D3 Preview: Dundee's Drive for 5 May Include Meeting of 2021 Champs
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
February 24, 2022
It’s not often we get to see two of last year’s Finals champions face off for this season’s title. But we could Saturday in the Division 3 Team Wrestling Final.
Dundee is seeking to win its fifth-straight Division 3 championship. Clinton won the last two in Division 4 before moving into Division 3 this winter. They are the top seeds in the bracket heading into this weekend. They also wrestle together in the Lenawee County Athletic Association; Dundee won the regular-season dual 40-26.
But there is plenty of wrestling ahead before we reach that potential rematch – and a repeat No. 3 seed in Alma, along with five more qualifiers, looking to reach that last match of the weekend as well. Friday’s Quarterfinals begin at 4:30 p.m. at Wings Event Center – see matchups below – with Semifinals at noon Saturday and the championship match later that day at 3:45 p.m.
#1 Dundee (14-4) vs. #8 Constantine (25-10)
#4 Imlay City (27-5) vs. #5 Hart (30-5)
#3 Alma (26-1) vs. #6 Montrose (18-5)
#2 Clinton (30-3) vs. #7 Gladstone (15-1)
Tickets for Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals will be sold by the Wings Event Center box office. All matches for all three rounds also will be viewable on MHSAA.tv with subscription.
Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 3, listed by seed. (Girls Finals qualifiers are noted with “G” with weight class, as those classes differ from the other Individual Finals brackets.)
Record/rank: 14-4, No. 1
League finish: First in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Tim Roberts, 23rd season (572-80-1)
Championship history: Thirteen MHSAA championships (most recent 2021), seven runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Ashton Viers (24-12) fr., 112 Kade Kluce (34-6) soph., 119 Braeden Davis (34-2) jr., 119 Kyle Smith (27-7) sr., 125 Cameron Chinavare (32-2) soph., 130 Kaden Chinavare (29-3) jr., 135 Logan Sander (29-6) sr., 135 Kole Katschor (28-11) fr., 140 Trey Parker (25-8) soph., 145 Austin Jaworski (17-10) sr., 145 Aiden Davis (36-0) jr., 152 Casey Swiderski (38-0) sr., 152 Jacob Fenbert (24-13) jr.
Outlook: Dundee has wrestled in the last 10 Division 3 championship matches and brings back eight starters from last season’s winning team. Swiderski will wrestle next weekend to join the elite group of four-time individual champions, and Braeden Davis is right behind wrestling for his third individual title in three seasons. Kluce, Kaden Chinavare and Aiden Davis also were Individual Finals champs in 2021, while Smith, Sander and Parker were placers. Also among Dundee’s wins this season was a victory over Division 1 top seed Davison.
Record/rank: 30-3, No. 2
League finish: Tied for second in LCAA
Co-coaches: Casey Randolph and Jeff Rolland, ninth seasons (247-52)
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Braylon Long (42-6) fr., 112 Connor Younts (39-6) soph., 119 Connor Busz (43-2) jr., 125 Zak Shadley (38-9) jr., 130 Chase Packard (34-9) sr., 135 Coy Perry (43-7) soph., 140 Maurice Ames (32-13) soph., 145 Joey Preston (29-7) soph., 160 Kent McCombs (28-2) sr., 189 Logan Badge (33-4) sr.; 130-G Faith Blackburn (20-1) soph.
Outlook: Eight starters return this weekend from last season’s Division 4 championship match win, and they provide major points potential even as the team graduated two individual champions. Badge also will be attempting to join the four-time individual champions group next weekend, again at 189, and Younts (103) and Perry (112) were Division 4 champs a year ago as well. Busz was the 112 runner-up to Perry in 2021, while Shadley (119), George Ames (140) and McCombs (145) also all finished runners-up at last year’s Individual Finals, McCombs for the second straight. Ames, a senior, is 21-2 at 152.
Record/rank: 26-1, No. 3
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference East
Coach: Randy Miniard, 11th season (260-100)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Isaiah Mullins (34-3) sr., 125 Fabian Facundo (33-2) fr., 130 Buddy Leonard (32-8) fr., 135 Gianni Tripp (28-7) jr., 160 Jaden Morrow (35-5) sr., 171 Cole O’Boyle (35-2) soph., 189 Jacob Munger (35-2) sr., 215 Adam Garcia (26-6) sr., 285 Caden Adams (17-11) sr.
