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, July 26, 2015

Rolling Thunder Wrecking Crew

Orchard Lake St. Mary's could be on the verge of unleashing THE most explosive wide receiving corps in the OC on the prep football field this fall. The Eaglets are defending D2 state champs and are adding a boatload of talent in the JV call-up department. To say the arsenal is far from bare is a vast understatement. This group has everything: depth, wheels, sticky hands and home-run potential on every throw in their direction.
All right, let's Roll Call it…..Team Porritt Style
K.J. Hamler – No. 1 slot receiver in the state…..Take it 2 Tha Bank!!
Griffin Sheposh – No. 1 possession-receiver in the OC…….Yeah, I said it!!!
Richard Bowens – Mark my words, Bowens will be the breakout performer in the Catholic League in 2015, blazing-fast gamebreaker, simply NASTY
Tyler Cochran – Just plain rock steady, smart, a leader, loves contact
Ky'ren Cunningham – Straight speed demon with playmaker written all over him
Kenyon McElway – Crafty, clever, natural athlete who is evolving technician on the gridiron

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Family Tradition Fulfilled

After a year at a prep school, Southfield Christian alum Lindsey Hunter IV is set to follow in his father's footsteps on the basketball floor.
Hunter IV, an all-state gunner in the backcourt at SCS who left the prep ranks in Metro Detroit with a whopping 3 straight state-title rings, signed a National Letter of Intent with Jackson State in Mississippi this week.
Lil' Lin is a true force of nature – a lightning-quick first step and blink-of-an-eye release on his 'J'. Oh, and he's PRIMETIME all the way and already has Pro Range in his 3-point game.
His dad, the original Lindsey Hunter was an All-American at Jackson State in the early 1990s, leading NCAA Division I hoops in scoring before being chosen in the first round of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Playing in the league for well over a decade, he grabbed World Championships with the Pistons and L.A. Lakers.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Saying Wow All Over Again

Novi's Naji Ozier aka The Little Sham Wow aka the Lebanese LeBron 2:0 is ready to keep the Novi Cage Revival alive and well in 2016. The 6-foot-7 inside-outside threat with a knack for the big play is the baby bro of legendary Novi hoops alum Samir "The Big Sham Wow" Ozier. These two are near mirror images of each other on the hardwood. Human Hot Sauce is the most accurate description of the collective Ozier family game.
The Wildcats will be in mighty good hands with Little Sham Wow Ozier and his running mate Kameron Hankerson steering the ship this winter. They'll be a fun club to watch and Burney's confident they will build off of a solid 2015 campaign and go NEXT LEVEL in 2016, as in be in the mix for multiple crowninngs come March.... Yeah I said It!!
With Ozier, its' pick your poison. He'll shake and bake you on the outside or in the paint and then he'll make it rain from downtown like an OC Klay Thompson. On the glass, he's relentless. On defense, he isn't afraid to get after it. In other words, he's a Mega-IMPACT baller-shot caller combo and the ultimate torch-holder for his family tradition of MONSTER HOOPAGE!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hankering For Something Special

Novi boys basketball player Kameron Hankerson is a fast-riser on the recruiting trail. Like a bomb, he's blowing up the comp!! There's no doubt he's a name you need to know about going into next season.
The 6-foot-5 guard-wing combo is making quite a bit of noise with his offseason effort so far, garnering interest from small DI and DII college programs alike. Hankerson had a breakout campaign last winter and Novi was a true feel-good storyline to follow. He can do a little bit of everything. He's got athleticism, length and natural instinct. I like his handle and his move to the hoop – a quick first step and finishing skill on transition and in the halfcourt set. His outside shot can't be overlooked either. Expect Kam to be a killer in 2016 and snag a scholarship to boot soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Unthinkable - RIP: DC

Tragedy struck the Southfield Bluejays football program this week with the drowning death of starting defensive end Darius Cooley Monday. As a junior last fall, Cooley was a high-energy pass-rush presence for the 'Jays on a squad that claimed league, district and regional crowns and made a run into the D2 final four.
Burney's heart aches for the entire Southfield community. This is truly terrible in so many ways, something 16 and 17 year old shouldn't have to deal with. Sadly, the whole 'Jays Nation will be forced to grow up way faster than they should in dealing with this untimely loss, a passing I myself am still trying to wrap my head around after getting the news earlier today. Memories of the 1992 drowning deaths of Birmingham Detroit Country Day athletes Corey Jones and Paul Bradley can't help be evoked – a local prep sports cultural touchstone for those of us that grew up in the 1990s. Like with Jones and Bradley, Darius Cooley is gone way too soon. And will be missed dearly by those who knew and loved him. RIP, brother!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ants In Their Pants

Burney senses some restlessness in the Southfield boys basketball program over the fact that the Bluejays have yet to name a head coach and it appears if the hire won't be made until August. I'm hearing a number of players are discussing transferring due to this uncertainty on the bench
That would be a shame because the 'Jays cage crew constructed as is has the opportunity to be very dangerous come tipoff in December.
Now, this is a complicated job-fill there's no question about it. I sympathize with those in charge of what I'm certain is an arduous process. The pending merger with crosstown foe Southfield-Lathrup is surely a factor in the decision and probably plays into the process' length issue.
Regardless, the current roster is bearing the brunt of the fallout from the slow hire. Here's hoping it doesn't derail a potential special season in 2016.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Next Up Name Dropping

The post-Alex Malzone begins at Birmingham Brother Rice in just a couple of weeks. A few names to look out for anchoring the transition:
Luke Cappetto (QB-WR) – Rich Rice bloodline, showed flashes of brilliance in spot duty last year, diverse skill-set, determined and dogged in attitude and performance
Carter Dunaway (TE-DE) – Michigan-bound already, equally-rich Rice bloodline, brings the noise in everything he does, Swagger Level that has already exceeded Lethal Marks, I'm talking 25 HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION levels……caution WarriorsNation, caution!!
Jeff Timko (S) – Sir-Grind-A-Lot Special in the secondary, the tiger will totally be out of the cage this fall...can you say ready to erupt aka show out aka get crazy busy!!
Ryan McWood & Riley Maher (LB) – "Heart&Soul-types," intelligent, agile and aggressive sideline-to-sideline, leaders, wall-to-wall winners, masters at their craft
Liam Lynch (WR-DB) – Ready to Rip It and Grip It in a feature role in '15, has the talent to be the type that is ALWAYS as cool as the other side of the pillow and ALWAYS ready to rock-and-roll in crunch time
Sterling McCarrall (DL-OL) – A BOSS&A HOSS at the point of attack, He'll be the Belly of the Orange&Black Beast these next two seasons