Dundee Repeats in Latest D3 Rematch

February 22, 2014

By Chip Mundy
Special to Second Half

BATTLE CREEK – A “cement job” by Ryan Heiserman of the Dundee wrestling team on Saturday paved the way to the MHSAA Division 3 team wrestling championship at Kellogg Arena.

Heiserman used what the team calls a “cement job” to pin his opponent at 160 pounds, and it sparked Dundee to its second consecutive Division 3 title with a 34-24 victory over Richmond. It was a rematch of last year’s championship match, which also went to Dundee, 35-26.

“That pin was huge,” Dundee coach Tim Roberts said. “Over the head and under the arm and take it to the back – we call it a cement job.

“I call it a state championship.”

Heiserman, a senior who had never wrestled in an MHSAA championship match, was not a heavy favorite despite a 32-9 record.

He trailed 1-0 into the second period but suddenly took control and pinned his opponent with the “cement job” 3 minutes and 5 seconds into the match. The “cement job” seemingly happened in a matter of seconds.

“I just went out there, and I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Heiserman said. “I didn’t even know who the kid was, and it kind of scared me getting sent out there. It was really exciting when I got it, but it was a tough one to get.

“I’m surprised. My body just flew right over the top and sunk right in on top of him. It’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life.”

Richmond had won the first three matches by decisions to grab a 9-0 lead, but back-to-back technical falls by Zach Blevins (119) and Brendan O’Connor (125) gave the Vikings a one-point lead. Richmond regained the lead with back-to-back decisions before Dundee senior Doug Rojem won by decision at 140 to cut the deficit to 15-13.

At that point, there had not been a pin in the Final, but Dundee senior Sean Marogen changed that just 53 seconds into his match to give the Vikings a lead they would never relinquish.

“It’s my senior year,” Marogen said. “I just really wanted to do something big for my team. We worked hard all season, and we just wanted it more.”

Last year, Marogen lost his match in the Final and watched his brother John close out his dual-meet career with a win. He wanted to match his brother in that regard.

“He’s inspired me a lot, and we all push each other,” Marogen said. “It’s just awesome.”

Marogen’s pin gave Dundee a 19-15 lead going into Heiserman’s pivotal match, and the Vikings had strong wrestlers Tye Thompson and Teddy Warren ready in the next two. Heiserman’s victory clinched the championship in the eyes of many Dundee wrestlers and fans.

“I felt pretty good,” Roberts said. “I knew with Tye Thompson coming that we were in good shape – and we won the toss, so I knew they had to put their guy out at 189, which gave us the right guy to put on the right guy. 

“It was the right matchup, and once we won at 160 with a pin, we were in good shape. I knew that.”

After Heiserman’s win, Thompson and Warren did what was expected of them. Thompson won with a 9-2 decision, setting the stage for Warren, who only needed a decision to clinch the win for his team. But with the crowd chanting, “Ted-EEE, Ted-EEE, Ted-EEE,” Warren wanted to end his dual-meet career at Dundee with a pin to clinch. 

He picked up the pin in 3:37 while holding a 4-0 lead.

“You can’t really think of a better situation for a senior,” Warren said. “I’m glad I got to help out and seal the deal, but it really was a team effort. A lot of kids helped keep their matches close, and that’s really what won us the dual. 

“Right after our 171-pounder won, I knew we were going to win because I knew there was no way I was going to get pinned or give up any bonus points.”

Dundee (25-1) breezed to the championship match by defeating Lake Fenton 53-12 in the Quarterfinal and Saginaw Swan Valley 58-9 in the semi. Blevins (41-7), Rojem (42-4), Thompson (37-6) and Warren (19-3) each went 3-0 on the weekend. Rojem is the defending individual champion at 140, and Warren is the defending individual champion at 189. 

Adam Boyd (29-10), Austin Vannatter (31-9) and Devin Skatzka (33-3) each went 3-0 for Richmond (23-5), which had won three consecutive Division 3 championships before Dundee ended the run last year.

Skatzka is the defending individual champion at 145. 

“Last year, we just had a lot of pressure because we wanted to overcome, and this year it was just fun,” Marogen said. “We just came to wrestle; that’s all we wanted to do.”

Dundee has been in the Finals in seven of the past eight seasons and won three times during that span. 

Dundee and Richmond have met in the Finals in four of the past five seasons.

“I have a ton of respect for them because they do such a good job, and every time to beat them at all, it’s a big deal because they’re so good, and they are at their best here,” Roberts said. “People will beat them during the season and say, ‘Ah, Richmond isn’t that good this year,’ and I say, ‘Try to wrestle them at the end of February and see what you think.’ They have it together.” 

Richmond coach Brandon Day praised the Dundee program, too.

“I think we have a ton of mutual respect between each other,” he said. “Tim Roberts, he does what it takes to win. He puts the time in just like we do. The kids decide it; it is what it is. 

“If we’re going to lose to someone, I want to lose to someone who does things the right way.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) A Dundee wrestler lets out a celebratory yell during Saturday's Division 3 championship match. (Middle) Richmond and Dundee wrestlers do battle in the third straight MHSAA Final match between the teams. (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 [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.)