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, July 2, 2010

7-on-7 Heaven

The football teams at Birmingham Brother Rice and Clarkston both looked in mid-season form a few weeks back when they squared off in a barnburner of a championship game at the Eastern Michigan University 7-on-7 Team Camp. Slugging it out on the field like two seasoned prize fighters exchanging blows in the center of the ring Rocky-Apollo Creed style, Brother Rice outlasted the Wolves in a triple overtime thriller, walking away from Ypsilanti with county bragging rights and some serious momentum going forward this summer in preparation for its August 27th season opener at home against Detroit King.
Known primarily for being an elusive, run-oriented quarterback, Warriors starting signal caller Tyler Lendzion, going into his first year as the squad's full time field general, displayed his newfound passing prowess with a 4 TD outing versus a very talented Clarkston defense. Three of Lendzion's scores went to Nick Dunn, set to enter the fall as Rice's brand new No. 1 receiving option. The pair's final hook-up came on the Warriors' first possession of the third OT to put them up for good. Third-year starting strong safety Jimmy Pickens intercepted a pass in the end zone on the ensuing Wolves' possession to clinch victory for Rice.
Unlike Pickens (an all-state defensive back/running back last year), Lendzion and Dunn were secondary components on a Warriors team that made a run into the D2 final four in 2009. Lendzion, currently getting looks from a series of mid-majors and a number of Ivy League schools at the college level, split time taking snaps the final quarter of the season with the now graduated and quite prolific Frankie Popp. His presence in the line-up injected new life into an offense that had gone stagnant and was a significant reason why the team rallied late in the year from a mid-season losing streak to an appearance in the state semis. Dunn was the Warriors No. 3 receiver last season, playing alongside the all-state tandem of Kevonte Martin-Manley (Iowa) and Nate Saldivar-Garcia. This year he will be asked to fill their shoes in the team's offense alongside heavily-recruited tight end prospect, Conor Hart.
And let's not forget my boys sporting the Maize and Blue for the C-Town Wolf Pack.  Clarkston should be highly commended for the role it played in making last month's tussle with the Warriors an epic offseason affair. We must remember, Rice is supposed to be a juggernaut this year, with an array of returning D1 caliber talent on its roster. The Wolves on the other hand, hit hard on the graduation front from last season's D1 final four squad, are not. So, the fact that head coach Kurt Richardson and C-Town played neck and neck with coach Fracassa's vaunted Warriors team, says one heck of a lot by itself.  Mad props to coach K-Rich, his staff and the whole Maize and Blue Crew!


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