D2 Preview: Rematch Brewing Again

February 20, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

St. Johns and Lowell have met in the last two MHSAA Division 2 Team Wrestling Finals. St. Johns won both.

But the Red Arrows entered the postseason ranked No. 1 in the state poll and enter this weekend's Quarterfinals seeded number one – with St. Johns No. 2 and looking like the championship match opponent once again.

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 2, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 11:45 Saturday morning and the championship match at 4 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on a subscription basis on MHSAA.TV. For results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page. Rankings below are from MichiganGrappler.com


Record/rank: 21-1, No. 1
League finish: First in O-K White
Coach: Dave Dean, ninth season (232-38) 
Championship history: Three MHSAA championships (most recent 2009), six runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Sam Russell (24-9) fr., 112 Lucas Hall (30-0) soph., 119 Zeth Dean (29-4) soph., 125 Derek Krajewski (23-8) sr., 130 Bailey Jack (28-4) sr., 135 Jordan Hall (27-3) jr., 160 Kanon Dean (26-6) sr., 171 Max Dean (28-1) soph.,189 Garett Stehley (25-1) sr., 215 Josh Colegrove (29-0) jr.
Lowell's only loss was to Illinois power Chicago Marist, and the Red Arrows own wins over Detroit Catholic Central and Richmond among others. Eight individuals won Regional titles last weekend, and Jack is a reigning Finals champion with Zeth Dean and Stehley runners-up in 2013. This run shows no signs of slowing, as Lowell has only four senior starters.


Record/rank: 18-2, No. 2
League finish: First in Capital Area Activities Conference Red
Coach: Derek Phillips, second season (37-6) 
Championship history: Four MHSAA championships (most recent 2013)
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Emilio Sanchez (33-15) fr.,112 Ian Parker (43-0) soph., 119 Lucas McFarland (36-13) fr., 130 Bret Fedewa (28-17) fr., 140 Zac Hall (45-0) sr., 145 Mark Bozzo (33-6) sr., 152 Logan Massa (44-0) jr., 160 Drew Wixson (27-7) jr.,171 Angus Arthur (40-0) jr., 215 Ty Wildmo (32-5) jr., 285 Jacob Gnegy (11-7) soph.
The Redwings’ only losses were to nationally-regarded teams from Ohio and Illinois, and Hall, Massa and Arthur all are reigning individual champions. Hall will compete next weekend to become the 18th in MHSAA history to win for individual titles. Parker hasn’t lost since falling in last season’s Division 2 individual championship match at 103. Hall and Bozzo are the only senior starters, so the trips to Battle Creek should continue.


Record/rank: 31-2, No. 3
League finish: Tied for first in Southeastern Conference
Coach: Joshua Lindeman, first season (31-2) 
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Ricky Azelton (48-3) sr., 112 Drew Marten (45-9) fr., 119 Robert Comar (43-12) sr., 140 Kyle Humphries (33-18) soph., 189 Kody McCrate (35-9) jr.,215 Landon Pelham (51-3) soph., 285 Preston Pelham (50-1) sr., 285 Kolin Connors (16-5) sr.  
Outlook: Tecumseh is back for its fourth straight Quarterfinal and first under Lindeman, who formerly coached Brooklyn Columbia Central and wrestled at Hudson. He inherited a lineup of half seniors with three more capable of subbing in. Azelton and both Pelhams were placers at last season’s Individual Finals.


Record/rank: 21-4, No. 4
League finish: First in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference
Coach: Todd Hesson, seventh season (162-68) 
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Andrew Flick (31-9) fr., 112 Brandon Meek (29-10) jr., 119 Josh Dayhuff (33-9) jr., 130 Darek Bullock-Mills (34-6) sr., 135 Noah Hall (35-6) jr., 140 Warren Smith (33-6) jr., 145 Quintin Smith (18-14) soph.
Outlook: A year after winning its first Regional since 1960, Niles has won a second straight and three straight Districts for the first time despite graduating some big-time contributors in the spring. Two Individual Finals runners-up are gone, but five starters are back from last season’s team that fell in the Semifinals – and 10 junior starters should gain valuable seasoning for another run in 2015.


Record/rank: 25-7, unranked
League finish: First in O-K Green
Coach: Tom Barker, second season (54-14) 
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Austin Krantz (39-9) sr., 112 Taylor Rambin (16-2) jr., 140 Nolan Waddell (46-5) sr., 145 Jaxon Smith (38-12) jr., 171 Joshua Lee (46-5) sr., 189 Ryan Vasbinder (43-7) fr.  
Outlook: Byron Center is back in the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 and seeking its first Semifinal berth. After winning big in the District, the Bulldogs edged a solid pair, Eaton Rapids and Hastings, in the Regional. Barker has won 307 matches as a coach while also leading teams at Grand Rapids Union, Forest Hills Northern and Wyoming Park. Waddell was a Finals placer last season.


Record/rank: 19-11, unranked
League finish: Second in Macomb Area Conference Red
Coach: Greg Mayer, 14th season (259-211-1) 
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Joe Schindler (36-10) fr., 119 Al-Aminul Haque (31-17) sr., 125 Nick Pipes (43-5) sr., 135 Donald Janice (33-6) sr.
Outlook: Warren Woods Tower has had a solid run under Mayer and now assistant Russell Correll. The Titans won eight straight District titles from 2004-11 before missing the last two seasons and returning to the Regionals this month. This is their first trip to the Quarterfinals since 2007 and came in part via a three-point upset of No. 5 Ortonville-Brandon in the Regional Semifinal. Pipes also was an Individual Finals qualifier last season.


Record/rank: 20-1, No.6
League finish: Second in Saginaw Valley Association
Coach: Steven Goss, sixth season (115-33) 
Championship history: Three MHSAA runner-up finishes.  
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Noah Schoenherr (35-9) fr., 119 Coby Moore (27-7) fr., 125 Blake Jackson (40-6) soph., 135 Thomas Schoenherr (40-4) soph., 140 Christian Schoenherr (13-4) jr., 189 Cody Okes (35-12) jr., 215 Jacob Alarie (40-5) sr. 
Outlook: Bay City Western is back in the Quarterfinals for the first time since its Semifinal run in 2002 and defeated No. 8 Greenville along the way. Christian Schoenherr was an Individual Finals runner-up last season and is part of a lineup that includes seven 30-match winners. Bay City Western has won five straight District titles under Goss, a 1978 graduate, former national Greco-Roman champion and coach at the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette.


Record/rank: 22-9, unranked
League finish: Tied for first in Macomb Area Conference White
Coach: Bill Delia, 15th season (241-151-13) 
Championship history: MHSAA Class A champion 1994. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Garret Kaercher (43-8) soph., 135 Shawn Lindsey (31-12) soph., 145 Khannor Kaercher (44-6) jr., 160 Dierrien Perkins (37-10) soph., 285 Michael Abouya (38-7) sr.
Outlook: Lincoln’s rejuvenation continues this weekend with its second straight Quarterfinal appearance. The Abes have won or shared four straight league titles and won three straight District championships. Khannor Kaercher was an Individual Finals placer at 140 last season.

PHOTO: Lowell’s Lucas Hall (right) battles a New Lothrop opponent during their match earlier this season. (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.)