FAYETTE CROSS: Hilltop edged Fayette's girls by a point to win the final league cross country run last week on the Cadets' course, but the Eagles still hung onto the top place in the BBC standings to take the league crown.
The Eagles claimed three of the top 10 spots in the race, but that wasn't quite enough. Hilltop took second and fourth place and its slower runners were up far enough to make the difference.
“It was close,” coach Bryan Stambaugh said. “We were leading most of the race, but there were a couple of position changes in the last half mile that cost us a few points.”
The league title makes it two in a row for the Eagles girls team.
Hilltop finished with 48 points to Fayette's 49. Stryker followed with 57, then Edon with 89, Pettisville with 101 and North Central with 181. Edon's Sabrina Brown was first overall with a time of 20:48.
The Eagles were led by Jill Stuckey in third at 21:26, followed by Melani Seiler (7th, 22:24), Emilie Keiser (10th, 22:40), Madelyn Maginn (14th, 22:57), Noelle Goodson (15th, 23:10), Liz Maginn (25th, 24:37) and Ellen Baker (28th, 24:56).
“I was happy with their times,” Stambaugh said. “It wasn’t the best race for everybody, but they were about where they should be.”
In the final BBC standings, Stuckey was ranked fourth and Seiler was sixth for first-team honors. Keiser and Goodson made the second team and both Maginns received honorable mention.
Pettisville's boys notched four of the top seven places to win handily with 29 points, followed by Fayette at 54, Stryker at 67, Hilltop at 101, Edon at 128, and North Central at 164.
The Blackbirds' Dominic Frey finished first overall at 17:01, 10 seconds ahead of Fayette sophomore Skylar Lantz in second at 17:11. Lantz still claimed the league individual title with all first- and second-place finishes.
After Lantz came Dylan Stannard (8th, 18:01), Jared Wagner (13th, 18:26), Casen Burkholder (15th, 18:48), Ian Schrock (16th, 18:56), Dylan Aschemeier (27th, 20:03) and Cole Burkholder (31st, 20:58).
Stambaugh said the boys lowered their point total in each of the BBC runs this season, and that’s the improvement he wanted to see.
Stannard and Burkholder made the second team all-BBC squad while Wagner and Schrock received honorable mention.
JUNIOR HIGH—Fayette's boys took first again to win the final league meet with 25 ahead of Pettisville's 47, and the Eagles also won the league title.
Austin Lopez was second at 11:39, Christian Suarez third at 11:44, Alex Jaramillo fourth at 12:09 and Skyler Jones eighth at 12:31.
Other Eagles were Bryce Conklin (12th, 12:47), Mason Maginn (15th, 12:50), Cole Stuckey (20th, 13:35), Jason Stuckey (28th, 13:52), Christian Renner (42nd, 15:20), Grant Reinking (47th, 15:55) and Max Baker (49th, 16:13).
For the girls, Haley Perdue took third at 12:47, followed by Jennaya Hibbard, 10th at 14:14, Alexus Ball, 17th at 16:18 and Caitlin McIntosh, 20th 18:25.
Fayette was second with 72 points, behind Pettisville with 18.
In the final standings, Perdue took third. For the boys, Suarez finished second, Jaramillo was third, Conklin was seventh and Maginn was eighth.
The junior high boys will run in the state tournament Sunday—an event that’s not a school run. It’s the first time a Fayette team has made the trip to Groveport south of Columbus.
FAYETTE VOLLEYBALL: Fayette’s varsity volleyball team took Stryker into five games Thursday before dropping the league match.
The Eagles won the first two in close 25-23 wins and nearly finished it off in the third game before falling 20-25. Fayette collapsed in the fourth set, 12-25, then lost 6-15 in the deciding game.
The loss marked the final contest on the regular schedule.
Last week at Hilltop, the Cadets won in three games, 25-18, 25-10 and 25-16.
They also fell in three games against Morenci Oct. 8.
“I have the team and the talent that can start out strong,” said coach Danni Keefer. “We just need to keep working on finishing as well as we start.”
Cady Stockburger finished with 13 good serves for the night, while Taylor Hartman and Allison Cuff each added 12. Cuff had 10 good attacks with one kill. Paige Keefer finished with 11 attacks and three kills.
In other action this month, Fairview won in a tri-match, 25-11 and 25-22, as did Holgate, 25-20 and 26-24.
Against Pettisville Oct. 2, the Blackbirds claimed the win, 25-11, 25-17 and 25-20.
“Our front line showed improvement that evening,” Coach Keefer said. “Our goal is to focus on improving our back line performance.”
At Edon Oct. 4, the Bombers won 25-11, 25-13 and 25-17.
“The girls had a great game because of their improved movement all over the court,” Keefer said. “The whole floor was shifting to the ball and covering the hitters.”
Edon’s speed gave them the advantage, but Keefer was pleased with her team’s improvement.
JVs—The Eagle JV team fell to Hilltop, 23-25 and 15-25, but took Stryker to three games. Fayette won the opener, 25-18, then fell 23-25 and 14-25.
