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, July 30, 2013

Mega Weather Men

The Highlanders gridiron crew will run hot and cold this season in the best way possible.
Translation: Rochester Hills Adams has a "Fire&Ice" backfield on the offensive side of the football in their line-up this fall that might just be causing some headaches for defenses around the OAA.
Let's meet the fellas;
FIRE: Jordan Shive – Lightning-bolt of a tailback-slotback that missed last year with an injury and is ready to blaze his way onto the scene in 2013
ICE: Clarence Broadnax – Bruising rusher that loves to bang his way between tackles and carry opposing tacklers on his back for extra-yardage, but can also hit the edge and beat defenders with his speed.
Adams QB, senior captain and MSU-commit, Matt Sokol and the Highlanders faithful licking their chops right about now!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Late Summer Hoop Grind

Some area boys hoopsters were putting in hard work and finding rewarding results during the final AAU tourney weekend of the summer.
Let's take a look at a few of the top efforts from the OC Baller contingent:
The OAA Select 17-U, a squad made up almost entirely of Oakland County cage studs, made it into the tourney championship game in the their bracket of the Adidas 64.
OAA Select 2013 roll call:
Nick Owens (Clarkston), Press Kampe (Clarkston), Jason Hugan (Milford), Noah Stinson (Waterford Kettering), Drew Swanson (Clarkston), Alex Trim (Clarkston), Mike Nicholson (Clarkston), & Luke Bauss (Orchard Lake St. Mary's). Owens and Kampe are practically household names in the area's prep scene (multiple conference and district crowns between them), however guys like Hugan, Bauss, Trim, Stinson and Swanson are all names to look for to have productive campaigns for their respective high schools next winter: Hugan is a potential beast in the paint in the KLAA and Stinson, a 6-5 forward able to go inside and out, will captain the newlook Kettering Captains in 2014 under Ben Kelso. Swanson, Trim, Nicholson and Bauss are each tenacious and valuable role-player types ready to do all the dirty work at the moment's nod off the bench.
Birmingham Detroit Country Day Maury Diane was a standout in the backcourt for the REACH Legends 17-U club that sliced and diced its way into the Gold Division finals of the Las Vegas Classic, held on the campus of UNLV. He dropped a 20-spot on Friday to spark REACH into the tourney quarterfinals.
Lake Orion's John McCarty and the BH Blackhawk priceless pair of Yante Maten and Khalik Gracey had a great "goodbye" run with the Michigan Mustangs over the weekend. The Mustangs 17-U squad collected a first-place trophy in Las Vegas this past weekend at the Fab 48 tourney. McCarty is a frontcourt stalwart for the Dragons who has been inflicting pain on OAA opponents for three years now, with one more in the tank (helped lead LO to the Class A Elite 8 in 2012 as a super soph). Maten and Gracey are 2/3s of the BH Big 3, winners of consecutive league and district titles in 2012 and 2013.
North Farmington sophomore-to-be Jacob Joubert was in HEAT CHECK MODE all weekend at the Summer's End Invitational out at Walled Lake Northern. An efficient and intelligent gunner on the perimeter, JJ tickled the twine for 36 in the tournament semifinals, popping in a 30-point outburst in the first half, and then 26 and 8 dimes in the finals, to lift the Judge's Court 15-U team to the title (grabbing MVP honors in the process)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

On The Cusp Of Fall

The opening of preseason training camps around the NFL this past week has got your boy Burney jacked for the pending start of the local prep gridiron campaign (practice gets on its away on August 12), which is right around the corner.
Here's a quick primer:
Top 3 teams in Oakland County
1 Clarkston – The 2013 Wolfpack pigskin crew might be as talented a football squad C-Town has ever had (YEAH, I SAID IT!!!). Lots of experienced playmakers on both sides of the ball (see David Beedle, Ian Eriksen, Timmy Cason, Nick Matich, Caine Watlington) and a trio of juniors ready to blast into the stratosphere in Adam Matich (OL), Cole Chewins (TE/DE) and D.J. Zezula (QB)
2 (tie) Birmingham Brother Rice – The Orange&Black THREE-PEAT NATION is ready roll for Coach Fracassa's final victory tour bandwagon…..the GRIDIRON GODFATHER will no doubt go out in style, as the Warriors this season are highlighted by Fracassa's most potent offense in years (maybe ever!!!), headlined by crazy good junior field general Alex Malzone, the fantastic senior tailback tandem of Brian Walker and Shon Powell and a wide receiving crop that is deep, versatile and hungry to stretch the field (see Lacanaria, Flye, Perry, Sparks, Woods and Madison, to name just a few).
2 (tie) Southfield – Stacked to the brim with premiere college recruits (new ones such as Malik McDowell and Jalen Brady and old ones like Lawrence Marshall, Chukes Okorafor, Jordan Billingsle, Jacob Studdard and Ray Buford, among others), the Bluejays have a very realistic shot at playing spoiler to Brother Rice's run at a third straight Division 2 state crown. Like at Clarkston, this Southfield squad might be the most talented in school history. Bluejays head coach Tim Conley is an underrated genius on the sidelines and the picture of perfection in what you want leading a program.
3 Birmingham Detroit Country Day – 3 Words: WIEGERS, WILSON, WAYS….The TRIPLE DUB BCS TRIPLE THREAT is as a devastating a trio that you can find in the state on offense….Destination-FORD FIELD…..'NUFF SAID