Outlook: The Panthers have extended their Regional title streak to five seasons and are back in Kalamazoo as the No. 3 seed for the third straight after advancing again with a Regional Final win over No. 10 Portland. A lineup loaded with nine seniors has lost only to Division 1 No. 10 Brighton, in December. Munger placed fifth last season at 160, and O’Boyle and Tripp also will be making repeat trips to the Individual Finals.
#4 IMLAY CITY
Record/rank: 27-5, unranked
League finish: Fourth in Blue Water Area Conference
Coach: Tony D’Ambrosio, eighth season (118-76-1)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Tanner Land (39-8) fr., 119 Dominic D’Ambrosio (41-2) soph., 125 Cristian Rojas (42-3) sr., 130 Julian Rojas (41-4) jr., 145 Anthony D’Ambrosio (40-6) jr., 215 Latham Perry (32-12) jr., 285 Chris Torres (38-9) sr.
Outlook: The Spartans are making their first trip to the Quarterfinals, and after an unforgettable Regional at which they defeated No. 4 Algonac 36-30 and No. 5 Richmond 37-31. Cristian Rojas finished fourth at 125 at last year’s Individual Finals; he’s part of a powerful group of five wrestlers with at least 33 wins apiece taking the mat between 119-145.
Record/rank: 30-5, unranked
League finish: Second in West Michigan Conference
Coach: Brad Altland, 11th season (277-95)
Championship history: Has never appeared in an MHSAA Final.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Trayce Tate (37-4) jr., 145 Mason Cantu (44-1) sr., 160 Zane Thomas (34-15) jr., 215 Leo Guadarrama (44-2) sr.
Outlook: Hart is making its third-straight trip to Finals weekend, this time the fifth seed after previously entering as a No. 7 last year and No. 4 in Division 4 in 2019. Tate and Cantu were Individual Finals placers last season, and Cantu and Guadarrama are two of only three senior starters for a lineup that should continue to surge next winter.
Record/rank: 18-5, No. 7
League finish: Second in Mid-Michigan Activities Conference
Coach: Jason Perrin, fifth season (80-41)
Championship history: Nine MHSAA championships (most recent 2005), five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Hunter Coxon (38-5) jr., 135 Aidan Bernard (41-1) sr., 140 Blake Greenman (11-7) sr., 189 Braxton Powell (33-12) sr., 285 Levi Harber (39-4) sr., 285 Aden Viar (8-6) sr.
Outlook: A senior-loaded lineup is bringing Montrose to Finals weekend for the fourth consecutive year, as eight seniors start and are joined by six underclassmen. The Rams defeated No. 6 Freeland 45-22 in a Regional Semifinal last week. Harber was the 285 runner-up last season, and Bernard also was an individual placer.
Record/rank: 15-1, unranked
League finish: Second in Mid-Peninsula Conference
Coach: Jeff Brazeau, third season (44-11)
Championship history: Upper Peninsula Finals champion 1987, two UP runner-up finishes
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Eli Terrien (26-8) jr., 112 Drew Hansen (33-5) soph., 119 Michael Brazeau (38-7) sr., 125 Austin Solis (28-1) soph., 285 Brett Boudreau (41-4) sr.
Outlook: Gladstone finished second in its league only to Division 4 team qualifier Iron Mountain, and is making its first trip to Finals weekend since 2016. Gladstone defeated No. 8 Kingsley 46-34 in a Regional Final to advance. Hansen and Solis were individual placers last season.
Record/rank: 25-10 unranked
League finish: First in Southwestern Athletic Conference
Coach: Dale Davidhizar III, eighth season (137-69)
Championship history: 1993 Class C-D champion, 2002 Division 3 runner-up
Individual Finals qualifiers: 130 Eric Demas (30-10) sr., 152 Dathan Smith (17-20) soph., 171 Troy Demas (40-1) jr., 189 Bennett VandenBerg (44-7) soph., 215 Greg Reed (24-8) soph.; 170-G Bo Geibe (22-3) sr.
Outlook: Constantine won its third-straight District and second-straight Regional titles to earn this weekend’s trip to Wings. Eric Demas is the only senior starter, and the Falcons should continue to rise with nine underclassmen also in the lineup. Demas also is one of five wrestlers with at least 30 wins this winter.
PHOTO Braeden Davis will try to help Dundee to a fifth-straight Division 3 championship this weekend. (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.
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@example.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.)