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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spirit Of A Champion

North Farmington senior diamond SIR-GRIND-A-LOT Austin Hill just kept at it, never giving up.
Hill was cut by the Raiders baseball team as a junior, but this spring he's roared back with a vengeance.
Courtesy of an outstanding offseason and ironclad determination, he's North Farmington's starting third basemen this year.
So far, so good.
"He's spunky," said North Farmington Mike O'Connell of Hill's demeanor. "I give him a lot of credit. We cut him last year. He didn't let that get him down though. He used it as motivation and really improved to the point where we had to not just keep him this year, but give him a starting spot."
What a story.
This is a kid you can really root for.
No matter what happens the rest of the season, in several ways Hill has already made it to the top of the mountain.
Mad Props!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cage Connections

Some of Oakland County's best boys basketball players secured college landing locations in the last week for their 'NEXT LEVEL' cage endeavors.
Here's a breakdown;
Taylor Graffa (Birmingham DCD) – The consummate sharpshooter and character guy/glue guy for state-power DCD the past two seasons, Graffa is headed to Wooster College in Ohio.
Jason Hugan (Milford) – A quiet assassin and one of the most under-valued paint prowlers in the area, Hugan (6-foot-6) is set to be buzzing on the blocks the next four years for the Kalamazoo College Hornet.
Mike Nicholson (Clarkston) – Long and hard-working, this 6-foot-8 center with an upside that's through the proverbial roof, signed with Lake Superior State.
Jared Ocampo (Clawson) – An elite marksmen and supreme playmaker, Ocampo is slated to keep BALLING OUT OF CONTROL at Adrian College.
Ahkemji Williams (RH Adams) – Maybe the most deadly backcourt gunner in the whole OC this winter, Williams inked with Lake Superior State, just a PURE STEAL for the U.P. LAKE SHOW!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Windy City Workhorses

The OC prospect parade rolled through the Windy City over the weekend, as a pair of area prep football stars went bonkers at the Nike combine in Chicago.
Auburn Hills Avondale tailback Josh Holloman displayed his jaguar-like speed, clocking as fast as 4.26 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time at the entire event. Yeah, you read that right, dude outran a locomotive….SUPERMAN was in the building!! There's a reason this kid is one of the top offensive recruits in the state. When he's got the rock in his hands it's like watching something out of a comic book or Avengers-type movie blockbuster...STRAIGHT INSANITY. Last season as a junior, Holloman (6-foot-0, 195 pounds) busted loose for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Moving over to the defensive side of the pigskin, Oak Park linebacker Junior McMullen left The CHI with MVP honors at his position, shining bright in both stopping the run and dropping back in pass coverage. McMullen (6-foot-2, 225 lbs) is committed to Western Michigan.Can you say REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD? Junior is nothing but MAJOR, full-throttle tenacity in pursuit of ball-carriers....Like a stick of TNT, get over to THE PARK this fall and see him EXPLODE!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Burney's 2014 OC Baseball Preview - Teams

Top 10 Baseball Teams in The OC
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Flashing the kind of firepower that would make the US Military jealous
3 West Bloomfield – LAKENATION ROLL CALL: Dazon "D-CRUSH' Cole, Chandler "The Soaring Eagle" Sedat, Josh "B-RIGHT" Birnberg, Zach "The O-Factor' Oshinsky (best No. 3 in the OAA?), Zach "BALLER ALERT" Allread, Robbie "Rev Rev" Jones (man is that motor sweet!), Daiki "The Night Train" Nishioki, Deshawn "Baby D-Crush" Cole (the last name says it all)
4 Lake Orion – Will be living at the corner of Awesome&Amazing once again this spring...ALL ABOARD, THE SCHAENZER AND BAYS EXPRESS leaving from the station, next stop OVERDRIVE
5 OL St. Mary's – Could wind up being a real special year for TEAM PEACHES aka TEAM PETRY…they've got the arms, the bats, the athleticism, the experience, need I say more?
6 Clarkston – C-Town will be the place to B-TOWN on the diamond this season with my main men DJ Zezula, Joe Popp, Ryan Rea & Nate Morris at the forefront of the WOLFPACK attack....
7 Stoney Creek – Burney is BIG on DA CREEK this year….these are some BAD, BAD BOYS (bad meaning good) on the baseball field….think Isiah, Lamb, Mahorn, JoeD, Microwave, Worm & Spider
8 North Farmington – For RAIDERSNATION, it's JUST WIN BABY time again for TEAM O'CONNELL…and Burney sees them doing just that....Soph hurler Alex Darden might be the best lefty in the state by the time he's a senior....and yes, the MLB clubs will come calling soon
9 Walled Lake Western – Watch for a banner campaign from this Burney Sleeper Special Squad....AGon and DWall are in for GINORMOUS campaigns....mark that down!!
10 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep – This Irish club is fixing to have a lot of fight in it….who would've thought? Mad Shout outs to my GREEN&GOLD two-sport superstuds Aiden "The Situation" Cullen (there's a situation for opposing teams, whether its baseball or football, when this kid's on the field of battle) and Anthony "Double Barrel" Gunn (simply blows the comp away on the diamond and the gridiron)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Burney's 2014 OC Baseball Preview - Players

