DCC 'Vikings' Dominate in D1 Repeat

February 24, 2018

By Butch Harmon
Special for Second Half

KALAMAZOO – They are called the Shamrocks, but for this wrestling season a more appropriate nickname would be Vikings.

The Detroit Catholic Central wrestling team not only won the Division 1 team championship this season, it dominated everything that got in its way in the state of Michigan.

Catholic Central’s final hurdle came in the Division 1 team championship match, a 57 to -1 win over Brighton, which had one point deducted early in the match for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The victory against Brighton capped a three-match blitz through Finals weekend by a combined score of 173-5 over the two-day event.

If that sounds like something out of Viking lore, that is exactly what the Shamrocks planned.

“Well, our team motto in the tourney is `burn it down, burn the boats,’” said Catholic Central junior Joe Urso. “Like they say on the TV show ‘The Vikings,’ ‘burn their boats.’ We came into this tournament looking to burn it down.”

That was exactly what a group of Shamrocks were chanting after the final match of the dual clinched a second consecutive title, the sixth Division 1 team title in the past nine years for Catholic Central.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Catholic Central junior Kevon Davenport. “We came out and from one through 14 everyone did a great job. We have great team unity, and that is one of our strong points. We have fun, and we like each other like brothers.”

Davenport was one of three Catholic Central wrestlers who recorded pins in the Final. Joshua Edmond (135 pounds) and Aidan Wagh (171) joined Davenport (145) with falls.

A pair of Shamrocks added five team points apiece with technical falls: senior Benyamin Kamali and junior Cameron Amine, a pair of two-time individual champions, won at 119 and 160 pounds, respectively.

“This is unbelievable,” said Kamali, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Kamali points to the team’s work ethic as a key to producing those impressive results.

“We are the hardest-working team in the state,” Kamali said. “Nobody in the state works as hard as we do. We also have the best coaches in the country.”

Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock has led the Shamrocks (29-1) to their six titles since 2010. Along with hard work, Hancock believes in testing his team against the best competition he can find.

“I believe iron sharpens iron,” Hancock said. “The common equation of all this year’s champions (Lowell, Dundee and Hudson as well) is the teams all put together such difficult schedules. We wrestled Lowell a few weeks ago, and we also wrestled Dundee and Hudson.”

Catholic Central’s lone loss this season came against Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward, ranked No. 8 nationally by one publication.

“We have been undefeated in Michigan the last two years,” Hancock said. “We have a great group of coaches who know how to lead young men. We also have great parents and great support from our school’s administration. We also have a great group of young men who focus on the team.”

Catholic Central received major decisions from Easton Turner (215) and Steven Kolcheff (285), who started the dual with four-point victories to put the Shamrocks up 8-0.  

Brighton (33-4) put up several strong efforts, but came up just short in six matches that ended in decisions. At 189 pounds, Catholic Central’s Rory Cox edged Brighton’s Greyson Stevens 3-1 in overtime. At 130 pounds, Catholic senior Stone Moscovic edged Brighton’s Zach Johnson 3-2. The Shamrocks’ Devon Johnsen (112) and Dominick Lomazzo (125) both won 3-1 decisions over Ben Manly and Eddie Homrock, respectively. Also picking up wins by decision for Catholic Central were Daniel Rehfeldt (103), Derek Gilcher (140) and Urso (152).

“This was pretty special,” Moscovic said. “Last year was a big moment because we lost in the Quarterfinals my sophomore year. We just came in with a mission this year. This team is like one big family. Each of our teammates is like a brother. Our team is more of a brotherhood.”

Click for full results of the weekend’s Division 1 matches.

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Catholic Central’s Dominick Lomazzo celebrates his win at 125 pounds. (Middle) Brighton’s Luke Stanton and DCC’s Easton Turner lock up at 215 pounds. (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.)