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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Bailey Double

Walled Lake Western sophomore Marcus Bailey broke out BIG TIME on the basketball floor this year.
Expect the same thing on the football field in the fall.
Bailey has the chance to be one of the area's top wide receivers as a junior in 2013. This kid's going to be a nightmare in the red zone. He's 6-foot-4, fearless, mean and lean and ready to do some significant damage for back-to-back district champion TEAM Z in just a few short months. The fact that he'll be catching passes from all-league superstar quarterback Kyle Bambard will only make the transition from the JV level to the varsity level that much smoother.
The KILLER BEES!!!! – Bambard to Bailey will certainly be a familiar saying come Halloween.  
On the hardwood this winter, Bailey was a menace in the paint, averaging a double for the Warriors hoop squad.
By the end of next year, he will be a premiere two-sport STUD in the state….TAKE IT 2 THE BANK!!        
Western could be in store for memorable seasons on the bball court and the gridiron in the 2013-2014 school year, with Bailey helping anchor both efforts.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Catching Up Time

Let's take a moment and check in on what's going on with the Wangler Brothers (senior Jack and junior Jared), who made the move out of the OC prep sports scene last year and are now in Macomb County at Warren De La Salle.
The Wangler BOYZ, sons of local college and high school football legend John Wangler (Michigan/Royal Oak Shrine), were two-sport stars at Shrine, excelling in football and basketball, but at De La Salle it's been mainly on the gridiron where they've been making an impact.
Both started for the traditional Catholic League power Pilots grid unit back in the fall, Jack at wide receiver and Jared at linebacker.
Jack is slated to walk-on at his pops' alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines next year.
Jared has parlayed an off-the-charts offseason of workouts into a series of Division I college scholarship offers. He'll be a captain of the 2013 De La Salle football team.
Their sisters, Halle and Sierra, are star athletes in their own right and gritty competitors on the hardwood.
Halle was an all-state pick at Shrine a couple years ago and is currently playing D1 hoops down 1-75 at Oakland University. Sierra is a virtual clone of her big sis and is a energetic guard at defending Class A district-champ Farmington Hills Mercy.
The patriarch of the family, the original SUPERSTUD WANGLER PREP PRODIGY, quarterbacked Michigan to a Big 10 and Rose Bowl title as a senior in the 1980-1981 season.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Introducing Your 2013 Lady Kickers

The Top Two Dozen Prep Girls Soccer Players in the OC this spring
The Dazzling Dame Dirty Double Dozen
1 Taylor Timko (Pontiac NDP F)- One of the most innate goal-scorers this area has ever seen....THATS A FACT!!
2 Allison Holland (Troy G) - Best net-minder in Metro Detroit, bar none!!!! Shutout is this young lady's middle name!!
3 Kendall Kramer (Novi D) - Elite defender destined for the Big 10 and the University of Michigan to be teammates with NDP's Timko in two years
4 Ava Doetsch (Waterford Lakes F) - Top small-school player in the state, elite talent at finding the back of the net (over 75 goals in 3 years entering '13), would be just as lethal in Class A
5 Natalie Kryiger (Novi MF) - This future UConn Huskie is the ultimate pace-setter in the midfield!!
6 Michelle Manning (Birmingham DCD F)
7 Stephanie Heber (Rochester G)
8 Madison Hirsch (Troy F)
9 Anikka Johnson (Birmingham Marian MF)
10 Kelly Sweeney (Birmingham Marian F)
11 Liz Abro-Gabby Mancini (Troy Athens MF)
12 Sarah Troccoli (Troy MF)
13 Kaylin Hoomaian (Novi D)
14 Erin Wrubel (Troy D)
15 Chelsea Thompson (MH Lamphere D)
16 Jess Creech-Madison Duncan (AH Avondale MF)
17 Mackenzie Barber (RH Adams F)
18 Alley Brodsky (Birmingham Marian D)
19 Jess Ruby (Birmingham Seaholm F)
20 Maddie Schupbach (Stoney Creek MF)
21 Mary Le Annais (Royal Oak MF)
22 Taylor Nutting (WL Northern F)
23 Shelby Watts (Waterford Kettering F)
24 Mackenzie Higgins (FH Mercy MF)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five For Fighting - Fry'em Up

