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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grind Time

Here's a list of some local prep hoop hounds on their grind this summer, showing why they're a few of the best the OC has to offer;
Cameron Dalton (Bloomfield Hills) – Maybe the most dangerous long-distance gunner in the OAA….YEAH I SAID IT!! My main man "Downtown D" is going to have a GINORMOUS 2015 campaign...that's CERTIFIED BURNEY GUARANTEE!!
Marlow Brown (Southfield Christian) – Developing into a DYNAMITE "point forward", Marlow the Magnificent is about to go NEXT LEVEL… afraid, be very afraid!!
Walter Kelser (WL Central) – SO SO SMOOTH, I think I'm going to name this IKE THE VIKE Blue-Chip Special "The Silk Man".....Please make a note
The WLW 'Big 3" – Jerald Booker, Marcus Bailey and John Flowers have been going HAM all offseason preparing for their senior year under new coach Chip Lutz, tearing up the AAU circuit with The PlayMakers (such an appropriate name for a club that this TERRIFIC TRIFECTA reps)
Kevin Hayes (Birmingham Brother Rice) – Clearly displaying why he's the best CHSL player in the area.......he'll be averaging 25-10 spot come about January
Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield) – The definition of a GAME-CHANGER, doggedly determined do-it-all floor general with the game of an OC CP3....Mark That Down!
Jacob Joubert (North Farmington) – Really starting to come into his own in the backcourt for TEAM NOGO...was there any question?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Decade In The Making

Next month's Prep Football Kickoff Classic is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
(That's quite a bit of AMAZING GRIDIRON ACTION, don't 'cha think?)
Well, the PKC (put on by the Detroit Sports Commission ) recently released its' ALL-DECADE squad and the OC has a very nice trifecta of pigskin prodigies that made the cut.
Let's break it down, shall we!
Jake Vento (FH Harrison 2011) – One of the most prolific and electrifying prep football studs this area has seen in the past 10 years-plus (23 straight wins has gotta count for something, right?), Jake was TRULY a SNAKE, spewing venomous playmaking everywhere he went, whether at wide receiver, quarterback, safety or kick-and-punt returning. PURE GAMER!!
Alex Malzone (Birmingham Brother Rice 2013) – The OC GOLDEN GOD under center…….'NUFF SAID!! As elite a field general prospect as you can find…… AMERICA!!!
Johnny Kelly (Oak Park 2013) – This kid's name is THE MACHINE GUN, so the fact that he killed the comp, shredding OL St. Mary's from the backfield last season should be no surprise to anybody. I think my man Ludacris summed it up best about the Knights all-state tailback-cornerback combo and high-level D1 recruit, when he sang his song 'GUNNING FOR THAT NO. 1 SPOT', which Kelly certainly is doing as I write these very words

Monday, July 28, 2014

He's Going Back To Cali

Orchard Lake St. Mary's Daelin Hayes, one of the nation's most highly-touted prep football prospects, has fallen in love with L.A.
Who wouldn't?
Hayes, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound running back-linebacker, committed to USC, following a visit out to Cali over the weekend.
A rare breed of pigskin specimen, this TEAM PORRITT incoming junior blue-chipper had almost every elite D1 college football power in hot pursuit of his talents – he held more than a  dozen top-tier scholarships offer (including Michigan and Michigan State) at the time of his commitment to the Trojans.
Making this story that much more special is the fact Hayes has literally only played one set of downs in his high school career.
Mind you, it was a mighty impressive set, chugging 15 yards on his first carry last season, before sustaining an injury two plays later that shelved him for the majority of his sophomore campaign in 2013.
Man, Burney can't wait for this GRIDIRON PRODIGY to hit the field next month and start devouring the comp at the rapid clip I know is on the horizon very shortly.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Entering The Spotlight

