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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Haven Of A New Home

Oakland County say goodbye to Waterford Mott two-sport standout D'Monta Harris - He's making the move from the Kensington Lakes Activities Association to the Macomb Athletic Conference. The basketball & football star entering his senior year, has transferred to New Haven. Harris is a 6-foot-4, 195 pound forward on the hardwood and a wide receiver on the gridiron. Last winter, Harris was Mott's hoop squad's leading scorer and rebounder, named all-league out of the KLAA Central Division at the conclusion of the campaign.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Whose On Deck?

Former Rochester and Troy basketball star James Young was drafted 18th overall in the first round of last Thursday's NBA Draft, following a spectacular freshman season at the University of Kentucky (All-NCAA Final Four Team back in March).
So who will be the next OC PREP SUPERSTUD to get chosen in the first round of a pro draft?
Burney's going to call his shot here;
I'm saying its going to Farmington Hills Harrison alum Devin Funchess, currently the starting tight end on the gridiron in Ann Arbor for the University of Michigan.
The FUNCHISE is the perfect package of the "new era" tight end, more pass-catching wide out than lumbering blocker.
To say this kid can stretch the field and make big plays is a vast understatement.
About to enter his junior campaign with the Maize & Blue, Funchess (6-5, 240 pounds, sleek and lightning in a bottle when doing his THANG w/ the pigskin in his hands), was named a freshman ALL-American in 2012.
At the end of last season, he was selected the BIG 10 TE of the Year, after catching 20 balls for 410 yards and four touchdowns, averaging a league-best 22 yards per grab

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Salting It Away

Hip hop superstar Drake tells everyone on his latest hot track that he can go “0-to-100 CRAZY QUICK” aka he has the motor of a finely-tuned automobile in the rap game. Kind of reminds me of Farmington senior football STUD Kario Salters when discussing his pigskin prowess. This kid is the type of talent that can change a game in the blink of an eye - he's one of the toughest-to-stop defensive backs in the OC, just a pure playmaker out of the secondary. You're going to be hearing a lot about my homeboy K-ROCK on the gridiron come the fall. He'll be the one ALWAYS around the ball, going REVIS-ISLAND LOCKDOWN STYLE on opposing wide receivers. The past two years, Salters has been at West Bloomfield.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gin Mill Grinding

You want to talk about quiet but deadly?
Just look at Southfield's Davonte Ginwright.
The incoming senior football star is a silent assassin, plying his craft as one of the most underrated cornerbacks on the area's prep pigskin scene for TEAM CONLEY down on 10          Mile Road.
Ginwright, checking in at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, spry, speedy and always-zoned-in-on-the-ball, solidified his college plans this week, committing to Western Michigan University.
He also held scholarship offers from the University of Akron and the University of Toledo
This kid is a BALLER-SHOT CALLER COMBO no doubt!!
WMU should be smiling ear-to-ear right about now.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chewing Up The Competition

Cole Chewins is ready to take a giant bite out of the Mid-American Conference.
Clarkston's fast-rising 6-foot-8 tight end committed to play his college pigskin at Miami
this week, concluding a recruiting process where he devoured offers from the MAC like a runaway computerized Pac-Man – 7 in all.
Chewins is a specimen at the position, and in a lot of ways still an untapped talent.
In other words, he's ready to ERUPT like a VOLCANO for the defending D1 state champ C-Town WolfPack this fall and for the Miami Red Hawks for the foreseeable future at the college level beginning in 2015…..THAT'S A FACT!!
On defense, he packs quite a bunch at a rush end spot as well.
Translation; My main TEAM K-RICH Gridiron Homeboy CC is THE BIG 4 REAL!!
Oh yeah, he's pretty darn good on the hardwood during hoop season, too. And just like on the football field, he's only scratched the surface on his cage ability and this upcoming winter you should expect a monstrosity of a season in the post from this 2-SPORT SIR-GRIND-A-LOT.
Miami (OH) currently has a trio of Oakland County born-and-bred ballers on its roster: tailback Spencer McInnis (OLSM), linebacker Grant Niemiec (OLSM) and O-Lineman Collin Buchanan (Southfield)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Five For Fighting - Thinking Of Fall

