2020 Dundee Stakes Claim as Vikings' Best

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

February 29, 2020

KALMAZOO – Nobody was quite ready Saturday to definitively call this Dundee wrestling team the best in program history. 

But simply being in the conversation says enough. 

The Vikings put an exclamation point on a dominant season by defeating rival Richmond 44-18 in the Division 3 championship match at Wings Event Center. It was the third-straight title for Dundee, and the program’s 12th overall. 

“It’s hard to say; I’ve been on two really good teams,” Dundee senior Christian Killion said, when asked if this was the best Dundee team. “If I have to say one thing, this was the funnest. I can’t say if it’s the best or not.” 

The Vikings finished the season 23-1, won the Lenawee County Athletic Association title, qualified 13 of 14 wrestlers who entered the individual postseason for the MHSAA Individual Finals, and walked into Saturday’s Team Final not having given up more than nine points in a postseason dual. 

To further their claim to the top spot in the program’s illustrious history, seven wrestlers are currently ranked No. 1 in the Division in their weight class.  

“Yeah, that’s a good point,” Killion said when reminded of the last point. “It’s a special team.” 

Dundee showed off its power early in its dual against Richmond, which went up 3-0 after one match when Josh Barton won a 5-4 decision at 119 pounds. 

The Vikings won the next eight matches to put the dual out of reach. 

“You don’t control what weight you start at, but where we did, we knew they had a couple tough competitors there,” Dundee coach Tim Roberts said. “They had Austin Kilburn, who is very good, and Austin Fietz steps up and gets the victory there (at 130). Even Aiden Davis getting that major decision at 125. A lot of guys stepped up and made that run of eight straight there. Then it was important to keep working for bonus points. (Richmond does) such a good job of making it hard to get bonus points on them. They’re always very hard to score on, they’re very stingy giving up bonus points. I was really proud of the effort our boys were able to put in to do that.” 

Davis started the run with an 11-3 major decision at 125, followed by Fietz’s 6-4 overtime win at 130. Dundee then put the top-ranked wrestler in the Division on the mat in five of the next six weight classes, getting pins from Casey Swiderski (135) and Tyler Swiderski (152), and major decisions from Kyle Yuhas (140), Killion (145), Dominic Lomazzo (160) and Stoney Buell (171). 

By the time the strongest part of Richmond’s lineup stepped on the mat in the upper weights, the Vikings had clinched the title. 

“We knew we were going to have an advantage up top,” Richmond co-coach Preston Treend said. “We actually got great matches from our kids through the middle. Gavin (Resk), Caleb (Scalachtowicz), (Austin) Bergeon for a bit. We got great matches against their studs through the middle. We were hoping to just save enough points to get something to happen at the end. We needed to flip one or two of those.” 

Noah Montanari gave Richmond (26-6) a win at 189 with a 4-2 decision, and Luke Davis (215) and Dan McKiernan (285) followed that up with pins.  

Dundee closed out the dual with a pin from Braeden Davis at 103 and a 6-3 decision from Kaden Chinavare at 112.  

The Finals meeting was the ninth in 11 years between the two programs, which have accounted for every Division 3 title since 2010 (Dundee winning six, Richmond five). 

“They’re certainly loaded, they’ve got seven No. 1 guys, but we’ve wrestled teams they’ve had before that have been just as tough,” Treend said. “That team we beat in 2015 was loaded. In 2010, they had four guys that ended up being high school All-Americans. It’s kind of the way this has gone – we're the scrappy guys that find a way to get it done, and they have these big guns. When there’s a lot of big guns, that’s tough to beat.” 

While the season didn’t end with a title for Richmond, Treend was plenty happy with how his team performed.  

“This group of kids overachieved,” he said. “Our lineup, we wrestled most of the year without Austin Kilburn. We wrestled most of the year without a true (140)-pounder. We were able to win duals different ways and put it all together at the end to make a run.” 

Roberts, meanwhile, couldn’t have asked for much more out of his group. 