FIVE FOR FIGHTING – Friday's best performances on the OC's prep baseball diamond
1 Brad Schaenzer (Lake Orion) – Showed why he's one of the top recruited high school hurlers in the whole country, tossing a complete-game one-hit shutout with 10 ks in a 10-0 blanking of Rochester…Can u say DOMINATION ALLEY IN THE DRAGONS' LAIR with him, fellow All-America Nick Deeg and up-and-coming Josh Bays?
2 Devin Rose (OL St. Mary's) – Got his MIGGIE on in the Eaglets doubleheader with DH Divine Child busting loose for a perfect 6-for-6 day at the dish, including the game-winning 2-RBI single in the finale
3 Jacob Lee (Milford) – Went the distance on the bump, sending eight opposing batters down swinging in a 14-3 dusting of South Lyon East, helping his cause with a 3-for-4 outing with the stick
4 Connor Francek (RO Shrine) – The Knights three-sport SUPERSTAR was on the MONEY all day in Shrine's twin bill against BH Cranbrook, collecting a complete-game 5-0 shutout-victory, scattering a paltry two hits and fanning seven in the opener, before mashing out three hits in three at-bats to help spark his squad to the sweep with a 4-3 win in the finale
5 (tie) Noah Beck (Stoney Creek) – DA CREEK's junior shortstop was in JETER MODE Friday, smacking a walk-off RBI single to send the Cougars to a sweep of arch-rival RH Adams in the second game of their crosstown double dip
5 (tie) The Bonniver Brothers (Waterford Mott) – The terrorizing twin tandem of Trevor and Todd each tallied wins toeing the slab for the Corsairs Friday in a doubleheader sweep of intra-city nemesis Waterford Kettering.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Big Tuna

Stoney Creek's very own Eric Fisher (Cougars Class of 2009) became only the second former Oakland County prepster to be selected No. 1 overall in a pro sports draft.
Fisher, a behemoth 6-foot-8, 310-pound offensive tackle on the gridiron, was chosen at the top of the NFL Draft Thursday evening by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The last four years have been very good to the bruising lineman out of Central Michigan. While at THA CREEK, Fisher only garnered two Division I college offers. He was his high school's first athlete to ever earn a D1 scholarship in any sport.
By the end of his freshman campaign in Mount Pleasant, Fisher had fought his way into the Chipps starting line-up. During his junior and senior seasons he was an all-league pick in the trenches. This past December, the SC Cougars alum was named an All-American by several multiple media publications and saw his stock in the upcoming draft skyrocket, to say the least.
Longtime NBA all-star forward Chris Webber (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) is the only other OC'er to ever go No. 1 (1993 NBA Draft which took place at the Palace of Auburn Hills).
Well, eat your heart out CWebb, 'cause The OC's BIG FISH can get his MEGA hoop on too!!! While at Stoney Creek he was an all-league honoree in the paint on the hardwood.
I was afforded the pleasure of covering Fisher on the football field and basketball court when he was a prepster and I recall a very respectful, intelligent and hard-working young man.
Burney wishes him the best!!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In The Hunt