FIVE FOR FIGHTING – The way too early TOP 5 OC prep football clubs for the 2014 season
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – The Sofran era will start off where the Fracassa era left off…CAN U SAY 4-PEAT?
2 Clarkston – That C-TOWN gridiron groove is just SOOOSOOOO SMOOOOOTH it's utterly ridiculous!!!
3 OL St. Mary's – The most amount of Blue-Chip prospects one squad TEAM PORRITT has seen in a while will translate into a MAJOR LEAGUE bounce-back campaign for BIG RED…..TAKE IT 2 THA BANK!!
4 Novi Detroit Catholic Central – PURE POWER RE-LOAD for ROCKNATION will commence in August…..NUFF SAID!!
5 WL Western – The most exciting team to watch on the Westside of the OC will not disappoint in 2014….TEAM Z will be zeroed in once again....that's a BURNEY GUARANTEE!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Package Has Landed

Wide-circulating speculation the past couple months that super soph Detroit UD-Jesuit boys hoopster Billy Thomas and his surrogate brothers, Eke Donatus and Greg Eboigboden (Class of 2017), a pair of 6-foot-9 Nigerian bean stalks were going to transfer out of CUBBYLAND has become a reality.
Thomas and the Nigerian Nightmares aka the E&E Express (finally set to be eligible this upcoming season) have officially enrolled at West Bloomfield High School, the public school in the city they reside in.
Last season, Thomas started at the off-guard spot, shooting the lights out in UD Jesuit's run to a second Catholic League title in a row and a trip into the Class A final four at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, while Donatus and Eboigboden sat out the campaign, per an MHSAA ruling.
The E&E Express is slated to debut for the OC LAKESHOW on the hardwood come December, but Thomas' status for next winter remains up in the air – he announced recently that he intended to leave the state and attend a prep school in Virginia, however sources close to the situation say there's a chance he could still end up in a WB uniform for the 2014-2015 season.
Besides the additions of Donatus, Eboigboden and possibly Thomas, West Bloomfield returns two of the best incoming juniors in the area in scintillating point guard Trishton Jackson and rugged forward Anton Lukaj.
All five suited up head coach Jeremy Denha's WB cage club in summer league action this week.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Here Comes The Hammer

If you're an OC prep pigskin head, you need to know about Orchard Lake St. Mary's incoming SUPER SOPH Kahlee (KJ) Hamler, an on-the-rise prospect at wide receiver and cornerback.
This slippery playmaker, all 5-foot-9, 155 pounds of him, is lightning in a bottle on both sides of the ball.
He recently picked up a college scholarship offer from Michigan State.
Mind you, he hasn't played his first down of varsity ball yet.  YEAH, THAT'S WHAT KIND OF TALENT WE'RE TALKING HERE!!!
That means along with incoming sophomore linebacker Josh Ross, TEAM PORRITT is sporting two of the meanest, leanest and BALLEREST (is that even a word?) in Metro Detroit.
Man, that youth infusion feels good over at THA LAKE doesn't it?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ready, Set, Blow....Up!

Pontiac's shifty Ja'mar Antwine was the most dangerous return-guy on Oakland County's prep gridiron last year. He's a threat to hit a home run and take it to the house, every single time he touches the pigskin, whether on kick and punt returns or from the line of scrimmage as a speedy, silky-smooth slot back. He's also a lockdown cornerback, blanketing opposing receivers and excelling in pass coverage. (Can you say prototype?).
This week, Antwine, (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) found a home at the college level and committed to Central Michigan University.
Antwine was the lone bright spot in a dismal 2013 Pontiac campaign, which saw the Phoenix phenom jitterbug breakout, but the club finish a winless 0-9.
As a freshman and sophomore, he attended Orchard Lake St. Mary's and played in the Eaglets juggernaut of a program out of the Catholic League. He was on JV both years at OLSM, getting moved up to varsity in the 2012 playoffs and experience another in a long line of appearances at Ford Field in the CSHL Finals (win) and the D3 state finals (OT loss) by TEAM PORRITT and the BIG RED ARMY.
Under former MSU QB Dan Enos, Central Michigan, a recent haven for OC-mined grid talent, went 6-6, 5-3 in Mid-American Conference action last fall. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Grand Entrance

