FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Fayette finished the BBC cross country season with top male and female runners in the conference, but neither team found it’s way to first place.
Senior Darrell Randall finished as the top male runner, ahead of Hilltop’s Travis Burwell and Stryker’s Conner Frey. Fayette’s Trevor Cox tied for fourth best.
Fayette sophomore Melani Seiler finished on top of the girls standing, edging out Pettisville’s Tanner Hostetler and Edon’s Levi Cvikle. Alexa Kessler finished as the ninth best runner.
Hilltop placed first in the boys team standings, followed by Stryker and Pettisville. Pettisville took the girls title, followed by Fayette and Stryker.
Randall turned in a 16:29 Thursday at Stryker for the final BBC Jamboree, easily defeating second-place Burwell at 16:41.
Other Fayette placers were Cox (6th, 17:28); Tim Stoltzfus (16th, 18:25); Tyler Keefer (26th, 19:01); Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (28th, 19:16); Dusty Lantz (29th, 19:17); Ian Schrock (33rd, 19:39); Clay Burkholder (34th, 19:41); Dylan Ashemeier (42nd, 20:00); Tyler Cox (43rd, 20:21); Hunter Colegrove (44th, 20:33); Nathan Seiler (49th, 21:02); Jonathan Boesger (59th, 23:23); and Alec Hylander (62nd, 26:26).
Hilltop was first with 32 points, followed by Stryker with 53 and Fayette with 75.
Seiler claimed a decisive win against Hostetler, winning at 20:29 against the second-place time of 20:40.
Kessler came through in 11th at 22:51, followed by Ashtyn Baker (24th, 24:30); Sarah Kovar (27th, 25:04); and Sydney Brown (28th, 25:17).
Fayette’s junior high teams both claimed league championships after both finished first in each of the three league outings.
Skylar Lantz led the boys in first place at Stryker at 12:18. He was followed by Dylan Stannard (3rd, 12:24); Jared Wagner (4th, 12:56); Casen Burkholder (6th, 13:10); Mark Maginn (8th, 13:19); Joel Smith (18th, 14:37); and Jerad Seiler (21st, 15:00).
Liz Maginn took second on the girls race at 13:48, followed by Alexis Fruchey (5th, 15:02); Taylor Griffiths (9th, 15:35); Miranda Minzey (15th, 16:06); and Adrianna Hylander (19th, 17:14).
FAYETTE JV VOLLEYBALL: Fayette’s JV volleyball team closed the season with a pair of league losses, but improvements came throughout the season.
Hilltop claimed an easy victory, winning 25-14 and 25-12, and Stryker won 25-21 and 25-14.
“Over the course of the season the girls did show some improvement,” said coach Alissa Stockburger. “Their serving became more consistent and they were showing more confidence in their passing skills.”
“I look forward to seeing many of the same girls again next year.”
MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY: Everyone below 20 minutes, two below 18 minutes—it was Morenci’s best showing for of the season Saturday at the county cross country meet.
Tyler Guelde led the way for the Bulldogs, placing 13th at 17:27, but Luke Spaulding was close behind in 15th place at 17:35.
Jake Spaulding came across the line at 18:27 for 33rd place, followed by Micah Gillen (44th, 18:56) and Reagan Stowell) 59th, 19:40).
Adrian Ricky Perez was tops in the county at 16:15 and Tecumseh took the team title.
The event was run at Gerber Park near Blissfield.
Mariah Gillen came in below 22 minutes in the girls run, taking 17th at 21:54.
She was followed by Kortney Cousino (61st, 24:32), Barbara Hollstein (71st, 25:44), Taylor Baugh (80th, 26:52) and Mary Margaret Holstein (94th, 29:09).
Onsted’s Heidi Wobrock was the individual champion at 19:56 and Blissfield’s girls won the team trophy.
MORENCI FOOTBALL: There are some things more important than football, said Morenci coach Tom Saylor.
“Maybe this was the first time in 45 years of coaching football that the outcome of the game didn’t weigh on my mind, knowing what those kids were going through,” he said.
The Bulldogs traveled silently to Clinton Friday night following the accidental hunting death of student Collin Fletcher and they ended on the short end of the 50-38 final score.