According to reports, Lindsey Hunter is in the running for the Detroit Pistons head coaching job.
Burney is excited about this news for a number of reasons.
First, I think Hunter is without a doubt an on-the-rise commodity on the sidelines, an up and coming bench baron that would fit the Pistons coaching needs perfectly.
Second, if Hunter gets the nod it would mean that his son Lindsey Hunter IV would be returning to local boys hoops power Southfield Christian for his senior season, giving the Eagles cage crew an outstanding chance at raising a third straight state championship - there is speculation that "Lil' Linds" might be heading out of state for his final campaign as a prepster.
And lastly, for purely selfish reasons I think it would be super cool to be on a first-name basis with the head coach of my lifelong favorite NBA team.
Like his father before him, LH4 is a gutty talent on the hardwood and will most likely be playing Division I college ball in two years. A dynamo in the backcourt, the younger Hunter can handle, take it to the tin and shoot it from downtown….boy, can he shoot the rock!!! This kid's range is endless. He can pop it from 1-75, not blink an eye and see it swish effortlessly through the net.
The elder Hunter is currently the interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns. As a player, Hunter was a tireless combo guard that the Pistons drafted in the first round (1993) and helped lead the franchise to an NBA crown in 2004. His career in the league spanned practically two decades, finally coming to a conclusion in 2010 with the Chicago Bulls after crafting a reputation as one of the true gentleman of the game.
In 2012, he was on the bench as an assistant coach at Southfield Christian when his two sons LH4 and LH3 (freshman guard at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga) teamed to lead the Eagles to its first of repeat state titles.
From the OC prep sidelines to the NBA head coaching ranks…..what a trip!!!
Hopefully, it will be a jaunt that will find its way to the Palace and the in-desperate-need Pistons soon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Sweet Sixteen

A trifecta of incoming sophomore prep football players (Class of '16) in the OC to watch for
Matt Falcon (Southfield) – Star in the making on both sides of the ball for TEAM CONLEY, blazer in the backfield on 'O', can line-up at multiple positions. Falcon made varsity as a freshman in 2012 and showed flashes of the greatness that is sure to be on the horizon.
Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield) – Rare two-sport GEM and MEGA talented field general, who quarterbacked the LAKESHOW varsity as a Fab FROSH last season, not to mention started at point guard for the WB cage crew.  2013-2014 could be a HUGE school year for my man TJ on the college recruiting scene. Needs to keep his grades in check, but otherwise the sky is the limit for this kid!
Desmond Fitzpatrick (FH Harrison) – The next great Harrison wide out that will be making his varsity debut this fall….think a young Aaron Burbridge or Mark Dell.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Power Play - Grid Era '15

The Top 10 Incoming Junior Football Players in Oakland County
1 Alex Malzone (Birmingham Brother Rice QB) – Will be best QB in the state by Nov; Book it!
2 Johnny Kelley (Oak Park CB/RB) – Might be the top two-way player in the OC this year!!
3 (tie) Cole Chewins (Clarkston TE/DE) – Racing up the recruiting charts with a bullet
3 (tie) Shahid Bellamy (Oak Park OL/DL) – Combination of grit and athleticism in the trenches!!
4 Juan Johnson (MH Madison RB) – Ready to rebound with ferocity from injury plagued 2012!
5 (tie) Anthony Gunn (Pontiac NDP WR/CB) – Super talent that will break out even more in '13!
5 (tie) Ray Buford (Southfield WR) – Has all the tools for greatness!!
6 Tyson Smith (OL St. Mary's S/WR) – Smart, smooth playmaker wherever he lines up
7 Grant Perry-Delano Madison (B'ham Brother Rice WR) – A pair of split ends ready to bust out!
8 Rodney Scales (Oak Park QB) – Inkster transfer under center might be the final piece of the puzzle for TEAM CARTER and its quest for Ford Field
9 Nick Krumm (WL Central QB/ATH) – Just so, so versatile on the gridiron; wonder who pops is?
10 James LaLonde (WL Western RB/SB) – Pure speed!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Power Play - Grid Era '14

