Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Burney's OC Baseball Rankings - April Showers

OC "Elite 8"
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Not even close to peaking, still sticking and moving like a champion prize-fighter, showing their grit in keeping their head above water with ace Karl Kauffmann out until May
2 West Bloomfield – LakeNation is NASTYLAND on the diamond these days, far from a shocker
3 (tie) Bloomfield Hills – The DEVITO EXPRESS is the pleasant surprise of the spring
3 (tie) OL St. Mary's – You can't stop Griffin Sheposh, you can only hope to contain him...and that's pretty darn difficult, too
4 Pontiac NDP – Little bit of a slow start for the Fighting Irish, ready to round into shape
5 Clarkston – This Wolfpack has some Thrill-and-Chill Specials, catch some more of that C-TOWN fever
6 Lake Orion – Dragons are styling and profiling, fire-breathing and fearless as ever
7 MH Bishop Foley – The Robinson Era is off and running, kinda got a similar feeling as the Sunde Era, which is a very, very good thing
8 Rochester – Turning heads early, Falcons flying like butterflies, stinging likes bees

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Great, Scot, I Think It's A Match

Alma's backcourt just got better. You can thank Holly's senior boys basketball studs Josh Simms and Scott Maki personally for that. Both committed to play at the next level for the Alma College Scots this past week.
These two compliment each other beautifully on the hardwood: Simms is a jumping-jack of a combo guard that is a terror streaking down the lane or finishing on the fast break. Maki is a sweet-shooting marksman at the two-guard spot with deep, Splash Brothers-type range, an itchy trigger finger and ice running through his veins in crunch time.
Last year, the pair helped spur a benchmark campaign for the Bronchos program – as in 22-3, district title, Sweet 16 appearance, repeat league crown, a team-best 19-game winning streak –, while Simms pumped in 12 points per game, threw down a number of rim-shaking slam dunks and was named first-team All-Flint Metro and Maki connected on 40 percent of his triple attempts.
Alma finished the 2015 season 12-14. The Scot's squad in '15 carried two OC hoop hounds in Ethan Woelke (OLSM) and Quinton Cook (Ortonville Brandon). Woelke is a junior, Cook a sophomore.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Movers, Shakers & Bakers

OC recruiting news & notes
Football
Jayraymond Hall, Oak Park's sophomore offensive lineman is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the state – he got a Michigan offer last week.
Berkley linebacker-fullback Austen Wood is seeing his recruiting stock take flight and took a recent
OL St. Mary's (aka No. 1 team in the OC……Yeah I Said It) Eaglets' Nest Update:
Sophomore "stunner" and speedster in the slot, KJ Hamler continues to go HAM on his recruiting as Pitt and San Diego came in with offers No. 7 and 8 this week.
Junior 'Big Nasty' Cam Kolwich (OL) snagged a Pitt offer, too, while Josh Ross, the Eaglets' tenth-grade terror and sizzler of a linebacker prospect brought home an offer from Cincinnati
Some additional intriguing future Eaglets' playmakers swirling around the TEAM PORRITT grid emporium to keep an eye out for in '15 – This foursome anchored the program's JV last fall and are ready to blast off onto the varsity scene in just a few months…..Yeah, I'm talking about Richard Bowens (RB-WR-DB), Kenyon Elway (WR-S), Rashawn Allen (RB) & Ky'ren Cunningham (LB)
Speaking of youngsters, word out of Clarkston is that incoming fab frosh Jacob Wagner could be the next D.J. Zezula under center for the defending state champion Wolfpack
Soon-to-be Southfield sophomore Brandon Gray is a wide receiver prospect with what seems like immense upside and undoubtable natural skill at the position
Southfield Bradford senior 'Little Ra' Murray (linebacker) signed to play his college pigskin at Taylor University in Ohio. Murray began his prep career at WL Western and recorded a solid campaign with over 70 tackles in the small-school ranks as a senior for BULLDOGNATION.
Basketball
Birmingham Brother Rice's Dominic Downs, the consummate grit-master general in the backcourt, inked with Lake Forest College
Southfield high-flyer Khary Fanning, unquestionably the premier slam dunker in the area with a quickly-improving overall game, penned his letter of intent with UofM-Dearborn
Don't be shocked to see AH Avondale senior swingman Chris Barton, the hardest working superstar in the OC, land at the DI level – I've had more than one "in-the-know" source tell me a number of mid-majors are sniffing in the 6-foot-4 Barton's direction to possibly fill late slots in their recruiting classes
Bradford BALL-HOUNDS Cordell Kelly and Quantes Ruffin, a pair of athletic forwards, followed up their Charter-League title in the winter with trips to the college ranks in the spring, Kelly signed with Morehouse and Ruffin with Fort Valley (GA).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Five For Fighting - Stretching The Field

Five For Fighting – Best OC QBs on The Prep Gridiron For 2015
1 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield) – Yeah, him again!! If you could bottle what this kid has in the tank and sell it, you'd be a TRILLIONAIRE!!
2 Kyle Thomas (WL Western) – Complete game-changer under center, dynamite dual-threat, primetime player in every way possible
3 Brandon Tabone (OL St. Mary's) – Efficient flame-thrower and secondary surgeon, straight stud in the pocket with just so, so many weapons to play with
4 (tie) Kyle Wood (RH Adams) – Iron-willed, strong arm, quick feet, high grid IQ, we're talking a pretty special package, here!
4 (tie) Clay Senerius (Waterford Lakes) – No. 1 small-school field general in the state…...any questions?
5 Travis Janes (AH Avondale) – Just as cool as the other side of the pillow calling signals, will have a giant senior season leading the 'Jackets

