Mason County Central's Quinn Wins for Team, Family, Community
By Drew Ellis
Special for Second Half
March 5, 2022
DETROIT – Standing across from Mason County Central’s Andrew Quinn on Saturday was the reigning Division 4 champion at 285 pounds, who also hadn’t lost in two seasons.
Despite a near-perfect record of his own, Quinn likely wasn’t the favorite to most. But he had other ideas.
The senior scored a reversal in the second period and quickly transitioned it into a pinfall against New Lothrop’s Isiah Pasik to earn his first MHSAA Finals title.
Dealing with a small team at Mason County Central, Quinn (51-1) credited the victory over Pasik (46-1) to his coaching staff, family, and friends who have all put time on the mat with him.
“I’ve got three older brothers up there watching me. They have pushed me my whole life,” Quinn said. “There’s tons of people that came to the wrestling room to help me out. We don’t have a big team, so I get to beat up on these guys (the coaches) every day.
“There’s tons of people to thank. I didn’t do it alone.”
Champion: Logan Gilbert, Martin/Climax-Scotts, Fr. (41-6)
Decision, 10-5, over Logan Mears, Union City, Fr. (45-5)
Gilbert knew what he needed to do to come away with the 103-pound title.
Having faced Mears three previous times this season, and winning all three, he just stuck to his game plan.
“I was just trying to stop the switch on bottom. (Mears) loves to hit that, and he’s really good at it. In neutral, he likes to hit the slot, but I tried to tie him up with my right arm,” Gilbert said. “I was ready for him.”
Gilbert kept the pressure and scored five takedowns during the match.
“I don’t think it has hit me yet,” Gilbert said of winning a title. “I don’t know what I am feeling right now, but it feels good.”
Champion: Jacob Bunn, Manchester, Sr. (46-2)
Decision, 5-2, over Trent Kimmel, Martin/Climax-Scotts, Sr. (37-3)
Making his fourth Finals appearance, Bunn finally got through to the top of the mountain.
“It’s something I have been working toward for 14 years now,” Bunn said. “I am just glad that I was able to get to the top in my senior year.”
It was a hard-fought win for the Manchester senior, as he held off a late surge from Kimmel.
“Even before the match, I just was thinking that it was another match and I couldn’t change up my style because it was a state final,” Bunn said. “I went out there and just didn’t let the pressure get to me and stayed focused.”
Champion: Shawn McGuire, Iron Mountain, Jr. (39-2)
Decision, 5-0, over Tyler Winch, Iron Mountain, Soph. (32-14)
It was a bittersweet championship victory for McGuire, the junior, as he dispatched of his Iron Mountain sophomore teammate for the title.
“It’s tough. It’s like your worst nightmare,” McGuire said. “I can never imagine going against my teammate, especially in a state final. It was difficult.”
McGuire controlled the match from start to finish, scoring a pair of takedowns and adding an escape while keeping Winch from getting on the scoreboard.
“It does feel great to be a champion. I’ve worked really hard for this,” McGuire said. “I’ve come close in the past and lost, but I just kept working toward this goal. It’s hard to put into words.”
Champion: Landyn Crance, Union City, Soph. (45-3)
Decision, 8-1, over Austin Marry, Hudson, Soph. (27-12)
As a freshman, Crance saw his chances at competing for a Finals title ended by COVID-19. This year, he made sure to make the most of his opportunity.
“Last year was devastating, having it all taken away from me because of COVID. But, I knew I just wanted to work harder this year to make up for it,” Crance said.
Crance started fast and never looked back, maintaining control of Marry throughout the six minutes.
“I knew I had to ride tight and stay on top,” Crance said. “I knew getting off the bottom would be difficult with (Marry), so I just had to keep control of him.”
Champion: Derek Mayle, Breckenridge, Sr. (38-3)
Major Decision, 14-1, over Dalton Birchmeier, New Lothrop, Fr. (31-13)
Mayle made sure his last match was one of his best.
The Breckenridge senior came within inches of a pinfall victory, but still came away with a 14-1 win.
“This was the last match of my life, so I just wanted to go out and have fun and end it on a bang,” Mayle said. “I wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave anything on the mat.”
Mayle overwhelmed Birchmeier, whom he had seen before in Regional competition. Still, the New Lothrop freshman fought hard to see the full six minutes.
“I was pretty confident, but I didn’t want to take the match lightly,” Mayle said. “I just needed to stay disciplined and keep attacking.”
Champion: River Roberson, Hesperia, Sr. (45-2)
Decision, 10-7, over Payton Rogers, Hudson, Sr. (33-7)
In one of the more back-and-forth matches of the Division 4 Finals, Roberson grinded out a 10-7 win.
“It’s hard to believe, but it’s an amazing feeling,” Roberson said. “I’ve worked so hard for this, it’s hard to believe it’s actually happened.”
Roberson found himself in a nearfall situation early in the match, but battled back to take control. Once he got it, he didn’t allow Rogers to get it back.
“When (Rogers) got the first takedown, it kind of made me nervous. But, I knew what I have been through to get here,” Roberson said. “My coaches put me through a lot of intense training to be ready for matches like this.”
