D2 Preview: Red Arrows Target Record

February 22, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Three wrestling teams in MHSAA history have won five straight Finals championships.

This weekend, Lowell will attempt to become the first to push its winning streak to six.

There are plenty of upset-minded opponents in the way, however, at Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center. Five of this weekend’s eight quarterfinalists are seeking their first team title in this sport – with last season’s runner-up Gaylord among the hopefuls.  

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 2, listed by seed. Quarterfinal matches begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at noon Saturday and the championship match that afternoon at 3:45 p.m. All matches this weekend will be viewable live on a subscription basis on MHSAA.tv. For Friday’s schedule and results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page.

#1 Lowell

Record/rank: 19-3, No. 1
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference White
R.J. Boudro, fifth season (105-14)
Championship history: 
Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2018), six runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Ramsy Mutschler (25-8) fr., 112 Nicholas Korhorn (22-8) jr., 125 Zeth Strejc (28-6) soph., 130 Dawson Jankowski (28-6) jr., 135 Jeff Leach (22-9) sr., 135 William Link (36-6) fr., 140 Avry Mutschler (30-2) sr., 145 Doak Dean (34-4) soph., 145 James Fotis (14-3) jr., 152 Austin Boone (26-4) jr., 160 Jacob Lee (27-12) soph., 171 Derek Mohr (20-13) soph., 285 Tyler Deloof (31-5) jr.
Outlook: As noted above, Lowell has a chance to make more history, and has given up just 21 points over four District and Regional matches on the way back to Kalamazoo. Boone is a two-time Individual Finals champion, and Korhorn and Mutschler were runners-up last season. Jankowski, Strejc, Dean, Fotis and Deloof also were placers, and the Red Arrows still will have only three expected senior starters this weekend.

#2 Goodrich

Record/rank: 30-5, No. 3
League finish: First in Genesee Area Conference
Kenneth Sirignano, 10th season (record N/A)
Championship history: 
Two MHSAA championships (most recent 2009), two runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Cameron Macklem (40-10) fr., 125 Carson Richards (41-9) fr., 125 Caleb Teague (39-7) sr., 140 Dominic Edwards (32-5) sr., 160 Juwan Vines (30-6) jr., 171 James Penfold (40-3) sr., 215 Honour Kline (46-1) sr.
Outlook: Goodrich is back at the Quarterfinals for the third time in Division 2 in four seasons, and jumped up four seeds from last year. A crew of talented freshman has joined an otherwise upperclassmen-filled lineup that includes seven seniors. Teague was a Finals runner-up last season, while Vines, Kline and senior Blake Coffell also were placers.

#3 DeWitt

Record/rank: 16-5, No. 4
League finish: First in Capital Area Activities Conference Blue
Brian Byars, 19th season (449-196)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Matt Foddrill (26-14) jr., 145 Tyler Brandt (32-12) jr., 152 Quenten Hall (29-4) sr., 171 Jacob Brandt (33-11) jr., 189 Chandler Murton (31-7) soph.
Outlook: DeWitt is back at the Quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons and second time ever, seeking to advance to Saturday for the first time. The Panthers made it to Kalamazoo with a 30-20 Regional Final victory over No. 2 Eaton Rapids after winning a league that included Division 1 No. 10 Holt and formerly-ranked Grand Ledge. Brandt, Hall and Murton were all Finals placers last season.

#4 Gaylord

Record/rank: 27-1, No. 5
League finish: First in Big North Conference
Jerry LaJoie, 25th season (696-134-2)
Championship history: Division 2 runner-up 2018.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Gabe Thompson (33-14) fr., 119 Will Sides (31-14) jr., 125 Chayse LaJoie (44-0) jr., 130 John Sosa (33-9) jr., 160 Jacob McKnight (37-4) jr., 171 Quinn Schultz (11-4) soph., 189 Cade Foster (21-6) sr., 215 Aurilius Krumholz (37-10) jr.  
Outlook: Gaylord emerged as a third seed last season to make an MHSAA championship match for the first time, and the Blue Devils are seeded to return to at least the Semifinals after edging No. 9 St. Johns 36-33 in the Regional Final to reach Kalamazoo. Chayse LaJoie is a two-time individual champion, and McKnight and Foster also were Finals placers in 2018.

#5 Tecumseh

Record/rank: 28-5, No. 8
League finish: First in Southeastern Conference White
A.J. Marry, fourth season (90-34)
Championship history: 
Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Joshua Hilton (46-2) sr., 119 Vincent Perez (48-0) sr., 125 Kellen Patton (45-2) sr., 130 Victor Coscarelli (33-14) jr., 135 Lucas Petty (19-21), jr., 189 Clayton Boatright (40-10) sr. 
Outlook: Make it eight Quarterfinals in nine seasons for Tecumseh, which moved up three seeds from the eighth spot a year ago. The Indians have one of the most veteran lineups in Kalamazoo this weekend in any division, with all seniors and juniors expected to jump on the mat Friday. Eight starters are back from the team that faced Lowell in last season’s Quarterfinal. Perez was a Finals runner-up in 2018.

#6 Warren Woods-Tower

Record/rank: 20-6, No. 6
League finish: Third in Macomb Area Conference Red
Greg Mayer and Russell Correll, 19th seasons (372-244)
Championship history: 
Division 2 runner-up 2017.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Josh Howey (31-10) fr., 119 Joe Haynes (30-7) soph., 125 Chaise Mayer (39-3) sr., 160 Omari Embree (33-4) fr., 215 CJ Sheir (35-11) sr., 285 Joel Radvansky (39-4) sr.
Outlook: Tower reached the Semifinals last season after finishing runner-up in 2017, and the Titans are looking to make another run after emerging from a MAC Red that included Division 1 contender Macomb Dakota. Radvansky was a Finals runner-up last season, while Chaise Mayer was a runner-up in both 2016 and 2017 and took third at his weight a year ago. Haynes, sophomore Dru Wilson and senior David Stepanian also were placers in 2018.

#7 Niles

Record/rank: 22-4, No. 7
League finish: First in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West
Todd Hesson, 12th season (257-86)
Championship history: Has not appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Jamison Zimmerman (33-6) jr., 130 Bryce Brust (18-3) sr., 135 Javond Ball (33-8) jr., 140 Kade Wagley (36-8) jr., 152 Robert Buckland (34-11) sr., 160 Cole Simpson (33-11) sr., 171 Cade Best (33-7) sr., 285 Brian Soto (30-4) sr.
Outlook: Niles fell short of the Quarterfinals a year ago but has advanced for the fifth time in seven seasons. Eight seniors anchor the lineup, six holding down the weights from 152-285. Zimmerman took fifth last season at 103 and is one of eight on the team with at least 29 wins.

#8 Cedar Springs

Record/rank: 20-9, unranked
League finish: Second in O-K White
Nicholas Emery, seventh season (131-84)
Championship history: Class B champion 1995, runner-up 1978.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Trevor Marsman (37-9) soph., 135 Aaron Smith (38-11) sr., 145 Lucas Pienton (34-3) sr., 171 Ryan Ringler (43-0) sr., 189 Sage Serbenta (41-1) jr.
Outlook: A 37-36 win over No. 10 Allendale in the Regional Final vaulted Cedar Springs to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1996. The Red Hawks will be plenty familiar with Friday’s opponent; Lowell is from the same league. Ringler is the reigning individual champion at 171, and Pienton and Serbenta also were Finals placers last season.

PHOTO: Gaylord’s Rico Brown (top), here competing at Grand Ledge this winter, will try to help his team win its first MHSAA wrestling title. (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 keithdunlap78@gmail.com 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.)