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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five For Fighting - Tick, Tick, Tick

There are a few local prep pigskin prospects READY TO ERUPT in the postseason.
Five For Fighting – Top Five Ticking Time Bombs Entering The 2014 Football Playoffs
1 Centrus Williams (Clarkston) – Pure power, guts and determination taking the rock in between the tackles
2 Josh Tanksley (Birmingham Brother Rice) – Budding star at cornerback for TEAM SOFRAN, bulldog tenacity, athletic, active and hard-hitting, etc…
3 Darian Sanders (West Bloomfield) – This junior tailback is picking up steam in the LAKESHOW rushing attack
4 (tie) Joe Newman (South Lyon) – Can hurt opposing teams on offense in the slot and on defense from the secondary…..tough, skilled and a true gamer
4 (tie) Avery Carter (Waterford Mott) – Break out the butter, this young man is TOASTY and quite SMOOTH on both sides of the ball
5 Chauncy Lowman (Oak Park) – The Knights success in the playoffs might rest on the more- than-able-shoulders of this junior gunslinger

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gridders' Stat Check

Some "numbers" news and notes from the Oakland County prep football scene;
With his quarterback and his glitz stat lines continually hogging the spotlight, Clawson's Donovan "The Jolt" Holt has been an underrated SUPERSTUD in the backfield for TEAM SPARKS this year. Holt has 1,265 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on the ground, keeping opposing defenses honest.
Birmingham Brother Rice senior quarterback Alex Malzone (Michigan) and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes junior field general Clay Senerius are in a vicious battle for the OC passing title. Heading into the playoffs, Malzone has thrown for a county-leading 2,394 yards and 26 touchdowns, while Senerius has 2,156 yards through the air and a county-best 28 scoring tosses. It's like the OC's very own BRADY -VS- MANNING and Burney can't get enough of it!!
Waterford Mott senior safety Adam Uplegger is a force to be reckoned with on every play. This kid's a MEGA TROOPER, going to war on the gridiron with his mind and his body like few Burney has seen in the last few years – think old-school ED REED with the Ravens back in the day. Smart as he is hard-hitting, Uplegger has tallied 120 tackles and a county-leading 8 picks already.
All hail the NEW OC Sack King – Royal Oak Shrine's William Arce. The Knight's human A-TEAM has 16 quarterback wrap-ups.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Didn't Take Long

It didn't long for the Big Orange to make a BIG IMPACT in the Ivy League.
When Yale and Columbia face off this Saturday on the college football field, there will be a pair of Birmingham Brother Rice alums in the starting lineup as true freshmen.
Jason Alessi aka THE AMAZING ALESSI will start in the secondary for the 5-1 Yale Bulldogs and Dominic "Dom the DON" Perkovic will start on the defensive line for the 0-6 Lions.
How cool is that?
Man, there will be a lot of BLING on Columbia's Kraft Field this weekend – between my two main Ivy League HOMIES, we're talking a six-pack of state-title rings. Yeah, that's one each for each of the last three years.
All I can say is that I wish I could be there!!
God, I missed writing the AMAZING ALESSI, so I had to do it one more time!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Burney's OC Football Rankings - Last Word

OC Top 10 – Final Edition
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Destination: Ford Field…'Nuff Said!!
2 Clarkston – Destination: Ford Field….'Nuff Said!!
3 West Bloomfield – Maybe the most dangerous team in the entire state…..YEAH I SAID IT!!
4 OL St. Mary's – Destination: Ford Field…'Nuff Said!!
5 FH Harrison – Beware of the 0-FACTOR aka up-and-coming HawksNATION running back Omary Rogers……he's got a chance to be special
6 (tie) Southfield – If the Bluejays play at full-tilt they will overcome their tough tourney draw, they're THAT talented!!
6 (tie) Oak Park – You can't stop senior Knights tailback Johnny "The Machine Gun" Kelly, you can only hope to contain him…..and that's pretty darn difficult too!!
7 (tie) South Lyon – TEAM THOMAS is ready to make noise in the playoffs……Make a note!!
7 (tie) WL Western – As always, cooler than the other side of my pillow!!
8 WL Central – Fresh to DEATH, I'm talking the Vikings roster & gear!!
9 Farmington – Best junior class in the OC….That's a FACT!!
10 (tie) Waterford Mott – Defense will be the difference heading forward, Avery Carter is an underrated SUPERSTUD!!
10 (tie) Oxford – Don't overlook TEAM ROWLEY!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hunted No More

The hunt has stopped.
Birmingham Detroit Country Day senior football star Justin Hunter has found his home at the next level.
Hunter, the Yellowjackets mammoth 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman, decided to play his college ball this week in the Ivy League, committing to Harvard.
Versatile in the trenches, he can play tackle or guard. He is being projected as a tackle in the collegiate ranks. The consummate hard-worker and leader, he displays classic technique and has an upside that continues to grow.
Before deciding on Harvard, Hunter held over a dozen scholarship offers, many from the IVY League and Mid-American Conference, as well as UMass and Syracuse.
Hunter's current DCD club is 5-4. His future squad, the Harvard Crimson are a perfect 6-0.

