Monday, April 30, 2012
Burney's Baseball Rankings - The Real Deal
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Coming off a run-of-the-mill junior campaign, Warriors senior hurler Matt Constance might be the OC's MIP of the first month of the season 2 (tie) MH Bishop Foley – So much balance, its SICK!!!! All opponents of the Ventures this season should invest in THERAFLU 2 (tie) Lake Orion – The Lake can RAKE with the best around!! 3 Stoney Creek – Zack Northrup has officially reached SWAGGER LEVEL THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION!!! 4 AH Avondale – After a slightly down year in 2011, the Yellowjackets are back to their stinging best in 2012!!!! 5 (tie) WL Central – The one things you can always say about TEAM ROFFI is that it really knows how to get after it on the diamond!!! 5 (tie) WL Western – It's a Western World and we're all just living in it!!! 6 BH Andover – Playing GREAT baseball right now!!! 7 Birmingham Groves – Playing GREAT baseball right now!!! 8 North Farmington – The Lett brothers don't let anything effect their focus when cutting up the diamond for the Raiders!!! 9 Novi – Will round into shape soon!!! 10 (tie) Berkley – The Bears early-season dominance is the biggest shock of the young season if you ask your boy Burney!!!
10 (tie) BH Lahser – Don't look past the Knights 'cause they'll hurt ya!!
Sunday, April 29, 2012
A couple of former OC prep football stars are moving on up to the big time aka the SHOW aka THE NFL. Oakland County had two of its born and bred selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. Novi Detroit Catholic Central's Mike Martin went to the Tennessee Titans in the 3rd round on Friday and, Oak Park's Edwin (Rock) Baker went to the San Diego Chargers in the 7th round on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 305 pound Martin, who helped spearhead the Maize and Blue gridiron resurgence this past season, was captain of the Michigan Wolverines' defense this past fall and a two-time all-conference pick in the Big 10 at nose tackle. As a prepster, Martin was a behemoth presence on the Catholic Central line, collecting over 200 career tackles and 15 career sacks. A first-team all-state pick as a senior in 2007, he recorded 96 tackles and 6 sacks, leading the Shamrocks into the Division 1 final four. And he didn't just excel on the gridiron either. He was one of the best in the state in wrestling (winning an individual state title) and track and field (setting numerous records in shot put and discus), during his high school days, too. Baker (5-9, 210 lb), a chiseled and cat-quick tailback, finished his 3-year career in the Spartans' backfield with over 2,200 career yards and 19 touchdowns. Graduating with prep All-American honors from Oak Park in 2009, he had concluded his high school career with an almost-unthinkable 11 yards per carry average. His 462 yards in a single game as a senior vs. Royal Oak is the fourth best effort in state history. Burney thinks both Martin and Baker have a very good chance to make a name for themselves in the NFL. Martin will be given an early shot right off the bat with the Titans, while Baker, more of a sleeper, will have to work his way up the ladder in DC, which Burney knows he has the natural ability to do since he's been watching him tote the pigskin since he was a teenager. This kid as second-to-none WHEELS and INSTINCT!! With an unteachable combination of size, speed and strength, Martin could easily be one of the most impactful rookies for the upcoming season.
I can't wait to see them both get to work!!!
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Gone With The Wind
A staple of the Oakland County prep hoops landscape over the past three decades is no longer. Denny Butcher has left the Walled Lake Central boys basketball sidelines to accept the head coaching job at Hartland High School out in Washtenaw County. Butcher, 43, had been on the bench at Walled Lake Central for nine years. This past winter, he led the Vikings to a Class A district championship and won his 200th career game. Back in the 1980s, Butcher was a high-octane guard at Lakeland High School, graduating as the Eagles' all-time leading scorer. He entered the local prep coaching ranks in the early 1990s, as sideline general at Catholic League power Orchard Lake St. Marys. In 1994, Butchers' Eaglets' cage crew advanced all the way into the state finals before losing a heartbreaker at the buzzer. Before assuming the reins in VIKINGLAND, he was on the bench up in the northern part of the county at Ortonville Brandon of the Flint Metro League. Even though he's moving teams for the upcoming campaign, Butcher will be coaching in the same conference since both Walled Lake Central and Hartland each compete in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association. Expect to see Butcher's top assistants, Harry Glanz (Berkley) and Jay Levine (Oak Park) follow him to his new job. The undertaking won't be an easy one. Hartland only won a single game last season. That said, success isn't all together foreign to the H-Town Hoop Regime, having won KLAA and district crowns as recent as three years ago.
