Preview: More than 1,100 Contenders Converge at Individual Finals at Ford Field
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 3, 2023
More than 1,100 wrestlers begin their pursuit today of championships at the MHSAA’s Individual Finals.
By Saturday evening, 70 will climb to the top of the podium as title winners across five divisions, including a girls division for the second season.
Four wrestlers – Davison's Josh Barr and Caden Horwath, Dundee's Braeden Davis and Detroit Catholic Central's Dylan Gilcher – will attempt to join 31 others who have won four Finals championships.
The Grand March on Friday begins at 10 a.m., with wrestling through semifinals this evening. Wrestling begins again at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship matches at 3:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Ford Field. All matches will be broadcast live on MHSAA.tv, and we’ll talk to all 14 champions in each division for our coverage published later that evening and overnight. See the MHSAA.com Wrestling page for more information and to follow results this weekend.
Following are glances at just some of the many likely contenders who will compete this weekend:
113 Conor McAlary, Hudsonville sophomore (24-3) – Last season’s champion at 103 pounds is a combined 69-4 over the last two.
120 Caleb Weiand, Macomb Dakota senior (43-0) – Last season’s champion at 112 and the 2021 runner-up at 103 has only one loss combined over the last three seasons and is a top seed this weekend. He has committed to Michigan State.
132 Drew Heethuis, Detroit Catholic Central senior (49-1) – The top seed at this weight will wrestle for a third individual championship after winning 112 as a sophomore and 119 as a junior. He has committed to Princeton.
126 Caden Horwath, Davison senior (18-1) – Another top seed, he’ll be wrestling for his fourth championship with previous titles at 103, 119 and 125. He’s signed with Michigan.
144 Clayton Jones, Detroit Catholic Central senior (45-3) – He’s seeking a second-straight title after winning his first at 130 pounds last season.
147 Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central junior (32-3) – The top seed at this weight is seeking his third championship to go with his previous at 145 and 152 the last two seasons.
150 Dylan Gilcher, Detroit Catholic Central senior (28-0) – He’s top-seeded and also wrestling for a fourth championship after winning 112 as a freshman, 135 as a sophomore and 140 as a junior. He has signed with Michigan.
175 Josh Barr, Davison senior (29-0) – One more four-championship hopeful in Division 1, he won 152 as a freshman, 160 as a sophomore and 171 last year and is top-seeded this weekend. He has signed with Penn State.
2022 runners-up: 120 Ozia Wilson, Macomb Dakota sophomore (31-6, 103 last year); 120 Mariano Lopez, Holt senior (36-4, 112 last year); 132 Elijah Bunn, Rockford senior (47-2, 130 last year); 138 Justin Gates, Davison junior (30-2, 119 last year); 144 Evan Herriman, Davison senior (28-4, 140 last year); 165 Tatum Bunn, Detroit Catholic Central senior (36-12, 152 last year); 190 Brayden Mirjavadi, Romeo senior (48-4, 160 last year).
Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Wyatt Lees, Detroit Catholic Central (38-10); 113 Bohdan Abbey, Hartland freshman (40-3); 138 Justin Gates, Davison junior (30-2); 144 Evan Herriman, Davison senior (28-4); 165 Cameron Adams, Detroit Catholic Central senior (31-4), 190 Ryan Ahern, Rockford junior (46-2); 215 Connor Bercume, Detroit Catholic Central sophomore (45-4); 285 Owen Hawley, Livonia Franklin senior (51-0).
Also undefeated: 150 Cole Schelb, Midland senior (45-0); 157 Justin Gorman, Grandville senior (41-0).
120 Jackson Blum, Lowell sophomore (35-3) – The top seed at his weight is pursuing his second championship after debuting last year with a title at 112.
126 Bryce Shingleton, Linden senior (42-2) – Last season’s runner-up at 125 will attempt to close his career with his first championship and Linden’s first since 1994.
132 Aaron Lucio, Stevensville Lakeshore senior (46-1) – The top seed at his weight won 135 last winter and was runner-up at 125 as a sophomore, and he’s a combined 100-1 over the last two seasons.
138 Owen Segorski, Lowell sophomore (26-6) – He also debuted with a championship last season, at 125, and will look to add his second in one of the strongest brackets in this division.
144 Louden Stradling, Gaylord senior (47-0) – A two-time Finals runner-up at Battle Creek Lakeview earned his first championship last season at 130 and is the top seed this weekend at his weight. He has signed with Central Michigan.
157 Timothy Simons, Gibraltar Carlson senior (43-4) – In finishing runner-up at 145 last season, he became the third wrestler from Carlson to reach a Finals championship match.
175 Brayden Gatreau, Gaylord senior (48-1) – Last season’s champion at 171 pounds is a combined 90-2 over the last two. He also has signed with CMU.
215 Adam Haselius, Jackson Northwest senior (46-0) – He’s a combined 91-1 over the last two seasons and the reigning champion at 189 as he enters this weekend the top seed at his weight. He has committed to Columbia.
Other 2022 runners-up: 113 Carter Cichocki, Lowell sophomore (28-8, 103 last year); 138 Tee Ward, Fremont junior (52-2, 119 last year); 175 Derek Badgley, Mason junior (45-2, 171 last year).
Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Brady Baker, Stevensville Lakeshore sophomore (44-2); 113 Santana Ramon, Allen Park junior (48-0); 126 Marcello Milani, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior (46-0); 138 Jayden Schwartz, Charlotte senior (48-2); 144 Peter Pena, Milan senior (32-1, 140 last year in Division 3); 150 Trevor Swiss, Petoskey senior (43-0), 157 Cory Thomas Jr., Pontiac junior (22-0), 165 Philip Lamka, Fenton junior (40-2); 175 Carson Crace, Lowell senior (30-5); 190 Easton Phipps, Goodrich junior (37-4); 285 James Mahon, Goodrich sophomore (10-0).