“Many of the kids were very attached to the Fletcher boy and some of them had been up all night helping with the search,” Saylor said. “They played their hearts out.”
The game was a real shoot-out, Saylor said, and the Bulldogs nearly kept pace. Morenci (3-3, 3-5) got on the scoreboard five times, but it was the fateful second quarter that gave the Redskins (5-1, 5-3) the edge.
Morenci took a narrow 8-7 lead into the second quarter after quarterback Brett Bovee capped a drive with a one-yard run. He followed with a conversion run.
Clinton scored two consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter before Max Gautz ran back the kickoff. Jay Howard took the conversion in to cut the lead to 22-16, but the Redskins added one more before intermission.
Saylor disputes a call by a referee that nullified a Morenci touchdown when Bovee was called out of bounds.
Each team scored once in the third quarter—Morenci on a four-yard run by Gautz—and each scored twice more in the fourth.
Howard capped a drive with a four-yard run and Bovee ran the conversion. Later, Simon Jeffers brought in a pass from Bovee for a 13-yard play and Jordan Bach ran the conversion.
“We kept battling and battling,” Coach Saylor said. “We don’t have the ability to rest kids due to the size of the team. I was really proud of the kids.”
Coaches often speak of the desire for athletics to transcend the playing field and offer life lessons. Saylor thinks some of that came across for his squad.
“They learned they aren’t invincible and that they’re there to help their friends,” he said. “They were emotionally drained, but they played through the adversity.”
• Lessons in adversity continue this week. Only 10 kids showed up for practice on Monday and practices were canceled for Tuesday.
That will leave the Bulldogs with two days to prepare for a visit from Whiteford (4-2, 5-3). In addition, Saylor will have two players missing due to ineligibility.
The Bobcats will be fighting for entry into the playoffs with a sixth win here Friday. The Bulldogs will just be fighting for a good close to the season.
“The kids won’t run from it,” Saylor said. “They’ll be ready to battle them.”
MORENCI JV FOOTBALL: Morenci JV football coach Ryan Love is looking forward to an 8-1 season Thursday night, now that the undefeated year has fallen by the wayside.
Clinton broke open a close contest here last week to post a 50-28 victory to hand the Bulldogs their first defeat of the season.
“We like to run the ball and Clinton crowded the line,” Love said. “They got us out of our comfort zone.”
The Bulldogs have posted big wins on big plays this season and simply wore their opponents down, Love said, but that didn’t happen against the Redskins.
Although the game ended with 11 touchdowns scored, neither team got on the scoreboard during the first quarter.
Clinton took advantage of a Morenci fumble to score its first touchdown, and the Bulldogs also scored following a fumble. Kendrick Taylor caused the fumble on a tackle. Cody Powell scored from three yards out for a 6-6 tie.
The Redskins scored again, but Morenci took the lead after Colin Smith capped a long drive and Powell ran for two.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Smith to John Michael Martinez and a 20-12 lead.
“I thought we had them where we wanted them after that drive,” Coach Love said, but the situation soon deteriorated.
Clinton needed only three plays to score, and then added two more touchdowns that quarter. Morenci lost Clay Harvey with a head injury and Smith left the game for a few minutes with a leg injury.
When the third quarter ended, Clinton was on top 36-20, and then added two more touchdowns before KC Clegg ended a drive with a score late in the fourth quarter. Powell ran for two points and the final 50-28 score.
Powell tallied 233 yards on 42 carries. Clegg ran for 117 on 20 carries. They both finished with six tackles to lead the defensive effort.
Love was impressed with Clinton’s freshman quarterback—an accurate passer and capable runner.
MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: By DAVID GREEN
Morenci’s showing Saturday at the county volleyball tournament wasn’t the best that Morenci’s ever done at the event, but it’s the best in a long, long time.
The Bulldogs advanced out of pool play with a 5-1 record and finished fifth among the 12 teams entered. The field included three top-10 ranked teams.
Tecumseh, ranked sixth in Class B, topped Madison—seventh in Class C—to win the county title.
“It was a very positive day,” Bulldog coach Dennis Owens said. “It was by far Morenci’s best showing in ages.”