Champion: Manus Bennett, Marlette, Jr. (43-0)
Decision, 2-0, over Bronson Marry, Hudson, Sr. (27-3)
In a matchup of two past champions, Bennett scored a takedown in the second period to find a way past Marry.
“A lot of it was just mental technique for me. I knew if I could get the takedown, I am really good at riding legs,” Bennett said. “I knew he was a good wrestler. I just had to not allow him to work his strengths, and find a way to work mine.”
The 103-pound champion in 2020, Bennett used his riding ability and endurance to hang on for his second title.
“Wrestling is the longest six minutes of your life. Two minutes can feel like years,” Bennett said. “Seeing that clock finally hit zero, it was a lot of relief.”
Champion: Sebastian Martinez, Riverview Gabriel Richard, Fr. (33-4)
Decision, 4-1, over Dillon Raab, Bark River-Harris, Jr. (34-3)
Martinez became the first Finals champion in the young history of the Gabriel Richard program by scoring a pair of key takedowns.
“I am starting a new legacy for future Pioneers coming to this school,” Martinez said of being the first champion. “This program is going to be something great, and I am just glad I got to be the first.”
Leading 2-1 entering the third period, Martinez didn’t get passive. He made an aggressive shot on Raab and earned a powerful takedown to lock up the victory.
“I was just trying to hold on, but the best defense is a great offense,” Martinez said. “I decided to take the shot in the third and managed to get the takedown to really secure the win.”
Champion: Parker Stroud, Iron Mountain, Sr. (41-6)
Decision, 11-9, over Josh Collins, Hemlock, Sr. (41-5)
Stroud ended his prep wrestling career with a championship, but wasn’t too thrilled with his performance in an exciting 11-9 victory over Collins.
“It feels pretty good, but I didn’t really wrestle my best. It takes a little away from it, but it still feels good to be a champion,” Stroud said.
Stroud was getting a number of takedowns, but Collins would respond with reversals and threaten to take the victory. It took an explosive takedown from Stroud to get the go-ahead points in the closing seconds.
“I was wrestling pretty well, but I wasn’t getting much done on top,” Stroud said. “I just managed to get the score in the end.”
Champion: Shenard Foster, Detroit Loyola, Sr. (17-0)
Decision, 5-4, over Gavin Wilmoth, Traverse City St. Francis, Sr. (39-3)
After losing in overtime of last year’s championship match, Foster was determined to not let that happen again this year.
The Detroit Loyola senior used his explosiveness and athleticism to top Wilmoth, last year’s 152-pound champion.
“It feels great. I fell short last year, so it feels great to win (a title) this year,” Foster said. “It motivated me a lot, because I knew I could do it.”
Foster was able to score two takedowns in the match while adding an escape. That’s all he needed, as Wilmoth was unable to get him to the ground.
“I just had to stay smart. I am used to wrestling guys that are taller than me. (Wilmoth) was my height, so I just had to be aggressive. I knew he couldn’t stop my shots,” Foster said.
Champion: Cole Hopkins, Evart, Jr. (54-0)
Major Decision, 15-7, over Noah Etnyre, Lutheran Westland, Jr. (48-5)
Hopkins completed an unbeaten junior season and avenged his lone loss in the 2021 Finals by scoring a major decision in the 171-pound championship match.
“That is the greatest feeling in the world,” Hopkins said. “Since that day (last year’s loss), it’s been eating me alive. Every time I wake up, that’s what I have been thinking about and it made me go harder.”
It was all about the takedowns for Hopkins, as he repeatedly got Etnyre to the ground. He scored a quick takedown in the first and never trailed in the match.
“I just had to not wrestle scared,” Hopkins said. “I had been here before, so that gave me the confidence to wrestle that much harder and get the job done.”
Champion: Drew Allgeyer, Bark River-Harris, Jr. (40-4)
Decision, 9-5, over Cameron Kimble, Hudson, Sr. (43-2)
It wasn’t always easy for Allgeyer, but he led throughout the match to kick off the Division 4 Finals and earn his first championship.
“It feels amazing,” Allgeyer said. “I am on top of the world.”
Allgeyer secured some early takedowns, but Kimble put up a game effort with a reversal in the second period to keep things interesting. In the end, Allgeyer pushed a pace that Kimble couldn’t quite match.
“When I was warming up, I just kept telling myself that these six minutes were going to be mine,” Allgeyer said. “That’s the way that I wrestle every single match.”
Champion: Caden Ferris, Delton Kellogg, Sr. (49-0)
Major Decision, 10-2, over Grayson Orr, New Lothrop, Jr. (47-6)
Caden Ferris will be a name the Orr family is likely never to forget.
The Delton Kellogg senior won a second consecutive title at 215 pounds with a dominant 10-2 win over Grayson Orr on Saturday.
Last year, Ferris defeated Grayson’s brother, Camden Orr, in the 215-pound final by a score of 13-11 in OT.
“It’s pretty cool,” Ferris said of winning another title. “I’m feeling pretty good about it. I was pretty focused on winning.”
PHOTOS (Top) Mason County Central’s Andrew Quinn, standing, celebrates his win at 285 pounds Saturday at Ford Field. (Middle) Marlette’s Manus Bennett, top, works toward a win at 140 pounds. (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.
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.)