Sports round-up 9.17

Fayette Cross Country: Fayette’s top runners both placed third  Saturday in the rainy Panther Invitational cross country meet in Delta, and the boys team finished third overall.

The weather didn’t seem to bother junior Erica Goeltzenleuchter who trimmed 40 seconds off her time from a year ago to place third behind Wauseon’s Holly Baird (19:09) and Anthony Wayne’s Alyssa Miller (18:20:30). Goeltzenleuchter crossed the line at 20:39.

Danni Wyse was the next Eagle to finish (29th, 22:38), followed by Hannah Schrock (30th, 22:38), Alexa Kessler (36th, 22:56), Olivia Molina (72nd, 24:40) and Sarah Kovar (79th, 25:13).

Schrock cut a minute off her 2007 time and advanced 27 places. Wyse was back farther than expected due to a knee injury she suffered during the race. She’ll be out of action for the remainder of this week, at least.

The Eagles placed fifth out of 16 teams. Anthony Wayne claimed the title.

Darrell Randall placed third in the boys run with a time of 17:06. Blissfield’s Justin Bateson sped through the muddy course in 16:27. Randall placed 10th a year ago.

“I’m sure it would have been his PR [personal record] without the rain,” coach Bryan Stambaugh said. He figures the rain and mud probably cost about 30 seconds.

Dakota Brooks chopped 30 seconds off his time from last year, moving from 29th to 14th at 18:06. Three other Eagles finished below 19 minutes: Trevor Cox (33rd, 18:41), Logan Keefer (35th, 18:44) and Hunter Colegrove (38th, 18:47).  Colegrove finished 64th a year ago.

Fayette’s other runners were Jerry Minzey (94th, 20:40), Tim Stoltzfus (118th, 21:30) and Skylar Sommers (165th, 25:19).

The Eagles placed third, behind Delta and Lenawee Christian School.

Without Wyse in the lineup, Stambaugh was concerned about the girls’ chances for a victory Tuesday night in the first BBC jamboree of the season.

He felt better about the boys’ odds for a win, despite having lost to Pettisville and Hilltop earlier in the season.

“The thing we have going for us is a stronger fifth and sixth position,” he said. “It’s a good pack with Trevor, Logan and Hunter.”

HILLTOP—Randall posted a win at home Thursday against Hilltop’s Cody Livensparger, but the visitors claimed the victory.

Hilltop’s boys edged Fayette 27-32, with North Central following at 62.

Randall placed first at 17:19 with Livensparger second at 17:30. Other Eagle finishers were Brooks (4th, 18:16), Cox (8th, 18:56), Colegrove (9th, 19:04), Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (10th, 19:07), Ben Kovar (15th, 19:57), Minzey (19th, 20:35), Stoltzfus (25th, 22:10) and Sommers (28th, 24:00).

The girls race was a little more decisive with Fayette on top of North Central 22-34. Goeltzenleuchter topped North Central’s Grace Ebersole 21:32 to 21:56.

Fayette’s other entries were Wyse (3rd, 22:29), Schrock (4th, 23:53), Kessler (7th, 24:25), Molina (9th, 24:46) and Kovar (11th, 26:53).

JUNIOR HIGH—Jill Stuckey placed third in the middle school race at Delta with a time of 13:34. The winner ran a 13:13. Madelyn Maginn was 17th (14:35) and Sadie Molina was 43rd (16:27).

The boys team placed sixth of 11 teams, led by Ben Grieser (22nd, 13:11). Following him were Tyler Cox (25th, 13:13), Chandler Sanford (33rd, 13:47), Ian Schrock (37th, 13:55), Dylan Aschemeier (39th, 14:00) and Ben Kessler (43rd, 14:12.)

In the junior high race Thursday, Stuckey placed first at 14:29, followed by Maginn (2nd, 15:06) and Molina (3rd, 16:47). Cox placed sixth in the boys race at 13:48, followed by Sanford (7th, 14:25) and Schrock (8th, 14:27).

• Fayette competes Saturday at the Van Wert Invitational.

Fayette Golf: Fayette’s golf team came through with its top score of the season Sept. 9 at North Central, carding a 168 to the home team’s 181.

Caleb Brinegar scored 38 to claim medalist honors. He was followed by Eliott Richardson and Austin Hylander, both with 42s, Nelson Barnhiser at 46, Kevin Ferguson at 50 and Jonathan Boesger at 52.

Hylander has an odd finish to the day, coach Ryan Colegrove said. The senior played a terrible hole number eight—a tough par three on which he scored nine—but then he came back on number nine to score a deuce on a par four hole.

Thursday at Bedford Hills, the Eagles picked up their seven win against two losses when they defeated Emmanuel Christian 175-180.

Brinegar held steady at 38, followed by Richardson (43), Hylander (46), Chase Hookstadt (48), Boesger (54) and Barnhiser (55).

The Eagles split matches Monday at Antwerp. The host squad finished on top with 169 while Fayette slipped to 181. Hilltop trailed with a 229.

