Hudson Wins D4 Rematch, 6th Team Title

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

February 25, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT – Scott Marry’s emotional celebrations had become a staple at the MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals.

The Hudson coach had nervously watched his team win a handful of Division 4 titles, each time exploding with energy after a clinching late victory. On Saturday, however, Marry was able to reflect a bit as his team locked up the championship a little more than halfway through its title match against rival New Lothrop.

“It is so fun to win them at the last second, but it’s also fun to watch these kids as they came off the mat one at a time to get to experience them experiencing a state title as a team,” said Marry, who was still plenty excited. “So I slowed it down, and I got to take in some really cool moments with some kids one on one. It was kind of neat.”

Hudson defeated New Lothrop 51-13 at McGuirk Arena on the campus of Central Michigan University, claiming the school’s sixth Division 4 wrestling title, and first since 2013. The Tigers had finished runners-up to New Lothrop in each of the previous three seasons after winning five straight titles from 2009-13.

“It’s great. It’s amazing. It’s breathtaking,” Hudson senior 215-pounder Zack Bailey said. “It’s hard to explain unless you do it. We wanted it to be (New Lothrop). We wanted a little bit of revenge.”

Bailey and Tylor Grames are the only two seniors on the Hudson roster. While they’re certainly key pieces, they know they’re leaving behind a team that’s capable of making a 10th straight appearance in an MHSAA Finals title match.

“It makes me feel like the next couple years are going to be very strong,” Grames said. “Very strong.”

It was Grames and Bailey who started out the dual with a bang for the Tigers, staking their team to a 9-0 lead.

Grames, who is ranked No. 2 at 189 pounds in Division 4 by Michigan Grappler, opened the match with a 5-1 win against the top-ranked wrestler at his weight, Erik Birchmeier. Takedowns in the second and third periods were enough to give him the mini upset and give his team momentum early on.

“I think the tone set us up for victory, I honestly do,” Grames said. “I was No. 2, he was No. 1; I had to stay focused. I came out on top and the team kept it up. It was positive.”

Bailey wasted little time in building on the momentum, getting a pin in 19 seconds at 215 pounds.

“I felt really good about (starting the dual at 189 pounds),” Marry said. “With my Grames kid being ranked second in the state wrestling their No. 1 kid, we knew it was going to be close enough for us to win. We had a really good matchup at 215 and heavy, and we were really solid from 112 to 135. I thought that could be almost too much for their lineup to come back from. I think that kind of did them in. I think we got the momentum, and I think you start losing doubt.”

It indeed was too much for New Lothrop to come back from, as Hudson won six of the next seven matches after their seniors set the tone, building a 36-4 lead and clinching the title with five matches remaining.

“I felt like I’m on top of the world,” Grames said. “For the last half hour, I’ve been sitting here happy.”

Isiah Krizek won a 7-0 decision at 285 for Hudson, and after Logan Wolford put New Lothrop on the board with a 9-1 major decision at 103 pounds, Hudson got three straight pins from Tucker Sholl (112), Tyler Curtis (119) and Jordan Hamdan (125). Scotty Torres won 4-0 at 130 pounds for the Tigers, and Carson Price clinched the team victory with an 8-6 decision over second-ranked Austin Wolford at 135.

Malik Ray won 7-2 at 152 for Hudson, while John Betz (160) and Spencer Blanco (171) closed out the dual with back-to-back pins.

Justin Carnahan won by pin at 140 pounds for New Lothrop, while Zack Riley won a 5-2 decision at 152.

“Part of coaching at New Lothrop is that’s our goal – to get here each year and give ourselves a chance to win it,” New Lothrop coach Jeff Campbell said. “I absolutely think we’ll have a shot in the future, we’ll be stronger and we’ll learn something from what happened today.”

Like Hudson, New Lothrop is remarkably young. Twelve wrestlers who took the mat Saturday for the Hornets could be back next season, meaning the Division 4 titans who have claimed the last nine titles (six for Hudson, three for New Lothrop) will likely be the teams to beat again in 2018.

Hudson entered the weekend as the top seed and top-ranked by Michigan Grappler. New Lothrop, unranked at the end of the regular season, was seeded sixth this weekend but downed third seed Carson City-Crystal and second seed Leroy Pine River to reach the Final.

“When you’re wrestling against Jeff Campbell’s group, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose,” Marry said. “They’re going to bring it, we’re going to bring it; we’re not counting wins and losses against these guys. It’s really not that type of rivalry. It’s a classy rivalry; it’s a rivalry of respect. We just said to each other out there, we hope to see each other again next year out there.”

The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard.

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PHOTOS: (Top) Hudson's Isiah Krizek takes control against Cameron Dusenberry during their match at 285 pounds. (Middle) New Lothrop's Logan Wolford works toward his 9-1 major decision win at 103. (Click for more from

Bragging Rights for Both as Multi-Sport Sage Twins Shine at Ford Field

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

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.)