DCC, Hudson Standouts Next to Chase #4

March 9, 2018

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

There is no offseason for a championship wrestler.

And if he’s on the verge of making MHSAA history, he may get only a week off before getting back to work.

Hudson's Jordan Hamdan and Detroit Catholic Central's Kevon Davenport are ready to hit the mat again and train for next year in an attempt to become the state's 25th and 26th four-time individual champions. 

Both won their third straight Individual Finals titles last weekend at Ford Field, as Hamdan took the 130-pound weight class in Division 4 with a 10-0 major decision victory over Robert Rogers of Burton Bendle and Davenport won the 145-pound Division 1 title with a 7-1 decision over Vic Schoenherr of Bay City Western. 

"This Sunday and Monday I will get in some practice time and then go from there," said Hamdan, who finished this season with a 52-0 record. "It never ends. If you stop training then someone can catch up, so you have to keep improving."

Davenport is ready as well.

"(Being a four-time champ) is always in the back of everyone's mind when you get here," Davenport said. "I got my three in; now the next step is number four."

Davenport said he is open to advice from the 24 wrestlers who have already forged the path of four straight titles. 

That historic club increased by two members this year as Dundee's Brandon Whitman and Lake Fenton's Jarrett Trombley became four-timers Saturday evening.

"Wisdom is everything; experience is everything," Davenport said. "Even if there is a little bit that they can teach me, I will take whatever I can get."  

If Hamdan and Davenport can become Nos. 25 and 26, they will be the first four-time champions from their highly successful programs. 

Hudson and Detroit Catholic Central have each had multiple three-time champions – for Hudson, Devan Marry (2009-10, 2012) and Cole Weaver (2012-14) were three-timers, and for the Shamrocks Trevor Stewart (2003-05), Alec Mooradian (2009-11), Ken Bade (2011-13) and Drew Garcia (2012-14) claimed three titles.

"There is a lot that can go wrong trying to win four," Hudson coach Scott Marry said. "Injuries, sickness, being in the right weight class and keeping your weight under control. I think Jordan will be a good recipient of it because of what he does. He believes in the process and all the training that goes into avoiding those pitfalls."

Added Detroit Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock about Davenport: "Kevon could be the first for us. We have created such an environment at Catholic Central so that these guys flourish in it. We have very committed parents and very committed wrestlers."

Commitment is what all great wrestlers can agree is the key to making it to the top of the podium.

"I will put in the work," Hamdan said. "If I do what is necessary, I will still be comfortable no matter what the pressure becomes to be a four-timer. I will be focused on the goal. It all boils down to putting in the work."   

Hopefully that will be enough.

"There is an element of luck involved to win four," Scott Marry said. "But you make your own luck. Keep you weight in control, study your opponents and train and that will help you seize that opportunity.”

PHOTOS: (Top) Kevon Davenport’s arm is raised in victory after the Detroit Catholic Central junior earned his third MHSAA championship Saturday at Ford Field. (Middle) Hudson’s Jordan Hamdan also won his third individual title and receives a salute from the crowd. (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.

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.)