Hudson Finishes Drive for 5 in D4
February 23, 2013
By Jeremy Martin
Special to Second Half
BATTLE CREEK – Since 2009, Battle Creek has been like a second home to Hudson High School wrestling coach Scott Marry.
His Tigers know the city well, as Hudson had bused back north holding the MHSAA Division 4 championship trophy every season over the last four. But on Saturday, they did one better and made some additional history in the process.
Top-seeded Hudson defeated second-seeded Hesperia 32-24 at Kellogg Arena to claim a fifth-straight team title, tying Davison (2002-06) for the longest streak since the Team Finals began in 1988.
And it didn’t take long for Hudson to consider what it might take to become the first to make it six in a row.
“We’re not guaranteeing state title after state title; we know that that’s unheard of. But were coming back next year, and we’re going to be battling again next year,” Marry said. “We’ve got a young group, and I think we have a shot at coming back here and again being in the top four.”
Early on Saturday, it appeared Hudson (30-6) might make quick work of the Panthers, who were the last Division 4 champion in 2008 before the Tigers began this run.
Hudson jumped out to a fast 9-0 lead following two quick wins. But Hesperia was not to be run over, as the Panthers right away fired back and took their first lead following a 26-11 victory by senior Cash Bolles.
“It felt good to be back and to be rolling. It felt good because I’m a senior and I’m trying to lead the team and do as much as possible," Bolles said. "I just wanted to play my part."
From there, the Panthers (35-3) were able to jump to a 21-12 lead following a 54-second pin by freshman Scott Rosencrans at 189 pounds.
“I was just trying to get a win for my team, and I guess that drove me,” Rosencrans said. “We were just trying to keep the ball rolling, trying to win.”
His was the fifth victory in six matches for Hesperia. But instead of signaling the beginning of a Panthers victory march, it fired up a Tigers squad hungry for another title.
“You go back to the 171 (freshman Clayton Brockway 8-6 victory) and that 215 (junior Jake Morgan 11-9 victory), we’re sitting in the corner doing our numbers, and we had to win one of those to even stay in it,” Marry said. “And when you win both and in the fashion that we did, I think it was an incredible accomplishment for a freshman and a junior to do that on this stage.”
By the time 103 pound sophomore Roddy Hamdan took to the mat, the Tigers were poised to retake the lead. And they did, thanks to his 11-5 victory that earned the team a 25-21 advantage with three matches to wrestle.
“It feels like we’re done; we did what we came to do,” Hudson junior Cole Weaver said. “I didn’t expect anything less than this. We were in a slump for a minute there, but I knew once we got out of it we’d be fine.”
Though Weaver and the rest of his Tigers teammates exuded an air of confidence, even while trailing, the Panthers had no intention of going down without a fight and certainly felt they could be the ones to end Hudson’s championship streak.
“It would have meant a lot to us, to our school, to our community. It would have been very important to all of us,” Rosencrans said.
Despite the exhausting loss and a long weekend of wrestling, Hesperia coach Doug Baird too has high hopes for his squad heading into next season.
“Hats off to Hudson; they’re well coached and they have great wrestlers, and had a great match today. But it doesn't take anything away from our kids,” Baird said. “Our kids wrestled their butts off this weekend, and I’m really proud of them. We only wrestled two seniors on the weekend, so we’re going to bring a lot of experience back into the Finals (next year).”
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.
That 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 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.)