DCC's Mooradian Shoots for One More

February 27, 2012

Championships have become a regular part of Alec Mooradian's high school wrestling career. In each of the last three seasons, he's emerged from the 16 best wrestlers at his weight in Division 1 to stand alone atop the awards podium as an MHSAA individual title winner.

This weekend, the Detroit Catholic Central senior can claim one more of those -- and finish a feat only 15 others have accomplished in the history of the sport in this state.

Mooradian and St. Johns' Taylor Massa -- who also has won three titles over the last three seasons -- can become the 16th and 17th wrestlers in MHSAA history to finish with four individual championships. Mooradian enters the weekend with a 44-2 record this season as he targets the 152-pound title; he's 40 pounds heavier than he was when he captured his first crown. His 206 career victories also rank among the MHSAA all-time career leaders and reflect years of dedication.

“I spend a ton of time doing extra things before or after practice," Mooradian said. "Whether it's working on technique, running, or spending time in the weight room I am always trying to do something extra; trying to outwork everyone."

Mooradian, a recipient of one of this week's Second Half High 5s, began his rise to prominence by capturing the 112-pound medal in 2009 with a 2-0 win over Holts’ Ben Matthiesen. That capped his freshman year with a 48-0 record.

He followed with a 59-1 campaign in 2010, finishing the year with a 119-pound title by downing Davison’s Brandon Shuart 3-1 in the Final. A year ago, Mooradian went undefeated at 55-0 and claimed his third individual MHSAA championship, this time at 135 with a win over Jake Weissend of Flint Carman-Ainsworth.

His latest wins came on two pins and a decision as the Shamrocks again won the Division 1 championship Saturday at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena. He also played significant roles on the 2010 championship team and last season's MHSAA runner-up. 

Technique and physical training make up a big portion of Mooradian's year-round training. But he also works hard to transfer his physical preparation to the mental aspects demanded by the one-on-one nature of wrestling.

“In my mind, matches are won before setting foot on the mat,” he said. “I have always strived to be a composed wrestler. This attribute allows me to stay in every match no matter what the score is, and it keeps me free of any nerves heading into a high pressure situation. Having a chance for a fourth state title is a great opportunity, and I look forward to it.”

Report was compiled by the MHSAA's Rob Kaminski.

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.)