Lowell Rides Fast Start to D2 Repeat
February 28, 2015
By Butch Harmon
Special for Second Half
BATTLE CREEK – The Lowell wrestling team couldn’t have drawn up a better start to its match against Eaton Rapids in the Division 2 Final at Kellogg Arena on Saturday.
Just 14 seconds in, junior Lucas Hall whipped the Lowell fans into a frenzy when he delivered a pin, giving the Red Arrows a lightning-quick 6-0 lead. The fall ignited a 15-0 run by Lowell and paved the way to a 40-16 victory and a second consecutive title.
“I was just thinking I had to go out there and do everything in my power to get six,” Hall said. “I wanted to give us an early lead. I just didn’t think it would happen that fast.”
The quick pin was the perfect way for first-year Lowell coach R.J. Boudro to begin his head coaching experience in the Finals. Boudro formerly served as an assistant to previous coach Dave Dean, who stepped down after last season’s championship win.
“Lucas going out and getting six right off the bat was huge,” Boudro said. “It just so happened that the starting weight (119) was at Lucas’ weight class. That pin just lifted the whole team.”
Hall’s pin was one of two by Lowell in the first three matches of the dual. After a decision by Aaron Ward at 125 pounds, Lowell junior Zeth Dean added another quick pin in 1:39 giving the Red Arrows a 15-0 lead.
Bonus points were crucial for Lowell throughout the dual as the Red Arrows recorded four falls and one major decision in the nine matches they won.
Not only did Lowell pick up extra bonus points, but its wrestlers also kept Eaton Rapids from scoring bonus points of their own. Of the five Eaton Rapids wins, all but one came on a decision, and the fifth was a major decision.
“We were hoping to get more bonus points,” Eaton Rapids coach Joe Ray Barry said. “We just didn’t get them. We didn’t get the bonus points that we were looking for and they got the bonus points where they were looking for them.”
It was the performances of some young, un-sung Red Arrows that prevented Eaton Rapids from piling up those needed bonus points. One of those young grinders for Lowell was freshman Garret Pratt.
Wrestling at 135 pounds against Eaton Rapids senior Jaedin Sklapsky, an expected contender at next weekend’s Individual Finals, Pratt was able to stay off his back and surrender just a four-point major decision.
“Garret was going up against arguably one of the best 135-pounders in the state,” Boudro said. “You heard the cheers from our fans after that match. We have some of the smartest wrestling fans around, and they knew how big that was.”
Lowell upped its lead to 21-4 when Jordan Hall delivered a pin in 2:48.
Eaton Rapids reeled off three straight wins in the next three matches. All three were by decision with Lane McVicker winning at 145, Blaine Milheim at 152 and Caleb Norris at 160 pounds.
Lowell picked up a second win by a freshman at 171. George Gonzales, who came into the match with a sub-.500 record, showed just how deep the Red Arrows are as he won 5-2.
“George has stepped up all year for us,” Boudro said. “He actually weighs 160, but he has wrestled 171 and 189 for us this year. He is another one of those kids who just goes out there and wrestles hard.”
Lowell closed out the dual on a roll as it won the final four matches. Senior Josh Colegrove kept his record perfect for the season as he won by fall at 215 pounds. Senior heavyweight Logan Wilcox won by decision while sophomore Sam Russell won by a major decision at 103 pounds and junior Kyle Washburn closed out the win with a decision at 112.
The MHSAA title was the fifth for Lowell since 2002. The Red Arrows finished the season with a 29-2 record that was forged against some of the best wrestling programs in the Midwest.
“I firmly believe we have one of the hardest schedules in the state,” Boudro said. “One of our losses was to Chicago Oak Forest, who is one of the best teams in Illinois. Our other loss was to Hartland and they are in the Division 1 state finals. We also wrestled Brighton and Richmond and Hudson. We wrestled five of the eight teams in the state finals this year, and that’s the same for many of those schools also.”
The bad news for the rest of the Division 2 is that the Red Arrows may be even better next year.
“Next year we will have one of our better teams returning,” Boudro said. “We only lose four seniors out of our starting lineup and we had a lot of freshmen step up for us this year.”
PHOTO: Lowell and Eaton Rapids competitors wrestle for the Division 2 championship Saturday at 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.
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.)