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ready For Action Jackson

If he can keep his head and his books straight, West Bloomfield's burgeoning two-sport superstar Trishton Jackson will have the world at his feet, be able to write his own ticket to college in either basketball or football by the time he's a senior in 2016.
Last year as a Fab Frosh, Jackson started for the Lakers at quarterback on the gridiron and at point guard on the basketball floor. However, his first varsity season on the hardwood was cut short mid-campaign when he was sidelined due to academic issues.
This summer the 6-foot-2 dandy has impressed in workouts and camps with both teams.
On the bball court, he's a Deron Williams-type point guard with a hoop savvy way that trends way above his young age. A steady-handed floor general, Jackson can break defenders down off the dribble, create for himself and his teammates on the break and in the half-court set, as well as bomb away from outside with a feathery touch beyond the arc.
With pigskin in his hands under center, Jackson is a smooth operator quarterbacking a football team, a true dual threat equally adept at frustrating opposing defensive coordinators in the OAA with his arm or his feet.
We're talking about a rare talent here.
The only thing that can get in Jackson's way on his way to the top is himself.
I have faith that my man TJ knows what's up - remember Kentucky-bound Rochester hoopster James Young was academically ineligible for the second semester as a prep freshman at Troy in 2010 and he roared back with a serious vengeance. No doubt in my mind The OC's Action Jackson is currently primed for greatness: i.e. he's locked and loaded for a sensational sophomore year (on the floor and in the classroom) and well on his way to establishing himself as one of the most deadly athletes in the whole state sometime in the very near future.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Doubling Back

Trey Barksdale has had second thoughts.
After announcing his intention of transferring from Clintondale to Farmington Hills Harrison for his senior year last week, the standout linebacker on the football field revealed on Thursday he was staying put. He tweeted out "My apologies to all my supporters and the media, but I have decided to remain at Clintondale for my senior year."
Barksdale plays on the outside and would have given the Harrison 'D' a lift in the wake of losing three-year starter and 2012 team captain Jake Slobin, off to play in college at Grand Valley State this fall.
Last season, Barksdale (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) was an all-league pick on an 8-2 Clintondale squad.
Harrison will be a sleeper pick in the race for the OAA White title in 2013. The Hawks won back-to-back OAA White crowns in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Harrison went 6-3 in the regular season.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Farewell Express