Now introducing your new Southfield Christian starting backcourt;
Juniors Jalen "The Butter Man" Bouldes & Richard "Faygo Pop" Feagin.
With all state point guard Bakari Evelyn departing for Arizona this week, guard-duty for the Eagles' three-time defending state champion boys basketball squad has passed to Bouldes and Feagin.
To say they are ready for the collective responsibility would be the UNDERSTATEMENT of the decade!!! These two are as PRIMETIME in every way possible. Neon Deion Sanders, the original Mr. Primetime himself is beaming with pride somewhere as I write these very words.
Bouldes, SCS' new lead floor general, lives up to his nickname and has a game that's as soft and smooth as a giant stick of butter. His style is a rare combination of silky and bull-dog tough and he could have been the best back-up point guard in the OC last year…..YEAH, I SAID IT!!!
Feagin, sliding into the two-spot that belonged to graduating Lindsey Hunter IV the past three seasons, became famous last winter for coming off the bench and dropping MAD FAYGO-POP 3-BOMBS from all over the court. Expect more of the same in 2015, as Feagin is in the midst of a breakout summer hooping with Under Armour's One Nation AAU club.
Burney has just one more thing to say on this subject – CAN YOU SAY 4PEAT!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nothing Mini About This

Ray Buford wrapped up his college recruiting this week. Southfield's crafty and playmaker of a cornerback-wide receiver committed to the University of Minnesota. Buford, one of the premiere secondary prospects in the state's Class of 2015, is PRIMETIME in everything he does!! He's sticky on 'D,' lockdown all the way, the master of the "Buford Pass break-up." On offense, he's a game-changer no matter where and when he's got the rock in his hands. Can you say SWAGGER LEVEL FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND; ACHIEVED. The University of Minnesota went 8-5 last year and appeared in the Texas Bowl. Buford's Southfield club, defending champions of the OAA White, are expected to be a D2 state power again in 2014.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vegas Baby, Vegas

Big Play Ray has been in Big Play Mode all month down in the desert.
It culminated this week with a championship trophy and MVP award for Oakland County's own Ray McCallum, Jr out in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League.
McCallum, the Birmingham DCD and University of Detroit-Mercy alum, averaged 18 points per game and propelled his Sacramento Kings club to the title. He dropped a 29 spot in the LV Summer League Finals vs the Houston Rockets.
SacTown finished 28-54 in 2014, with the rookie McCallum catching fire down the stretch, eclipsing the 20-point plateau three times in the closing 10 games of the season.
Selected in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, McCallum appears ready for a breakout sophomore season this upcoming campaign.
While in the Mitten, Big Play Ray was a McDonalds High School All-American and led DCD to a state title in 2010, before going on to suit up for his dad, Ray Sr. with UD-Mercy at the college level where he took the Titans to a conference crown and a trip to the Big Dance aka the NCAA Tournament.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just So Right

I've been saying for two years now that Randy Righter was possibly the most underrated baseball player in the whole state.
Righter, a recent Birmingham Brother Rice grad, proved my point for me last week, going all BABE RUTH on the comp at the Perfect Game Invitational.
My man, "If loving you is wrong I don't want to be RIGHT" not only pitched and slugged his summer club, Michigan Baseball Elite to the title, he snared MVP honors for his destructive diamond-cutting ways, too.
So SMOOTH, so so SMOOTH!!!
Registering a batting average that flirted with the .600 mark in tourney play, with 19 RIBEYE STEAKS and 2 HUM-DINGER ROUND-TRIPPER, he went 2-0 on the mound, simply befuddling opposing hitters and pitchers alike in nearly EVERY THING he did. Burney says; MAD PROPERS for DOUBLE R aka ROLLS ROYCE RANDY, the quiet assassin. It's not like he hasn't been doing it the past few seasons....oh, wait he has!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eye of The Beholder - No Lying In South Lyon