Friday, October 24, 2014

By Invitation Only

Kudos to the first-annual Oakland Invitational boys hoops showcase at North Farmington this December for putting together some great match-ups for all us local prep fiends to feast on come Santa Claus time.
Here's a looksee;
Fri Dec 12
North Farmington v WL Western
Might be the best match-up of the weekend right off the bat, tons of talent, athleticism and SIR-GRIND-A-LOT SPECIALS
OL St. Mary's v. GR Cornerstone Academy
The BOZ….'Nuff Said!!
Sat Dec 13.
Oxford v. Southfield-Lathrup
Very intriguing showdown of what are expected to be stellar northern and southern Oakland County squads respectively
Waterford Mott v. Hazel Park
Timmy "Grind 2 Shine" Williams….'Nuff said!!
FH Harrison v. HW Chandler Park
HAWKSNATION HUSTLA Rock'n-Roll Johnny Rexroth might be the top post player in the OC….YEAH I SAID IT!!
North Farmington v. Southfield Christian
Burney's jacked up for this big-school-against-small-school clash of powers
Sun Dec 14
Bloomfield Hills v. Waterford Mott
Who needs a gym? Mad gunner Cameron Dalton will be shooting his 3s for BlackHawksNation directly from 13 Mile Road
Farmington v. Detroit Allen Academy
Junior point guard Malik Williams is a name to know for TEAM PORTER at Farmington
Southfield v. WL Central
The second or third best game on slate, mega tenacity on both rosters….looking forward to the Walter Kelser-Nate Collins (WL Central) v. Amuri Hardy-Mike Flowers (Southfield) backcourt battle

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Great Eight

Lots of great running quarterbacks on the high school football field in Oakland County in 2014
Here are the best…the GREAT EIGHT if you will
1 Javarian Smith (AH Oakland Christian) – Closing in the 2,000-yard mark…..can you say the OC CAM NEWTON!!
2 Nick Krumm (WL Central) – Touchdown machine…'NUFF SAID!!
3 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield) – The single most dynamic pigskin prodigy in the OC prep ranks right now under center…..YEAH I SAID IT!!          
4 Jevon Shaw (FH Harrison) – Too hot to handle, too cold to hold….yeah, that about sums it up
5 Glacier Wallington (Oxford) – So slick and slippery should consider wearing a rain coat on the gridiron instead of his O-TOWN uniform
6 Kyle Thomas (WL Western) – The "Kyle Factor" continues in Z-NATION
7 Brendan O'Donnell (WL Northern) – CRAZY GOOD, pure and simple!!
8 Jake Cummings (Berkley) – All guts, savvy and a ton of playmaking ability

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

High-Wattage Talent

There's been a J.J. Watt sighting in Oakland County.
Oh, wait, that's not the NFL sack king, it's local prep football SUPERSTUD Khalid Kareem.
The Farmington Hills Harrison junior defensive lineman is on a tear. He's demolishing the competition, feasting on the OC signal-caller crop. Entering Week 9, Kareem has an area-best 12 quarterback sacks, another 11 hurries and 55 tackles.  
Last year, Kareem played at West Bloomfield. In the past few weeks, while devouring field generals at a generous clip, he's picked up college scholarship offers from Northwestern and Bowling Green. Burney's positive there will be more to come. Man, is this kid a MONSTER or what? No wonder Halloween is on its way. My man Kahlid doesn't even have to buy a costume next week.
And he's ultra- versatile, too. If need be, he can switch it up on you, and show off his wheels, going sideline-to-sideline as an outside linebacker.
In case you didn't know, this HawksNation HEAVY HITTER is the TRUTH!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Non-Stop Action

