Luke Craig put the Bulldogs on top early in the second quarter and he added another with less than a minute to play to make it 21-18. In between, Daiton Lemmon scored on his way to an 18-point night while Austin Thomas came off the bench to add a bucket.

It was more of the same in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs pulled ahead by two points when Jordan Proffitt stole the ball and hit a lay-up for a 43-41 lead.

Morenci went on top with a three-pointer by Craig—his fourth of the night—then the tide turned. Over the next four minutes, Clinton went on a 12-0 run while the Bulldogs turned the ball over four times and missed shots on three possessions.

Lemmon finally canned a pair of free throws with 2:32 remaining, then hit a bucket at 2:06 to pull within six points, 56-50.

The Redskins just needed to run time off the clock to hold on for the win.

“We need to eliminate some turnovers and make better decisions on defense,” Coach Bovee asked. “We’ll get better. We’re getting the shots we want and once we start finishing those, it will change the course of the game.”

In addition to his 18 points, Lemmon collected eight rebounds. Craig and Hayze Wolf each finished with seven. Austin Sandusky made five steals.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Trojans took advantage of a slow Morenci start last week, but the Bulldogs came around for a 20-6 second quarter to take the lead for good and claim a 56-43 TCC win.

“We found our range in the second quarter,” Bovee said, “and defensively we did better on the glass. Overall we made some good decisions and we’re moving in the right direction.”

He was pleased with his squad’s effort and hard play, and said it was good to see success at the free throw line down the stretch after missing earlier in the contest.

Craig led scoring with 18 points and also collected 13 rebounds. Wolf finished with six boards while Sandusky and Lemmon each grabbed five. Sandusky and Proffitt each hit three three-pointers.

ADDISON—Morenci led at the end of each quarter Monday night except the most important one. Addison turned on the scoring in the fourth quarter, outpacing the Bulldogs 22-5, to claim the non-league win 60-47.

Craig scored 16 points for Morenci and Sandusky added 11.


MORENCI GIRLS BASKETBALL: Clinton’s varsity girls nearly matched Morenci in turnovers early in the game here Friday and the second quarter opened with a close contest underway.

The Redskins (6-1?) finally got their offense in gear and rolled over Morenci 63-24 to keep the Bulldogs winless.

Morenci lost possession of the ball on its first five possessions and finally got on the scoreboard when Ali Piercy scored and was fouled to make it a 4-3 game. 

Piercy soon added two more free throws to pull within one, 6-5, but had trouble getting the ball through the hoop until early in the second quarter when Brittany White scored to make it 14-7.

Unforced turnovers plagued the Bulldogs all night long and the visitors had a 33-14 lead at intermission.

Kourtney Cousino turned and let loose a three-pointer in the third quarter and soon added another bucket, but that was all the offense Morenci could muster.

WHITMORE LAKE—Morenci stayed close at Whitmore Lake all night and ended up falling short 44-38.

The Trojans outscored the Bulldogs by a point in each of the first two quarters and the teams tied in the fourth. Whitmore Lake’s four-point edge in the third period made the difference.

Chloe Molitierno fired in three three-pointers to lead scoring with nine points. Hannah Jeffers added eight, with a pair of threes, and Piercy also scored eight and hit a pair from outside the arc. Amanda Osborne also made a distant shot to give the Bulldogs eight three-pointers for the night.


JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls dropped a pair of league contests last week, falling to Whitmore Lake and Clinton.

The Bulldogs put together a good defensive effort Thursday against Clinton, said coach Chris Ramsey, and the offense did a decent job against the Redskin zone.

Morenci was plagued by poor rebounding against the taller Clinton players.

“Turnovers were down in the first three quarters,” Ramsey said about the young squad, “and it was lot better effort overall.”

He cited Amy Blaker for her good play at both ends of the court.

In a 33-16 loss against Whitmore Lake, Nikki Callebs scored six of Morenci’s points.


MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci’s Jordan Bach was undefeated Saturday at the Edgerton (Ohio) team tournament, and other Bulldog wrestlers picked up a few wins.

Morenci gave up points through seven voided weight classes. Austin Vanderpool suffered a shoulder injury during warmups and didn’t compete.

The Bulldogs’ small team might have earned a team victory against Patrick Henry who also had several open weight classes.

Morenci wasn’t listed as the winner at the meet, said coach Phil Stark, but the results he has give the Bulldogs a 27-26 win.

Against Patrick Henry, Jay Howard earned a 10-8 decision win at 126 pounds and Tyler Benjamin (152) scored a third-period pin at 5:28.

Nick Pless (132), Devin Wyse (145) and Bach (285) were winners through default.

The Bulldogs scored two pins against Fairview. Pless downed his opponent at 1:30 and Bach made it even quicker work with a pin at 23 seconds.

Morenci had its toughest time against the host team, Edgerton. Bach was the only winner with a pin in 47 seconds.

Paulding finished on top 45-27, with Morenci pins earned by Wyse at 1:48 and Bach at :30. Kody Osborne (160) scored a 14-8 decision while Billy White (152) and Benjamin won by forfeit.

Pless had a close match but lost 5-2.

The Bulldogs also put points on the board against Ottawa-Glandorf, losing 42-30.

Osborne scored a pin at 2:19 and Bach ended his match at :44. Howard, Pless and White all won by forfeit.

The day proved to be a confidence booster for a couple of the unseasoned wrestlers, Coach Stark said. 

PITTSFORD—Only one Bulldog wrestler earned a win last week at Pittsford, but Morenci still came close to a victory. The Wildcats also gave up several  weight classes through forfeit and ended up topping the Bulldogs 36-30.

Howard (130) earned a pin at 3:55 while  Pless (135), Wyse (145), Osborne (152) and Bach (285) all won through voids.

Morenci traveled to Manchester last week and lost to the Dutch and to Leslie by failing to win a match.

Morenci has no match scheduled until Jan. 7 when Clinton sponsors its annual invitational meet. Coach Stark hopes to have two or three more competitors on the team after the holiday break. 

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