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.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Success

Hazel Park High School doesn't exactly have a reputation as one of the better prep athletic programs in the area. However, the Vikings have proven this school year that perception isn't always reality. Bucking stereotypes, all three major boys sports teams – football, basketball, and baseball – have been surprisingly good. The football team, led by the dominating running back-tandem of Dominic Wiggins and Dustin O'Malley, had one of the best ground attacks in the state last fall and qualified for the playoffs. After some years of lackluster play, the Vikings' hoops squad was a force to be reckoned with on the hardwood once again and was led into battle by the likes of Dakota Ogles – a human double-double in the post – and Wesley Ellis – one of the more underrated playmaking point guards in the county.
This spring, the baseball team at HP has kept the year's trend of athletic success alive and well and will enter the state tournament this week with a 16-8 overall record, coming off an exciting victory to wrap up its regular season campaign on the diamond.
In a game highlighted by offensive exploits, it was a big time defensive play that ended up winning it for Hazel Park in its final outing of the regular season. Holding onto a slim lead against Madison Heights Madison and facing a bases loaded jam, catcher Brandon Dietering made a diving catch of a foul ball along the first base line allowing the visiting Vikings to prevail 9-8 in a non-conference affair.
Junior Taylor Marshall – the quarterback of the football – went 2-for-4 on the day and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the seventh with an RBI-single.
Madison started the game with a serious pep in its step and put up six runs in the first three innings of play. Hazel Park quickly answered though and took a lead it wouldn't relinquish in the fourth inning on an RBI-single by Greg Hoobler.
Drew McClellan (two runs scored) and Carey Vanderhagen each had a pair of hits and an RBI apiece for the Vikings and head coach, Don Righter.
Tyler Matiyow headlined the Eagles offense with two hits and three RBI.
The road to a D2 district championship next Saturday afternoon at Warren Fitzgerald will be an uphill fight, since Hazel Park has been assigned to a district with the state's No. 1 ranked team in Madison Heights Lamphere as well as always-solid Birmingham Detroit Country Day.


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