Oakland County's Top Incoming Senior Football Players (2013)
1 Lawrence Marshall (Southfield DL) – Rare pass-rushing talent
2 (tie) Tyler Wiegers (Birmingham DCD QB) – Best quarterback in the area
2 (tie) Maurice Ways (Birmingham DCD WR) – Best wide receiver in the area
3 Timmy Cason (Clarkston CB) – Potential lockdown corner at the D1 college level
4 Jalen Watts-Jackson (OL St. Mary's WR) – Playmaker in every sense of the word
5 Kyle Bambard (WL Western QB/K) – Expert field general as a prepster, set to kick in college
6 Dylan Roney (Novi Detroit CC DL/TE) – Typical CC SIR-GRIND-A-LOT stud
7 (tie) Ian Erikson (Clarkston RB) – Best running back in the area Part 1
7 (tie) Richie Wilson (Birmingham DCD RB) – Best running back in the area Part. 1 A
8 Lucas Bezerra (Troy Athens TE) – Top tight end in the area
9 Chukes Okorafor (Southfield OL) – Smart and aggressive in the trenches
10 (tie) David Beedle (Clarkston DL) – Fast-rising prospect at the point of the attack
10 (tie) Curtis Brunson (Farmington S) – "SUPERSONIC Sleeper special" in the secondary
11 Matt Sokol (RH Adams QB/TE)
12 Lorenzo Collins (FH Harrison RB)
13 Ben Line (Oxford RB)
14 (tie) Brian Walker-Shon Powell (Birmingham Brother Rice RB)
15 Corey Lacanaria (Birmingham Brother Rice WR)
16 Sean Scullen (Stoney Creek ATH)
17 (tie) Marquian Johnson (Clawson WR)
17 (tie) Jeremiah Johnson (Pontiac NDP ATH)
18 Chris Leigh (Lake Orion RB)
19 Alberto Sandoval (Birmingham Brother Rice DL)
20 Chauncey Bridges (North Farmington ATH)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Singing A Different Tune

Kyle Vinales is looking for a new home to hoop at.
The former North Farmington Raider and current Division I college basketball scoring-machine announced yesterday that he is transferring from Central Connecticut State, where he has played the past two seasons.
That's sweet music to the hears of several dozen college recruiters, eager to scoop Vinales into the fold for themselves.
Sources place the Atlantic 10, Summit and Horizon leagues and the Mid-American Conference as the most likely landing spot for the speedy 6-foot-1 playmaker who will be a junior wherever he ends up and has already scored close to 1,200 points as a collegiate.
It wouldn't necessarily be shocking if he winds up at a bigger conference..i.e. the Big 10, either.
This winter Vinales averaged 22 points per game, on the heels of a freshman campaign where he tickled the twine for a NCCA D1 frosh-leading 18 points a night.
CCS went 13-17 this season.
Back at North Farmington playing for TEAM NOGO, Vinales was an elite prepster, topping Oakland County in scoring and taking his squad to a Class A district crown as a senior in 2010.
Vinales' one-time AAU teammate Patrick Onwenu (Texas Southern/Highland CC), a 2011 Southfield grad, transferred into U-D Mercy earlier this week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Epic Heights

North Farmington junior Megan Keller is a two-sport star with few equals in the state.....the entire Midwest region of the U.S. for that matter.
Keller is a Division I recruit in both hockey and softball.
Well, kind of - she's actually already decided that playing puck is where her future will be at.
Not surprisingly, Keller is a killer on the rink, one of the best in the nation - already having accepted a scholarship to play in college at Boston University.
On the diamond, she's a tantalizing and productive talent that could be easily going high-level D1 in college if she had chosen to. Last season, she hit .455 with 35 RBI. From her spot at shortstop, she is the consummate captain of the infield, transforming into a human vacuum cleaner with a glove in her hand.
Surprise, surprise, Keller was also a standout on the hardwood, before she gave up hoops to have more time for hockey.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Get That Thera-Flu

Dazon Cole is COLDBLOODED on the baseball field. Following a standout sophomore season in 2012, Cole, Pontiac's junior stud, erupted on the state's recruiting scene these past six months. Back in the fall, he accepted a scholarship to Central Michigan. Now, he's attracting even more attention. A recent well-respected local scouting service rated Cole the No. 1 player in the state for the Class of 2014. Yes, you read that correctly. He was tabbed king of the diamond over the likes of All-Americans Brad Schaenzer (Lake Orion) and Matt Ruppenthal (Birmingham Brother Rice, committed to Vanderbilt). There isn't much Cole can't do in the game, pitching and hitting with gusto and playing flawless defense, whether in the infield at shortstop or the outfield in center. Last spring, he had multiple double-digit strikeout performances on the mound. On Wednesday, he went 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBIm two runs scored and a stolen base in leading 'Yaktown to an 8-3 defeat of Hazel Park. Burney would be far from shocked if some bigger D1 colleges entered into the picture in the next 6-12 months and steal Cole away from the Chipps. That's the level of talent we're talking about when discussiing this Phoenix Phenom!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Brand X-Factor

