D3 Preview: Reigning Winners Abound

March 2, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Of 14 individual wrestling champions in Division 3 last season, 10 are back this weekend at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

So are five who finished runner-up a year ago, and two more who were runners-up in 2014.

And perhaps most noteworthy of all, Division 3 also has the only wrestler in any division going for a fourth MHSAA championship – Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Devin Schroder.

Below are 10 contenders we’ve broken out among many to watch this weekend at the Division 3 Individual Finals. 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 come back to Second Half this weekend as we’ll interview all 14 title winners.

119: Jarrett Trombley, Lake Fenton sophomore (29-0) – He’s wrestling now at Lake Fenton after winning the 112 title last season while attending Corunna and facing in the Final then-teammate Tristan Serbus, who he could see again at this weight.

119: Devin Schroder, Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior (42-1) – The champion at 112 in 2013 and 119 the last two seasons is seeking to become the 22nd wrestler in MHSAA history to win four Finals championships, and his lone loss was to Division 2 favorite Lucas Hall of Lowell.

125: Reiley Brown, Whitehall senior (47-1) – After helping his team to the Team Semifinals last weekend, Brown will try to repeat as individual champion at this weight; his only loss was to Division 2 contender Nate Ellis of Goodrich.

135: Matt Santos, Saginaw Swan Valley senior (48-1) – The future Michigan State grappler won the title at 130 last season after finishing runner-up at 119 as a sophomore; his only loss was to St. Johns reigning champ Ian Parker.

145: Kanen Storr, Leslie senior (55-0) – The champion at 103 as a freshman and 135 last season also finished runner-up at 119 to Schroder as a sophomore, and is the favorite again on his way to continuing at Iowa State.

160: Foster Karmon, Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior (30-0) – He’s also wrestling for a third MHSAA championship after winning 125 as a sophomore at Allegan and 145 last year for GRCC.

189: Brandon Whitman, Dundee sophomore (44-1) – He’s on his way to a fourth championship in two seasons of high school wrestling, with last weekend’s team title his second and after winning individually at 171 in 2015.

189: Jared Roehl, Millington junior (41-1) – Last season’s champion at this weight has only one loss over the last two seasons after taking a sixth place as a freshman.

285: Trent Hillger, Lake Fenton junior (59-0) – Last season’s champion at 215 is a combined 117-0 over the last two seasons after earning a fourth-place as a freshman.

285: Maddox Maki, Williamston senior (42-4) – He won this weight last season but finished second at last month’s Regional after being pinned by Hillger in the Final; they may meet again this weekend.

Other 2015 runners-up: Corunna senior Tristan Serbus (119, 50-3, 112 in 2015), Richmond senior Aaron Kilburn (125, 40-4, 119 in 2015), Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior Kole Krauss (130, 40-1, 130 in 2015), Dundee senior Zach Blevins (140, 46-4, 135 in 2015), Scottville Mason County Central senior Logan Merrick (145, 45-4, 145 in 2015).

Also undefeated: Ida senior Alex Martinez (130, 41-0), Croswell-Lexington junior Collin Lieber (152, 49-0), Midland Bullock Creek senior Adam McCann (171, 50-0).

Also of note: Perry junior Anthony Gallagher (103, 38-1), Howard City Tri-County senior Nick McGhan (112, 40-2), Saginaw Swan Valley senior KJ Suitor (51-1, 130), Dundee junior Sean Sterling (152, 43-4), Montrose senior Quintin Wilber (215, 44-4).

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

PHOTO: Grand Rapids Catholic Central's Devin Schroder stands atop the awards podium after claiming his third MHSAA title last 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 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.)