D3 Preview: New Final Match-up, Guaranteed

February 26, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Dundee and Richmond have met in the last four MHSAA Division 3 championship matches. 

That will not happen this weekend. 

By way of Dundee receiving the top seed and Richmond the fourth, those rivals could meet in a Saturday morning Semifinal, with the winner expected to see either Remus Chippewa Hills or Lake Fenton to decide the title this time. 

And that's if seeds play out – a scenario four more teams are working against. 

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 3, listed by seed. Quarterfinal matches begin at 4 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at noon Saturday and the championship match at 3:30 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.

The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard.

#1 Dundee

Record/rank: 19-0, No. 1
League finish: First in Lenawee County Athletic Association.
Coach: Tim Roberts, 17
th season (458-61-1)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2014), six runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 135 Tylor Orrison (33-3) soph.; 140 Zach Blevins (44-3) sr.; 145 Alex Motylinski (34-11) jr.; 152 Sean Sterling (40-4) jr.; 160 Kyle Reinhart (21-10) soph.; 171 Kyle Motylinski (31-9) soph.; 189 Brandon Whitman (41-1) soph.; 215 Gabe Heiserman (39-9) sr.
Outlook: Dundee is up to 14 straight appearances at Finals weekend, coming off its eighth championship match appearance in nine seasons although the Vikings saw their two-season streak of titles come to an end with a two-point loss to Richmond a year ago. Three more wins would give Dundee its first perfect season under Roberts – it has lost only one match twice during his tenure, including in 2013-14. Whitman was the champion at 171 and Blevins an individual runner-up last season at 135, and Orrison, Sterling, Heiserman and senior Drew Mandell all were placers.

#2 Remus Chippewa Hills

Record/rank: 30-1, No. 4
League finish: First in Central State Activities Association Gold.
Coach: Nate Ethridge, 16
th season (463-90)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Mason Hayes (36-10) fr.; 119 Kaden Ellis (42-6) jr.; 140 Todd Slade (43-4) sr.; 145 Jaycob Sharp (46-4) soph.; 152 David Spedowski (35-8) soph.; 160 Luke Henderson (36-14) jr.; 189 Brendan Barry (43-6) sr.; 215 Billy Koepf (45-4) soph.; 285 Andrew Vinton (35-13) soph.  
Outlook: Chippewa Hills is seeking the take the next step for the first time after reaching the Semifinals last season for the second time and the Quarterfinals now for the ninth in 11 seasons. The road once again was a tough one, with No. 6 Caro among those the Warriors defeated to reach CMU. Slade was an individual placer in 2015 and is one of only three seniors in a lineup with eight underclassmen and 12 wrestlers total with at least 30 wins.

#3 Lake Fenton

Record/rank: 38-3, No. 2
League finish: First in Genesee Area Conference. 
Coach: Vance Corcoran, sixth season (190-53)
Championship history: Division 3 runner-up 2011.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 AJ Geyer (46-8) jr.; 119 Jarrett Trombley (27-0) soph.; 125 Hunter Corcoran (47-9) jr.; 135 Sean Trombley (42-14) fr.; 135 Devan Melick (48-2) soph.; 140 Jackson Nevadomski (49-8) soph.; 285 Trent Hillger (57-0) jr.
Outlook: Lake Fenton has bounced way back after not winning its league or District last season, returning to the Quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons and third time under Corcoran, a two-time MHSAA individual champion during the mid-1980s. Hillger was the individual champion last season at 215 and helps headline a lineup with only two seniors and 12 wrestlers total with at least 30 wins. Corcoran and senior Saben Spangler also were individual placers last season.