Making All-American game appearance No. 2 of the month, Rochester boys hoops star James Young and his future University of Kentucky teammates did some more destruction on the hardwood together, serving notice of what could be to come in Lexington Cat Country in 2014.
Over the weekend, Young and five of his fellow UK-signees – the greatest college cage recruiting class in NCAA history, according to some – led their West Team to a 102-98 victory over the Eastsiders in the Jordan Brand Classic.
Two weeks ago, the same UK 6-pack of recruits took their West squad to a win in the McDonald's All-American game, held at the United Center in Chicago.
Young was better this week than he was at the high-profile McDonald's affair, scoring 10 points (2-of-3 from 3-point land), while collecting four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in the Jordan Brand game. Julius Randall (17 points, 9 rebounds), another soon-to-be Wildcat, snared co-MVP honors in the contest alongside Duke-signee and Windy City schoolboy hero Jabari Parker (19 points, seven rebounds).
At the McDonald's game, Young notched six points, three rebounds and two assists. Although he didn't hit double-figures in the scoring column, the versatile 6-foot-6 1/2 swingman impressed those in attendance with his hustle, going into the crowd and onto the floor for a number of loose balls.
Back in March, Young spearheaded Rochester's memorable tourney run, as the Falcons raised both district and regional crowns en route to the Class A ELITE 8.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Spin Doctors

Superb pitching performances were aplenty on the OC prep baseball diamond Monday.
Let's take a gander at some of the most impressive;
Johnny Slater (Southfield-Lathrup) – The UofM-signee threw a no-hitter, striking out 13 in a 6-0 defeat of Pontiac...Can you say VERLANDER SWAGGER?
Chandler Sedat (West Bloomfield) – Maybe the fastest-rising sophomore in the area right now, this emerging power on the mound, tossed complete-game three-hitter in a 6-0 win over a favored Farmington club
Kyle Schweiger (Stoney Creek) – The Cougars ace was SWEET AS PIE from the hill, picking up a complete-game victory in a 10-0 downing of Rochester with nine Ks
Max Wardell (Ortonville Brandon) – Wardell went NO-NO NASTY in a 5-0 topping of Holly, pitching a no-hitter with 10 Ks
Joel Perry (Holly) – Perry went NO-NO NASTY in a 4-0 blanking of Ortonville Brandon, sending six Blackhawks down swinging
Mike Kapala (Madison Heights Lamphere) – The Rams hurler was RAM-TOUGH from the pitching rubber, snaring a complete-game win, fanning nine in a 8-5 takedown of Warren Woods Tower
Blair Meyers (Novi) – Going all MARIANO RIVERA, Meyers came in from the pen and delivered two-innings of no-hit spinning to record the win in relief in a 4-2 besting of Livonia Franklin

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Warning: Explosive Device Inside

As evidenced by his perfectly-coined nickname, , Birmingham Seaholm junior football star Dylan Kaanan aka "The K-BOMB" is blowing up in a major way on the college recruiting scene.
Kaanan is one of the area's top defensive backs, a smart and hard-hitting safety with few equals in the state.
The all-conference pick racked up a team-high 85 tackles last year, in spearheading a stout Maples defense that sparked Seaholm to its first league title and playoff appearance in seven seasons.
Because of his applause-worthy antics on the gridiron back in the fall and a series of eye-opening workouts at a few showcase camps, Kanaan is attracting the college-level suitors, some of the D1 variety. He's also recently been invited to another elite combine in Indianapolis in June that will offer him additional opportunities to keep turning heads and upping the ante on his recruiting stock.
His aggressive nature on the football field is identical to his get-it-done-at-all-costs attitude in the classroom, delivering a near-immaculate 3.95 GPA, a fact that has obviously brought the Ivy League schools calling.
Along with fellow standout safety, Andrew Barton and lockdown playmaking cornerback Aaron Ware – both returning alongside Kaanan – Seaholm will feature an incredibly vicious and vaunted secondary in 2013 in its quest for a repeat OAA crown and a second straight postseason appearances.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Burney's Prep Softball Preview - Part 2

