Division 4: Chasing Hudson

February 21, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

With a fifth-straight MHSAA Division 4 championship Saturday, Hudson would join Davison as the only two schools to accomplish that feat since the Team Finals began in 1988. 

But seven other teams at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena will do their best to make their own history instead this weekend. 

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 4, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 11:45 Saturday morning and the championship match at 4 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv. For results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page. Rankings below are from MichiganGrappler.com


Record/rank: 27-6, No. 1
League finish: Second in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Scott Marry, 25th season (654-141)
Championship history: Four MHSAA championships (most recently 2012).
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Zach Rieger (48-1) sr., 103 Roddy Hamdan (42-5) soph., 112 Tyler Roberts (36-16) soph., Isaac Dusseau (44-6) jr., 125 Mason Lopinski (33-19) fr., 130 Cole Weaver (46-0) jr., 130 Carlos Randall (26-4) jr., 135 JD Waters (35-5) jr., 135 Wyatt Spangler (27-22) sr., 152 Kyle Johnson (41-15) fr., 215 Jake Morgan (37-12) jr.
Outlook: Only Hudson, Davison and Dundee have won at least four straight Team Finals championships. Last year’s run was led by a pair of seniors who went on to individual championships, but Hudson merely has reloaded led in part by Weaver, who claimed last season’s Division 4 title at 119. And only three of this weekend’s expected starters are seniors.


Record/rank: 33-2, No. 2
League finish: Tied for first in Central State Activities Association
Coach: Doug Baird, 12th season (399-41)
Championship history: MHSAA champion 2008, four runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Wyatt Conkle (39-13) soph., 103 Corey Agens (38-15) jr., 103 Davian Gowens (36-11) fr., 119 Zack Yates (46-1) jr., 130 David Jacobs (49-7) jr., 135 Chase Siersema (52-3) jr., 140 Mark Workman (37-13) fr., 145 Cash Bolles (37-7) sr., 160 Lee Siersema (49-7) sr., 189 Eldon Graham (42-8) jr., 215 Scott Rosencrans (25-13) fr.
Outlook: Last season was the only one over the last nine in which in the Panthers didn't make it to Battle Creek, and they've made the Semifinals six times during that span. Two of Hesperia’s runner-up finishes came against Hudson in 2011 and 2009 by a combined 14 points. Yates was an individual runner-up last season, to Hudson’s Weaver at 119, and Chase Siersema was an individual runner-up in 2011. Like Hudson again, only two of Hesperia’s expected starters this weekend are seniors.


Record/rank: 31-4, No. 3
League finish: First in Genesee Area Conference
Coach: Jeff Campbell, 12th season (307-62)
Championship history: 12 MHSAA championships (most recently 2004), four runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Cole Hersch (43-11) fr., 119 Johnny Robinson (33-14) fr., 125 Gabe Bennett (40-11) soph., 130 Dalton Birchmeier (28-22) soph., 140 Jacob Perrin (55-2) sr., 145 Josh Wendling (41-5) jr., 152 Aaron Bauman (45-6) jr., 160 Taylor Krupp (46-3) jr., 171 Dakota Clark (26-23) jr., 189 Cody Symons (53-2) jr., 215 Owen Wilson (35-10) jr.
Outlook: New Lothrop has reached the Quarterfinals all 12 seasons under Campbell and eclipsed 30 wins two of the last three. His line-up has only one senior, but that senior – Jacob Perrin – is coming off an MHSAA individual championship at 130. Four others are ranked among the top four in their individual weight classes this winter.


Record/rank: 21-0, No. 7
League finish: First in St. Joseph Valley Conference
Coach: Al Sosinski, 30th season (474-234)
Championship history: MHSAA runners-up in 2002 and 2003.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Jake Littlefield (36-10) sr., 125 Hunter Machus (42-5) sr., 130 Kahle Scheenks (33-15) soph., 145 Brandon Losinski (42-9) sr., 160 Dan Erwin (25-7) sr., 171 Leo Mora (33-6) sr., 189 Brett Burtrum (25-7) soph.
Outlook: Bronson has won its District the last 12 seasons and is making its first trip to the Quarterfinals since 2009. The line-up features eight seniors including five who will also compete at the Individual Finals. Machus and Mora are ranked among the top four in their respective weight classes. Sosinski’s record qualifies for listing among the top 20 winningest wrestling coaches in MHSAA history.  


Record/rank: 25-9, unranked
League finish: First in Tri-County Conference
Coach: Marc Spicer, fifth season (106-64)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Gabe Beaubien (40-17) sr., 103 Terry Burns (31-12) fr., 112 Michael Petee (37-19) soph., 145 Roger Fox (35-8) jr., 160 Nick Garza (45-7) sr., 189 Charlie Robertson (38-11) soph., 215 Garrett Miller (51-5) sr.
Outlook: Sand Creek has continued to build under Spicer with three straight District Titles and its first Regional championship under him this season. Garza finished individual Finals runner-up last season at 152 and leads a line-up with eight 30-match winners. All seven wrestlers between 145-285 have won at least 31 matches this season.


Record/rank: 26-6, No. 9
League finish: First in Central Michigan Athletic Conference
Coach: Kacy Datema, third season (57-28)
Championship history: MHSAA runners-up in 2000 and 2001.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Taylor Barkley (29-15) fr., 112 Kenneth Dittenber (49-4) sr., 119 Dallas O’Green (46-6) fr., 140 Garner Cusack (46-7) jr., 145 Dillan Decker (47-5) soph., 152 Darren Decker (50-2) soph., 160 Lincoln Burnham (14-9) soph.  
Outlook: Datema, a former Carson City-Crystal wrestler himself, has guided the Eagles back to Battle Creek after steady improvement during his first two seasons as coach. They could be back for a few more with nine underclassmen expected to start this weekend. Dittenber is a two-time Individual Finals champion, and Dillan Decker also is considered a top contender next weekend.   


Record/rank: 25-4, unranked
League finish: First in O-K Silver
Coach: Chad Kik, 13th season (255-138)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Tom Devos (35-12) jr., 135 Brendon Rodenburg (44-9) fr., 140 Jayson Ellicott (44-12) jr., 152 KJ Herremans (39-12) jr., 171 Shane Rodenburg (52-2) soph., 215 Konner Wolter (53-1) sr.
Outlook: Kent City has increased its win total four straight seasons, won its District the last three years and will make its first Quarterfinal appearance under Kik – who won an individual championship for Sparta in 1992. Wolter is one of only two seniors, but with Rodenburg is expected to contend for an individual championship next weekend. Kent City beat No. 10 Bangor in a tie-breaker at the Regional.


Record/rank: 21-2, unranked
League finish: First in Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference
Coach: Nick Burklund, fourth season (43-26)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 125 Cayleb Winkler (29-13) sr., 152 Taylor Bonetti (37-16) soph., 171 Jacob Rehn (30-13) soph.
Outlook: Norway too has increased its win total each of the last four seasons and despite posting sub-.500 marks in Burklund’s first two. The Knights could continue to surge with only two seniors on the roster this winter. Norway won its District matches by a combined score of 129-15, and then got past tough competitors Rogers City and St. Ignace at the Regional. 

PHOTO: Hudson's Cole Weaver (top) battles to an 18-6 major decision in his match at 125 pounds during last seaon's Division 4 Final at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena. 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 keithdunlap78@gmail.com 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.)