D4 Preview: Return of the Champs

February 25, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

This weekend’s Division 4 Individual Finals field is loaded with wrestlers who've had their shares of success at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Eight champions are back from last season, as are 10 who finished runners-up at their respective weights. Hudson senior Cole Weaver is going for his third MHSAA individual championship after also helping the Tigers to three team titles.

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.

285: Ryan Prescott, Whittemore-Prescott junior (30-0) – Continues to build an impressive career at the heaviest weight; he’s wrestling for his third straight championship match appearance and second straight title, and is 78-1 combined over the past two seasons.

112: Roddy Hamdan, Hudson junior (41-12) – Moved up to 112 this season after winning the 103-pound title in 2013 and finishing fifth at that weight as a freshman.

119: Logan Griffin, Erie-Mason junior (31-4) – One of the best stories of last season’s Finals, Grffin overcame a separated shoulder to win the 112-pound title in overtime over two-time champion Kenneth Dittenber from Carson City-Crystal. Griffin was an MHSAA runner-up as a freshman.

125: Zack Yates, Hesperia senior (43-0) – Last season’s champion at 119 pounds is a combined 94-1 over his last two and is wrestling for his third championship match berth; he finished runner-up at 119 as a sophomore.

140: Cole Weaver, Hudson senior (53-0) – Reigning champion at 130 hasn’t lost since his freshman season and has never finished lower than second place at an MHSAA Finals. Weaver has won two titles after finishing runner-up at 112 as a freshman, and brings a career 216-7 record into the weekend.

145: J.D. Waters, Hudson senior (45-10) – Reigning champion at 135 has had a bit of a tougher go after jumping two weights, but is still seeking his third championship match berth and never has placed lower than third at a Finals.

152: Austin Hughes, Saginaw Nouvel senior (44-2) – Just missed winning Nouvel’s first wrestling championship ever last season, falling 4-2 to New Lothrop's Josh Wendling (see below) at 145 pounds. He’s also earned third and fifth places during his outstanding career.

160: Josh Wendling, New Lothrop senior (52-4) – Attempting to add a second straight title after winning at 145 in 2013; Wendling has made at least the Semifinals his first three seasons and brings a 198-24 record into the weekend.

171: Taylor Krupp, New Lothrop senior (52-0) – Hasn’t lost since falling in overtime in last season’s 160-pound championship match and finished third at his weight in the Finals the year before that. Krupp joined Wendling in helping the Hornets to last weekend’s team title.

189: Jacob Cooper, Springport junior (41-2) – Beat Krupp 7-5 in overtime in the 160-pound championship match last season and has continued to shine after moving up two weights. He also was a runner-up, at 145 pounds, as a freshman.

Other 2013 runners-up: Montrose junior Arthur Payne (112, 45-2, 103 in 2013), Hudson senior Isaac Dusseau (119, 34-11), Fife Lake Forest Area senior Matthew Elliott (130, 35-1, 47-6 in 2013), Hesperia senior Chase Siersema (140, 41-3, 135 in 2013), Grass Lake senior Chad Decker (145, 31-2, 140 in 2013), Hart senior Spencer Reterstoff (160, 43-2, 152 in 2013), Sandusky senior Pat Brown (171, 38-4), Laingsburg sophomore Kevin Koenig (215, 44-3).

Also undefeated: Watervliet senior Brock Thumm (135, 36-0), New Lothrop sophomore Steven Garza II (140, 25-0), Constantine senior Andres Montoya (140, 44-0), Manton senior Tristin Rosted (171, 44-0), Detroit Loyola junior Patrick Harbin Jr. (215, 17-0).

Others of note: Hesperia sophomore Davian Gowens (103, 20-3), Dansville sophomore Clay Ragon (112, 51-1), Jonesville senior Carter Ballinger (130, 43-1).

PHOTO: Hudson’s Cole Weaver hoists his opponent during a Team Semifinals match against Hesperia last weekend in Battle Creek. (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.)