“This team has been fantastic this year with the level they can compete at, and the level of teams that we’ve competed with,” Roberts said. “They had big goals. A lot of our teams, they like to compare themselves, ‘Who is the best Dundee team ever?’ It’s impossible to compare. They’re all my favorite team. But when the guys talk to each other, they all want to leave their legacy of, ‘No, we were the greatest team.’ These guys definitely wanted to do that, and they did a lot of things this year to have staked their claim.” 

Dundee defeated Montrose 65-9 in the Semifinal, while Richmond defeated Alma 40-25. 

Aiden Davis, Fietz, Casey Swiderski, Kyle Yuhas, Killion, Tyler Swiderski, Lomazzo, Buell, Braeden Davis and Chinavare all won three matches on the weekend for Dundee. 

Barton, Montanari, Luke Davis and Dan McKiernan won three for Richmond. 

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Dundee’s Casey Swiderski works toward a pin during his 135-pound match Saturday against Richmond. (Middle) The Vikings won 10 of 14 matches in the Division 3 Final. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Bragging Rights for Both as Multi-Sport Sage Twins Shine at Ford Field

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

March 10, 2023

SOUTHGATE – The question of “Which child is your favorite?” is impossible for any parent to answer, but Shawn Sage has an additional question that’s impossible to answer regarding his son Jackson and daughter Brooklyn.

Greater DetroitThat question is, “Who would win a wrestling match between the two?”

“They are both raising their hands right now smiling about it,” Shawn Sage said with a laugh during a phone conversation.

It’s a good-natured question anybody can pose to Shawn Sage, given his son and daughter are not only twins by birth, but in wrestling achievements as sophomores at Southgate Anderson.

Last weekend at Ford Field, Jackson Sage competed in his second Individual Finals, where he finished fourth in Division 2 in the 157-pound weight class.

It was an improvement from last year’s event, when he qualified as a freshman but didn’t place.

“I was more used to it,” Jackson Sage said. “Last year was a different experience being at Ford Field the first time.”

Brooklyn Sage qualified for the Individual Finals this season as well, where she finished sixth in the Girls Division 155-pound weight class.

The winter was busy for both, but especially for Brooklyn. In addition to competing in wrestling, she was also a member of the school’s competitive cheer team.

“I knew that it would be a commitment,” she said. “But I was up for it. I was at the school for about 14 hours a day, but it was worth it at the end.”

Jackson and Brooklyn are each three-sport athletes. Jackson is the quarterback on the football team in the fall and a member of the track team (he competes in 300 hurdles and two relays) in the spring, while Brooklyn plays softball.

But it’s wrestling where the two share their greatest bond athletically.

Jackson started getting involved in the sport when was around elementary school age, and Brooklyn would tag along to practices.

Along the way, she became intrigued enough to try wrestling herself.

“I liked being able to know that I could defend myself and take care of myself in different ways,” she said. “To be able to stand up for myself.”

Brooklyn said she stopped wrestling competitively around sixth grade because there weren’t opportunities for girls to compete only against each other, but that changed when a girls-only division was added to the MHSAA Tournament with the 2021-22 season.

With both able to compete in high school, at-home workouts intensified. The two regularly train against each other on a mat in their basement, where technique is honed and toughness is sharpened.

“She pushes me a lot,” Jackson said.

Both also learn from each other’s experiences.

“I feel like watching him made me more motivated to do it,” Brooklyn said. “He’s taught me a lot of technique that I wouldn’t have known from his past experiences and coach.”

Added Jackson: “I’ve learned from her matches.”

This week has actually presented a rarity for both in that they’ve had time off.

With wrestling ending and spring sports not officially opening practice until Monday, the two haven’t had practices and competitions.

That’ll change next week when they go their separate ways with Jackson to track practice and Brooklyn joining the softball squad, and they’ll focus on those sports for the rest of the school year.

But with two more years of eligibility left and all-state finishes in wrestling already, the sky is the limit for the next two years in that sport for both.

With that in mind, the questions to Dad about who would win a match are likely only getting started.

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at keithdunlap78@gmail.com with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTO Southgate Anderson twins Brooklyn, left, and Jackson Sage both placed at this season’s Wrestling Individual Finals. (Photo courtesy of the Sage family.)