I used to think Trishton Jackson was a basketball player playing football.
I am having second thoughts.
This kid's future could be as a big-time DI quarterback, not a point guard and hero of the hardwood.
Right now, outside of Birmingham Brother Rice's Alex Malzone (Michigan), there are no better prep field generals in Oakland County, maybe all of Metro Detroit……YEAH I SAID IT!!
The LakeShow's Action Jackson can do it all. He has size, he has smarts, he oozes 'IT Factor.' The touch on his throws is butter soft, the tread on his cleats scorched by his speed and elusiveness. In other words, the end zone is his best friend (he had 7 TDS in a Week 8 DUB vs. Stoney Creek)and he lives for the moment.
West Bloomfield is a head-turning 8-1 and threatening for a primetime run in the upcoming state tourney. Ford Field is a legitimate possibility. And the straw that stirs the drink for TEAM BELLAMY is Trishton Jackson; Clutch is his middle name, excitement personified in every way possible with a pigskin in his hands.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome Wagon....Kind Of

It's like he never left
He barely did.
This past week Terrance Porter returned to the bench for the Farmington Falcons boys basketball program. In August, Porter left his post to accept the job at Detroit Northwestern. But things didn't work out and boy is Burney happy to welcome his main man TP back to the OC.
Porter played and coached at the college level locally down at U-D Mercy. Before landing at Farmington, he was pacing the sidelines w/ Birmingham Groves in the late 2000s.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Burney's OC Football Rankings - Week 8

OC Top 10
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Warriors' cornerbacks Brendan Smith and Josh Tanksley are in eternal lockdown mode, qb's beware, spread the word
2 Clarkston – Pure poise, purpose & PEFECTION….junior tailback Nolan Eriksen showing flashes of big bro Ian!!
3 Oak Park – Might have the best defense in the whole county...YEAH I SAID IT!
4 West Bloomfield – Mike King is the KING OF THE GRIDIRON whenever the LEAN, MEAN GREEN MACHINE takes the field these days
5 OL St. Mary's – Jared Mosely is a MAJOR-LEAGUE PLAYMAKER on the defensive line, always active, causing havoc
6 FH Harrison – Another heavenly fall in HERRINGTONLAND in 2014.....Love these guys!!
7  Southfield – Best No. 7 team of ALL-TIME!!....make a note!!
8 (tie) WL Western – All Hail the Champs!!
8 (tie) Waterford Mott – All Hail the Champs!!
9 Farmington – The Falcons are a like a cashier at the mall or the IRS, they're always going to make you pay!!
10 South Lyon – Anyone who crosses this freight train of a prep pigskin squad is CRUISING for a BRUISING!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Soldier Of Fortin

From second-string to scholarship.
That's just the kind of BALLER Brian Fortin is.
That's the backstory on fast-rising Class of 2015 football recruit and 6-foot-6, 235-pound tight end out of Birmingham Brother Rice.
Fortin began the season on the bench. Now, he's starting. And he just earned his first college scholarship offer from Eastern Michigan University. It's probably the first of a handful or more, that's the kind of natural skill at the position we're talking about with this Orange and Black Pigskin SOLDIER OF FORTUNE. What makes this story even more amazing is that he hasn't played since his freshman year.
Expect Fortin to be a major part of the undefeated Warriors quest for a fourth-consecutive state championship in D2, helping block on the line and stretching the field with his pass-catching ability.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Northside Equation

The Zach Attack is moving up in this world.
Up as in North of Metro Detroit and LAKENATION.
West Bloomfield two-sport standout Zach Allread has committed to play basketball in college at Northwood University in Midland.
Allread, a 6-foot-4 southpaw is gritty in the post and sports a velvety touch around the rim and with his midrange game. There is no question in Burney's mind that he is one of the most underappreciated multi-sport studs in Oakland County. During the spring season, Allread is the starting first baseman on the defending district-champion WB baseball squad.
Come this winter, he'll be a lighting the hardwood on fire when he joins with junior floor general Trishton Jackson to form a NASTY inside-outside attack for TEAM DENHA

