Performance: Hudson's Jordan Hamdan
March 8, 2019
Hudson wrestling – Senior
Hamdan became the 26th wrestler to win four MHSAA Individual Finals championships when he pinned New Lothrop’s Logan Zell in 55 seconds Saturday in the Division 4 title match at 135 pounds, earning the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.” Hamdan walked off the mat at Ford Field with a record of 48-0 this season and 208-8 for his career, and with titles as well at 112, 119 and 130 pounds.
Hamdan entered this season as one of three three-time champs in Hudson history. He had two pins and two technical falls during his final high school tournament, earning his fourth championship not long after Detroit Catholic Central’s Kevon Davenport became the 25th four-time champ earlier Saturday. Like Davenport, Hamdan also helped his team reach the highest echelon this winter as Hudson repeated as the Division 4 team champion two weeks ago.
A pair of widely-respected mentors helped Hamdan reach this point; Hudson coach Scott Marry is the second-winningest coach in MHSAA wrestling history with 792 wins over 30 seasons, and Hamdan’s club coach Nick Simmons became the ninth four-time MHSAA champion while wrestling for Williamston from 1998-2001. Hamdan – who also played football through his junior season – will continue his wrestling career at Michigan State University. He carries a 3.5 GPA and is continuing to consider what he will major in at MSU.
Coach Scott Marry said: “That kid has done a lot for the sport and a lot for Hudson wrestling. He is almost the perfect child; he doesn't talk back to Mom and Dad, doesn't talk back to his teachers and doesn't talk back to the coaches. You say do it, and he does it. He is a really good person beyond wrestling. … He now leaves Hudson and stands alone because now all the youth wrestlers will look at him and want to be him, and he is a really good example. He is a 3.5 student in the classroom, he has won national championships, has won four state titles and now will be going on to wrestle at a Division I school at Michigan State. That is the poster child that you want for your program.”
Performance Point: “I think it just shows the workouts I’ve been through and the work that I’ve put in has paid off,” Hamdan said of his four-championship legacy. “I think that’s the big thing. The more work I put in, the more of these achievements that I’ll be able to achieve. I can’t wrap my mind around it yet. It’s an honor. All these kids and everybody grows up looking up to these guys. Now to be one of those, it’s wild.”
Nick knows: “I train with him every summer. We work a lot on catching up things that we already know. He’s been on that level, even above college. The toughness, that comes with (training with him) a lot. It’s just tweaking all of these things, finding new ways to do certain moves that I already know that really will help me in a match when I’m not even thinking about it. … He came up and hugged me after the (championship) match and congratulated me. I think the coolest thing, when I was coming off the mat, he told me ‘Welcome to the club.’ I thought that was pretty sweet.”
For Hudson: “Growing up, I started in that program when I was 3. It’s just amazing because I’ve seen all these greats come through and just fall short. All sorts of three-timers, and everybody’s fallen short of the goal. Just to be the guy … when I won it, the guys I looked up to, some of them texted me, ‘Way to break the curse,’ because we considered it a curse because there were all these three-timers. It’s good that I can do it not just for me, but for the program.”
Winning attitude: “In the (wrestling) room and even out of the room, we talk to each other and always stay positive about things that are going on around us. And (we’re) always keeping a good mindset about things, even when they aren’t going your way. I think (Coach Marry) helped me with that a lot, and it helps me in a match because when something’s not going my way I can focus on the next position, try to win the next position, keep a cool, calm and collected head, and that helps a lot. With the mindset, that brought me to the next level. It just helped me so much. Even when I’m in a bad position, I feel like I’m in a good position now because I’m confident in there, I’m positive in there. Because even if I don’t win that position, I’ve still got another one and I know that, and it helps me a lot.”
Team title means more: “With all the kids you train with, and everybody has the same goal. You’re fighting it for each other and not just yourself. I think that’s important to me. … I want to be an NCAA (individual) champ, obviously. But the main thing I want to do (at MSU), I want to help with the team aspect. I want to get our team to be as close as we can. Because from what I’ve experienced at Hudson, the closer you are as a team, the better you perform. That’s Hudson – that’s how it is here. Everybody is trying to support each other and trying to get better as a unit, rather than as an individual. At Hudson, you’re just growing up with that mentality; you’re doing it for someone else, not just yourself. That’s a big part of this community.”
- Geoff Kimmerly & Jeff Chaney, Second Half
Every week during the 2018-19 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard recognizes a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.
The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
Past 2018-19 honorees
February 28: Kevon Davenport, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Read
February 21: Reagan Olli, Gaylord skiing - Read
February 14: Jake Stevenson, Traverse City Bay Reps hockey - Read
February 7: Molly Davis, Midland Dow basketball - Read
January 31: Chris DeRocher, Alpena basketball - Read
January 24: Imari Blond, Flint Kearsley bowling - Read
January 17: William Dunn, Quincy basketball - Read
November 29: Dequan Finn, Detroit Martin Luther King football - Read
November 22: Paige Briggs, Lake Orion volleyball - Read
November 15: Hunter Nowak, Morrice football - Read
November 8: Jon Dougherty, Detroit Country Day soccer - Read
November 1: Jordan Stump, Camden-Frontier volleyball - Read
October 25: Danielle Staskowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep golf - Read
October 18: Adam Bruce, Gladstone cross country - Read
October 11: Ericka VanderLende, Rockford cross country - Read
October 4: Kobe Clark, Schoolcraft football - Read
September 27: Jonathan Kliewer, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern soccer - Read
September 20: Kiera Lasky, Bronson volleyball - Read
September 13: Judy Rector, Hanover-Horton cross country - Read
PHOTOS: (Top) Hudson's Jordan Hamdan has his armed raised in victory Saturday afternoon at Ford Field. (Middle) Hamdan works toward a pin in the Division 4 135-pound championship match. (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.)