MORENCI CROSS: Morenci runners gave a good showing Saturday at the Lenawee County cross country championship with three top-10 finishes.
Tatyana Pless finished second in the girls race, getting edged out by Tecumseh's Katie Kaspar in the final leg to finish just five seconds back from the winner. Pless crossed the line at 20:29 and teammate Mariah Gillen took third at 20:41. That was Pless’s best run ever and Gillen was just two seconds off her record time.
As a team, the Bulldogs placed fifth. Tecumseh won the meet, followed by Blissfield.
Other Bulldog runners were Samantha Mikuski (21st, 22:30), Maelle Delhaise (25:07), Taylor Baugh (25:15) and Andi Mikuski (30:27). Sammy Mikuski was 10 seconds away from her best, despite illness.
Luke Spaulding finished in ninth place at 18:01, while league foe Dominic Muessig of Clinton won the race at 16:42. Spaulding got off to a fast start, coach Brad Brown said, and ended up not running his best.
Jake Spaulding took 23rd at 18:36 and Reagan Stowell was 28th at 18:56, his personal best. Brandt Kelley also turned in his best ever at 21:43.
Tecumseh also won the boys title, defeating Adrian by two points. Morenci took fifth place, but beat Addison for the first time this season.
The Bulldogs topped Pittsford for the first time two weeks ago, Brown noted, as they continue to show improvement.
Now that the league season has ended, Morenci's cross country teams will turn their attention toward the Class D Championship meet Saturday, followed by the regional run Oct. 27.
This marks the first time Morenci has participated in the Class D meet in Shephard, Mich., which is sponsored by a coaches association.
“The kids are looking forward to it and know they’ll run against some of the best teams in the state,” said coach Brad Brown.
Some of the best individuals will be there, also, including the top Class D girl who has run a 17:39 and has finished in the 17-minute range several times this season.
TCC—The Bulldog girls finished the season with their number three runner, Madi Gleckler, injured, giving Britton-Deerfield the opportunity to win its first-ever league title in the sport.
The Bulldogs placed two runners on the all-league team and the boys did the same.
Morenci juniors Tatyana Pless and Mariah Gillen placed one-two at the final TCC run Oct. 9 at Woodlawn Golf Course. Pless crossed the line at 21:10, with Gillen five seconds behind.
Other all-league members were Natalie Perry of Sand Creek, Gina Pike of Clinton, Ashley Daniels of Whiteford and Emily Gebhardt of Sand Creek.
Times weren’t the best of the season, but it’s not a fast course, Coach Brown said, and they were good times for that location.
Other Morenci runners were Samantha Mikuski (16th, 24:33), Taylor Baugh (21st, 25:01) and Maelle Delhaise (29th, 26:17).
BD scored 59 points, followed by Sand Creek with 68 and Morenci with 69.
Clinton's boys team repeated as league champions, placing three members on the all-league squad. Dominic Muessig won the race at 17:30, followed by teammate Ryan Rogers. Bulldog Luke Spaulding took third at 18:24 and his brother, Jake, finished fourth at 18:46.
Other all-league runners were Justin Swisher of Clinton, David Gilbert of Madison and Jacob Warwick of Madison.
Reagan Stowell received honorable mention with his 19:24 finish for 11th place. Adam Roseman was 28th at 21:15 and Brandt Kelley took 48th at 24:02.
Clinton won with 43 points, followed by Madison (68), Sand Creek (72) and Morenci (84).
MORENCI FOOTBALL: What a way to end the season.
Two weeks ago the Bulldogs faced the league leaders from Clinton, then last week it was the second-place team when Whiteford visited.
Now, to finish off the season, it’s number three Britton-Deerfield.
Don’t expect the level of competition to drop with number three, because all three of the Tri-County Conference teams played extremely close games against one another.
This week at Deerfield, the Bulldogs will face the league’s most prolific ball carrier and scorer, Leighton Merritt, who gained 1,069 yards and scored 12 touchdowns prior to last week’s 21-3 win against Sand Creek. The Patriots also have the fourth best passing record with quarterback Nate Hoffman tallying more than 700 yards.
Britton-Deerfield will bring some extra incentive to the field Friday—the Patriots need the victory to advance into the playoffs.
Last Friday it was second-place Whiteford that delivered a 30-0 shutout against Morenci. The Bulldog offense was kept in check all night long, finishing with only 84 total yards.
“They were bigger and stronger at the line of scrimmage,” coach Mike McDowell said. “We’re in position, but we’re not able to sustain blocks. Our effort is still good, but we’re being beat by better teams.”
Whiteford scored on its first drive of the game and came back with another touchdown early in the second quarter following a Morenci punt.
The Bulldogs stopped the next Bobcat drive, but Morenci’s next punt was blocked and Whiteford was soon in the end zone again for a 22-0 lead. Austin Thomas grabbed an interception shortly before half-time.
Morenci’s defense made several stops until a big play gave the Bobcats the boost they needed to advance.