I hate when OC prep studs are forced to finish their athletic careers out of state.
Take for example Van Jefferson and Yante Maten.
Jefferson (6-foot-3 1/2, 185 pounds) broke on to the DI college football recruiting radar big-time last fall as a sophomore, earning all-Catholic League honors as a big-play wide receiver and dangerous red zone threat with Orchard Lake St. Mary's, helping lead the Eaglets to a CHSL crown and an appearance in the state finals.
Son of former NFL wide out and Detroit Lions assistant coach Shawn Jefferson, Van is headed to Tennessee alongside his pops – hired by the Tennessee Titans as their receivers coach back in the winter – for the final two years of his high school pigskin. The younger (cue ESPN's Chris Berman) "Mr. Moving on Up" has continued burning his way up recruiting charts this summer, already offered scholarships by BCS schools Penn State and the University of Tennessee.  
Maten, the county's top big fella on the boys basketball floor in 2013 with the two-time defending league and district champion Bloomfield Hills Lahser Knights (now the BH Blackhawks), announced earlier this month that he is leaving the state for his senior year.
Here's a pair of additional recent move-aways that robbed the area of some primetime prep talent:
DeMarquis Johnson – This 6-foot-6 sniper on the hardwood starred as a sophomore at Auburn Hills Avondale, before closing out his prep hoop career in Arizona, where he snatched a DI scholarship from Washington State. Johnson was in the same class (2011) as Ray Tillman (Eastern Michigan for football) and Tony Harris (Lake Superior), two of the most prolific athletes in Yellow Jackets' history. Can you imagine how good the 'Jackets baller crew would have been had Johnson stayed with Tillman and Harris for the remainder of his time in high school?
Cody Campbell – A two-sport thoroughbred at Lake Orion as a freshman and sophomore for the Dragons football and baseball programs in 2010 and 2011, Campbell moved with his family to Chicago to finish high school. Making a seamless transition to into the Greater Chicagoland prep scene, the righty hurler on the diamond helped spark his Naperville Central club into the state quarterfinals as a junior in 2012. On his way to pitch in the Big 10 at Minnesota, Campbell's prep squad went 24-7 this spring, capturing league and district and titles. As a sophomore at Lake Orion, he started on the line for the Dragons state championship football team in 2010. Think of the Dragons pitching staff the last two springs if he would have stayed in the 'D'……..Deeg, Schaenzer, Bays, Campbell? Straight Sicknes!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crave The Best

Farmington High School senior football star Josh Craven quenched his craving for a college scholarship early this week by committing to Indiana State University.
Craven is a three-year varsity letter-winner for head coach John Bechtel and the Falcons, being a contributor on the past two straight Farmington playoff clubs .
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound premium pigskin prowler plays running back and safety in high school, however is going to ISU strictly in the secondary. He's a pure playmaker just like his brother Matt was when he was a three-year starter for Farmington at quarterback.
Members of the Missouri Valley Conference, Indiana State went 7-4 last year. The Sycamores are welcoming in a new head coach on the sidelines for 2013 in Mike Sanford, who takes the reins following an assistant head-coaching gig at offensive juggernaut Utah State.
Craven is the second player from Farmington's 2013 squad to accept a college scholarship in the past month.
Fellow defensive back Curtis Brunson committed to Ohio University in June.
Farmington should be in the mix in the race for the always rough-and-rugged OAA White Division this upcoming season.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Questionable Behavior

I found it telling, while not necessarily surprising that an extremely limited contingent from Birmingham Detroit Country Day was present at Kurt Keener's goodbye dinner last week – Keener, the Yellowjackets longtime coaching great on the boys basketball floor, winner of nine state championships, is leaving Michigan and the DYNASTY he personally constructed at the corner of Lahser and 13 Mile Rd the past 35 years. to finish his career on the bench down in Arizona.
For whatever reason, it's become obvious to me that certain very powerful forces at DCD resent what Keener did at the school and are glad he is gone.
It's head-scratching, I know.
Most high school communities and athletic departments would give their proverbial left arm to be able to call themselves the home to what Keener's 'Jackets are/were – a recognized NATIONAL prep hoops power that churns out D1 talent like water from a faucet and always graduates the type of "character guys" you can be proud of.
But for some reason, there are many people in the DCD community that didn't like it.
They want to be known as an institution of higher learning, not for their Big Balling on the hardwood.
Keener and his program received very little student support – the majority of the packed houses at 'Jackets games these past few decades were pure hoop fans and college scouts.
And judging by who did and didn't show up at Keener's farewell ceremony, I suspect internally they didn't get a lot of support either.
That's really sad.
Especially, since what he built there was so special and that in the end I can honestly say he was the type of person who authentically invested in the kids he coached and took on a mentoring role that went far beyond the court and way past wins-and-losses. Oh, yeah, he was also the AD at the school and did one heck of a job in that post, too.
The fact that Keener wasn't allowed to name his successor last month is no coincidence. And this is no slap in the face to Mark Bray, who is as class-act as class-act can be and will do the school justice on the sidelines as his replacement (Bray did come and pay his respects to Coach K at the dinner and that wasn't surprising, 'cause he knows how to do things the right way).
However what is a slap in the face is the way some people have treated a departing legend and the manner in which Keener seems to have been hurried out the door and it slammed behind him without much finesse or the PR love you might expect from a similar situation elsewhere. He deserved better.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Embarking On A New Path

