D3 Preview: Bracket Build-up
February 26, 2014
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This weekend’s Division 3 Individual Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills could include the tournament's best matchups, regardless of division.
The 119 and 140-pound brackets both include multiple champions from 2013, and the 125-pound bracket could end with a matchup of last season’s 119-pound championship match. And aside from those great potential tilts, Allegan’s Kyle Simaz could finish his career among the winningest wrestlers in MHSAA history.
See below for 10 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.
119: Kanen Storr, Leslie sophomore (54-1) – Kicked off his high school career with a perfect 58-0 record and championship at 103 pounds, and has fallen only once this season after moving up two weights.
119: Devin Schroder, Grand Rapids Catholic Central sophomore (36-4) – Followed up a perfect freshman season including a 53-0 record and championship at 112 with a nearly-flawless sophomore campaign so far.
125: Jerry Fenner, Birch Run junior (45-5) – Already has 155 wins in his career and two top-three Finals places after claiming last season’s championship at 119 pounds and finishing with a 57-3 record.
125: Matt Santos, Saginaw Swan Valley sophomore (54-0) – Remains unbeaten this season after falling to Fenner 3-2 in overtime in last season’s championship match; beat Fenner 2-0 at the Tri-Valley Conference Championships earlier this month.
135: Nate Limmex, Grand Rapids Catholic Central junior (19-0) – Hasn’t lost in his last two seasons, including winning the title at 135 in 2013. Limmex began his high school career with a fourth place in Division 2 while wrestling for Lowell.
140: Zehlin Storr, Leslie senior (57-0) – Brings a career record of 216-12 into this weekend after also going undefeated in winning 135 pounds last season; has never finished lower than third at his weight in any of three Finals trips.
140: Doug Rojem, Dundee senior (43-5) – Hopes to follow up on helping his team to a second straight championship last weekend with his second straight individual title after winning this weight in 2013. Rojem never has finished below fifth at a Final.
145: Kyle Simaz, Allegan senior (57-1) – Claimed last season’s Division 2 championship at 140 after two runner-up finishes as a freshman and sophomore; now sits at 236-4 for his career and can finish fifth in MHSAA history for wins.
152: Devin Skatzka, Richmond junior (34-3) – Two-time champion is seeking his third after winning 135 as a freshman and 145 last season; Skatzka also has helped his team to three straight Team Finals and two championships.
189: Teddy Warren, Dundee senior (22-3) – Like teammate Rojem, is defending the championship at the same weight after finishing with a 49-3 record in 2013. Warren also qualified for the Finals as a sophomore.
Other 2013 runners-up: Whitehall sophomore Reiley Brown (119, 38-3, 103 in 2013), Ida sophomore Alex Martinez (119, 48-3, 112 in 2013), Grand Rapids West Catholic senior Blake Russo (130, 34-2, 125 in 2013), Richmond senior Nick Burg (140, 35-4, 130 at 2013), Lake Odessa Lakewood junior Jordan Bennett (140, 44-1, 145 in 2013), Birch Run senior Jared Elliott (160, 45-5, 152 in 2013), Caro senior Skyler Ley (171, 48-4, 160 in 2013), Allendale senior Colin Beebe (215, 45-0, 189 in 2013).
Also undefeated: Manchester senior Eric Coval (152, 34-0), Allendale senior Glenn Geurink (285, 43-0).
More of note: Corunna sophomore Tristan Serbus (103, 42-1), Richmond senior Aaron Kilburn (112, 34-5), Dundee junior Tye Thompson (171, 40-6), Dundee senior Brendan O'Connor (130, 44-3) Farwell senior Tristan Zienkiewicz (160, 45-2),
PHOTO: Hudson’s Kyle Simaz (right), here wrestling against Richmond during last week’s Team Semifinals, can finish his career with 240 wins. (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.
That 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 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.)