Early leading candidates for the vacant Walled Lake Central job appear to be Butcher's JV coach Chuck Spolsky (Novi Detroit CC/Adrian) and possibly current North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian, a former all-state point guard with the Vikings in the late 1990s, who went 14-8 last season in his first year patrolling the sidelines with the Raiders of the rough and rugged OAA Red Division.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Burney's OC Prep Boys Basketball Spring Power Rankings 2 Jon-Jon Williams (Southfield-Lathrup) 3 Paris Bass (Birmingham Seaholm) 4 Jordan Dasuqi (Clarkston) 5 (tie) Austin Price (Birmingham DCD) 5 (tie) Miroslav Jaksik (WL Western) Sam McClendon (OL St. Mary's) 1 Yante Maten (BH Lahser) 2 Maceo Baston, Jr (Birmingham DCD) 3 (tie) Jermaine King (Ferndale) 3 (tie) Maury Diane (Birmingham DCD) 4 John McCarty (Lake Orion) 5 (tie) Armand Cartwright-Khalil Gracey (BH Lahser) Noah Lee (Novi Detroit CC) 1 Jeron "Buda" Rogers (North Farmington) 1 Bakari Evelyn (Southfield Christian) 2 Ja'lin Gardner (WL Western) 4 Gary Perry (MH Bishop Foley) 5 (tie) Tim Shayoka (Troy Athens) 5 (tie) Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD) Isaac Cassilias-Parker Rouse-Morgan Bayliss (Holly) 2 Kurt Keener (Birmingham DCD) 3 George Porritt (OL St. Mary's) 4 (tie) Bill Dyer (Novi Detroit CC) 4 (tie) Denny Butcher (WL Central) 5 Robert Rogers (Pontiac)
Thursday, April 26, 2012
North Farmington pitcher Kevin Turner came moments away from pure perfection on Wednesday and even though he didn't achieve it, he still recorded quite the impressive outing on the mound, nonetheless. Turner's one-hitter led the host Raiders to a 10-0 demolishing of Detroit King Wednesday in non-league prep baseball action.
Striking out 8 batters, while not surrendering a single walk on the day, Turner was as efficient as he was dazzling, only facing 15 opposing batters the entire contest.
He gave up his only hit of the game on a single to King's leadoff batter in the final inning of play. Unfazed by the blemish on his once-flawless effort, Turner picked the runner off first and then promptly registered a strike out to finish out the affair. One of the area's most pleasant surprises this season, North Farmington improved its record to 8-2 with the victory. The win from the rubber is Turner's second of the campaign.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Eye of The Storm
It's raining transfers again at Oak Park High School. Besides adding DB/WR Michael Cleveland, a high-profile transplant from East Detroit, the Knights have also landed Storm Hudson, a speedy running back who as a junior in 2011 helped take Utica Eisenhower to a spot in the Division 2 final four. Since both Hudson and Cleveland enrolled at Oak Park this semester, they will each be eligible for the kickoff of the 2012 season come August. This is Hudson's third high school in 3 years - he played on Lake Orion's 2010 state title team as a sophomore. Last year, Knights head coach Greg Carter, brought with him close to two dozen transfers with him from his previous coaching stint at Inkster. Carter has won 4 state titles in 21 years on the sidelines and has led his squads into the state championship game on nine separate occasions since 1990. Hudson (5-9, 165) runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and has shifty moves in the backfield. He will team with Malik Washington (5-7, 150), a prototypical jitterbug with the rock in his hands, this fall to give Oak Park a slippery two-headed monster of a rushing attack in its quest for a return to respectability – the program hasn't qualified for the playoffs in seven years.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Born To Buzz
Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior boys basketball star Mike Oravetz will be buzzing his way west to play his college hoops, signing a National Letter of Intent on Monday with the Kalamazoo College Hornets. Oravtez, the Ventures' two-year starting point guard, helped take Bishop Foley to back-to-back Catholic League titles and Class C district championships in 2011 and 2012. Last season, he averaged 14 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals per game while being named All-CHSL for the second year in a row. This kid's game is the definition of ULTRA STEADY!!! He does whatever is needed of him – shoot from downtown, create off the dribble, lead the fastbreak, run the half-court set,etc.. – and he has a GRADE A motor that never stops going. Kalamazoo's Men's Basketball program has benefited from the Oakland County talent pool in the past. The Hornets currently have 5 players on their roster who played their prep ball in the area. The All-League inside-outside tandem of center Joe Prepolec (BH Andover) and point guard Eric Fishman (BH Cranbrook) has been a catalyst for the team the past two years. Berkley's Travis Braun and Jacob Olds & Troy's Cam Lafayette also dot the K-ZOO lineup. Head coach Rob Passage and his K-ZOO cage crew are looking to rebound from a disappointing 8-17 overall record this past winter.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Burney's Baseball Rankings - Riding High
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – You can't stop Warriors sophomore SIZZLER Matt Ruppenthal on the mound, you can't even hope to contain him!!!! 2 Lake Orion – As my main man Jeff Dullack says about my other main man Nick Deeg, he's the OC's own Randy Johnson, therefore I will be referring to him from now on as "THE UNIT" 3 MH Bishop Foley – I love me some SUNDE diamond gems aka skipper Buster and his star all-state catcher Brett…..Is there anything this stupendous pair can't do on a baseball field? 4 Stoney Creek – Burney says THE CREEK will REPEAT this season as champs in the OAA RED 5 WL Western – MAD PROPs to Western's Nik Heglin for picking up his first varsity win on the mound last week.....oh, yeah, one more thing….Cam Vieaux is a SUPERSTAR 6 (tie) WL Central – Man, is the city of Walled Lake loaded on the diamond this season 6 (tie) AH Avondale – Matt Andrus might be the most underappreciated stud player in the county this season…..This kid does everything and does it really, really well!!! 7 WL Northern – Surprise, surprise, welcome to the party KNIGHTSNATION!!! 8 Novi – Better than their record indicates 9 BH Lahser – Kyle Riley is a STRAIGHT KILLER on the diamond!!! 10 (tie) BH Andover – Barons are ready to explode again like they did earlier this month 10 (tie) Novi Detroit CC – Junior catcher Nate Wiergzac is a BALLER and a SHOTCALLER for the Shamrocks both at the plate and behind it.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Locked In & Ready To Roar
The Wayne State womans basketball team has become a popular transfer destination for former local prep stars. The most recent former OC Lady Hoopstress to find her way to the 'D' and WSU is Stephanie Lock, following in the footsteps of Pontiac Northern's Gabby Machado and Birmingham Detroit Country Day's Imari Redfield. Graduating from Lakeland last spring, Lock, a nails-tough forward, spent the 2011-2012 season in Illinois at Urbana College. As a prepster, Lock was a three-time all-league pick who averaged a double-double over her last two seasons on the high school hardwood, posting 15 points and 10 rebounds a night. Back in 2009 when she was a sophomore, she started on Lakeland's Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship squad. She's a genuine workhorse on the floor and the type of player that plays much bigger than her 6-foot size. No doubt, locking up LOCK is a great pick-up for Wayne State. Machado and Redfield (a multi-year state champion at DCD during her prep career) both got to WSU last year, with Machado transferring in from Iowa and Redfield from Hope College. Wayne State closed out last season 12-14.