Colegrove took his three seniors along with three underclassmen who haven’t competed yet this season.

Brinegar carded a 41, Richardson a 46 and Hylander a 48. Ferguson came through with a 46 and Quintin Keefer scored 54. Amanda Gilmore and Dylan McIntosh also played.

• Fayette travels to Ironwood on Friday for the BBC meet. The Hilltop match scheduled Tuesday will not be played.

Fayette volleyball: Fayette’s varsity volleyball girls experience highs and lows in competition last week, while two players try to get over shoulder ailments.

The Eagles went four games Thursday with Hilltop, but they ended up on the short end. Fayette claimed the opener, 25-21, but the Cadets won the next three, 25-12, 25-19 and 25-19.

In the opening game, Fayette fell behind 21-19 before Sierrah Griffith served six in a row for the win.

In a tri-match Saturday at home, Fayette downed Monclova by decisive margins, 25-4 and 25-15, but lost badly to Hicksville, 8-25 and 11-25.

With two starters gone and two playing with injuries, coach Danni Keefer brought up some junior varsity players—Tera and Tori Lichtenwald and Leah Brinegar.

They gave some relief to Elisha Hartman who was forced into the setting role—a position she hadn’t played since junior high.

• The Eagles started a busy schedule last night against Pettisville. Edon visits Thursday, followed by a trip to Emmanuel Christian on Saturday. Edgerton visits Monday and the Eagles travel to Stryker the next night.

JV: Fayette’s junior varsity volleyball team dropped a non-league contest Saturday to Hicksville, 15-25 and 17-25. Monclova did not bring a JV team.

The claimed a BBC win Thursday against Hilltop, 25-16 and 25-21. Tori Lichtenwald served nine in a row in the second game.

Morenci football: By DAVID GREEN

These are frustrations a coach doesn’t need.

• Seven fumbles, five lost.

• Two touchdowns called back by penalty.

• What looked like a possible win turned into a 28-8 loss to Whiteford.

“It was very frustrating,” Bulldog coach Dan Hoffman said. “I figured we had the better team going in. It was a game that we really needed and one I thought we could take.”

Right from the start, Morenci’s trouble began to show. After Chas Frey returned the opening kickoff to Whiteford’s 37, Reese Graham carried for a first down at the 18 then another to the one-yard line.

And then came Morenci’s first fumble.

That was the closest the Bulldogs came to scoring until Graham finally crossed the goal line in the closing seconds.

After that first fumble, the Bulldogs punted twice, turned the ball over on downs and then fumbled a pitch—a play that Whiteford converted to a touchdown.

The Bobcats kicked off and Morenci fumbled on its first play from scrimmage.

The Bulldogs fumbled their first possession of the second half and Whiteford scored to go ahead 14-0.

The next Morenci possession was also lost on a fumble, but they got the ball back when a Bobcat carrier lost control.

Dustin Roller broke loose for a touchdown that was called back on a holding penalty. Quarterback Jarrett Keller passed to Trey Tompkins for a touchdown, but once again it was called back on a holding call.

They didn’t get any more chances. Whiteford took over on downs and scored for a 22-0 lead. The Bulldogs lost possession on an interception and Whiteford scored again.

On its next possession, Morenci put a drive together with passes to Clayton Wolf and Tompkins. On fourth and three inside the Bobcat 20, Keller fumbled the ball on a pass play and David Stutzman scooped it up and nearly made it into the end zone. Instead, Graham scored from a yard out to finally put Morenci on the scoreboard. Graham also carried for the conversion.

Coach Hoffman saw Graham’s play as one of two bright spots in the loss. He covered 71 yards on offense and was in on eight tackles, including a sack. Whiteford finally made an adjustment to keep the diminutive lineman out of their backfield.

Hoffman also praised Anthony Tompkins’s defensive effort. He finished with 10 tackles, two for losses, one sack and two fumble recoveries. Tompkins only played on defense since he was recovering from an injury.

Lucas Johnson finished the game with a sack and a caused fumble. Isaac Jeffers hauled in an interception.

• The Bulldogs are looking for a TCC win Friday at Britton-Deerfield. Both teams have 1-2 records.

The Patriots have a talented quarterback, Coach Hoffman said, who can pass and run with the ball.

JV: One final defensive stand preserved a 20-14 win for Morenci’s JV football team Thursday at Whiteford.

The Bobcats picked up two first downs on their last drive of the contest, but the Bulldog defense ended Whiteford’s hopes as time ran out.

Morenci coach Mike McDowell saw some improvement in his squad’s speed of play, but he was troubled by the breakdowns in assignments. If players can’t remember their assignments on basic plays, he said, it’s going to be difficult to develop new offensive plans.

The teams traded punts until Whiteford completed a 68-yard touchdown pass play early in the second quarter. Jacob Baker returned the kickoff for a touchdown to tie the score at 6-6.

Whiteford lost its second fumble in Morenci territory and the Bulldogs turned it into a score. Max Gautz and Baker made good ground gains before Brett Bovee passed to Baker for a touchdown.