Monday, April 20, 2015

Let's Look Forward

2016 OC Boys Hoopster Power Index
1 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield Sr. G) – Look up electrifying in the dictionary and you'll see this kid's name
2 Foster Loyer (Clarkston Soph G) – Has the potential to be a "once in a generation" type and an all-time great in the OC
3 Billy Thomas (North Farmington Sr. G) – The best pure shooter in the state…..Yeah I said it!!
4 Spencer Littleson (RH Adams Sr. G/F) – Recruiting stock is soaring, dynamic talent, ace sniper and mega playmaker
5 Amuri Hardy (Southfield Jr. G) – DI-level floor general who will rebound in GINORMOUS fashion in 2016 after a knee injury took away most of his sophomore campaign, crafty speed-demon with a lightning-fast release and deadeye stroke from deep
6 Walter Kelser (WL Central Sr. G) – Baby Special K will shine again and even brighter next season….that's a Certified Burney Guarantee!!
7 (tie) Taylor McCaskill (Troy Athens Soph G) – MCAWESOME in everything he does on the hardwood, gearing up for a legendary prep career in the city of Troy  
7 (tie) Tariq Derrickson (Pontiac NDP Jr. G) – Could be a Top 5 player in the county by mid-2016, he's a scary "under-the-radar" prospect to keep a major eye on (believe me the college scouts are)
8 (tie) Kyle Woodruff-Ian Hodges (Holly Sr. G) – No. 1 backcourt in the OC, Woodruff will back from a shoulder injury with reckless abandon to challenge Billy Thomas & Spencer Littleson for bragging rights in the most dangerous outside shooter department in the area and Hodges will continue his ascent as a "southpaw snazzy" in the backcourt with the ability to do damage in multiple ways on the court   
9 Marlow Brown (Southfield Christian Sr. G/F) – No. 1 small-school player in the OC, straight killer on the hardwood and a first-class winner to boot
10 Tabin Throgmorton (Clarkston Sr. G/F) – Some ways to describe by main C-Town hooping homeboy T-Double aka T-RAW: Long, lanky, assassin from beyond the arc, smooth, savvy, cagey, clutch, tough-as-nails, terror on the wing

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Keeping It In The Family

The University of Michigan is getting a Dunaway two-for-one special. When talking about value and pedigree, this pair's in a league all by itself.
With his big brother, senior Birmingham Brother Rice football star Jack Dunaway (defensive end) already headed to Ann Arbor next fall, sophomore Warriors' gridiron standout Carter Dunaway (tight end) came on board with the Maize and Blue this weekend.
The younger Dunaway (6-foot-6, ½ , 240 pounds) committed to become Jim Harbaugh's first recruit for his Class of 2017 on a visit to campus. He's glue-handed, a physical blocker and all-in-all ready to erupt this fall, not to mention set to anchor the transition for the program from the celebrated Alex Malzone era. Oh by the way, on the subject of Malzone, the OC Golden Quarterback God is at Michigan now, fighting it out for the starting nod under center in spring ball.
The Jack Attack was a quarterback's worst nightmare these past two years for the powerhouse Brother Rice pigskin brigade, establishing himself one of the state's top pass rushers. Last season, he racked up 10 sacks off the edge.
The Dunaways' pops, Craig, a righteous dude If I've ever met one, played at Michigan in the early 1980s and then had a cup of coffee in the NFL with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. Wow, shocker, right?  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Burney's 2015 OC Baseball Preview - Players

OC Top 20
1 Nick Plummer (Birmingham Brother Rice Sr. OF) - Too hot to handle, Too cold to hold, No. 1-rated player in the state for reasons that are quite evident signed w/ Kentucky
2 Chandler Sedat (West Bloomfield Sr. P) - One of the best and most clutch to ever don the WB Green&White in any sport signed w/ Indiana
3 Karl Kauffmann (Birmingham Brother Rice Jr. P) - Tireless hurler on the hill, MLB Draft prospect 2016....'Nuff said!! committed to Michigan
4 Eric Gilgenbach (Stoney Creek Sr. IF) - G-Funk Era splendid in Cougartown for one more spring signed with Notre Dame
5 Robbie Jones (West Bloomfield Sr. OF) - Possibly the most under-the-radar SUPERSTAR prospect in the MHSAA right now signed w/ Michigan State
6 Alex Darden (North Farmington Jr. P) - Nifty southpaw chucker w/ a bolt of lighting as an arm committed to Cincinnati
7 Luke Shilling (Pontiac NDP Sr. P) - Maybe the biggest upside of any prospect in the area, should probably be higher on this list committed to Illinois
8 Nate Grys (MH Bishop Foley Sr. OF) - Nate the Great: Episode 4 2015 will be the most exciting installment yet signed with Western Michigan
9 Harrison Salter (OL St. Mary's Jr. C) - He's a Salter-Freehan behind the plate.....any more questions? committed to Michigan
10 D.J. Zezula (Clarkston Sr. IF) - This is THE D.J. Zezula we're talking about here, he's awesome at everything signed with Wayne State on the diamond & gridiron
11 Will Mullen (Pontiac NDP Sr. P) signed with Wester Michigan
12 Jake Vyskocil (Pontiac NDP Sr. IF) signed with UW-Milwaukee
13 (tie) Joey Prechtel (RH Adams Jr. P) committed to Toledo
13 (tie) Jake Stout (Rochester Sr. P) singed w/ Toledo
14 John Van Hoef (Troy Athens Sr. P/IF)
15 Joe Popp (Clarkston Sr. OF/C)
16 Greg Loukinen (OL St. Mary's Sr. P)
17 Travis Janes (AH Avondale Jr. IF)
18 Trevor Friday (FH Harrison Sr. P) signed with Saginaw Valley State University
19 Weylin Frisbie (RH Adams Sr. P)
20 Perry Klemanski (Bloomfield Hills Sr. IF/P)