The Farmington Hills Harrison defense just got a boost.
This week, prep football star, Trey Barksdale, an up-and-coming college-recruit and all-league honoree at the linebacker position out of the Macomb Athletic Conference, transferred into the Farmington Hills school district and joined the Hawks on the gridiron.
Barksdale, who plays outside linebacker to take advantage of his wheels and natural instinct in pass-coverage, lands at Harrison from Clintondale for his senior year. As a junior last fall, Barksdale posted 60 tackles, five pass deflections and two interceptions on a Clintondale squad that went 9-1 and captured a league crown.
Harrison, a traditional state powerhouse with the football pads on, went 6-4 last season, losing to Fenton in the districts. Two years ago, the Hawks were nationally-ranked by the USA Today and three years ago, they won a state title.
The sudden addition of Barksdale will significantly aid Harrison in withstanding the blow to its 'D' that is the departing human tackling machine Jake Slobin, off to play his college pigskin at Grand Valley State after three years anchoring TEAM HERRINGTON in the trenches.
Expect Barksdale to be one of the top defensive players in the OAA in 2013.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Paris Living

The last month or so has been pretty good to Paris Bass.
Recently-graduated from Birmingham Seaholm, where he was a two-year first-team all-conference pick out of the OAA on the boys basketball court, Bass, a mutli-talented 6-foot-7 wing, started to pick up D1 scholarship offers in the latter part of June – U-D Mercy was the first and Louisiana Tech the most recent.
Then this week, he found out the he will likely qualify academically to play next winter and probably won't have to attend prep school like he thought he was going to be forced to before putting on a college uniform.
As a senior with the Maples, Bass averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds and close to three blocked shots per game and was named to The Oakland Press Dream Team, alongside Kentucky-signee James Young (Rochester), Toledo-signee Jonathan "Jon-Jon" Williams (Southfield-Lathrup), Xavier-commit Edmond Sumner (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) and D1 post prospect Yante Maten (BH Lahser). And man was he efficient: he shot 50 percent from the field and 3-point distance.
Bass is an undercover steal at the D1 level. He's not even 18 yet and he has an endless ceiling, when you take in account his offensive and defensive skill-set.
He was a late bloomer – standing only 5-foot-11 as a sophomore he didn't make Seaholm's varsity hoops squad until he was in eleventh grade.
Then he made like a stick of dynamite and blew up, immediately establishing himself as a versatile and difficult to defend go-to-guy for the Maples.
Since he's still 17, Bass is able to compete another year on the AAU circuit. This has even further added to his cause as a D1 recruit. Tearing it up on the summer scene for the Michigan Warriors, he's beginning to attract higher-profile colleges by the second, making mincemeat of the comp. UCONN, Arkansas and Memphis have all started inquiring after observing him on the floor this week with the Warriors.
I expect Bass to be a significant contributor somewhere in the D1 world by the 2015 campaign…..TAKE IT 2 THA BANK!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

'Til We Meet Again

Guess whose back in town?
Former OC two-sport super STUD Ray Tillman of Auburn Hill Avondale has resurfaced on the gridiron at Eastern Michigan.
Tillman (5-foot-11, 185 pounds), a slippery and speedy big-play wide receiver, will have three years of D1 eligibility and is a redshirt sophomore for the 2013 campaign.
A 2011 Avondale grad, Tillman was a standout in both football and basketball.
The past two years he's been down in Texas playing JUCO hoops.
Now, he's back in the mitten taking a go at what I believe is his true calling – beating defensive backs like it's his job, either across the middle or on a fly route down the sidelines, on the football field.
Don't be shocked if Tillman rewrites some records with the EMU Eagles at the college level as he did at Avondale as a prepster, where he caught 23 touchdowns and had over 1700 yards receiving as a senior in the fall of 2010, picking up first-team all-state honors in Division 3.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From The Eaglets' Nest

Some familiar last names in Red and White will soon be making waves on the football field for Orchard Lake St. Mary's.
I'm talking about junior Mike Linehan and fab frosh Josh Ross. They are both linebackers and like those in their family before them can really get the job done on the gridiron. Smart, consistent, athletic and tough-as-nails is the best way to describe the Linehan and Ross clans. THAT'S A FACT!!        
Linehan is the baby bro of recent OLSM grad Matt Linehan, on his way to play quarterback at the family alma mater, the University of Idaho, and the son of Scott Linehan, the Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator.
Ross is the baby bro of Michigan linebacker and former St. Mary's all-state grid superstar James Ross, captain of the Eaglets 2011 state-title squad.
This upcoming season, St. Mary's will be trying to punch a sixth ticket in the past seven years to the Division 3 state finals at Ford Field in November.
Matt Linehan quarterbacked the Eaglets to a Catholic League crown (A-B Division) at Ford Field last fall.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Last Train To Clarkston