The Bulldogs were missing one player for the entire day and another for half of the day. In addition to that, Coach Owens said, the girls were saddened by the death of Collin Fletcher and they created special wrist bands in his honor.
After splitting with Clinton and losing to Clinton earlier in the season, Morenci opened the tournament with a 25-20, 25-19 victory. They earned a split with Madison (14-25, 25-23) before downing Hudson, 25-17 and 25-19.
The Bulldogs were given a bye in the first round of bracket play, then faced Blissfield and lost two of three. Morenci took the opener, 25-17, then dropped the next one 16-25. In the deciding game, the Bulldogs came from behind to tie the game at 11-11, but the Royals scored the final four points to win.
A good day, Coach Owens said, but with a bittersweet ending.
SETTING: Tess Ramsey, 31 assists; Mercedez McCaskey, 19 assists.
PASSING: Phoenix Duncan, 34 digs; Tia Tompkins, 27 digs; Meghan Smith, 27 digs.
HITTING: Tompkins, 24 kills, one block; Duncan, 19 kills, eight blocks; Smith, 17 kills, one block; Brooke Bovee, 13 kills, one block; Chelsea Phillips, 10 kills, six blocks.
SERVING: Smith, 37/38, four aces, 23 points; Ramsey, 26/27, one ace, 13 points; Duncan, 22/23, two aces, 10 points; Phillips, 36/40, seven aces, 24 points.
HUDSON—Coach Owens was pleased to see his squad bounce back after the opening loss to Hudson at home Thursday, but he would have appreciated a stronger effort all along.
After Hudson won the first game, 25-19, Morenci came back with three wins to take the non-league contest: 25-17, 25-21 and 25-14.
Tompkins finished with a dozen kills and one block. Duncan scored nine kills and made three blocks. Smith notched eight kills and one block.
At the serving line, Matea Garcia went 20/20 with seven aces and 12 points. Ramsey went 21/22 with three aces and 16 points.
Duncan made 17 digs, Tompkins made 16 and Garcia made 14. Ramsey gave 15 assists and McCaskey gave 10.
MADISON—Morenci claimed one game at home Oct. 12 against Madison and played close in two others, but everything else belonged to the top-10 ranked Trojans as they swept a double-header.
Madison was strong in the opener, winning 25-10, 25-14 and 25-21. In the second match, the Bulldogs played closely in the first game, losing 22-25, then winning the next one, 25-23. The Trojans then got down to business to win the match 25-10 and 25-16.
“We obviously started very slowly,” said coach Dennis Owens, “then realized we could play with them and played for a stretch.”
Ramsey was perfect from the serving line (22/22) and scored nine service points. Duncan also served 100 percent (20/20) and scored 10 points.
Garcia missed one (24/25), scoring two aces and 11 points. Tompkins went 18/21 and scored two aces and nine points.
Duncan was the offensive leader with 12 kills, followed by Tompkins with 11, Smith and Phillips with nine and Bovee with eight. Tompkins made three blocks, while Duncan, Smith, Phillips and Bovee made one each.
Ramsey gave 15 assists and McCaskey gave 12. Duncan made 28 digs, Garcia made 22 and Naomi Hoffman made 15.
JV VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s junior varsity volleyball squad overcame a slow start to post a non-league win Thursday against Hudson.
The Tigers took the opener, 25-16, but the Bulldogs came back to win 25-23 and 15-10.
Hannah Jeffers led at the net with seven kills and at the line with four ace serves, with an 11 of 12 serving rate.
Emma Binegar gave seven assists and served 13 for 13. Jeffers made 17 digs and Jessica Storrs made nine.
MADISON—Morenci’s JVs won one of five games last week when Madison visited.
Madison won the first match 25-17, 26-28 and 15-11. In the second match, the Trojans came out on top 25-21 and 25-19.
Storrs went 25/25 in serves and scored one ace. Ashley VanBrandt scored a pair of aces and missed only one of 20 attempts. Jeffers (11/14) finished with three aces and Binegar (13/16) had one.
Jeffers led at the net with eight kills and VanBrandt scored four. Jeffers finished with 17 digs and Chloe Molitierno had 13. Binegar led in sets with six assists and Erin Vanderpool gave four.