D1 Preview: History on the Brink

March 4, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

When 135-pound matches are wrestled at The Palace of Auburn Hills this weekend, many eyes will be watching Davison’s Lincoln Olson.

Olson – along with Richmond’s Devin Skatzka in Division 3 – will compete for his fourth MHSAA championship, hoping to join only 19 other Michigan wrestlers who have ended all four years of high school with a title.

See below for 10 contenders to watch this weekend at the Division 1 Individual Finals, plus others who enter the tournament undefeated or coming off runner-up finishes in 2014. Follow all the matches beginning with Thursday's first round on a subscription basis live on MHSAA.TV, and click here for results at MHSAA.com.

Those listed below are only a handful of numerous contenders for this weekend’s 14 Division 1 championships – in this division alone, seven athletes not listed below have lost only once this season. Come back to Second Half at the end of this weekend, when we’ll have post-match thoughts from all 14 title winners.

112: Max Johnson, Davison junior (42-7) – Last season’s champion at this weight may not have as sparkling a record as some contenders, but he entered last season’s Finals with an identical W-L on his way to winning the title.

112: Carl Antrassian, Monroe junior (54-2) – He’s a favorite at his new weight after falling to Ben Freeman (see below) in last season’s championship match at 103 and after leading his team to the MHSAA Quarterfinals last weekend.

125: Camden Bertucci, Grand Haven senior (40-0) – After just missing the Finals last season, Bertucci can add a title to his runner-up finish at 103 as a freshman and third place at 112 as a sophomore.

125: Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central sophomore (40-0) – Last season’s champion at 103 has only one loss during his high school career and won all of his 2014 Finals matches by technical falls.

130: Trevor Zdebski, Detroit Catholic Central senior (42-5) – His high school career so far has included a championship last season at 119 pounds, a third place at 103 as a freshman and two team titles.

135: Lincoln Olson, Davison senior (48-0) – As noted above, Olson is poised to enter an elite group; in addition, he carries a 185-3 record into his final weekend before moving on to Oklahoma State University.

145: Logan Parks, Southgate Anderson senior (53-0) – After finishing third in what arguably was the toughest bracket at last season’s Finals – 140 – Parks can cap this season with a title and the last two with a combined 111-2 record.

152: Jacob Gorial, Hartland senior (54-0) – Recall the 2013 Finals, when Gorial had the difficulty of facing and falling to teammate Austin Eicher in the 130-pound championship match; he can add a first title to a seventh place as a freshman, the second as a sophomore and a fourth place last winter.

160: Myles Amine, Detroit Catholic Central senior (43-0) – Another of the latest Shamrocks stars can graduate as a back-to-back champion after winning at 140 pounds last season and finishing third at 130 as a sophomore.

285: Brian Darios, East Lansing senior (5-2) – Yes, that record is correct; Darios has battled through multiple injuries this season, but remains a favorite to finish on top after falling in an ultimate tie-breaker in last season’s championship match.

Other 2014 runners-up: Oxford junior Alex Hrisopoulos (125, 48-3, 112 in 2014), Lapeer senior Dillon Ellsworth (145, 49-2, 152 in Division 2 in 2014 for Lapeer East), Lapeer junior Devon Pingel (171, 43-3, 171 in Division 2 in 2014 for North Branch).

Also undefeated: West Bloomfield senior Matt Gudenau (140, 45-0), Dearborn Heights Crestwood junior Ali Wahab (285, 56-0), Lapeer junior Dan Perry (285, 57-0).

More of note: Saline freshman Daniel Poupore (103, 36-2), Grand Blanc senior Noah Gonser (119, 52-3), Holt senior Benny Gomez (119, 30-2), Hartland sophomore Reese Hughes (130, 49-5), Utica Eisenhower senior Connor McDill (140, 38-2), Detroit Catholic Central senior Nick Giese (189, 42-4), Brighton junior Lucas Ready (215, 48-2).

PHOTO: Davison's Lincoln Olson competes during his team's MHSAA Semifinal last weekend against eventual champion Brighton. (Click to see more at 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.)