D4 Preview: Veterans of the Medal Stand
February 27, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
If you're a Division 4 wrestling fan, you're going to recognize more than a few faces taking the mat this weekend.
Carson City-Crystal's Kenneth Dittenber will attempt to finish his high school career with a third-straight title. Five more 2012 champs also are back, plus six returning runners-up. A seventh second-place finisher from last season is wrestling in Division 3 instead.
See below for 10 contenders to watch this weekend, plus others who enter the tournament undefeated or coming off runner-up finishes in 2012. Follow all the matches beginning with Thursday's first round 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.
10 to watch
285: Ryan Prescott, Whittemore-Prescott sophomore – Fell in last season’s Final at 285 by a score of 4-3, but enters this weekend’s tournament 44-1.
112: Kenneth Dittenber, Carson City-Crystal senior – After claiming the last two championships at 103 pounds, has moved up to 119 and comes to the Palace with a 50-4 record.
112: Logan Griffin, Erie-Mason sophomore – Won’t make winning that next title easy for Dittenber; finished runner-up last season and is 23-0.
119: Zack Yates, Hesperia junior – Boasts a 49-1 record after helping his team to second at the Team Final and finished runner-up at this weight last season.
130: Cole Weaver, Hudson junior – Helped the Tigers to a record-tying fifth-straight team title last weekend, and now will go for a third-straight championship match berth and second straight title; enters Thursday with a 48-0 record.
140: Jacob Perrin, New Lothrop senior – Looking to finish his high school career with a second-straight title after winning 130 last season; enters the weekend 59-2 this winter.
140: Chanc Ravish, Niles-Brandywine senior – Carries a 46-2 record into this weekend and after finishing second to Perrin at 130 last season.
152: Jared Bruner, Addison senior – Like Perrin, hoping to finish with a second-straight championship after winning 145 last season; comes to the Palace with a 47-3 record this season.
171: Galloway Thurston, St. Ignace senior – Claimed the championship last season at this weight after finishing runner-up in 2011; will carry a 48-2 record into the repeat quest.
215: Joe Ostman, St. Ignace senior – Can finish his high school career with three championships after winning 189 in 2011 and 215 last season, and is 50-0 so far this winter.
Also undefeated: Bangor senior Stephon Willis (130, 39-0).
Other runners-up: Springport sophomore Jacob Cooper (160, 42-2, 145 in 2012), Sand Creek senior Nick Garza (160, 46-7, 152 in 2012).
PHOTO: Carson City-Crystal's Kenneth Dittenber (right), here in last season's Division 4 championship match at 103, will go for a third-straight title this weekend. (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.
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 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.)