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.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Decade of Dominance - Part 8
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Coming Through in The Clutch
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Five For Fighting - Good Friday
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Friday, August 27, 2010
The Great Burnzini - Back on The Block part 2
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Great Burnzini - Back on The Block
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Burney's Top 20 Players
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Burney's Pre-Season Top 10
Monday, August 23, 2010
Bound To Be A Buckeye
Decade of Dominance - Part 7
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Sunday, August 22, 2010
Training Camp Report - Blue Bombers
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Training Camp Report - Rambling Men
Since his arrival in 2004, Madison Heights Lamphere head football coach, Jason Charron hasn’t had a single losing season on the sidelines. Lamphere’s streak of winning campaigns will almost certainly continue unobstructed this year, as Charron’s Rams have “Big Game” talent on both sides of the ball and stand poised to make serious runs at conference and district championships alike by season’s end.
Because of heralded-recruit Valdez Showers and a treasure chest of complimentary D1-level talent, across town at recent perennial powerhouse, Madison Heights Madison, the boys from Lamphere sometimes unfairly get shifted into the shadows.
This won’t be the case in 20010. All the pieces are in place for a lengthy ride down VICTORY ALLEY. With the kind of first-rate, not to mention first-class ball players in the mix over in Ram Country (these are the kind of guys the define the term “gym rat” in the best sense possible), this group of gridiron grunts sporting the L on their chests will have to be dragged from the headlines kicking and screaming.
Judging by what Charron, an offensive guru, who played quarterback at Wayne State in the late-90s and early-2000s, has to work with on ‘O’ and the fact that the squad’s’ “D” is experienced and will be spearheaded by an all-state middle linebacker, this could wind up being a historical fall on the field for everyone involved and invested in the Rams program.
“There’s a real nice nucleus at the center of this team that have been together for a while and building for this year since becoming starters three years ago as sophomores,” Charron said. “Our leadership from those guys is very strong and the younger, less battle-tested guys have been stepping it up and showing what they can do too. I think across the board things are looking up for us as we move forward.”
Everything for Lamphere starts with the team’s top three players: Ryan Horvath (QB), Mitch Kozlowski (WR/RB/KR) and Jackson Lewis (LB). All three are three-year starters, captains and multi-sport standouts, not to mention natural born leaders.
Horvath is a prototypical gunslinger of a signal caller and has the in-game IQ to take the Rams far on his performance alone. Kozlowski is a “do-everything” type with “big play” potential every time he touches the ball. He will be used in a variety of roles in a variety of formations this season just like last. Both Horvath and Kozlowski are also excellent baseball players (each hits over 300 and has started for 4 years) and form the school’s starting backcourt during basketball season in the winter.
Lewis can take it sideline-to-sideline with anyone in the state and is a hulking presence on the field calling plays for Charron in the defensive huddle. Also an all-state champion prep wrestler, Lewis (6-2, 235) levels opponents with his abrasive hits, is as instinctive and courageous as they come and almost most importantly is a superior “wrap-up” tackler. A number of D1 schools are interested in his services as of right now.
Whats most impressive about the team's trio of senior steadies is that all threee have gotten better, stronger and more intuitive each year.
Junior Mike Middleton will be the starting tight end and will see a nice batch of balls thrown his way. James Bullock (junior), Josh Grams (senior) and Troy Williams (sophomore) are all going to handle the ball at running back until one of them emerges as the primary rock-carrier throughout the season. Over the course of training camp, seniors Jerry Connor and Anthony Di Carlo have flourished as top offensive options outside of Kozlowski and will each be used in the slot, end and backfield. Middleton also starts on defense at defensive end, as does Connor, who will start at cornerback.
Grams - like Horvath and Kozlowski, another baseball stud - plays on defense as a starting linebacker alongside Lewis, Ryan Jaskula and Josh Nunn. In addition to Connor, senior Pete McAlpine (CB) and junior Chris Fettes (S) will be Lamphere’s top defensive backs. Kozlowski will play
defense (CB/S) when available and undertake most return duties.
Charron believes that his defense is just as good if not better than his more high-profile offense.
“Our defense is a real strength,” he said. “I got guys that get after it out there and know the game and the reads and take a real passion in what they’re doing. Jackson is a monster and he sets the tone.”
The No. 1 reason for the Rams recent ascension as a factor in the county prep football scene has been because of Charron and his efforts. In the pre-Charron era, the program had made the state playoffs just three times. Since he turned up and put on the headset, the Rams have gone prancing into the postseason four times and counting.
Named all-conference as a senior at Clintondale in the mid-1990s – where he took his squad to a league title – , Charron first went to Grand Valley State to play quarterback in college before ending up at Wayne State for the completion of his “next level” experience. Prior to coming to Lamphere, he was the offensive coordinator at Macomb Dakota and a JV coach at Clintondale.
The Rams, coming off back-to-back playoff appearances with this core group, will be switching divisions in the MAC this year, going from the Bronze into the Silver. Last season, the Rams went 8-4, winning one playoff game before losing to Birmingham DCD in the D3 district finals. The year before that, when these seniors were sophomores getting their feet wet, they went 7-3 and lost to their coaches’ alma mater, Clintondale in the first game of the postseason.
The seventh-year sideline general is eager to get things kicked off.
“I think we all just want to get out there and play this thing out,’ he said. “They’re lot of really solid teams in our new league and we have to be ready for them. I know we will because I have immense confidance in both my team and coaching staff.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Bonus Bytes - News & Notes
Burney's gut is telling him that Southfield-Lathrup's corner combo of Cameron Boyd and Stephon Armstrong could be the best DB Duo in the county!
the Seaholm football team took care of DH Divine Child in a scrimmage on Thu 35-7. could this be the year of the QB and John Glazier in Mapleland?
One more correction: The Kucera Bros., who Burney wrote of briefly in his Training Camp Report on WL Cental football, graduated in June and obviously will not be on the team this season, as I incorrectly reported.
Decade of Dominance - Part 6
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Training Camp Report - Fresh Horses
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Training Camp Report - Fight To The Finish
Monday, August 16, 2010
Decade of Dominance - Part 5
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Oh Captain, My Captain
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Training Camp Report - Viking Quest
Friday, August 13, 2010