Michigan State-commit Nate Morris will make a quick pit-stop prior to landing on the diamond in East Lansing.
Morris, a lanky fire-balling lefty hurler, has transferred from Oxford to Clarkston for his senior year of high school. He committed to the Spartans last fall.
This is a big snag for the Wolfpack baseball program and he'll no doubt assume ace duties for C-Town next spring in his final season on the mound as a prepster.
Composed and smart on the bump, Morris can blow opposing batters away with his velocity or catch them off guard with his nasty breaking stuff and pin-point accuracy.
There are three OC diamond studs from the area's Class of 2014 committed to Michigan State. Besides Morris, the Spartans have already sewn up pledges from Walled Lake Western pitcher Andrew Gonzales and Orchard Lake St. Mary's catcher Will Salter.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Five For Fighting - Keener Kage Greats

Five For Fighting – Best hoopsters to play at Birmingham Detroit Country Day under departing sideline GOD Kurt Keener
1 Chris Webber '91 – Pure domination, redefined what it meant to be a prep icon in Metro Detroit…it was showtime everytime CWebb took the court in his 'Jackets blue and gold
2 Shane Battier '97– Everything one could possibly want from a basketball player and person…NUFF SAID!!     
3 Ray McCallum '10 – The best point guard to ever suit up for the KEENER KAGE KREW
4 Mike Manciel-David Webber '98 – Webber was a hot-shooting combo guard and Manciel a crafty wing…both went on to play at CMU and raised three state-title banners in their tenure at Country Day  
5 Rodney Gilbert ('78) – The OC Zen Master's first superstar in the paint
HM: Javalle McGee (NBA), Keith Benson (NBA), Amir Williams (McDonald's All-American), Richard Goldberg, Damon Jones, Jimmy Bolden, Iyapo Montgomery, Kevin Colson, Javin Hunter (NFL), Darnell Brown-Clayton Beard

Saturday, July 13, 2013

'Jays Hidden Gem Report

Everyone knows about Southfield's "Big Guns" on the prep football field, like Lawrence Marshall (DE), Chukes Okorafor (OL), Jalen Brady (QB), Ray Buford (WR) and the freshly-minted Bluejay Malik McDowell (DE, but what about the other guys?  
Here's a list of some superstud Southfield grid gladiators that you might know about YET:
Jacob Studdard & Jordan Billingslea – Pair of speedy, shifty and versatile slotbacks that are both being recruited by DI colleges and will do serious damage this fall catching and carrying the ball
Dior Johnson – The consummate pro at the wide receiver spot, this 'Jays junior can stretch defenses deep with his wheels or can go across the middle and make the tough catch in the clutch…DJ will no doubt be giving opposing DB's fits in tandem with Buford for the next couple of years
Chris Williams & Lion King Conway – Two more D1 college recruits in the trenches on what's shaping up to be the best D-Line the OC has seen in quite a while…THAT'S A FACT!!!           
Ricky FoxhallTalented transfer in the secondary that comes over to Bluejayland from Catholic League power OL St. Mary's and has a good chance to be a playmaker at safety for TEAM CONLEY in 2013
Walter Love – "Under-the-radar" BALLER that is a potential lockdown threat at cornerback

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bloomfield Hills Hoop Bulletin

