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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.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Maples Keep Rebuilding Project Pointed in The Right Direction
It was only 11 months ago, but it might as well have been an eternity. Starting last season 0-6, following a 1-8 campaign the year before, October 2009 stood as a low watermark for the Birmingham Seaholm football team. Since then, however, the Maples have experienced a resurgence in the type of play that has made the school one of the most successful suburban prep programs in the Metro Detroit area over the past two decades, winning six straight ballgames and looking poised to contend for both a conference championship and a return trip to the playoffs.
Led by another gaudy offensive performance, Seaholm went on the road and won its third game of the 2010 season, 35-17, over Bloomfield Hills Lahser on Friday night to remain undefeated on the year at 3-0. Head coach Chris Fahr's team finished last season on a three game win-streak and the momentum has carried over into this fall, with the Maples averaging over 30 points per outing.
"I'm very proud of the way this entire program has bounced back from some real tough times," Fahr said. "The varsity, JV and freshman teams are all 6-0 since the last quarter of last season. We're building this thing back up here and those who have stayed and fought are being rewarded. I like the direction this team is heading in and I think we're going to end up seeing this thing through in the end."
Fahr is in his sixth season at the helm of the Seaholm program and hoping to guide the team to its first league title and post-season appearance since his first year on the job in 2005.
Junior quarterback John Glazier and senior wideout Shawn Conway, fast developing into one of the most lethal pass-and-catch combos in the state, hooked up for two scores through the air – making it a total of six on the year so far – and Kevin Wilberding's two rushing touchdowns anchored the Maples attack against the Knights.
Conway, one his way to the University of Michigan next season, caught five balls for 98 yards. Both of his touchdown grabs came in the first half to rally his team back from an early deficit.  Glazier, in his first year under center for the Seaholm varsity squad after quarterbacking the JV team last year, was 10-of-20 passing for 185 yards to go along with his pair of scoring tosses to Conway and one rushing TD for himself.
Wilberding played huge in the second half and almost single handedly delivered a deathblow to the Lahser cause. With the Maples clinging to a slim 21-17 advantage, Wilberding recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff to allow Seaholm to set up shop deep in Knights territory to open the third quarter. Moments later, Wilberding went in for the first of back-to-back 3-yard scoring runs that would put things out of reach and close the book on the Maples victory.
Mike Nadowksi was Seaholm's leading rusher, toting the rock 13 times for a game-high 75 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, the highlight of the game came from Tommy Lewis, who sacked Lahser quarterback Bobby Brandon in the end zone for a safety.
Two seasons removed from a trip to the Division 3 final four, Lahser drops its season record to 0-3, placing its playoff hopes on life support going into a must-win game in Week 4 against North Farmington.
A short week of preparation is in store for Fahr and his Maples as they get ready for arguably their hardest game of the year on Thursday night against Birmingham Detroit Country Day, a team that spanked them in the opener in '09.
Well aware of his looming opponents' strong suits, Fahr has nothing but respect for the Yellow Jackets.
"DCD is a great team, with a great coaching staff and great players, it's really that simple," he said.
He knows his team has little margin for error when squaring off with a squad as dangerous as Country Day is.
"There's no doubt that we're going to have to play our best game of the year to get that win," Fahr said. "We'll prepare as best as we can and continue to focus on getting better in everything we do. Whatever happens, I'm confident we'll play as hard as we've been playing these first few weeks."
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