D1 Preview: Ready to Repeat

February 27, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Detroit Catholic Central and Davison dominated MHSAA Division 1 wrestling all season before meeting in Saturday's team championship match, which the Shamrocks won to claim their second straight MHSAA title. 

So it's little surprise that they combine to bring back five individual champions plus another runner-up from last season's Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills. 

See below for 10 contenders to watch this weekend, plus others who enter the tournament undefeated or coming off runner-up finishes in 2012. Follow all the matches beginning with Thursday's first round live on MHSAA.tv, and click here for results at MHSAA.com. And check back with Second Half later Saturday night for full coverage from the Finals, including comments from all 14 champions. 

10 to watch

112: Kyle Gillies, Westland John Glenn senior – Seven wrestlers in this bracket have four or fewer losses, but Gillies is the only undefeated contender, entering 52-0.

112: Lincoln Olson, Davison sophomore – May be an underdog with an undefeated wrestler in the way, but won 103 last season.

119: Shayne Wireman, Holt senior – Driving for his second MHSAA title in three seasons (he won 103 in 2011) and at 43-0 is the only undefeated wrestler in his bracket.

119: Mitch Rogaliner, Temperance-Bedford senior – Boasts a 45-2 record this winter after winning 112 with a 9-5 decision in 2012.

135: Justin Oliver, Davison junior – Won 112 as a freshman and 119 as a sophomore, and enters this weekend 12-1 after helping Davison to last week’s Team Final.

135: Ken Bade, Detroit Catholic Central senior: Looking to win his third championship after taking 130 last season and 125 in 2011, and enters with a 36-7 record against one of the state’s toughest schedules.

152: Aaron Calderon, Brighton senior – Made one of the biggest headlines of 2012 by beating a three-time champion to claim the title at 152, and looks to repeat entering 45-4.

160: Dakota Juarez, Grand Haven junior – Seeking Grand Haven’s first championship since 2008 while entering 41-0 and after finishing third at 152 in 2012.

160: Jordan Cooks, Davison junior – Moved to 39-1 during last weekend’s Division 1 Team Finals and looking to add a repeat individual title after winning this weight in 2012.

171: Drew Garcia, Detroit Catholic Central junior – Won 171 pounds last year after finishing runner-up at 152 in 2011, and could make it two in a row entering this weekend 48-0.

Also undefeated: Holt sophomore Benny Gomez (103, 43-0), Holt junior Martin Rodriguez (125, 12-0), Rochester senior Josh Wood (125, 15-0), Livonia Franklin junior Jordan Atienza (152, 55-0)

Returning MHSAA runners-up: Canton junior Ben Griffin (125, 49-4, 112 in 2012), Grand Haven sophomore Camden Bertucci (112, 40-1, 103 in 2012), Hartland junior Austin Eicher (130, 48-1, 119 in 2012), Detroit Catholic Central junior Malik Amine (140, 36-6, 135 in 2012), Portage Central junior Dominic Latora (152, 44-2, 145 in 2012), Temperance Bedford senior Brandon Sunday (215, 47-1, 285 in 2012). 

PHOTO: Detroit Catholic Central's Drew Garcia gets his arm raised high after winning his match during Friday's Team Quarterfinal against Grandville. (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.)