McClutch and The Mitten are reuniting. And oh, how good it feels for both.
OL St. Mary's grad ('13) and former All-Catholic League basketball player Sam McClendon has signed a National Letter of Intent with Grand Valley State University.
The crafty 6-foot-2 point guard spent last season at prep school (Score Academy in North Carolina) and chose GVSU, a national power in D2, over several D1 scholarship offers.
McClendon, nicknamed "McClutch" since blasting onto the OC cage scene as a Fab Frosh in 2010, is an ace playmaker, deadeye shooter and true leader out of the backcourt. This is a fantastic grab by GVSU and a perfect fit for SAMMY MAC himself.
Starting on a pair of Class A ELITE 8 clubs with TEAM PORRITT as a high schooler, McClendon averaged a diverse stat line of 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds a night during his senior campaign on the hardwood in 2013.
The state's WestSide LAKESHOW went 19-8 in 2014 and was ranked in the Top 5 in the country to end the regular season (No. 4).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Five For Fighting - Divide & Conquer

FIVE FOR FIGHTING – Top OC PRIMETIME performances at the Border Classic football all-star game against Ohio (a 27-14 W for TEAM MICHIGAN) over the weekend
1 Jason Alessi (Birmingham Brother Rice-Yale DB) – In case you didn't know (how could you not) the A stands for THE AMAZING ALESSI, my main BLACK&ORANGE BALLHAWKING HOMEBOY came up GINORMOUS, I'm talking NEON DEON-style, snagging a pair of picks in the intense contest; the momentum-grabber in the first half and a game-securing one in the fourth quarter. I mean what else do you expect? ALL this kid EVER does is make plays!!!
2 Kyle Bambard (WL Western-NC State K) – Booted a pair of field goals (36 yds, 34 yds) and connected on all three extra points…….CAN U SAY COLD, MEAN, HARD CASH MONEY? Cuz that's what this coldblooded SUPERSTUD of competitor is...THAT'S ACTUAL & FACTUAL!!
3 Ian Eriksen (Clarkston-EMU RB) – Scored the only OC touchdown on a 10-yard jaunt in the second half....maybe the grittiest rusher I've ever covered....PURE NAILS!!
4 Brandon Keen (Waterford Lakes-CMU OL) – Helped anchor the club's DOMINATION up front at the point of attack...simply put was in BOSS ZONE all day long, pounding pads, knocking helmets and loving every second of it!!
5 Coach Z aka Mike Zdebski (WL Western) – What a job!!!! Per usual, Z showed why he's the perfect 1-2 punch on the sidelines, providing tactical genius and master motivation....think a local version of Bill Cowher or Big Tuna Parcells...YEAH I SAID IT!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Prodigal Son

If you are a Stoney Creek High School alum, current student or member of its staff, you had to be beaming with pride over the weekend, as Alec Martinez, Cougars Class of 2005, hoisted a second Stanley Cup in three years with the L.A. Kings.
He literally took the crown and gave it to himself and his teammates Friday night.
Martinez scored the game-winner in OT to send L.A. to a 2-1 win over the NY Rangers and gather some additional hardware for the franchise trophy case, not to mention some more personal bling for his ring finger (Does the term DOUBLE FISTING mean anything to you?).
This guy is the definition of CLUTCH; he notched 3 game-winners this postseason and five of his last six goals have been of the game-winning variety.
In the 2014 season, Martinez posted 11 goals and 11 assists, (5 lamp-lighters and 5 dimes during the Kings' playoff run).
As a prepster in the OC, A-Mart flashed his athletic versatility, lettering in hockey, football, basketball and baseball. Skating in college for Miami (OH), he was drafted into the NHL by the Kings in 2007.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Changing Chairs

Marc West has waved the Catholic League goodbye.
After seven extremely successful years pacing the sidelines for MH Bishop Foley's boys basketball team, West has accepted the head coaching position in the OAA with Birmingham Groves.
West won seven straight Class C district titles at Foley and three-peated at Calihan Hall as CHSL champions (C-D).
Under Scott Sheckell (now at Birmingham Brother Rice as an asst), Groves was 4-17 in 2014, one year removed from claiming league and district crowns (Class A).
Possible candidates for the vacant Foley job are Isaiah Novak (West's top asst, Ventures JV coach),Mike Maryanski (alum, West Bloomfield asst/JV coach) & Jasper Ocampo (alum, Clawson asst coach)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Propect Check - Ball Hawk Central

