D1 Preview: Davison, Detroit Catholic Central Lead Returning Champs Charge

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

March 3, 2022

The MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals returns to Ford Field this weekend, and Davison and Detroit Catholic Central will lead the way in Division 1 with four returning champions apiece.

After meeting again in Saturday’s Division 1 Team Final, those rivals dominate the list of 10 contenders we look at below – along with a list of other top seeds heading into this weekend, returning Finals runners-up and a few more making the trip to Detroit with an undefeated record.

The Grand March on Friday begins at 10 a.m., with wrestling through semifinals that evening. Wrestling begins again at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship matches at 3:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Ford Field. All matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv, and we’ll talk to all 14 champions in each division for our Second Half coverage published later that evening and overnight. See the MHSAA Wrestling Finals page for more information and to follow results this weekend.

112 Caleb Weiand, Macomb Dakota junior (44-0) – The top seed at his weight also entered last season’s Finals undefeated and suffered his only loss in the 103 championship match.

119 Drew Heethuis, Detroit Catholic Central junior (28-3) – Last season’s champion at 112 moves up a weight and is the top seed this weekend with only one loss this season to an in-state competitor (Dundee’s Braeden Davis).

119 Justin Gates, Davison sophomore (27-3) – Last season’s champion at 103 is up two weights, putting him on a course to meet Heethuis in the title match after losing to him 2-1 at last week’s Team Final.

125 Caden Horwath, Davison junior (26-0) – Last year’s champion at 119 is going for his third individual championship after also claiming the 103 title in 2020. He’s 96-2 for his career and hasn’t lost in two seasons.

140 Dylan Gilcher, Detroit Catholic Central junior (35-0) – He’s also wrestling for a third championship after winning 135 last year and 112 as a freshman. He’s 101-4 for his high school career.

152 Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central sophomore (31-4) – He debuted at the Finals last year by winning an all-DCC championship match at 145, and he’ll look to add another title as his weight’s top seed this weekend.

171 Manuel Rojas, Detroit Catholic Central senior (34-2) – The two-time reigning champ at 189 will attempt to close his career with a third-straight title, his only in-state loss this season at the Team Final to Davison’s Josh Barr 4-3. He also defeated Barr 3-2 at the beginning of January.  

171 Josh Barr, Davison junior (24-1) – He’s also seeking a third title after winning last season at 160 and at 152 as a freshman. He’s on the other side of the bracket from Rojas this weekend, setting up a possible tie-breaker to their season series with the title on the line.

215 Jimmy Colley, Davison senior (28-2) – He’s wrestling his fourth Finals at this weight, entering as the top seed and reigning champion after also finishing fourth as a freshman and third as a sophomore.

285 Joshua Terrill, Holt senior (39-2) – He’s the top seed and will attempt to take the final step up the podium after finishing runner-up at this weight a year ago.

Other 2021 runners-up: 140 Evan Herriman, Davison junior (17-3, 135 last year); 189 Remy Cotton, Davison senior (23-3, 189 last year for Traverse City Central).

Additional No. 1 seeds: 103 Ozia Wilson, Macomb Dakota freshman (44-0); 130 Elijah Bunn, Rockford junior (39-1); 135 Aiden Smith, Brighton senior (40-1); 145 Nathan Jerore, Brownstown Woodhaven senior (34-1); 160 Jaylon Riggins, Jackson senior (24-0); 189 Aidan Wardell, Midland Dow senior (41-3).

Also undefeated: 152 Noah Tgiros, Utica Ford senior (40-0); 285 Giulian Bodiu, Canton senior (25-0).

PHOTO Detroit Catholic Central's Drew Heethuis, top, controls his match on the way to a major decision during Saturday's Team Semifinals. (Click to see 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 [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.)