The Lions' den is stacked for the 2014 prep football campaign.
South Lyon HS and head coach Mark Thomas have 18 starters returning off a playoff team in 2013 and will be on the prowl as one of the top OC squads in the KLAA this fall.
Thomas is very high on Tim McFee and Trevor Tank. McFee is a crafty and elusive slotback-cornerback combo. Tank lives up to his last name and is an iron-molded SIR-GRIND-A-LOT at the point of attack on both sides of the ball.
While Tank started last year, McFree is on the verge of ERUPTING like a Pigskin Volcano in 2014 – he's been leaving defenders in his wake and showing some serious LOCKDOWN skills in the secondary in summer workouts.
The T's with these two stand for TRIPLE THREAT. i.e. TREMENDOUS, TANTALIZING and TERRIFIC!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Eye of The Beholder - The Hungry Hawk

Iwairi Smith is a name you should know about it. FH Harrison head football coach John Herrington can't say enough about this kid.
Smith is a speedy and strong playmaker at linebacker on defense and wide receiver on offense. He's been on his SUPERGRIND this summer, according to the legendary sideline general Herrington, who loves what he's seeing. Look for Smith to be one of Harrison's biggest threats on both sides of the pigskin this fall.
Harrison went 10-2 in 2013, capturing a D2 district crown.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bold Step Forward

He started out in the Big Ten. Then, it was off to the SEC.
Now, former OL St. Mary's all-state quarterback Robert Bolden has landed in the MAC to finish off his collegiate football career.
Bolden came back home this week, transferring to Eastern Michigan from LSU, after beginning his time under center in the NCAA at Penn State.
While in high school with the Eaglets, Bolden was a 4-star recruit and was selected to participate in Nike's Elite 11, leading TEAM PORRITT to a pair of appearances in the state championship game.
At Penn State, he was the starter for then-head coach Joe Paterno as only a true freshman, the first person to do so with the Nittany Lions in a century. Following the Paterno-Sandusky child sex abuse scandal two years ago, Bolden bolted for LSU, where he moved positions to wide receiver, but didn't see the field.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder announced he was leaving LSU on Tuesday and was choosing between EMU and CMU. He is expected to transition back to quarterback with the Eagles.
As a senior in 2009 with OLSM, he threw for over 1,000 yards, rushed for over 500 yards and totaled 16 touchdowns on the Eaglets way to Ford Field and the D3 state finals for the second time in three years with Bolden at the helm calling signals.
Believed to have already earned his undergrad degree, Bolden could be eligible right away for the EMU Eagles, coming off a 2-10 campaign in 2013.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Prospect Check - Inside The Dragons Lair

Some names from the Lake Orion football team making noise in the offseason;
Matt Krause (RB) – Another in a long line of home run threats in the backfield for TEAM VICTORY BELL….this kid is a GAME-BREAKER!!
Jalen Wiggins (SB-DB) – Slippery, speedy and sure-handed, all the tools for becoming the club's No. 1 receiver  
Keith Fields (SB-DB) – One of the premiere players (aka BALLERS & SHOT CALLERS) in the area's Class of 2017……does the term SENSATIONAL SOPHOMORE mean anything to you?
Max Horneffer (QB) – The next great Dragons' quarterback…….a super soph that's getting better every time he hits the field and could wind up winning the club's starting signal-calling job before its all said and done on the summer

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Soft Parade

Farmington Hills Harrison senior football standouts Jevon Shaw, Devon Cook and Mike Ojemudia are eastbound.....
For now.
They've all committed to Eastern Michigan to play their college pigskin. However, those close to the situation, say all three are "soft" commits and each could wind up jumping for another offer before signing day
Shaw is the area's premiere dual-threat quarterback. Cook is a savvy, playmaking safety-wide receiver. Ojemudia, the brother of University of Michigan lineman and Harrison alum Mario Ojemudia, is a total game-changer at outside linebacker.
Last fall, the trio combined to help guide TEAM HERRINGTON aka the Harrison Hawks to a D2 district championship and a 10-2 record.
EMU went 2-10 in 2013.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Burney's ALL-OC Softball Team