#4 Richmond

Record/rank: 24-10, No. 3
League finish: First in Blue Water Area Conference. 
Coach: Brandon Day, 12
th season (382-84)
Championship history: Seven MHSAA championships (most recent 2015), five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Hunter Seguin (20-12) fr.; 112 Roy Costello (35-10) jr.; 119 Cody Keller (36-7) sr.; 119 Alec Ziza (29-11) soph.; 125 Aaron Kilburn (39-4) sr.; 135 Graham Barton (27-6) sr.; 140 Alex Roberts (24-14) soph.; 171 Colton McKiernan (36-6) soph.; 215 Tyler Marino (33-13) soph.
Outlook: Richmond is back at the Quarterfinals for the eighth straight season after edging Dundee for the title in 2015, and despite graduating a strong group of nine seniors who led the charge. There are only four seniors in the lineup this time and six underclassmen, but Kilburn was the individual runner-up last year at 119 and won at 112 as a sophomore. McKiernan and Costello also were placers last winter.

#5 Whitehall

Record/rank: 25-1, No. 5
League finish: First in West Michigan Conference.
Coach: Cliff Sandee, ninth season (210-32)
Championship history: Class C runner-up 1984.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Hunter Bower (39-6) soph.; 119 Corey Robinson (42-6) sr.; 125 Allen Powers (39-13) fr.; 135 Reiley Brown (45-1) sr.; 140 Jwan Britton (45-2) sr.; 140 Josh Thommen (34-13) soph.; 145 Jojo Dowdell (40-5) jr.; 152 Joe Haynes (37-18) sr.; 189 Luke Morningstar (40-15) sr.
Outlook: After a two-season hiatus, Whitehall is back at the Quarterfinals for the third time in five years after surviving a path that included frequent power Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Brown was the individual champion last season at 125, and Britton was third at 135; they anchor a lineup keyed by seven upperclassmen and also 11 wrestlers total with at least 30 wins.

#6 Birch Run

Record/rank: 26-4, No, 7
League finish: Second in Tri-Valley Conference East.
Coach: Mike Miller, first season (26-4)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Kyle Parlberg (31-17) fr.; 125 Mason Breece (49-3) soph.; 135 Trent Naragon (15-8) fr.; 140 Kyle Naragon (24-12) jr.; 145 Ean Taylor (38-8) sr.; 152 Malachi Breece (39-13) sr.; 160 Logan Bovee (40-9) sr.; 160 Tyler Childs (39-8) sr.
 The Panthers are making their fourth trip to Finals weekend in five seasons, this time with a first-year varsity coach and eight underclassmen – although Miller has coached in the community for more than a decade. Mason Breece, Taylor and Childs all placed at last season’s Individual Finals, and Bovee also is a returning qualifier for that tournament next weekend.

#7 Gladstone

Record/rank: 16-1, unranked
League finish: First in Great Northern Conference. 
Coach: Jesse DeBacker, sixth season (65-17)
Championship history: Upper Peninsula champion 1987, two U.P. runner-up finishes. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 130 Adam Bruce (36-1) fr.; 145 Bobby Beauchamp (32-4) sr.; 160 Austin Demeuse (35-3) jr.; 160 James Bruce (27-5) sr.; 285 Zach Bailey (24-6) jr.
Outlook: This is Gladstone’s fourth trip the Quarterfinals over the last decade and first since 2013, and comes with Beauchamp also a returning individual placer at 145. He’s one of only two seniors in a lineup with seven underclassmen and a strong group of juniors. Gladstone defeated No. 10 Roscommon by eight points in the Regional Final.

#8 Delton Kellogg

Record/rank: 19-3, unranked
League finish: First in Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley. 
Coach: Brett Bissett, first season (19-3)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition. 
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Jake Bever (41-14) jr.; 145 Christian Kapteyn (24-12) sr.; 152 Jake Reed (48-2) sr.; 215 Tyden Ferris (50-2) soph.; 285 Esteban Villalobos (32-15) jr.
Outlook: This will be the first appearance for Delton Kellogg at an MHSAA Quarterfinals, but the Panthers dominated on the way not giving up more than 15 points in a postseason match. Ferris finished eighth at 215 as a freshman last season and is the most accomplished so far of a lineup with only four seniors. Bissett, a two-time league champion last decade, was an assistant for nine seasons before taking over this winter.

PHOTO: A Remus Chippewa Hills wrestler works against an opponent from Hudson during last month's duals at CMU. (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.)