Lowell Title Run Grows to 7 Straight

February 29, 2020

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

KALAMAZOO – When talking about a dynasty, Lowell wrestling coach R.J. Boudro says the cause and effect of his program’s reaches far outside of his wrestling room.

Boudro and Red Arrows added to their dynasty Saturday at the Wings Event Center when they won their seventh straight – and 10th overall – Division 2 team championship with a convincing 53-4 victory over previously-unbeaten Gaylord.

The win extended the team’s MHSAA record for consecutive Team Finals championships, which Lowell took over alone with their sixth in a row in 2019.

"Dynasty is a community; it's all about community," Boudro said. "It's about the kids. You see all of the young kids here today. It's about parents, it's about community, and Lowell is a great community and I am lucky to be involved. We are lucky to be involved.”

It didn't take long for Lowell to muscle control away from the Blue Devils on Saturday. 

Starting at the 119-pound weight class, Red Arrows senior Nick Korhorn won by technical fall, 15-0. 

From there, Lowell won 13 of 14 matches, and there was never a doubt which team would finish on top

During that stretch, there were some very big individual matchups – like the one at 145 pounds.

There, Lowell three-time Individual Finals champion Austin Boone scored a major decision victory over two-time individual champion and three-time finalist Chayse LaJoie, 11-3.

Boone reiterated his coach's sentiments on what it means to be a Lowell Red Arrow, and that he is a product of great people around him.

"We picked up where our old teammates left off, and we all get to carry on what they started," Boone said. "It is nice to see our seniors finish this off, and now it just moves on to the next guys. 

Boone could write his name in the state's wrestling history book again next weekend at Ford Field as he will try to become just the second wrestler in the state to win four individual and four team titles. 

If accomplished, he will join former Davison legend Brent Metcalf in earning that achievement. 

"Lowell has given me so much." said Boone, who will be wrestling at Penn State University next year. "I have had (practice ) partners for so many years that have made me better than I ever thought I could be. I wouldn't be as good as I am today without them."

Gaylord's lone win came from John Henry Sosa at 130 pounds.

This was the second time in the past three years that the Blue Devils lost to Lowell in the Final.

"They are good, they are a well-coached team," Gaylord coach Jerry LaJoie said. "We had a couple of things that did not go right for us, so we had to adjust our lineup. So that forced our kids to wrestle up a weight or two." 

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PHOTOS: (Top) Lowell and Gaylord wrestlers work for control at the start of a match during Saturday’s Division 2 Final. (Middle) The Red Arrows celebrate their seventh-straight Division 2 championship. (Click for more from 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 keithdunlap78@gmail.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.)