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, August 13, 2011

Training Camp Report - The Green Machine

Second-year West Bloomfield High School head football coach Ron Bellamy experienced a good deal of success as a player, first in high school down in New Orleans, then as a wide receiver at the University of Michigan and finally in the NFL.
After a 3-6 record in his inaugural season roaming the sidelines with the Lakers in 2010, Bellamy is hoping his winning pedigree will rub off onto his team this fall.
"With one year under our belt, we think we're going to get this thing moving in the right direction," he said. "This whole team brings a lot of passion and playmaking ability to the table. The things myself and my staff are trying to do at West Bloomfield are only going to grow bigger and better."
A pair of high-impact transfers will significantly help Bellamy's and the Green & White's cause.
Kimani Elliott, who started at cornerback for state-finalist Orchard Lake St. Mary's last season, will headline West Bloomfield's secondary, while Chauncey Briggs, a hulking 6-5, 270 pound transplant from Atlanta, will anchor the Lakers' line-play on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, Bellamy's ball club has a number of players that the coaching staff expect breakout seasons from. At the top of the list is running back C.J. Bratwaithe, wide receivers Cortez Hardrick and Terry Stuckey and center Zach Root.
Bratwaithe is a burner in the backfield and is an above average blocker for a tailback. Hardrick is the team's deep threat and is complimented nicely by Stuckey, who is a more "go across the middle" type, in the Lakers' passing attack.  Root is the consummate workhorse and will call plays for the offensive line.
On the defensive line, Briggs will be helped greatly by Jordan Ofeimu, a big and beefy stalwart that has been perfecting the art of plugging the gap in practice. Mike Okorn, a possible major league sleeper, will lead West Bloomfield's linebacking brigade. Aiding Elliott - a dynamic gridiron presence that is also expected to contribute on offense - in the Lakers' secondary will be Robert Cross, set to line-up at the cornerback spot opposite the former St. Mary's Eaglet, and junior Chance Monarch, who is a rising star at safety.
The squad's quarterback duties are still up in the air. Bellamy says seniors Darren Byrd and Bejan Dees, a pair of dual-threat signal callers, are neck and neck heading down the stretch in the preseason. Byrd, a transfer himself from Stoney Creek last year, was the starting point guard on the Lakers basketball team as a junior.
It's been three years since West Bloomfield qualified for the playoffs under then-coach James Thomas. Coming from someone who played on a nationally-ranked high school team in the late 1990s in Louisiana, Bellamy knows what it takes to shine bright on Friday night.
"I've achieved a lot of success on the football field in my life and I want to pass that on to this team," he said. "I want to mentor these young men and show them the right way to do things, both in football and in life."
A five-year NFL vet, Bellamy seeks to change the culture around the West Bloomfield program.
"The change starts at the top and trickles down," he said. "We will establish a tradition here that makes people think of West Bloomfield as a football school."
In the entire history of West Bloomfield High School, the Lakers have only made the playoffs two times.
WB opens the season against Farmington on August 26.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home