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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, July 8, 2010

Bonus Bytes - News & Notes

The world-renowned St. Cecilia's High School Summer Basketball League is kicking off its second session on Saturday and is scheduled to run up until the end of the month. Some of the best players in the history of the state as well as a plethora of legends from the professional and college ranks have cut their teeth on the tiny court housed in a church on the city of Detroit's Westside (quick side note: Burney himself played in this rough and rugged league back in the 90s. quick side note part 2: Burney's first appearance on the Cecilia floor was not a pretty site and resulted in him being yanked within two minutes of entering the game due to getting lit-up like a pinball machine for nine straight points on 'D' by future Kent State hoops stud, Andrew Mitchell of now-defunct East Catholic)
As usual, many boys and girls prep hoop squads from the area are venturing down to "The Saint" this summer to test themselves against the best Metro Detroit has to offer.
Some of the local teams you should expect to see down there:
Southfield (boys and girls), Birmingham Brother Rice (boys), MH Madison (boys), Oak Park (girls and boys), Southfield-Lathrup (girls and boys), Ferndale (boys), Waterford Mott (boys), Novi Detroit Catholic Central (boys), West Bloomfield (boys), Novi (boys), North Farmington (boys and girls), among others. recently released its list of the top 25 prep football prospects in the state's Class of 2011 and Oakland County more than held its own in the rankings. Five gridiron gladiators from the county's incoming senior class dotted the list:
No. 7    Valdez Showers           RB/DB             MH Madison
No. 11  Shawn Conway            WR/DB/KR      Birmingham Seaholm (Michigan)
No. 14  Kenny Knight               WR/DB                        Detroit Country Day
No. 18  Allen Robinson            WR/DB                        OL St. Mary's
No. 19  Jake Duzey                  WR/TE             Troy Athens
Burney is excited to hear that OL St. Mary's is installing lights in its football stadium and will be hosting the school's first night game this September against Highland Park. The game has added significance since the Polar Bears upset the Eaglets in 2009 and St. Mary's will be looking for some serious payback.
On the AAU hoops front, the REACH Legends 17-U showed extremely-well down in Indianapolis this past weekend in the annual Indy Hoops Shoot-Out Tournament, winning its first four games of the event, before bowing in the tourney quarterfinals. OL St. Mary's grad, Evan Webster, the Legends' starting combo-guard, torched the nets for 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting from 3-point distance in one of the squad's preliminary games. Because he is young for his grade, Webster, a three year varsity letter-winner in both football and basketball for the Eaglets, is allowed to participate in this summer's AAU hoops circuit as a means of trying to up his value in getting placed at the next level. Judging by how the Legends are performing as of late and the heat being generating by his shooting stroke, it appears Webster is reaching Mission Accomplished-status.
Interesting tidbit about recently-retired Pontiac AD Tarlton Small: During Small's first job teaching high school out of college back in the late-1960s in North Carolina, he was good friends with the school's football coach, Herman Boone. The name doesn't ring a bell? Well, just think back to the classic sports film, Remember The Titans, a movie centered on Boone's exploits as a coach in Virginia a few years later. Boone was portrayed by Denzel Washington.
More Pontiac Phoenix News
Dominique Shaw and Kevontae Hollis, both recent-grads from Pontiac and all-conference football selections last season, have found homes at the next level. Shaw, a wide receiver, who led the Phoenix's offense in touchdowns last season, is going to playing at Saginaw Valley State University, while Hollis, the leader of the stout Pontiac defense last season from his spot at linebacker, is set to be in uniform with Western Arizona (one of the country's top JUCO programs) this fall.


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