D2 Preview: Hall of Fame

February 26, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

For the second time in three seasons, a St. Johns wrestler can finish his career as one of the MHSAA’s all-time greats.

Redwings senior Zac Hall will compete this weekend for his fourth MHSAA individual championship. Succeeding would make him the 18th ever to do so, joining recent additions to the list Adam Coon of Fowlerville in 2013 and former teammate Taylor Massa in 2012.

Win or lose, his run this weekend is sure to make headlines. But the Division 2 field appears wide open in terms of who might join him. Bay City Western’s Christian Schoenherr is back from an injury and shining again. Lowell’s Lucas Hall, Kanon Dean and Josh Colegrove are coming off helping the Red Arrows to a team title, and St. Clair’s Colton Pfaendtner and Eaton Rapids' Jaedin Slapsky are among those also not mentioned in much detail below – but don’t forget those names or any of the others that follow.

See below for 10 more contenders to watch this weekend, plus others who enter the tournament undefeated or coming off runner-up finishes in 2013. 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. And check back with Second Half later Saturday night for full coverage from the Finals, including comments from all 14 champions.

112: Ian Parker, St. Johns sophomore (46-0) – Fell by pin in last season’s 103-pound Final, but hasn’t lost since and enters as the favorite at his new weight.

119: Mason Smith, Clio junior (51-0) – Following up last season’s 112-pound championship and 55-4 record by moving up a weight and building a perfect record.

119: Zeth Dean, Lowell sophomore (32-4) – Last season’s runner-up at 112 fell by pin in that match to Smith, but looks good to force a rematch after also moving up.

130: Bailey Jack, Lowell junior (31-4) – Moved up to first place in his class last season after two lower finishes as an underclassmen, and can make it two championship weekends in a row after helping the Red Arrows to the team title in Battle Creek.

140: Zac Hall, St. Johns senior (48-0) – Claimed titles at 103, 112 and 125 his first three seasons and carries a 194-2 career record into this weekend.

145: Steve Bleise, Chelsea senior (45-0) – Lone loss last season came by pin in the 135-pound Final, but he hasn't lost again and can add his first title to that second place, a fourth earned as a sophomore and a fifth achieved while wrestling at Dexter as a freshman.  

152: Logan Massa, St. Johns junior (47-0) – Has added an undefeated season so far to his championship at 135 in 2013 and runner-up finish at 119 as a freshman.

171: Devon Pingel, North Branch sophomore (52-1) – Said after last season’s championship at 160 that he hopes to win four, and he’s off to another great start after beating a senior in 2013 to secure his first.

189: Angus Arthur, St. Johns junior (43-0) – Claimed last season’s championship at 171 after finishing fifth at 145 as a freshman for Lowell; combined for 14 losses over those first two seasons but is expected by some to finish this winter with none.

189: Garrett Stehley, Lowell senior (28-1) – Last season’s runner-up at 189 likely will have to face former teammate Arthur to win his first championship, but has improved every season from sixth as a freshman to fourth as a sophomore to second a year ago.

Another 2013 runner-up: Christian Schoenherr, Bay City Western junior (140, 14-4).

Also undefeated: Fremont senior Luke Spotts (130, 33-0), Lowell sophomore Lucas Hall (112, 33-0), St. Clair senior Colton Pfaendtner (285, 54-0).

Others of note: Edwardsburg sophomore Michael Higley (103, 40-1), Warren Woods Tower senior Nick Pipes (125, 44-5), Eaton Rapids junior Jaedin Slapsky (130, 47-1), Lowell junior Jordan Hall (135, 30-3), Lowell senior Kanon Dean (160, 29-6), Lowell junior Josh Colegrove (215, 31-1). 

PHOTO: St. Johns’ Zac Hall (red head gear) works on an opponent during last week’s Team Semifinal against Tecumseh. (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.)