Hayze Wolf finished the contest with 23 tackles, including 13 solos. Eli Decker also gave a good defensive showing with eight tackles.
Nick Stutzman finished with seven tackles, Kendrick Taylor with six and Brandon Myers with six.
For his small frame, McDowell said, Myers manages to do a lot of disruption to the opponent’s offense.
Quarterback Torin Merillat was back in the line-up following a shoulder injury at Clinton, but he didn’t practice last week and he wasn’t used on defense against Whiteford.
This week the Bulldogs will be down to two spare players in uniform unless Coach McDowell brings up a player from the JV squad.
MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s strong volleyball season took a break last week—seven matches, no wins.
The Bulldogs fell to league-leading Whiteford in a double-header Oct. 9, then failed to pick up a win in a tough bracket of the county tournament.
Finally, Morenci fell Monday to Lenawee Christian, facing a team they will likely see again in the district tournament that starts Oct. 29 in Morenci.
“We played with good effort but came up short against LCS,” coach Dennis Owens said.
The top-10 ranked Cougars broke open a 16-16 tie in the opener to win 25-16, then followed up with a 25-14 win. A 25-20 decision ended it, after the Bulldogs were as close as 20-22.
Statistics: Brooke Bovee, 16 kills, 8 digs, 6/6 serving and 8/8 in service reception.
Breanna Gilson, 11 assists, 11/11 serving, 8 digs, 1 block.
Emma Binegar, 10 assists, 6/7 serving.
Erin Vanderpool, 14/14 in service reception, 9/10 serving.
COUNTY—The Bulldogs were in the toughest pool at the county tournament and “never could get over the hump for a win,” Owens said.
Morenci lost to Tecumseh 16-25 and 15-25, to Onsted 25-27 and 15-25, to LCS 24-26 and 11-25, and then in bracket play to Clinton 22-25, 15-25.
Hitting: Brooke Bovee, 39 kills, 1 block; Hannah Jeffers, 12 kills, 2 blocks; Breanna Gilson, 11 kills; Hilary Falor, 4 kills, 2 blocks.
Passing: Brooke Bovee, 34 digs; Hannah Jeffers, 28 digs; Erin Vanderpool, 26 digs.
Setting: Breanna Gilson, 28 assists; Emma Binegar, 28 assists.
Serving: Hannah Jeffers, 34/36, 4 aces, 20 points; Jessica Storrs, 19/19, 2 aces; Breanna Gilson, 22/23, 2 aces; Brooke Bovee, 19/22, 6 aces.
WHITEFORD—The Bobcats kept their grasp on first place with a double victory last week at Morenci.
Whiteford took the opener 25-15, 25-20, 22-25 and 25-18, then closed the night 25-23, 24-26, 25-13 and 25-15.
“We missed too many serves against a good team and had a lot of hitting and digging errors,” Coach Owens said. “We did a good job in service reception and we got our hands on a lot of their hits at the net, but we could not convert enough of them.”
Statistics: Brooke Bovee, 46 kills, 2 blocks, 21 digs, 21/22 serving 2 aces and 7 points.
Hannah Jeffers, 22 kills, 2 blocks, 21 digs, 33/37 serving, 9 aces, 21 points.
Erin Vanderpool, 30 digs, 49/50 in service reception.
Breanna Gilson, 34 assists, 12 digs, 5 kills, 1 block, 29/31 serving, 3 aces, 13 points.
Emma Binegar, 34 assists, 20/22 serving, 1 ace and 8 points.
Jessica Storrs, 27/30 serving, 2 aces and 13 points.
Hilary Falor, 2 kills, 1 block coming off the bench.
Ashley VanBrandt, 3 kills and 2 blocks.
Taylor Schisler, 3 kills.
JVs: Morenci’s JV volleyball team played six matches Saturday at the Camden tournament, finally losing to the host team in the semifinals.
Morenci opened pool play with a split against North Adams, then beat Pittsford and Tekonsha before splitting with Blissfield.
In the championship bracket quarterfinal, Morenci defeated Waldron 25-22 and 25-15. Courtney Fletcher led the offense with six kills and nine service points, and Justus McCowan's pressure serves helped propel Morenci into the semifinals.
In the semis, Camden opened the first game with a 10-point run before Morenci managed to get its first side-out. The Bulldogs scrambled to close Camden's lead, but came up short, losing the first game 22-25. Morenci recovered to win the second game 25-20 before Camden controlled the final game to knock the Bulldogs out of the tournament.
Ali VanBrandt and Emily Schmidt directed the offense from their setting positions, while Brooke Baumgartner anchored the back line defense in her first action playing the libero position.
For the day, Rebecca Heinze finished with 22 kills and Sydney Weeks added 15 kills in addition to her steady back-row play.
LCS—Monday at Lenawee Christian, Morenci’s offense stalled and the Cougars won 25-16 and 25-10.
It was a disappointing evening, coach Renae Schaffner said, with the team managing just six kills in the match.