Friday, April 20, 2012
All The Small Things
Guys like junior fireballer Nick Deeg, his catcher and two-sport star Roman Kuster, super steady Nick Vogelmeyer, and rising sophomore star Brad Schaenzer have been hogging most of the headlines lately for the Lake Orion baseball team and rightfully so. However, there are a couple of players that quietly ply their trade in the background, doing all the little things that make that kind of success the Dragons – currently 8-3 and ranked No. 2 in Oakland County –, are having on the diamond possible and deserve some recognition too. Those players names are Jake Gardner and Dalton Oveson, a pair of senior leaders in the Lake Orion dugout and out on the field, that both define the term X-FACTOR Gardner is signed to continue his cutting up of the diamond in college at Hillsdale. He is a three-year varsity letter winner on the diamond, giving TEAM SCHRAM a versatile and consistent blend of hitting, pitching and fielding. Proving he can also make things happen on the gridiron, Gardner earned two letters for the Lake Orion football team, playing lockdown defense in the Dragons secondary. As a junior, he helped take them to a Division 1 state title. Last season on the baseball field, Gardner has a 2.73 ERA on the mound and registered a .397 batting average. In the team's opener a few weeks back, he tossed a beauty, only allowing 3 hits and striking out 10 in an 11-0 stomping of Almont. Let's not forget what Gardner can do in the classroom either. He's nearly a 4.0 student, a member of the National Honor Society and scored a remarkable 31 on his ACT. Oveson has been the prototypical stalwart for the Dragons Diamond Crew the past three seasons, a pure WORKHORSE in every sense of the word. Just like Gardner, Oveson can destroy opponents from both the plate and the mound. Although because of some shoulder injuries, he's hasn't taken the rubber yet this spring, when he does get back he'll combine with Deeg, Vogelmeyer and Garnder to form quite the FEARSOME FOURSOME of a pitching rotation. All Burney can say is WATCH OUT. Next year, Oveson will be heading to Olney Central in Illinois, a powerhouse JUCO that will almost certainly propel him to a spot on a D1 roster by 2015 at the latest.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
RAIDERS KEEP SIZZLING, PUNISH THURSTON ON THE DIAMOND
The North Farmington baseball team is looking to make some noise this season. Sporting a 4-1 overall record out of the gate, second-year skipper Mike O'Connell and his Raiders are off to a good start. On Wednesday, North Farmington's diamond cutters hosted Redford Thurston in a non-conference affair and crushed the visiting Eagles 13-4. Junior Bobby Lett kept up his recent personal hot streak, posting the win from the rubber by pitching a 3-hitter with 4 strikeouts. Back on Monday, Lett slugged the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to send the Raiders to a miraculous 9-8 come-from-behind victory against intra-city rival Farmington. Batting around its order in the second inning Wednesday, North Farmington went in front 5-0. Thurston cut its deficit to 5-3 in the third inning, but would get no closer. The Raiders added a run in their half of the third and five more runs in the fifth and sixth. David Lett, North Farmington's starting shortstop and Bobby's little brother, went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with 2 RBI to help his sibling's cause from the mound. The younger Lett, only a sophomore, first made a name for himself on the local prep scene this past winter, showing his merit on the hardwood as a gritty and efficient forward on the Raiders basketball team. Jonny Deutsch and Brandon Griffith also had big outings from the plate versus Thurston. Deutsch, the team's second baseman, went 2-for-4 with a game-high 4 RBI and Griffith, who starts at first base, went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. Defensively, the infield tandem of Lett, Deutsch and Griffith turned a double play to end the contest in highlight-worthy fashion. North Farmington hits the field next on Friday when the Raiders travel to defending league champion Birmingham Groves for their next game. It's been nine years since North Farmington last won a league title.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Burney's Baseball Rankings - Off & Running
