D1 Final: 'We wanted this matchup'

February 25, 2012

BATTLE CREEK – A week after the 2011 wrestling season ended, Detroit Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock brought his team’s Division 1 runner-up trophy into the Shamrocks’ wrestling room.

He had one of his seniors paint “1 point” underneath it. The message was clear.

After losing by a point to Oxford in last season’s championship match, DCC was going to do everything possible to make that point up this winter. They did that Saturday – and a whole lot more.

The top-seeded Shamrocks’ avenged that Oxford loss by taking down the Wildcats 47-9 in easily the most lop-sided of Final matches at Kellogg Arena.

“Our goal was to dominate the whole weekend, and we came out here and did it,” DCC 189-pound senior Kevin Beazley said. “We were excited (to face Oxford). We wanted this matchup. That’s what we were hoping for. We wanted to take care of business.”

The championship was DCC’s ninth and second in three seasons. And as for that dominance, consider:

  • The Shamrocks (25-3) outscored their three Finals weekend opponents by a combined score of 172-21.
  • They won 18 matches by pin – for 108 of those points.
  • Beazley wrestled for a combined 1 minute, 42 seconds in his three wins.
  • Sophomore 130-pounder Ken Bade won two matches by pin and the third by technical fall.

“To win by the score of 47-9, I think makes a statement,” Hancock said. “To win 11 out of 14 matches, I think is pretty impressive.”

It’s tough to argue that. But Oxford’s advancement to the Final was impressive in its own right.

Oxford entered Finals weekend as just the No. 6 seed and with half its line-up new coming off last season’s championship. The coach running the show, Brandon Rank, also was in his first season as the head guy after earning a promotion from assistant.

The Wildcats (20-6) knocked out No. 2 seed Brighton and No. 3 seed Davison at Kellogg, after also beating two top-10 teams to win the Regional. Rank said it best: no one expected Oxford to make it to the championship match except for those wearing the team’s navy blue and gold.

“I’m proud of my kids, the way they battled. The two dual meets to get here showed we belonged here,” Rank said. “It was obvious. We belonged here.”

Click for match-by-match results from the Final, Semifinals and Quarterfinals. See more photos at High School Sports Scene.  

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 [email protected] 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.)