Mike McDowell hired as Morenci varsity football coach 2012.06.06

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci has a new head football coach for the 2012 season and it’s a name most people in the area know.

Veteran coach Mike McDowell was hired unanimously by the board of education Monday night, with member Gary Ries absent. Seven people applied for the coaching job, along with a few who expressed interest in the position when they applied for the assistant principal/athletic director job.

McDowell was part of Morenci’s football program for more than 30 years, but he stopped coaching when he retired from teaching after the 2008-09 school year.

McDowell served as a varsity assistant for six years, starting under Harold Hall and Greg Lamley. He served as the head varsity coach for one season when his son Travis was a senior in high school, but for most of his coaching career he led the junior varsity program.

McDowell will be assisted by Matt Bostick and Dan Hoffman. A new coach, Tim Roberts, was introduced at a parents meeting to lead the junior varsity team, although the school board has not yet hired the candidate. Roberts is an Adrian native who is finishing up his undergraduate studies at Central Michigan University. He has assisted two high school programs and he applied for Morenci’s head coaching job.

McDowell said the team will have some young players on the line, but he’s expecting good senior leadership to pull the squad together.

Athletic director Phil Stark told the school board that McDowell’s name came up often when he spoke to people about the football program and he approached McDowell to see if he would consider applying for the job.

Stark said he appreciates the enthusiasm McDowell has already shown for the position.

CONTRACT—Board members voted 5-1 in support of a three-year contract extension for superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne. Morenci’s shared services committee met with representatives from Hudson’s committee to work out the details of the shared superintendent contract.

Board trustee Phil McCaskey cast the “no” vote, but he explained later that it’s not from a lack of support for Dr. Osborne. One of the provisions of the new contract calls for a six percent wage cut—requested by the superintendent—and McCaskey is opposed to him taking a cut in pay.

The contract includes a change in mileage reimbursement due to the travel that Osborne makes between the two districts.

When the shared superintendent job started, explained Morenci board president Scott Merillat, Osborne was expected to generally spend two days in Morenci and two day in Hudson, with the fifth day alternating every other week.

In reality, Merillat said, Osborne spends some time in each district many days. The new contract will address the extra mileage required.

SCHEDULE—The board voted to revert back to a six-class school day rather than the current five-class day. The change will allow more electives, said secondary principal Kelli Campbell, and less reliance on on-line classes. It will also allow Tech Center students to leave at the end of the class period rather than during class.

RETIREMENT—The board accepted the retirement of mathematics teacher Dennis Quist who is wrapping up a 34-year career with the school district.

Dr. Osborne expressed his appreciation for Quist’s many years of service to the community.

JAPAN—Art teacher Kym Ries showed photos from her recent trip to Japan. She was one of two teachers in the county selected for the annual trip involving Lenawee students and staff.

PARADE—Teacher Sally Kruger said staff members have taken counselor Diana Fallot’s suggestion to create a float for the Town and Country Festival parade. Kruger created a brochure about the school to give to those watching the parade and the county teachers’ union will buy Morenci school pencils to give away.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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