Top 20 Players in Oakland County This Spring:
1 Matt Ruppenthal (Birmingham Brother Rice) - SEC-bound All-American mound-mauler tracking towards the Big Leagues
2 Brad Schaenzer (Lake Orion) - SEC-bound All-American mound-mauler tracking towards the Big Leagues SOUTHPAW EDITION
3 Dazon Cole (West Bloomfield) - Multi-talented athlete on the diamond that may have the highest upside in the whole darn state
4 Nick Plummer (Birmingham Brother Rice) - Can you say FIVE-TOOL FIREPLUG?
5 Ty Kiafoulis (Birmingham Brother Rice) - The kind of swing you can't teach, just so pure!!
6 Grant Reuss (BH Cranbrook) - POWER PERSONIFIED on the hill and at the plate
7 Garrett Schilling (MH Bishop Foley) - Mr. Perfect...'NUFF SAID!!
8 Nate Grys (MH Bishop Foley) - No. 1 junior in the area, HEAVY DUTY in everything he does on the field
9 Randy Righter (Birmingham Brother Rice) - The consummate competitor on the rubber & at the dish
10 Andrew Gonzales (WL Western) - STRAIGHT THRILLER-MC-THRILLSON with the pill in his grasp
11 Will Salter (OL St. Mary's) - Best defensive catcher in the state...BAR NONE!!
12 (tie) Nate Morris (Clarkston) - Future Spartan slinger poised for a big senior season
12 (tie) Karl Kauffman (Birmingham Brother Rice) - The top sophomore in the OC, this nasty-throwing righty is set for Ann Arbor in the spring in 2017 and will be in BEAST MODE at Brother Rice until then
13 Connor Bowers (OL St. Mary's)
14 Chandler Sedat (West Bloomfield)
15 (tie) Josh Bays (Lake Orion)
15 (tie) Mike Reid (MH Bishop Foley)
16 Brennan Williams (WL Northern)
17 P.J. Piesko (Oxford)
18 Sammy Stevens (Birmingham Brother Rice)
19 Will Mullen (Pontiac NDP)
20 (tie) Alex Malzone (Birmingham Brother Rice)
20 (tie) Alex Darden (North Farmington)

Friday, April 11, 2014

As If There Was Any Question

Garrett Schilling continued his prodigious ways in his first trip to the pitching mound in 2014.
Mr. Perfect aka Mr. Untouchable remained just that.
Madison Heights Bishop Foley's senior ace and one of the most consistent high school baseball players in the entire nation kept his career record flawless in the Ventures opener, going to 1-0 on the young campaign and pushing his mark from the rubber to an immaculate 32-0 overall.
Earlier this week, the Xavier-bound hurler fanned 10 and scattered four hits in a 6-0 thumping of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Quick reminder: although Garrett appears to be just a teenager from Metro Detroit, his real name is Curt and in a previous diamond incarnation he was a 6-time MLB all-star toeing the slab and the World Series MVP in 2001
The OC's own GSchill is unadulterated DOMINANCE on the hill. The most technically-sound prep thrower I've ever laid eyes on.....YEAH I SAID IT!! If you haven't seen this kid toss the pill the past three years, please do yourself a favor and get out to a Bishop Foley game this spring and catch a glimpse of GREATNESS before he's off to Ohio for college. What he's in the midst of doing is THAT SPECIAL and deserves the attention of all baseball fans in the D.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Burney's 2014 OC Softball Preview

Top 10 Softball Players in the OC
1 Sydney Heath (Troy) - 5-tool terror with an upside at the college level approaching the stratosphere
2 Haley Zemmer (Troy Athens) - Simply MARVELOUS in the circle and at the dish, the definition of GAME-CHANGING TALENT
3 Jessica Mehr (South Lyon) - Virginia Tech-signee that's elite at her craft, but won't be back on the diamond until late in the season after surgery for a torn labrum 
4 Alex Sobczak (FH Mercy) - Primetime POWER is the name of the game when it comes to this Marlins long-distance hitting specialist
5 Rachel Viera (Clarkston) - Does everything really, really well, as fundamentally-sound and dangerous as they come
6 Madison Burgess (Lakeland)
7 Riley Miller (Birmingham Seaholm)
8 Megan Keller (North Farmington)
9 Alex Carpenter (Lake Orion)
10 Abby Krzywiecki (FH Mercy)
Top 10 Softball Teams in the OC
1 FH Mercy - Deck is stacked in MALANOWSKILAND, Next stop East Lansing
2 Lakeland - TEAM JOE is locked, loaded and ready for destruction once again
3 Lake Orion- The Dragons are breathing fire on the diamond, about to enter 'taking no prisoners' mode
4 Clarkston - C-Town is the place to B-Town on the softball field in 2014
5 Troy Athens - TEAM MARR is ready to MASH, so watch out!!
6 Troy
7 South Lyon
8 North Farmington
9 South Lyon East
10 (tie) RH Adams
10 (tie) Waterford Kettering