All-State center Yante Maten is gone, but the new Bloomfield Hills Blackhawks boys and girls hoops programs still have some high-quality talent left on the hardwood for the inaugural year of Black and Purple balling
In other words, the merger has been a smashing success!!!
Let's take a look:
Boys Blackhawks Ballers (aka TEAM GRAVES)
Armand Cartwright (Lahser) – "The Dark Knight" aka this four-year starter has a Superhero-like game….'NUFF SAID!!
Khalil Gracey (Lahser) – Smooth as silk on the wing, huge upside on the bball floor and on the gridiron as a big-play wide receiver
Xavier Reynolds (Lahser) – Rock-solid sparkplug in the backcourt
Jake Hecker (Lahser) – Unheralded Sensational Sophomore at the power forward spot that will turn heads in 2014
Dylan Dietch (Andover) – Definition of steady and smart as a combo guard
Eric Weiss (Andover) – Tough-nosed guard and prototypical "glue guy"
Josh Bender (Andover) – Fast-improving forward that has the chance to be a real difference-maker this winter
Charleston Ellis (Lahser) – Possible "breakout stud" of a point guard off the bench for the 2014 campaign……only a sophomore, he's the future in the BHawks backcourt
Alex Schwartz (Andover) – Gritty role player that does all the little things
Girls Blackhawks Ballers (aka TEAM RUBIN)
Shannon Wilson (Andover) – Electrifying floor general that will end her career as one, if not the best girls hoopster the city of Bloomfield Hills' prep scene has ever witnessed. Just a flawless overall floor game, with a thru-the-roof cage IQ and playmaker written all over her in every way
Diana Holsey (Andover) – Gutsy, fundamentally-sound guard
Emma Hill (Andover) – Gutsy, fundamentally-sound guard
Gina Perry (Andover) – One of the top defensive-stoppers in the area
Katie Stewart (Lahser) – Crafty backcourt baller that will spell and compliment Wilson beautifully
Shayilynn Brown (Lahser) – Spunky and athletic in the post
Alex Jackson (Lahser) – Versatile wing that can finish on the break and get it done in the half-court set
Ten-niaha King–Karyn Vance (Andover) – Along with Brown, this pair of priceless paint-stalkers could wind up forming a bruising and productive assault on the block

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting Technical

"The Big Guy" from FALCONVILLE will be big balling in Hoosierland for his college hoops.
Recent Rochester grad Arben Camaj, an all-league pick out of the Oakland Activities Association this past winter and one of the area's top post players  the last two years, signed with Indiana Tech this week.
Camaj (6-foot-7) is a long and imposing threat in the paint. Last winter, he averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and almost seven blocked shots per night on a Rochester team that won both district and regional crowns and dominated people in the frontcourt with a combination of him and McDonald's Al-American swingman James Young (Kentucky).
Indiana Tech, a Division II program located in Fort Wayne, went 21-10 in 2013.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nationally Recognized

The OC lady cage contingent was repping the area hardcore out at the Junior Nationals in Indianapolis over the weekend.
Several local girls hoop stars walked away with all-tourney honors donning uniforms for their respective AAU squads:
Here are the highlights:
Asia Doss (Birmingham DCD/Crossover) – Best player in the OC…..YEAH I SAID IT!!!....Killer quick crossover like few I've seen this past decade, girls or boys!!!         
Kristin Massey (Novi FR Christian/Monarchs) – Most skilled scorer in the OC!!!!...says more than usual this year with so many high-octane talents on the area's high school hardwood.
Amber Stephens (FH Harrison/Monarchs) – The area's top incoming sophomore for 2014....(YEAH, I SAID IT AGAIN!!)...dynamic with a CAPITAL 'D', whether in the half court or the open court...immediate game-changer who made a larger than life impact on the OC cage scene last season as a Fab Frosh and has loads more razzle-dazzle left in the tank for the next 3 years riding the victory train known as TEAM MICKLASH!!!
Taylor Jones (FH Mercy/Monarchs) – Could wind up being the OC's top junior on the perimeter by the end of the winter….calmly buried the game-winning free throws in overtime to lift the Monarchs to an AAU state title recently  
Megan Carter (North Farmington/Monarchs) – Can do a little bit of everything out there, flat-out underrated up-and-comer in the Class of 2015….Drained some big shots down the stretch in the AAU state finals, ferociously flanking Jones in the Monarchs backcourt  
Kerri McMahan (Novi/Elite) – Just so so darn rock solid on the court running an offense….An Akron-commit, BIG MAC is super savvy with the rock in her hands and has a "through-the-roof" basketball IQ, allowing her to be the ideal coach on the floor.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Howling Good At His Craft

Everyone who follows local prep football knows about nationally-ranked big-school placekickers Shane Hynes (Clarkston) and Kyle Bambard (WL Western).
But's let not forget about the little guys.
Well, a big guy with a big foot, who happens to play at a small school.
His name is Spencer Howell and he's the best small-school kicker in the Mitten.
The Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes senior-to-be was STRAIGHT CASH MONEY last fall for the district-champion Lakers.
Earning all-state honors, Howell booted 11 field goals, including a school-record 47-yarder. He was 40-of-41 on extra points and registered a whopping 50 touchbacks.
Like Hynes and Bambard, he is being recruited by colleges at the DI level. Michigan State and Maryland are among the schools looking at him.
To say the OC will have a BOOMING good year in the kicking department appears to be a vast understatement.