A quick update on the perennial Farmington Hills Harrison Blue-Chip Brigade on the gridiron
Jevon Shaw (QB-ATH) – This kid is THE TRUTH, plain & simple……so smooth, so shifty, so elusive, so on-the-money, so primetime, so lights-out, so dynamite, so devastating, so electric…..SHOULD I CONTINUE?
Mike Ojemudia (LB) – Some of the best closing speed I've ever seen on the defensive side of the ball, the M.O. for the Hawks Uncle MO is ROCK'EM-SOCK'EM all the way!! Pretty much a ball-carrier's worst nightmare
Devon Cook (S-WR) – A Burney Sleeper Special, DC is a under-the-radar BALLER & SHOT CALLER that you need to know about…..just always finds himself where the play is, one of the smartest secondary studs in the OC and one of those guys that has that 'IT'/X Factor that can't always been seen at first glance but shines through ALWAYS when the games is on the line
Khalid Kareem (DE-LB) – Transfer from West Bloomfield that is a PREMIERE force to be reckoned with when it comes to getting to the pigskin, Exhibits a swag and savvy on the field that you can't teach

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Billy & The Boyz

Watch for it. The area's cage landscape could have a huge landing (or 2...or 3...) coming down the pike in the near future.
Rumors are circulating that Detroit U-D Jesuit star sophomore sniper Billy Thomas and his two surrogate 6-foot-9 Nigerian brothers (Donatus Eke & Greg Eboigboiden) may be on their way to the OC prep boys basketball scene.
They live in North Farmington's district and could wind up in RAIDERSNATION or at nearby West Bloomfield, according to sources close to the situation.
UD Jesuit repeated as Catholic League champions last winter and appeared in the Class A final four, with Thomas helping lead the way with his expert long-range bombing. Eke & Eboigboiden were not eligible to play in 2014, but could have three more years of local HS hoops in front of them.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Select Company

Some thoughts on the local batch of MLB Draftees
Andrew Sohn (Birmingham Brother Rice-WMU) - Went to the St. Louis Cards in the 6th rd, the def of a text book swing and fundamentally-sound glove
Jimmy Pickens (Birmingham Brother Rice-MSU - Went to the Cincinnati Reds in the 15th rd, the perfect combination of heart, natural talent and leadership
Devon Ahart (OL St. Mary's-Akron) - Went to the LA Dodgers in the 16th rd, this 5-TOOL stud has a stratospheric UPSIDE in the pros...TAKE IT 2 THA BANK!!
Joel Fisher (Farmington-MSU) - Went to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 23rd rd, The Big Fish is a straight killer on the diamond
Dazon Cole (West Bloomfield) - Went to the ATL Braves in the 29th rd, PURE POWER and DETERMINATION on the mound!!....just a winner in so many ways!!
Grant Reuss (BH Cranbrook) - Went to the Detroit Tigers in the 31st rd, SOOOOOOOOOOO SMOOOOOOOOOTH toeing the slab....'NUFF SAID!!
Sammy Stevens (Birmingham Brother Rice) - Went to the Detroit Tigers in the 34th rd, one of my all-time favorite "glue" guys that might have been lurking in the shadows in the hs ranks, but is ready to soar to a whole other level in the very near future
Jake Paulson (WL Central-OU)- Went to the Cincinnati Reds in the 27th rd, IKE THE VIKE is beaming!!...Picture of a gamer on the bump!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Seeing It All Come Together

Kudos to the West Bloomfield baseball team and coaching staff for turning early-chemistry issues into a late flourish and a magical trek through the state tournament, all the way to the SWEET 16, where the Lakers got nipped 2-0 by Brighton in the regional finals.
Although the WB looked as sharp as knife on paper to start the season – Sedat, Birnberg, Allread, Seidel, Jones, etc joining forces with star transfers the Cole brothers (aka Big D Crush and Baby D Crush) – it had a few bumps in the road until they found that perfect balance.
Skip Eric Pierce and his club sat 7-7 at the start of May. According to Pierce, his seniors rallied the troops. With some elite leadership and overall playmaking, the squad's sizzling senior class ended up spurring the Lakers to 17 wins in their last 21 games, including bouncing heavy-favorite Birmingham Brother Rice to kickoff their postseason jaunt, and grabbing their first district title since 2007.
GREAT JOB, FELLAS!! You did the job and did it with class, precision and POWER. The 2014 WB diamond-cutting crew will be etched in LAKESHOW history forever, as the picture of resolve and a tribute to the beautiful music that can be made when there is the kind of combined sacrifice exhibited like you had in WBLAND this spring.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rocket Launcher Island