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – LOADED again!!!!! 2 Lake Orion – Watch out for my man Jacob Gardner!!! 3 MH Bishop Foley – Great mix of talent, more balanced than last year's state title squad 4 Stoney Creek – You can't stop Cougars catcher Niko Gonzales, you can only hope to contain him 5 WL Western – Get busy my main man Blake Amhowitz!!!! 6 (tie) Novi – Jimmy Elof has such a sweet stroke its disgusting!!!! 6 (tie) WL Central – TEAM ROFFI is ROARING already….would you expect any less? 7 AH Avondale – Burney loves to see his boy The OC GUNSLINGER aka 'Jackets senior catcher Mitch Robinson shred on the baseball diamond!!! 8 RH Adams – Highlanders will be flying high soon!! 9 BH Lahser – Knights are going to surprise people this season!! Take it 2 The Bank!!! 10 BH Andover – A couple of recent stumbles will only make this Barons squad stronger down the stretch!!!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The decision has been made. Birmingham Brother Rice two-sport star, Sergio Perkovic, a standout on both the prep gridiron and lacrosse field, has decided to play LAX at the next level and recently committed to Notre Dame. Perkovic is a behemoth. He's as tough a competitor at the high school level that you can find. This kid loves to get down and dirty, whether bringing pressure in the pocket in football or attacking the net in lacrosse from his spot in the midfield. Only a junior, Perkovic was named a team captain for the national powerhouse Warriors LAX crew, a program that has never finished a season without a state title (YEAH, YOU READ THAT RIGHT!!!!). Back in the fall, he was one of the leaders of the 'Electric Company' defense that helped spur the Warriors on to a state championship in football. In the state finals against Lowell, Perkovic, a pass rush specialist, set up camp in the Red Arrows backfield, collecting five tackles and three sacks in the Rice victory. For the entire 2011 campaign, he registered 65 tackles and a team-leading 10 sacks and 10 qb hurries. Come this fall, Perkovic will join forces with fellow returning 'Electric Company' members like MSU-commit Jonny Reshke (LB) and Luke Cherocchi (LB) to lead a repeat run on the gridiron. When the curtain comes down on his prep athletic career next spring, my man SP will probably have another one or two state rings to sport on his graduation day. And that about speaks to all you need to know about Sergio Perkovic. HE'S A PURE WINNER!!!
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sweet Georgia Green
Just like music legend Ray Charles, Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior basketball superstar Corey Green has Georgia on his mind. Green, an explosive all-state forward recently named to the Oakland Press' annual Dream Team, will sign a National Letter of Intent to play his college ball down in Georgia at D2 North Georgia State on Monday afternoon in a ceremony held at Bishop Foley for friends and family. This past winter Green put up some robust stats; he averaged 24 points and 15 rebounds a game and was arguably the best slam dunker in the entire Metro Detroit area. Since landing at Bishop Foley in 2010, he has led the Ventures to back-to-back Catholic League and district championships. Foley's 2011 CHSL crown was the first ever in school history. Not many players were as dominant as Green was on the hardwood last season. He simply took games over and willed his team to wins. The word PRIMETIME comes to mind when thinking about his skill with the ball in his hands in the clutch. There's no doubt in my mind this kid has D1 talent. You just can't teach the kind of athleticism and natural court instincts Green has and he will shine brightly at the D2 level the next few years…….TAKE IT 2 THE BANK!!!
