New Lothrop Runs D4 Title Streak to 3

February 27, 2016

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

MOUNT PLEASANT – To say the wrestling teams from New Lothrop and Hudson high schools have had a monopoly on the championship in Division 4 lately may be a bit of an understatement.

After all, those two teams have won the past seven titles in D4; New Lothrop claimed the past two, and Hudson the previous five dating back to 2009. And Hudson has appeared in all seven title matches, losing to New Lothrop the past two years.

So it was no surprise when New Lothrop and Hudson, the top and third-seeded teams, respectively, at this year's MHSAA Team Finals, made their way through their Quarterfinal and Semifinal opponents to another championship matchup at Central Michigan University's McGuirk Arena on Saturday.

And for the third straight year, New Lothrop took home the champion’s trophy, beating Hudson 35-27.

"For the last decade, they have been the standard," Campbell said of Hudson. "We have been chasing them, and we kind of caught them the last few years. And their lineup is loaded with freshmen, so that tells me that they are going to be back."

But this day was New Lothrop's, as the Hornets took a 28-6 lead by winning six of the first eight weight classes wrestled.

The match started at 135 pounds, and New Lothrop (24-5) got pins at 152 pounds by Steven Garza, Brandon Henige at 171 and Erik Birchmeier at 189 to help build their big lead. 

"We knew where we started, we were going to have to build a big lead," Campbell said. "The strength of their lineup is down low, they have some real good wrestlers down low."

That's exactly what happened, as Hudson (18-15) got bonus-point wins in three of the final five weight classes wrestled.

"Jeff's team did exactly as planned," Hudson coach Scott Marry said. "A lot of matches could have gone either way, and I'm not disappointed. Our kids wrestled hard; they just came out on top."

New Lothrop beat a stingy Springport team 38-30 in its Semifinal to open the day. The Hornets won seven of the first nine matches wrestled in the Semifinal, and then held on for the win.

New Lothrop needed a win from Cole Hersch at 145 pounds, the final weight, to secure the win. Hersch beat Taylor Whitmore by major decision, 11-1, for the victory.

Hudson had a much easier time in its Semifinal, beating surprise Leroy Pine River 55-18. The Tigers won 11 of the 14 matches for the victory. Pine River, a seven seed, had impressed Friday by advancing with a Quarterfinal win over second-seeded Decatur.

Click for full results.

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

PHOTOS: (Top) New Lothrop and Hudson have combined to win the last seven Division 4 championships. (Click to see more at

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.)