Hudson Makes Big Stage Home Again in Division 4 Championship Repeat
By Jeff Chaney
Special for MHSAA.com
February 25, 2023
KALAMAZOO – The Hudson wrestling team is never afraid of the big stage.
In fact, the Tigers thrive on it.
Hudson claimed its second-straight Division 4 team championship Saturday at Wings Event Center with an impressive 58-12 win over Bronson in the Final, 58-12.
The Tigers have won 10 team titles in head coach Scott Marry's 35 years of leading the program.
Marry said aside from a lot of hard work, it's a simple formula for the small school and community in southern Michigan.
"We love each other – I love my kids, and they love me," Marry said. "I love my coaching staff, and when you wrestle out of the environment like that, it settles in and it's really powerful. Everyone calls it momentum, but it's really love."
The love and momentum were on full display Saturday in Kalamazoo, especially in the championship match against Bronson.
After falling behind 6-0 from a pin at 215 pounds, the Tigers ran off a string of nine straight wins. And among those nine straight wins, Hudson had seven pins.
Starting the streak was senior heavyweight Aidan Rackowski with a pin in 2 minutes, 44 seconds.
Pinning their opponents is a consistent theme for Hudson at the Finals.
During the Tigers’ 62-18 win over Iron Mountain in the Quarterfinal, 51-12 win over Martin/Climax-Scotts in the Semifinal and the championship victory over Bronson, Hudson had a total of 17 pins.
"We just work on a lot of subconscious brain work in the room," Marry said, "And visualization and creativity. And that manifests itself; it's powerful. Believe it or not, kids nowadays really do want to learn. They want to be loved, and they want to be taken care of."
The 17th and final pin of the weekend for Hudson came from senior Logan Sallows at 190 pounds.
Sallows a returning Individual Finals placer.
"We push hard at practice," said Sallows, who is the second-ranked 190-pounder in Division 4 by Michigan Grappler. "We always want to get better as a team, always. Everyone is family, and we continue to push ourselves until we hit our limits."
And those limits are high.
Although it ran up against one of, if not the best team in Division 4 year in and year out, Bronson coach Chad Butters was proud of his team's run this year.
The third-seeded Vikings defeated Manchester in the Quarterfinals 39-19, then second-seeded St. Louis in the Semifinals 38-29.
"We felt really good coming in here," said Butters, whose team ended with a 39-2 record. "I thought we wrestled really well against Manchester. Then against St. Louis, we showed a lot of toughness and grit.
"Against Hudson, we knew we would have to pull off some upsets; that just didn't happen," he added. "They overwhelmed us. They wrestled their match. They did what they do best."
Bronson got its wins in the Final from Matthew Blankenship at 215, Carson Norton at 157 and Jacob Britten at 175.
"I am so proud of my young men," Butters said. "I am proud of their heart. We just fell short."
PHOTOS (Top) Hudson’s Nicholas Sorrow works toward a pin in his 113-pound match during the Division 4 Final. (Middle) Bronson’s Matthew Blankenship, right, and St. Louis’ Ramon Anguiano lock up at 285 in a Semifinal. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)
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@example.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.)