D3 Preview: Buell, Dundee Eye More Historic Opportunities

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 1, 2021

Dundee tied the MHSAA Individual Finals record with seven champions a year ago. Earlier this week, the Vikings won their fourth-straight Division 3 team championship, tying a program record for consecutive titles.

For a few reasons, this weekend could be just as memorable – or more so – than both.

Dundee will come back Friday to Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo for the Individual Wrestling Finals with six returning champions and eight carrying the top seeds in their respective classes – led by senior Stony Buell, who will attempt to become the 29th four-time individual champion in MHSAA Finals history.

Below we look at Buell and nine more contenders to watch, plus list all of the top seeds heading into the tournament, champs and runners-up back from 2020 and every wrestler who will make the trip to Kalamazoo with an undefeated record.

Even then, we surely missed a few who will end up making headlines Saturday – but make sure to come back to Second Half late that evening as we’ll interview and report on all 14 Division 3 champions.

Wrestling begins Friday at 10 a.m., and this season it’s a one-day event. Spectators remain limited, but all matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv. See the MHSAA Wrestling Finals page for more information and to follow results this weekend.  

112 Braeden Davis, Dundee sophomore (23-0) – He opened his Individual Finals career with last season’s championship at 103 and is the top seed this weekend at this weight.

130 Jake Elasivich, Montrose senior (11-3) – He’s the top seed at this weight and was the 119-pound champion as a sophomore and third-place finisher at 103 as a freshman.

130 Ryker Johnecheck, Williamston junior (23-0) – He enters as the second seed at this weight but hasn’t lost a match since claiming last season’s championship at 125.

140 Max Brown, Whitehall junior (32-1) – The second seed at this weight couldn’t be left off this list after earning a win at Team Finals over Dundee top-seed Austin Fietz (see below); Brown was third at 130 last season and fourth at 125 as a freshman.

140 Austin Fietz, Dundee senior (20-3) – He’s the top seed at this weight and seeking a second-straight championship after winning 130 a year ago and previously finishing fourth at 103 as a freshman and fifth at 112 as a sophomore.

145 Dametrius Castillo, Alma senior (10-3) – He’s the second seed at this weight but also a past champion having won 119 as a freshman before taking eighth at that weight as a sophomore and then coming in runner-up at 135 last year.

145 Casey Swiderski, Dundee junior (24-0) – He’s top-seeded at this weight and seeking his third Finals championships after winning 103 as a freshman and 135 as a sophomore; he enters the weekend with a combined 109-3 career record.  

160 Tyler Swiderski, Dundee senior (23-1) – After finishing second at 112 and 135 his first two seasons, respectively, Swiderski broke through with the 145 title last winter and enters this weekend the top seed at this weight.

171 Dominick Lomazzo, Dundee senior (19-3) – Lomazzo is seeking to cap his high school career as a repeat champion as well after winning 152 as a junior and is seeded first at this weight; he also finished third in Division 1 at 125 as a freshman wrestling for Detroit Catholic Central.  

189 Stoney Buell, Dundee senior (23-0) – The future Purdue wrestler also is a top seed and looking to add to his previous titles won at 135 as a freshman, 152 as a sophomore and 160 last winter.

Other 2020 runners-up: 112 Dallas Stanton, Almont junior (19-3, 103 in 2020); 119 Hunter Keller, Richmond senior (11-2, 112 in 2020); 130 Brock Holek, Durand senior (22-3, 130 in 2020); 135 Aiden Davis, Dundee sophomore (23-1, 125 in 2020); 171 Randy Pyrzewski Gladwin junior (24-1, 160 in 2020); 145 Mason Cantu, Hart junior (30-3, 135 in Division 4 in 2020). 

Additional No. 1 seeds: 103 Emmet Kettel, Richmond senior (11-2); 119 Kaden Chinavare, Dundee sophomore (20-0); 125 Aidan Bernard, Montrose junior (15-1); 135 Aiden Davis, Dundee sophomore (23-1); 152 Nick Dodman, Sanford Meridian senior (27-5); 215 Ira Jenkins, Whitehall junior (34-0); 285 Wyatt Bailey, Dowagiac senior (24-0).

Also undefeated: 103 Drew Hansen, Gladstone freshman (29-0); 103 Talan Parsons, Ovid-Elsie freshman (21-0); 112 Lee Braun, Grand Rapids Catholic Central freshman (21-0); 112 Gavyn Merchant, Kingsley freshman (25-0); 125 Caleb Cline, Shepherd senior (25-0); 135 Jack Sherman, Millington senior (25-0); 140 Sampson Ross, Benzie Center senior (19-0); 145 Mathew Dwyer, Almont junior (21-0); 160 Connor Owens, Flint Powers Catholic sophomore (21-0); 171 Konner Roche, Frankenmuth senior (19-0); 285 Colby Roosa, Remus Chippewa Hills senior (27-0); 285 Dan McKiernan, Richmond senior (12-0).

PHOTO: Dundee's Stony Buell has his hand raised in victory after earning his third Individual Finals championship last year at Ford Field. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.) 

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.)