Whiteford fumbled again on a good drive, but they came back to take a 14-12 lead. Morenci answered with its best drive of the night.

Gautz returned the kickoff to the Bobcat 34. Bovee passed to Luke Craig and Lucas Hollstein before Gautz ran for a score. Bovee passed to Simon Jeffers for two and the final 20-14 lead.

Whiteford finished with 273 yards of offense to Morenci’s 208. Gautz covered 67 yards on 22 carries. Baker added 58.

Bradley Funchion led the defense with 10 tackles, followed by Robert Schuch with nine, Lucas Hollstein with seven and Mitch Schmucker and Gautz with six each.

Larry Barron and Simon Jeffers each made a fumble recovery.

Morenci cross country:

Morenci senior Zach Phillips didn’t show much change in his time from a year ago at the rainy Delta Panther Invitational, but a year ago it was sunny and dry. Despite the rain, Phillips moved up several places to finish in the 10th spot.

Competitors slogged across a muddy course Saturday morning behind leader Justin Bateson of Blissfield (16:27). Phillips came across the line at 17:47.

For classmate Jeff Nofziger, just the opposite occurred. He trimmed 42 seconds off his time but he finished a little farther back at 51st.

Micah Gillen finished 77th at 20:04 (1:40 better than a year ago), David Brown was 93rd at 20:39 and Logan Drummond took 157th at 24:14.

In team standings, the Bulldogs finished 13th among 18 entries.

Morenci’s top two girls set season-best times at Delta. Candi Evers placed 92nd at 25:50 and Jackie Paris finished 94th at 25:56.

Rounding out the Bulldogs’ efforts were Kate Gallup (110th, 27:02), Rachel Sodergren (122nd, 27:53) and Ashley Clark (158th, 34:37).

“I thought the kids ran very well considering the conditions,” coach Brad Brown said. “Nearly everyone ran a season-best time despite running in a downpour.”

TCC—Morenci’s boys placed third in the first TCC Jamboree Sept. 9 at Sand Creek, while the girls squad finished fifth.

Whitmore Lake’s boys won with 21 points, followed by Sand Creek with 74 and Morenci with 89.

“I was hoping for second place,” Coach Brown said, “but our second, third and fourth runners need to move up.”

Phillips crossed the line first for the Bulldogs at 17:45 to trail Whitmore Lake’s Zach Carpenter at 17:12. Brown was pleased with Phillips’s run and noted his time was 30 seconds ahead of last year’s run at Sand Creek.

Morenci’s other runners were Nofziger (13th, 20:20), Gillen (15th, 20:31), Brown (27th, 22:10) and Drummond (36th, 23:51).

Whitmore Lake had two good runners out of the line-up for a week, Brown said, and the Trojans will be better yet when they return.

Whitmore Lake also took the girls race with 30 points, ahead of Sand Creek in second with 56. Morenci scored 123 to beat out Britton-Deerfield and Madison.

The Bulldogs had a pack of four girls that Brown expects to show improvement.

Paris finished a step ahead of Evers who placed 19th and 20th at 27:23. They were followed by Sodergren (23rd, 27:35), Gallup (24th, 27:43) and Clark (42nd, 36:45).

• The Bulldogs have no meets scheduled until the Pittsford Invitational on Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do this weekend at Pittsford, hopefully in better weather,” Coach Brown said.

Morenci volleyball: Long rallies produced large numbers in the statistics, but the bottom is this: Summerfield claimed a TCC volleyball victory against Morenci.

The trip to Summerfield on Thursday was the only action for the Bulldog spikers last week.

“We seemed a little flat at the beginning of the match, which we can’t afford to have happen,” coach Dennis Owens said.

The Bulldogs can play with most everyone on the schedule if they’re at the top of their game, he said, but otherwise they aren’t yet strong enough to pull out a win.

Morenci dropped the first two games, 19-25 and 16-25, then kept their hopes alive with a 25-22 win. Summerfield ended the match with a 25-22 win.

Maria Bovee and Kathleen Barron were both perfect at the serving line at 15 for 15 and 13 and 13. Bovee scored two aces and Barron had three. Overall, however, the team missed 13 serves.

On serve reception, Chanler McCaskey was good on 25 of 27 attempts and Barron missed three of 19.

Setters came through with 120 good sets on 124 attempts. Dana Joughin gave 10 assists and Amy Gillman gave eight.

The four lengthy games produced 110 attacks. Bovee led with 10 kills and Tia Tompkins added nine.

• The Bulldogs entertain Britton on Tuesday in an effort to boost their 3-5-1 record.

JV: Morenci’s JV spikers played close with Summerfield on Thursday, but not close enough for a win. The host team won the match in two games, 25-21 and 25-19.

“Meghan Smith had a great game at the net with six kills and 11 hits,” coach Kindra Baron said.

Phoenix Duncan came through with a strong passing game from the back row and did a good job on serve reception.

Mercedez McCaskey led the serving game with four aces. Matea Garcia and McCaskey served as setters and eight of McCaskey’s sets led to kills.