Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites 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, February 1, 2010

Ray of Light

In case you haven't been checking the box scores in the paper, Birmingham Detroit Country Day's resident football star, Jason Ray, has been excelling on the basketball court this season while playing his first season on the Yellowjackets' nationally-ranked varsity hoop squad. Ray, who will be going to play college football next season in the Ivy League (he has a number of offers and will make an announcement on his final decision this Wednesday on National Signing Day) logged an impressive double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds on Friday night in the 'Jackets 73-50  defeat of Orchard Lake St. Mary's.
Although he's only about 6 foot one inch tall, Ray is adept at playing in the paint and mixing it up with opposing team's larger power forwards and centers. He's active and scrappy and provides an energetic and grit-infused spark off the bench. The transfer of Urban Bingham to North Farmington over the summer opened up a spot in the bball team's playing rotation. A one-time starter on the Junior Varsity squad as a sophomore two years ago, Ray, coming off an all-state senior campaign on the gridiron, decided to step in and fill the void.
"He missed the game and we were more than happy to welcome him back into the program earlier in the school year," said Country Day's 32nd year head coach, Kurt Keener, in an interview back in late-December. "Not many athletes in all of Oakland County work as hard as Jason does, whether it's in football or basketball. He's the consummate team player and the ultimate dirty work guy. His presence in our line-up and in our lockeroom has been a tremendous lift."
On opening night against Holly on the road in a very hostile environment and playing in his first organized basketball game in almost two years, Ray looked like a savvy veteran the minute he came into the game for Keener's 'Jackets in the second quarter. When it was all said and done, DCD came out of Holly with the win and Ray had a rock solid outing of six points and five rebounds in his first career varsity action. With an injury bug hitting the team's frontcourt over the past few weeks, the senior pepper pot reserve has proved just what the doctor ordered and has played dutiful in the absence of starters Amir Williams and Kenny Knight and ace sub-Carter Elliott, who have all missed recent time.
The emotional leader of the Country Day football team's defense the past two years, Ray was a playmaker whether he was lining up at safety, linebacker or on the other side of the ball as a shifty and hard blocking tight end. Behind his leadership, the Yellowjackets advanced all the way to the Class B state championship game in 2008 for the second year in a row and then last fall, they took home their third straight district championship. Needless to say with his choice of college destinations, this kid is a winner in the classroom too! Here's hoping "The Ray Bomb" is a major reason Keener and the DCD'ers are able to claim the program's eighth state title in March.  Before he goes off to college, Ray has been selected to participate in the annual Michigan Coaches Association East-West All-Star, this July at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.  Over a dozen other OC ballers will be joining him on the East squad in a few months
They Are:
Justin Cherocchi (Brother Rice), Dequan "DJ" Cook (Farmington Hills Harrison), Rob Feeman (Clawson), Dana Harris (MH Madison), Bryan Haslinger (Clarkston), Gary Hunter (OL St. Mary's), Matt Judon (West Bloomfield), Mike Kinville (Catholic Central), D.J. Lynch (AH Avondale), Jordan Sanders (RH Adams), Mike Schiano (WOLL), Ben Walker (Lake Orion), John Westfall (Milford), Bobby Wunderlich (Troy)    
The East squad's coaching staff will also have a little OC flavor. Clawson's Jim Sparks will don the headphones for the Eastsiders and coach the 'Jackets "Ray Bomn" as well as the others for the week of practice on campus at MSU and in the game which will be played in front a slew of college recruiters.


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