P Sydney Jones (SL EAST)
P Haley Zemmer (Troy Athens)
P Sierra Gonzales (Lake Orion)
P Abby Krzywieicki (FH Mercy)
P Mackenzie Norton (Waterford Kettering)
P Lexie Flores (Lakeland)
IF Alex Sobczak (FH Mercy)
IF Rachel Vieira (Clarkston)
IF Megan Keller (North Farmington)
IF Karissa Gawronski (Lakeland)
IF Cori Mittlebrun (Troy)
IF Jordan Ewald (FH Mercy)
C Ashley Messina (Troy)
C Samantha Bauer (FH Mercy)
OF Sydney Heath (Troy)
OF Madison Burgess (Lakeland)
OF Victoria Bayliss (Pontiac NDP)
OF Alex Carpenter (Lake Orion)
OF Kennedi Thomas (Lake Orion)
MVP - Sydney Jones (SL East)
MIP - Lexi Flores (Lakeland)
Coach of the Year - Sara McGavin (FH Mercy)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Burney's All-OC Baseball Team

2014 OC Diamond Dream Team
P Brad Schaenzer & Josh Bays (Lake Orion)
P Dazon Cole-Chandler Sedat (West Bloomfield)
P Andrew Gonzales (WL Western)
P Sean Martens (Ortonville Brandon)
P Nate Whitt & David Steward (Clarkston)
P Kyle Wilkie (WL Central)
P Grant Reuss (BH Cranbrook)
P Matt Ruppenthal-Karl Kauffman (Birmingham Brother Rice)
IF Randy Righter (Birmingham Brother Rice)
IF Brad Baldwin (MH Bishop Foley)
IF Eric Gilgenbach (Stoney Creek)
IF Zach Kallgren (WL Central)
IF David Lett (North Farmington)
IF Josh Birnberg (West Bloomfield)
IF D.J. Zezula (Clarkston)
IF John Van Hoef (Troy Athens)
C Kevin O'Malley (WL Central)
C Will Salter (OL St. Mary's)
C Sammy Stevens (Birmingham Brother Rice)
OF Nick Plummer (Birmingham Brother Rice)
OF Aiden Cullen (Pontiac NDP)
OF Anthony Gunn (Pontiac NDP)
OF Joe Popp (Clarkston)
OF Mike Morilli (WL Central)
OF Devin Rose (OL St. Mary's)
MVP – Sean Martens (Ortonville Brandon)
MIP – Jack Wyman (Bloomfield Hills)
Coach of The Year – Darren Audia (Pontiac NDP)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Longing For The Long Ball

An OC Power Surge will be in full effect this week.
Half of the sluggers at the inaugural Muscle Milk state home run derby will be from the Oakland County prep baseball ranks.
Of the 12 participants, six spawn from area schools.
Alright, let's roll call it;
Dazon Cole (West Bloomfield) – They call this kid D-CRUSH, I think that's all you really need to know….The ATL Braves came calling for a reason!!
Ty Kiafoullis (Birmingham Brother Rice) – "King Kong" Kiafoulis is about to go all KING KONG KIAFOULIS when derby time comes around....TAKE IT 2 THA BANK!!
Randy Righter (Birmingham Brother Rice) – This ORANGE&BLACK playmaker extraordinaire has a swing that's so sweet, I call it the "SugarShack Stroke"
Will Salter (OL St. Mary's) – About to UNLEASH THE FURY with his stick, exactly as the pedigree would indicate..…'NUFF SAID!!
Brennan Williams (WL Northern) – You might as well call this KLAA "Hack Master General" Jonah Hill, because he's SUPERBAD on the diamond
Luke Shilling (Pontiac NDP) – Talk about packing a wallop with the proverbial lumber, just look my Fighting Irish homeboy L-SIZZLE's way and you won't be disappointed….that's a CERTIFIED BURNEY GUARANTEE!!
The first annual Muscle Milk HR derby will take place Thursday at Wayne State and is slated to be hosted by Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler

Friday, July 11, 2014

On The Road Again

Former Birmingham Detroit Country Day boys basketball coach and OC Zen Master Kurt Keener only lasted a year on the job at Scottsdale Desert Mountain, in his first season away from the Metro Detroit prep cage scene.
Keener, who relocated with his wife to Arizona after 35 years holding the reins at DCD, constructing the Yellowjackets into a national high school hoops powerhouse, recently stepped down at Desert Mountain and accepted the head coaching and athletic director job at Gilbert Christian, a small-school juggernaut in a Scottsdale suburb.
Gilbert Christian won repeat state championships in 2012 and 2013 (AHSAA Division 3).
Desert Mountain had high hopes for the 2014 campaign, with Keener coming onto the bench and a veteran lineup returning. However, injuries and discipline issues derailed the season and Keener and his new club finished barely over the .500 mark at 15-14, bounced in the opening round of the state tourney.
While at DCD, Keener mentored future NCAA All-Americans and NBA first-round draft picks Chris Webber and Shane Battier, and raised nine state-title banners.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Prospect Check - Waterfall of Prosperity

A few names to look out for on the Waterford Mott Corsairs football team this fall:
Dakota Kupp – The golden-armed Kupp is slated for another prolific campaign in the stat sheet
Juan Webb – Impact transfer from crosstown that will be the club's top receiving threat and best lockdown cornerback
Avery Carter & Randy Bicknell – The definition of a pair of under-the-radar playmakers on both sides of the pigskin (WR-DB)
Eric Eikovsky, Logan Terao & Jack Alleman – This trifecta of Sir-Grind-A-Lots are the squad's tone-setters at the point of attack
Adam Upleger – Sensational athlete and Absolute, All-Out BALLER and SHOT CALLERready to anchor the TEAM FARR secondary
Louie Compton – Relentless pass-rusher that recently reached SWAGGER LEVEL FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION…..just in case ya didn't know
Brandon Kennedy – The kind of kid that loves to get nasty in the trenches and that mentality is contagious to his teammates
Jimmy McFadden & Tre Christian – Young and hungry linebacker duo that will shake, rattle and roll the comp in 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Out Of This World

Birmingham Marian's terrorizing trifecta on the hardwood, the Thomas sisters (super soph Sam & juggernaut junior Bailey) and Kara Holinski, are hard at work on a repeat Class A state title this summer.
The tantalizing trio is in OVERDRIVE GRIND MODE on the AAU circuit this offseason with the Michigan Monarchs, preparing for another run to a ring starting five months from now.
Bailey "BALLING OUT OF CONTROL" Thomas is a rare gem of a point guard, the ultimate triple threat (the seemingly effortless ability to score the rock, distribute it and defend it.
Samantha "Sam I AM" Thomas is a human, live, waling, talking double-double...and what's even scarier is that we're only seeing her scratch the surface on her diverse talent set at a combo forward spot. (Aright, I'm going to call my shot here, SHAZAM Sam Thomas will be the best player in Metro Detroit come 2017 and her senior season
Holinski is the definition of rock-solid fundamentally and Marian's heart and soul in the locker room with her leadership and on the floor with her dogged determination in the post.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Royal Possibilities

Could we be seeing NBA superstar LeBron James at a Birmingham Groves boys basketball game next winter?
Reports are rumbling that King James might be headed home to Cleveland, signing back with the Cavs and owner/OC resident Dan Gilbert as a free agent following a four-year hiatus in Miami, winning a couple world championships.
Grant Gilbert, Dan's son, is the starting point guard for the Groves hoops squad. This kid is a crafty floor general, a premiere pace-setter in the backcourt.
If LeBron lands with TEAM GILBERT once again, it's not unrealistic to think that he could throw his boss some love and go support his son's cage club…..THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!
G-SQUARED has been GETTING THE JOB done NBA STYLE/KYRIE IRVIN-STYLE on the AAU circuit this offseason with the Michigan Playmakers, alongside the WL Western Big 3 of Jerald Booker, Marcus Bailey and John Flowers.
Former MH Bishop Foley bench baron Marc West was recently hired to helm the Groves boys hoops program.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hey Now You're An All-Star