N. Georgia State is getting itself a flat-out STEAL
Under head coach Chris Faulkner, N. Georgia St. concluded the 2012 campaign 11-18.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
East Detroit High School has been kind to the Oakland County prep football landscape the past year. First, it gave the OC Ron Thompson. Transfering to Southfield from East Detroit last spring, Thompson (Syracuse) was named all-state at the tight end spot back in the fall while helping the Blue Jays win a district championship. Now, East Detroit has given us Michael Cleveland, a top-flight DB/WR, who landed at Oak Park this past semester and is expected to be one of the leaders of the Knights gridiron gang in the fall. A two-year starter for East Detroit, Cleveland (5-10, 160) is known for being a lockdown corner with speed. He has been timed as fast as 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and doesn't shy away from knocking pads; this kid can jam receivers at the line with the best there is in the area. Offensively, Cleveland will fit in nicely besides Oak Park's No. 1 wide out Brandon Harding, lining up in the slot and giving quarterback Nate Simms a pair of dangerous targets to throw to and try to stretch the field with. The fact that head coach Greg Carter and the Knights have a highly-touted transfer set to make an impact in 2012 should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the local high school football scene. Last year, Carter, one of the state's most prolific sideline generals having raised four state title banners in 21 years wearing the headphones, came to Oak Park and brought with him close to two dozen transfers, causing quite a stir in the area's coaching ranks. Despite the influx of talent last fall, Carter's Knights had trouble finishing games and hurt themselves with a series of inopportune penalties in concluding the campaign 3-6. Their record would have been 4-5, however, they were forced to forfeit an early-season win against Detroit Loyola for using an ineligible player. With a year of Carter's system installed under the program's belt at Oak Park and a skilled group of players returning – Harding, Simms, RB Malik Washington, DE/TE Jayvon Tate –, pundits expect the Knights to be a contender this fall and seriously challenge for the school's first playoff appearance since 2005.
Cleveland will no doubt help the OP's cause significantly.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Burney's OC Girls Soccer Preview
1 Irene Young (Troy Sr F) – This Louisville-commit is the definition of a complete player 2 Kelli Timar (Novi Sr MF) – Simply a WINNER! This Michigan State-bound gem will take the mantle of leadership for the back-to-back state champion Wildcats from departed scoring machines Nikki Caruso (Michigan State) and Nicki Greenhalgh (Wisconsin) 3 Kylie Nylen (RH Adams Sr MF) – Western Michigan is lucky to have this consummate playmaker coming into the fold in BRONCOLAND next year 4 Victoria Holland (Troy Jr G) – Best goalie in the area as only a junior…..picks up shutouts like her name was HOPE SOLO!!! 5 (tie) Michelle Manning (Birmingham DCD Soph F) – Could easily be the best player in the county coming into the 2013 campaign…..young, hungry and has a top-rate nose for the goal 5 (tie) Merlin Beckwith (RH Adams Sr MF) – The ultimate pacesetter for the stacked-to-the-brim Highlanders. She'll be playing her college ball at Appalachian State next year. 6 Rachel Bergman (Birmingham DCD Sr G) – BIG TIME talent in between the posts for the Yellowjackets who is headed to play in the Big 10 next season at Northwestern. 7 Ava Doetsch (Waterford Lakes Jr F) – Best Class D player in the state……YEAH, I SAID IT!!!! This young lady should start her own brand of breakfast cereal called STATE CHAMPION FLAKES 8 Chelsea Thompson (MH Lamphere Jr D) – The top defender in the area right now!! 9 Jessica Jarvis (Novi Sr F) – Poised for a huge final campaign finding the back of the net on the prep pitch before going on to play her college ball at Bowling Green 10 (tie) Alleina Szydlowski (Birmingham DCD Sr MF) – Simply steady, determined and the picture of composure and coachable!! Will be playing in college alongside her best friend, Waterford Kettering's goalkeeper Tailer Roscoe at UW-Milwaukee 10 (tie) Tailor Roscoe (Waterford Kettering Sr G) – Might be the most underrated player in Oakland County….Take it to the bank!!!! Will be playing in college alongside her best friend, DCD's Alleina Szydlowski at UW-Milwaukee 12 (tie) Liz Abro (Troy Athens) 12 (tie) Gabby Mancini (Troy Athens) 14 Natalie Krieger (Novi) 15 (tie) Breanna Smith (MH Lamphere) 15 (tie) Katy Wagner (Lake Orion) 16 Madison Duncan (AH Avondale) 17 Joanie Seija (Stoney Creek) 18 Mackenzie Barber (RH Adams) 20 Caroline Eagen (BH Lahser) 21 Rachel Good (WL Western) 22 Rikka Noel (Birmingham Marian) 23 Hanna Pateryn (Birmingham Marian) 24 Mackenzie Larson (Birmingham Marian)