D2 Preview: Eager to Finish Business

March 1, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Many of Division 2’s contenders this weekend hope it’s an MHSAA Finals filled with second chances.

Six of 10 favorites highlighted below were runners-up a year ago, two losing by a mere point in their championship matches.

Follow all matches beginning with Thursday's first round on a subscription basis live on MHSAA.tv, and click here for results at MHSAA.com. And come back to Second Half this weekend as we’ll interview all 14 title winners.

The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard. College choices below are based on reporting by Michigan Grappler.

112: Corey Gamet, Parma Western sophomore (46-0) – Gamet defeated another then-freshman, Chaise Mayer of Warren Woods Tower, 3-2 to win last year's title at 103 and is now 61-1 over two high school seasons after losing most of last winter to a knee injury.

119: Branson Proudlock, Gibraltar Carlson junior (49-0) – After falling by just a point in last season’s 112 championship match, Proudlock enters as the top seed at 119 and a combined 100-2 over the last two seasons.

119: Elijuh Weaver, Warren Woods Tower senior (51-4) – Coming off last season’s championship at 112, he’s not seeded at this weight despite beating top seed Proudlock in last year’s Final; he also finished as an individual runner-up as a sophomore.

125: Dominic LaJoie, Gaylord junior (48-0) – An individual champion as both a freshman and sophomore, he missed a third title last year by just a point losing a 4-3 decision in the 119 Final; he’s seeded first this winter and will continue next season at Cornell University.

130: Drew Marten, Tecumseh senior (51-1) – The champion a year ago at 125 pulled off one of the day’s most unexpected triumphs, downing two-time champion Lucas Hall; it shouldn’t have been a huge surprise though since Marten entered that match 52-1, and now he’s a top seed with a two-year record of 104-2 and a future set at Central Michigan.

140: Trent Lashuay, St. Johns senior (29-6) – Last season’s runner-up at 135 enters this weekend as the top seed at this weight; he fell only 5-2 in last year’s Final and made that run despite entering the weekend with 10 losses.

152: Dustin Gross, Dearborn Heights Annapolis junior (51-0) – He’s seeded second behind also-undefeated Bret Fedewa of St. Johns, but Gross finished runner-up last season at 145 and handed reigning Division 1 145 champion Nathan Atienza of Livonia Franklin his only loss this winter.

171: Connor Charping, Trenton senior (54-1) – After just missing last year’s championship at 160 losing a 3-1 decision on a takedown with 10 seconds remaining, Charping is the top seed at 171 and looking to go out on top.

189: Jelani Embree, Warren Lincoln senior (32-0) – The champion at 171 last season hasn’t lost over the last two, moving to a combined 79-0 as an upperclassmen; he’ll continue his career after this at Michigan.

215: Eli Boulton, Lowell senior (37-3) – He lost by a 9-2 decision in the championship match at this weight last season, but enters his last Finals as the top seed and fresh off a team title last weekend.

Other 2016 runners-up: Warren Woods Tower sophomore Chaise Mayer (112, 48-1, 103 in 2016), Mason senior Brad Wilton (189, 38-3).

Also undefeated: Orchard Lake St. Mary’s freshman Joshua Edmond (135, 49-0), Sparta sophomore Alec Reese (145, 45-0), St. Johns senior Bret Fedewa (152, 49-0), Dexter senior Will Feldkamp (189, 48-0), Cedar Springs senior Patrick DePiazza (285, 44-0).

No. 1 seeds: Gaylord freshman Chayse LaJoie (103, 48-3), Parma Western’s Gamet (112), Gibraltar Carlson’s Proudlock (119), Gaylord’s Dominic LaJoie (125), Tecumseh’s Marten (130), Lowell freshman Austin Boone (135, 36-3), St. Johns’ Lashuay (140), Sparta’s Rees (145), St. Johns’ Fedewa (152), DeWitt senior Lucas McFarland (160, 50-2), Trenton’s Carping (171), Warren Lincoln’s Embree (189), Lowell’s Boulton (215), Cedar Springs' DePiazza (285).

PHOTO: Warren Woods Tower’s Elijuh Weaver (top) works toward a win during the Division 2 championship match against Lowell on Saturday. (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 [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.)