OC reps at this upcoming week's 33rd annual East-West All-Star Baseball Game: 1 Dazon Cole, West Bloomfield (P/SS) - D-Crush is about to go all MLB at the COPA!! 2 Aidan Cullen Pontiac NDP (OF) - Will do the Fighting Irish proud!! 3 David Lett, North Farmington (IF) - Maybe the most underrated diamond cutter in the OAA the past two seasons...YEAH I SAID IT!! 4 Grant Reuss, Cranbrook Kingswood (P) - It's ALL POWER all the time on the bump for this Cranes' ace 5 Will Salter, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (C) - The consummate BLOCK OF GRANITE behind the plate 6 Brad Schaenzer, Lake Orion (P) - The perfect combination of craftiness, velocity & headstrong 7 Garrett Schilling, Bishop Foley (P)- They call him Mr Perfect for a reason....check the stats!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five For Fighting - Swinging For The Fences

Five For Fighting – A Five-Pack Of OC Prep Football Clubs To Watch For In 2014
1 AH Avondale – Yellow Jackets will be at their stinging best come fall
2 Farmington – All that talent in the fold will finally come together and DOMINATE in the VERY near future
3 Oxford – THE ICEMAN COMETH; It's Glacier Wallington's senior year on the gridiron….'NUFF SAID!!!
4 Troy Athens – The Red Hawks will fly high again….YEAH I SAID IT!!
5 Southfield Christian – TWO NAMES: Bobby "Take it 2 Tha Bank" Banks and Kameron "Kam I Am" Garner…..'NUFF SAID!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chipping Away At It

On the heels of a mega campaign from the mound, recent Ortonville Brandon grad and prep baseball star, Sean Martens is headed to the Division I college ranks as a reward for his pitching prowess.
Martens, a tough-as-nails righty signed with Central Michigan University this week, nabbing a DI scholarship at the last possible second (he had been headed for Northwood).
One of Oakland County's premiere aces in the 2014 season, Martens went 9-1 with an astounding 0.36 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 60 innings of work, spurring O-Brandon to a league title out of the Flint Metro.
He eclipsed a dozen Ks twice in the spring, fanning 13 in a pair of Blackhawks' victories.
Central Michigan finished 36-23 this year.
There were six OC-bred Diamond Cutters on the Chips roster in 2014 (Brother Rice's Pat McKenzie, Novi's Regnier boys, Logan and Nick, Lake Orion's Nick Deeg WL Northern's Jason Gamble.
Joining Marens in the incoming CMU recruiting class is another top-notch hurler from the area in West Bloomfield grad and MLB draftee Dazon Cole (ATL Braves in the 29th rd).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teen Wolves Report

Clarkston Wolfpack football squad SUMMER ROLL CALL;
Adam Matich (OL-DL) – The A stands for AWESOME, AMAZING and ARMED-FOR-BATTLE AT ALL-TIMES…..the M stands for MASHING, MAULING, and MARVELOUS at the point of attack…..does the term DI bound mean anything to you?
DJ Zezula (QB) – Etching his name in the annals of the C-Town Gridiron Pantheon under center, this kid oozes productivity, efficiency and leadership
Cole Chewins (TE-DE) – Committed to Miami (OH) and ready for a GINORMOUS campaign stretching the field on offense and demolishing quarterbacks on D
Shane Holler & Merrick Canada (WR-DB) – Swagger Level FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION          has already been reached and the season hasn't even started yet….that's some major league MOJO!!
Centrus Williams & Nolan Eriksen (RB) – This recently-constructed 1-2 FIRE&ICE POWER PUNCH in the backfield could be causing defensive coordinators across the OAA chronic headaches come this fall  
Joe Popp & Austin Egler (WR) – Just so reliable and hard-nosed it's downright scary….think FRIDAY THE 13TH on the high school football field