OC Top 10 prep softball squads
1 Lakeland
2 Troy
3 Clarkston
4 FH Mercy
5 Troy Athens
6 North Farmington
7 Lake Orion
8 Birmingham Seaholm
9 (tie) Waterford Mott
9 (tie) Waterford Kettering
10 RH Adams

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Burney's Prep Softball Preview - Part 1

Top 12 prep softball players in the OC – aka The Dirty Dozen
1 Sarah Gutknecht (Farmington) – STRAIGHT MENACE with the stick
2 Haley Zemmer (Troy Athens) – Top two-way player in the OC, pitches and hits with force
3 Jordan Lennington (Birmingham Seaholm) – Outstanding at the fish, flawless in the field at short with her quick glove
4 (tie) Jackie Murphy (FH Mercy) – Mercy Mauler extraordinaire!  
4 (tie) Meg Tarrance (FH Mercy) – Mercy Mauler extraordinaire!
5 Sydney Heath (Troy) – Raw talent in every form, first year on the diamond and is already D1-bound (Michigan State)
6 Sydney Hasselbach (Clarkston) – Best catcher and one of the area's most feared power hitters in the OC
7 (tie) Kelly Merkle (Lakeland) – Dynamic presence at the dish and on defense at third  
7 (tie) Selena Hicks (Lakeland) – Dynamic presence in the circle, spinning strikes
8 (tie) Karissa Gawronski (Lakeland) – Very complete, zero shortcomings in her game
8 (tie) Madison Burgess (Lakeland) – Electrifying lead-off hitter
9 Jessica Mehr (South Lyon) – Pure pounder toting the metal
10 Rachel Waynick (Waterford Mott) – Won't start the year due to injury, WILL finish it with GUSTO
11 Autumn Cervantez (Oxford) – All the intangibles in the middle of the infield and the middle of the line-up for the O-Town Wildcats
12 Alicia Gronowski (Lake Orion) – One of the top players in the OAA

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chewing Up The Scenery

Clarkston's Cole Chewins is a name you should be aware of on both the local prep football and basketball scenes in the next two years to come.
Chewins, a 6-foot-7, 214-pound, tight end-defensive end/linebacker on the gridiron and a tough-as-nails center on the hardwood, made varsity this year as a sophomore and was a member of Wolves' OAA championship squads in each sport.
As a junior and senior, he could be one of the best around.
He's got soft hands, great footwork for his size and an ironclad work ethic, per usual with two-sport SIR-GRIND-A-LOTS spawning from the C-Town Wolfpack.
In limited time in both sports this year, Chewins showed flashes of potential big-play ability.
On the football field, he averaged two tackles per game, making the most of his short stints getting clock.
In basketball, he came off the bench and banged admirably on the block in reserve minutes. When you add him to 6-foot-8 Mike Nicholson, an incoming senior, TEAM FIFE will have an imposing frontcourt in 2014, to augment an already-sterling backcourt, led by Nick Owens, Press Kampe, Merrick Canada, Drew Myers and Mason Vires.
Burney for one can't wait to see how C-Town's own CHEWY develops in both sports.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No Longer Blue

Former Birmingham Detroit Country Day basketball star Jodan Price won't be playing basketball at DePaul next year.
Price, a long 6-foot-7 wing with exceptional shooting range, announced he is transferring from the Big East (future 'Catholic 7') program after just a single season with the Blue Demons.
Graduating from DCD last spring, Price was a captain of the Yellowjackets 2012 KEENER KAGE KREW that made its way into a second straight final four.
His younger brother, Austin, a super-savvy 6-foot-2 combo guard signed with Lehigh, captained this year's 'Jackets hoop squad that raised a Class B state-championship trophy last month.
Could there be a Price Family Reunion in Pennsylvania (where Lehigh is located) on the horizon?
The Price brothers moved to Detroit in 2010 from Indianapolis, so the Hoosier State could be a possible destination for Jodan as well.
DePaul was 11-21 in 2013 and the elder Price saw limited action – he only recieved minutes in eight games on the campaign.