Monday, October 13, 2014

Arizona Ice-T

The Oakland County prep hoops reunion down in Arizona is an all-out, burn-down-the-house rager and it just got a little injection of in ICE COLD!!
Former OL St. Mary's all-league boys basketball player Teddy McCree, a 6-foot-3 swingman, is at Westwind Prep in Phoenix for his senior season on the high school hardwood. This comes on the heels of for former Birmingham Detroit Country Day head coach Kurt Keener heading to CACTUSLAND last year and former Southfield Christian all-state point guard Bakari Evelyn getting their this summer.
McCree transferred out of St. Mary's last March during the final week of the regular season, the day after the Eaglets lost to U-D Jesuit at Calihan Hall in the Catholic League Finals, landing at Detroit Renaissance.
Playing for Renaissance over the summer, McCree departed for Arizona the day before the first day of school at DPS.
After leading Southfield Christian to three straight Class D state championships, Evelyn spent the summer down in Scottsdale, AZ playing for Gilbert Christian, concluding a tumultuous final-part of his tenure in the Michigan prep ranks where he took a mysterious six-week absence in the middle of the 2013 season.
Keener left the state in the summer of 2013 after three and a half decades on the sidelines turning the Country Day program into a national powerhouse, accepting the head-coaching position at Scottsdale's Desert Mountain High School. Enduring a turmoil-filled 2014 season himself on the bench at Desert Mountain (15-14 record), Keener aka THE OC ZEN MASTER stepped down in March and quickly resurfaced at nearby Gilbert Christian as head coach and athletic director (a post he held at DCD). Gilbert Christian is a perennial small-school contender in the Arizona, claiming back-to-back state crowns in 2011 and 2012.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Heart Of The Matter

If you're a part of the Metro Detroit girls high school hoop scene and you're looking for calm, cool and collected, look Northbound and no further than Oxford all-OAA senior floor general Cheryl Banas (a Hall of Famer in the All-Heart Dept.).
The three-year starter in the TEAM EMERT backcourt and picture of composure at the point guard spot won't be looking for a college playing destination anymore either, as Banas committed to Lawrence Tech earlier this month. The consummate coach on the court, she has an old-school style of a game – nothing fancy, just rock solid and darn good across the board.
Banas is the second Oxford Wildcat Lady Cage Gem to hook-up her college plans in the past couple of weeks, following in the footsteps of fellow senior all-league selection Jessica Murphy, who committed to Wayne State.
Fans of the fundamentals and playing "the right way" should make it out to O-Town this winter and catch a glimpse of this dandy of a duo doing their thing on the local prep hardwood for one more season. Trust you're boy, Burney, these two are worth the price of admission.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Burney's OC Football Rankings - Week 7

OC Top 10
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Quick Note From Burney regarding the Orange&Black Grid Machine aka TEAM SOFRAN; Let's all just keep RAV'EN about the Warriors like their names was RAY LEWIS…get it, got it, good!!  
2 Clarkston – Unleashing the FURY…..'NUFF SAID!!
3 OL St. Mary's – Bauer Family Shout Out: Eaglets junior FB-LB P.J. aka Baby Blaster aka THE OC Street Shark is a Straight BALLER & SHOT-CALLER!!
4 Oak Park – It's no walk in the park when you're forced to face TEAM CARTER these days….That's A FACT!!
5 West Bloomfield – Good thing that LAKENATION's school color is green 'cuz that's the COLOR OF MONEY and Team Bellamy has been nothing but BIG TYME CASH MONEY on the field this fall
6 FH Harrison – Just start calling Hawks senior safety Devon Cook "The Chef" since all he does is BBQ the comp with his smarts and savvy in the secondary
7 (tie) Southfield – Might not lose again until November…..YEAH I SAID IT!!
7 (tie) Oxford – A little OC pigskin pop math quiz; O=W in 2014
8 Farmington – Welcome back to the Top 10 fellas, you deserve it!! Burney senses the Falcons won't be leaving anytime soon
9 (tie) WL Central – You can't stop Cody Patterson in the trenches, you can only hope to contain him….and that's pretty darn hard, too
9 (tie) WL Western – Loving that TEAM Z 'Q'-Factor, I see you Quinton Dowdy!!
10 South Lyon – Week 6 was an aberration…Bank on it!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No Longer There

The Gun is gone.
Two-sport senior standout Anthony Gunn recently left Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
The past two years, Gunn was an All-Catholic League pick in football (WR/DB) and baseball (OF) with the Fighting Irish.
After playing the first quarter of the current prep pigskin season at NDP, Gunn is now at Oxford, though not on the Wildcats gridiron squad.
He is being recruited by colleges in both sports.
Gunn has been one of Burney's favorite OC athletes the last few years and I wish him luck

