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.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Training Camp Report - Soaring Eagles

A mere three years old, the Southfield Christian football program may play second fiddle to other, bigger Oakland County prep squads in things like size and overall exposure, but there is one thing the Eagles have that most area teams, no matter how big or small, don't - two bonafide Division I gridiron talents. After a spectacular summer in the recruiting trenches, senior defensive end Taylor Calero committed to play at Michigan State, while running back, Devon Bailey, is currently being recruited by a slew of mid-majors- Toledo, Akron, Bowling Green, EMU, CMU, and WMU among them - and expects to make a decision at what college program he'll end up at soon. These guys might not be household names in the local high school sports community, but they are both diamonds in the rough, deserving respect and consideration whenever the topic of the best in the county at their respective positions comes up in discussion.
Although Calero and Bailey, each nursing minor injuries, sat out Thursday's double practice session, its clear that head coach Tim Fracassi's group of high-flying Eagles will once again be a factor in the D7 playoff race. Led by a monster junior season by Bailey and the heady quarterbacking of senior Geoff Van Gorder, Southfield Christian, which started its football program in 2006, made its first post season appearance last year, losing to Rochester Lutheran NW in the first round.  Working hard under the hot sun Thursday afternoon, the Eagles appear to be determined to equal last season's accomplishments, if not exceed them. "These kids honestly believe, that barring any major injuries, they have a great shot at playing at Ford Field come November," said Fracassi. "It might be hard to believe, but Devon has gotten better. I'm talking bigger and faster. And Calero's summer speaks for itself. This group has an iron will. The morning after the loss to Northwest, these guys were calling my cell phone asking when they can get back in the weight room. That's all you need to know about this team"
Stepping into Van Gorder's field general role this season will be senior Connor Michaels, Bailey's blocking back last year. Watching him throw this afternoon, Michaels looked poised in the pocket and was precise with his passes. Even with  08's top receiver Aaron Miles is gone, Aaron Hoffenbacher and Devin Lazer are quality targets that got solid minutes last year and will combine with Michaels to give the Eagles a potent passing attack. 6-5 240 lineman, Justin Milne, another possible DI recruit, will team with Calero to make an imposing defensive front.


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