Here's a quick glance at some new starting quarterbacks for the upcoming prep pigskin campaign in the OC to keep an eye out for come August...READY, SET....LAUNCH!!
Joe Fanning (Novi Detroit Catholic Central) – Trust your boy Burney, this is no ordinary Joe….THAT'S A FACT!!
Brendan O'Donnell (WL Northern) – You can just start calling this kid BIG GAME BRENDAN right now!!......Mark him down as another TEAM MOORE stat monger running the proverbial breakaway freighttrain that is the Northern offense
Tommy Shepherd (Birmingham Seaholm) – With the cool, calm and composed Shep at the helm, there's no doubt the MAPLES will be in good hands come kickoff for 2014….I see you T-SMOOTH!!
Brandon Tibone (OL St. Mary's) – Can and WILL really be a difference-maker for TEAM PORRITT under center….this kid is ready to do the GRIND&SHINE SHUFFLE!!!
David Pohl (Birmingham DCD) – A "grip and rip" specialist in the pocket for the 'JACKETS that will be making sweet music with veteran receivers Jacob Hill and Tristan Wiegers……..Man, Burney can't wait to watch it all transpire in just a few short months
Kyle Wood (RH Adams) – The No. 1 sophomore field general in the OC…..TAKE IT 2 THA BANK!! his feet wet in the playoffs last season and now he's in full KAPERNICK MODE...AKA Watch out below!!
Kyle Thomas (WL Western) – Will be the NEXT in a long line of star signal-callers in Z-LAND…MARK THAT DOWN!!
James Durkin (Pontiac NDP) - All I can say to the rest of the Catholic League is BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sweet Home Michigan

The C-Town Mad Bomber is back in town.
Nick Tatu, one of the all-time long-distance shooting greats in Clarkston HS hoops history, is transferring to Rochester College after playing the first portion of his collegiate career in Indiana at Trine University.
Last winter, Tatu averaged 10 points per game on a Trine Thunder squad that went 15-11.
Tatu is special from deep, one of the most accurate snipers I've ever covered in the prep ranks. His form and release are textbook and he hits the ZONE quite often, going unconscious in the blink of an eye (see his 47-point outburst vs. future NBA first rd pick James Young in 2012)
Great to have ya back, Nick and be sure to knock down some Rochester Warrior "splish-splash specials" for your boy Burney this winter, will ya!!
Rochester College went 23-8 in 2014.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

White Out

The first piece of official fallout from last winter's BakariGate in the Southfield Christian boys basketball program has finally hit the floor.
Assistant coach John White resigned last week, after being on the bench for the Eagles' three-peat of Class D state championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.
White, who came to SCS from Romulus alongside head coach Josh Baker, found himself in the middle of the Bakari Evelyn soap opera that took place in the months of January and February, seeing Evelyn, the dynamic 6-2 all-state point guard, mysteriously leave the team after Christmas Break, only to be reinstated minus any explanation, prior to the state tournament and the Eagles most recent title run.
While Evelyn was on hiatus, his mother accused Baker (on leave throughout most of the '14 campaign dealing with family health issues) and White of blackballing her son in the wake of the still-unknown issues that resulted in his departure in early January.
During his own days as a prepster, White starred on the hardwood for Redford Bishop Borgess, pocketing a state-title ring in 1997 before heading off to play D1-ball at the college level at Western Kentucky. He has yet to let his future plans in coaching be known.
Following the state championship game in March, a contest where Evelyn absolutely dominated down the stretch, scoring 28 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing six assists and swiping five steals in the SCS 63-61 victory, the senior-to-be and Division I college recruit, refused to commit to returning to the Eagles in 2015.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Prospect Check - LakeNation Gridders

Some names to watch out for on the football field this fall at West Bloomfield
Obbie Jackson – The JUICE is LOOSE in the WB whenever Obbie J is anywhere near the pigskin
Trishton Jackson (ATH) – Best two-sport athlete in the OC's Class of 2016?.......Burney thinks it might be so!!
Michael King (ATH) – The KING of the WB LAKENATION has playmaker written all over him....Started From the Bottom Now HE'S HERE.... DRIZZY STYLE!!
Eddie Wilson (DL-OL) – Bumping and Grinding in the trenches is this kid's specialty!!!
Justin Hollins (DL-OL) – Bumping and Grinding in the trenches is this kid's specialty, too!!