Monday, October 6, 2014

Where We Stand - The Sideline

Mid football season Coach of the Year race
1 Ron Bellamy (West Bloomfield) – Has The Lakeshow in such a groove it's downright scary!!
2 David Sofran (Birmingham Brother Rice) – Does the term seamless transition mean anything to you people?
3 Kurt Richardson (Clarkston) – Can you say REPEAT?
4 (tie) Josh Sawicki (Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes) – Sporting a 'D' that's one of the best in the state regardless of school size…..YEAH I SAID IT!!
4 (tie) Mike Pruchinicki (Clarkston Everest Collegiate) – Should teach a class on how to build a program
5 (tie) Chris Sikora (Berkley) – The Bears are the "Feel-good story" of the season in South Oakland County
5 (tie) Chris Fahr (Waterford Mott) – The Corsairs are FAHR from ordinary this fall…THAT'S A FACT!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Where We Stand - Defense

Mid-season Football defensive MVP race
1 Austin Wood (Waterford Kettering LB) – Nothing short of FANTASTIC!!
2 Mike Ojemudia (FH Harrison LB) – Swarming, smothering, scintillating…..'NUFF SAID!!
3 Junior McMullen (Oak Park LB) – Simply can't be stopped sideline-to-sideline
4 Dior Johnson-Ray Buford (Southfield DB) – Best secondary duo in the state……YEAH, I SAID IT!!
5 (tie) Josh Ross (OL St. Mary's LB) – Bone-crushing presence in the middle of the TEAM PORRITT 'D'
5 (tie) Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes – All Burney can say is WOW!!!
6 David Reese (Farmington LB) – The OC "Gridiron BEAST" is in BEAST MODE on every snap!!
7 Eddy Wilson (West Bloomfield DL) – Big Willy Style all day long on the line……tenacious, ferocious, disruptive, etc!!
8 Cole Chewins (Clarkston DL-LB) – Active, agile, dogged, determined, the wing span of DWIGHT HOWARD, coachable, classy and an underrated SWAG NASTY STREAK in 'em
9 Jack Dunaway (Birmingham Brother Rice DE) – Sir Grind-A-LOT SPECIAL rushing the quarterback, quintessential leader in the huddle and the locker room
10 (tie) Trevor Tank (South Lyon LB) – Plays like his name, outworks, overpowers the comp
10 (tie) Johnny Witkowski (WL Western DB) – Forget Johnny Be Good….this WARRIOR WONDER is Johnny Be AWESOME in the defensive backfield!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Where We Stand - Offense

Mid football season offensive MVP race
1 Alex Malzone (Birmingham Brother Rice QB) – Was there really any question?
2 Johnny Kelly (Oak Park RB) – So cool when this kid goes to sleep the sheep count him!!!
3 D.J. Zezula (Clarkston QB) – LEGEN-wait for it-DARY…..'NUFF SAID!! qb to ever prowl the pocket in C-TOWN...YEAH I SAID IT!!
4 Matt Krause (Lake Orion RB) – Cue the Black Eyed Peas…because this Dragons Delight has been hitting opposing defenses with that BOOM, BOOM POW on almost every snap
5 Emanuel Jackson (Novi ATH) – You might not know about this Wildcat Wonder, but you should…..he's that good!!
6 Nick Krumm (WL Central QB) – Plain and simple has a love affair with the goal line, like to the point where they might be headed to the alter together in the near future
7 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield QB)Scary athlete, clutch performer, lots of razzle-dazzle, great sports other words, the perfect package....oh wait, are we talking about football or basketball?
8 Danotis Smith (Waterford Kettering RB) – They call him "Stump" and he's done nothing but stump the competition all season long....has so many home run plays on the gridiron he my man Danotis should consider taking up baseball
9 Tyson Smith (OL St. Mary's ATH) – Terrorizing talent wherever he lines up….THAT'S A FACT!!
10 Grant Perry (Birmingham Brother Rice WR) – Should probably be higher on this list, maybe the most consistent big-play wide receiver to EVER wear the Orange&Black

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Murphy's Romance

We've all heard of the classic sports flick, 'Love and Basketball.'
Well, locally Oxford girls hoopster Jessica Murphy has a love affair with the game of hoops and she'll be continuing that love at the college level next year, committing to Wayne State this week.
Murphy is one of the top lady cage prospects in Oakland County, a natural scorer and genuine leader on the floor and in the locker room. She's been torching the twine in the area for several seasons and will for sure be doing the same for the Warriors at WSU in the years to come.
O-Town aka TEAM EMERT is lucky to have "MACHINE" Murphy in its arsenal for one more campaign. "Machine" as in SCORING MACHINE, DETERMINATION MACHINE, DESIRE MACHINE, BLOOD&GUTS MACHINE, COURT IQ MACHINE, etc…