Performance: Lowell's Austin Boone

March 5, 2020

Austin Boone
Lowell senior – Wrestling

Together with his teammates, Boone continued to contribute to a historic streak Saturday by helping the Red Arrows to their record seventh-straight MHSAA Team Finals championship, posting a pin and two major decisions to earn the MHSAA “Performance of the Week.” He also put himself on the cusp of another legendary achievement – this weekend at Ford Field, Boone can become the 27th in Michigan high school history to win four Individual Finals championships, and join Davison great Brent Metcalf as the only wrestlers to win four individual titles and be part of four team titles as well.

Lowell defeated Croswell-Lexington in Friday’s Quarterfinal, 63-10, then Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 58-9 in the Saturday morning Semifinal and Gaylord 53-4 in the afternoon championship match – another dominant run, especially impressive considering the Red Arrows lost a ranked wrestler to a knee injury and saw another wrestle through a slightly lesser one. In the finale, Boone scored an 11-3 decision at 145 pounds over two-time individual champion Chayse LaJoie, who entered the match unbeaten. Boone will bring a 37-0 record into Friday’s first round, and he’s 152-8 over his career with his previous championships coming at 135, 145 and 152 pounds.

Boone – who also played football his first three years of high school – has signed to continue his academic and wrestling careers at national powerhouse Penn State, which has won eight of the last nine NCAA Division I championships. Boone’s father is a dentist, and Austin intends to eventually study dentistry as well and follow his dad into the family practices.    

Coach R.J. Boudro said: “First of all, it’s always nice when you send somebody out and you’re pretty sure they’re going win, every time, and probably get you bonus points. So within wrestling, that’s a luxury that we’re sure going to miss. And as far as him in the practice room … I don’t know that Austin’s ever missed a wrestling practice. (Boone confirmed he missed one this season for a college visit.) And within that wrestling practice, there’s guys that you’re in practice and you have to go sit out or whatever because you’re hurt. I don’t know that Austin’s ever taken a second off of a practice. So his toughness, I think this year, has been really contagious. I think we’ve been able to use that as an example and kinda show kids what toughness is. Because it’s hard to do that when you don’t have it; when you have it, you’ve got to make an example of it, and Austin definitely has that. I don’t think he’s every come close to missing weight. I don’t think he’s ever just missed a match. He’s just the most dependable kid I think I’ve ever had, and dependable for a lot of reasons. Over the course of four years he’s grown up a lot, and I think this year has been easily his best year – not just performance-wise, but just helping our team, being another coach in our room.”

Performance Point: “I just think that the team performed really well. We went into that kinda motivating guys to put up as many team points as you could, especially if the person knew they were supposed to win,” Boone said of Saturday’s victory over Gaylord. “We started out with Nick Korhorn; he was kinda on edge a little bit, and we told him to just go and get as many bonus points as he could and he started off good, he put up five team points and we just fed off that. Will Link had a big win; we felt like that was another turning point. We (took) it up another gear. I feel like everyone wrestled better after we got to see those guys win some big matches. … I really didn’t think about (the magnitude of my match) all that much. I try not to think about it at all. The more you think about your opponent, the less you focus on yourself.”

Four for four, and seven in a row: “It’s been fantastic. Honestly, it’s weird to think about. You almost want to say that you think it’s going to happen, but there’s so much work that goes into each title. You almost forget about it. Every year you come back and you think it’s going to happen again, and you put in so much work over and over and over again, and then it’s over and you have to start again.”

Tournament tested: “(This weekend is) just another match. Honestly, I’m more worried about what I’m eating for dinner tonight than I am for this weekend. … (I’ve) just wrestled in so many big matches over the years, it’s all the same.”

Memories made: “It’s just the experience of high school. You get to know what it’s like to be part of a team. Fortunately for me, I got to be part of a really good team. I got to wrestle some really good matches against other really good teams. It was just a good experience to have before I head off to college. It’s different than wrestling with either yourself, or I’ve wrestled with my brothers over the summer – it’s not really a team. So I like (high school).”

Full house: “I have five siblings – four younger brothers and a younger sister. The household’s fairly loud. We’ve learned to live with each other. It’s not as hectic as it used to be. And then weekends, we just spend at wrestling tournaments. … They’re all wrestlers. I’ve tried to show them just the occasional goofy move. But they’ve got to figure it out for themselves, and I think that’s better for them. One of my younger brothers actually just showed me a new move last week, and then he showed it to the team because it was just goofy – it was fun.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Past honorees

Feb. 27: Aaron Grzelak, Marquette skiing - Report
Feb. 20:
Kailee Davis, Detroit Renaissance basketball - Report
Feb. 13:
Jamison Ward, Carson City-Crystal wrestling - Report
Feb. 6:
Elena Vargo, Farmington United gymnastics - Report
Jan. 31:
Michael Wolsek, Trenton swimming - Report
Jan. 24:
Kensington Holland, Utica Ford bowling - Report
Jan. 17:
Claycee West, White Pigeon basketball - Report
Jan. 10: 
Seth Lause, Livonia Stevenson hockey - Report
Dec. 5: Mareyohn Hrabowski, River Rouge football - Report
Nov. 28:
Kathryn Ackerman, Grand Haven swimming - Report
Nov. 21:
Emily Van Dyke, Southfield Christian volleyball - Report
Nov. 14:
Taylor Wegener, Ida volleyball - Report
Nov. 7:
Carter Solomon, Plymouth cross country - Report
Oct. 31: 
Jameson Goorman, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Oct. 24:
Austin Plotkin, Brimley cross country
- Report
Oct. 17:
Jack Spamer, Brighton cross country - Report
Oct. 10:
Kaylee Maat, Hudsonville volleyball - Report
Oct. 3:
Emily Paupore, Negaunee cross country - Report
Sept. 26: 
Josh Mason, South Lyon soccer - Report
Sept. 19: Ariel Chang, Utica Eisenhower golf - Report
Sept. 12: Jordyn Shipps, DeWitt swimming - Report

PHOTOS: (Top) Lowell's Austin Boone works toward a win over Gaylord's Chayse LaJoie during Saturday's Division 2 Team Final at Wings Event Center. (Middle) Boone's arm is raised in victory during Friday's Quarterfinal against Croswell-Lexington. (Click for more from

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.)