Also undefeated: 285 Ben Przytula, Gibraltar Carlson senior (40-0), 285 Aaron Holstege, Allendale senior (46-0).
106 Landon Sopha, Yale sophomore (42-7) – Last season’s runner-up at 103 is a combined 95-9 over his first two seasons.
113 Talan Parsons, Ovid-Elsie junior (47-0) – Last season’s champion at 103 is the top seed at his weight this weekend with a combined 84-1 record over the last two years.
120 Kade Kluce Dundee junior (38-5) – The reigning champion at 112 is the top seed at 120 as he seeks a third Finals title after also winning 103 as a freshman. He has committed to Navy.
120 Connor Busz Clinton senior (40-2) – Last season’s runner-up at 119 is seeking end with his first championship after also finishing Division 4 runner-up at 112 as a sophomore and third at 103 in Division 4 as a freshman.
126 Cameron Chinavare, Dundee junior (33-2) – The reigning champion at 125 is the top seed at 126 this time and a combined 62-4 over the last two seasons.
132 Braeden Davis, Dundee senior (37-0) – The top seed at 132 is the next Dundee wrestler seeking to finish with four championships after winning 119 last winter, and he’s never wrestled into the third period at the Individual Finals. He has signed with Penn State.
157 Aiden Davis, Dundee senior (40-2) – The top seed at 157 won 145 last year and 135 as a sophomore, and also finished runner-up at 125 as a freshman.
165 Connor Owens, Flint Powers Catholic senior (23-1) – Another top seed, he’s pursuing his third title match after finishing as the 160 runner-up in 2021 and the champion at that weight a year ago.
2022 runner-up: 175 Noah Etnyre, Lutheran Westland senior (42-3, 171 last year in Division 4).
Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Haydn Nutt, Dundee freshman (34-6); 138 Kaden Chinavare, Dundee senior (37-6); 144 Blake Cosby, Dundee freshman (40-6); 150 Cole Karasinski, Grand Rapids West Catholic senior (41-0); 175 Josh Kasner, Algonac junior (47-0); 190 Troy Demas, Constantine senior (45-1); 215 Joel Simon, Lake Odessa Lakewood sophomore (47-0); 285 Shane Cook, Whitehall senior (58-0).
Also undefeated: 157 Tyler Schofield, Olivet junior (44-0); 165 Darrin Alward, Dundee senior (41-0).
106 Logan Gilbert, Martin/Climax-Scotts sophomore (43-5) – Last season’s champion at 103 is up to a combined 84-11 over his first two seasons.
126 Shawn McGuire, Iron Mountain senior (36-1) – The top seed at 126 is a combined 149-7 over his high school career after winning last year’s 119 title and finishing top-three both of his first two seasons.
132 Landyn Crance, Union City junior (40-3) – Last season’s 125 champion is a combined 85-6 over his last two years.
150 Manus Bennett, Marlette senior (45-1) – The reigning champion at 140 and top seed this time at 150 is seeking his third title after also winning 103 as a freshman.
157 Sebastian Martinez, Riverview Gabriel Richard sophomore (35-3) – He’s the top seed at 157 coming off last year’s title at 145 and with a combined 68-7 high school record.
157 Dillon Raab, Bark River-Harris senior (45-4) – Last season’s runner-up at 145 is seeking to finish with his first title after also finishing runner-up at 135 as a sophomore.
175 Cole Hopkins, Evart senior (44-0) – Another top seed, he’s a combined 94-0 over the last two seasons after winning 171 a year ago, and his only loss as a sophomore was in the title match.
190 Drew Allgeyer, Bark River-Harris senior (32-4) – The reigning champion at 189 is a top seed this weekend as well and a three-time Finals placer overall.
Other 2022 runners-up: 113 Logan Mears, Union City sophomore (33-7, 103 last year); 126 Tyler Winch, Iron Mountain junior (27-9, 119 last year); 138 Austin Marry, Hudson junior (42-9, 125 last year); 132 Dalton Birchmeier, New Lothrop sophomore (29-13, 130 last year); 285 Grayson Orr, New Lothrop senior (35-2, 215 last year).
Additional No. 1 seeds: 106 Nicholas Sorrow, Hudson freshman (46-1); 113 Austin Garcia, Lawton sophomore (48-2); 120 Wesley Edie, Grass Lake senior (34-6); 132 Cole Marry, Hudson junior (44-7); 138 Blake Sloan, Manchester freshman (49-3); 144 Coy Perry, Hudson junior (36-8); 165 Fulton Stroud, Iron Mountain junior (33-6); 215 Grady Iobe, Union City senior (35-1), 285 Eathan Westfall, Reading senior (41-0).
100 Emme Hicks, Saline senior (25-10) – The top seed and reigning champion at this weight will be seeking her fourth state championship after also winning Michigan Wrestling Association titles as a freshman and sophomore.
110 Sky Langewicz, Algonac sophomore (42-5) – She’s the top seed after opening her career with last season’s championship at 105.
115 Sydney Thompson, Eaton Rapids junior (15-4) – Last season’s champion at 110 is a combined 35-10 over her first two seasons.
125 Margaret Buurma, Fowlerville sophomore (27-7) – The reigning champion at 115 is the top seed at 125 and a combined 41-9 over the last two years.
130 Angelina Pena, Milan junior (17-5) – She won last year’s championship at 120 and is top-seeded this weekend with twice as many wins this season.
130 Tyler Swanigan, South Lyon East junior (35-14) – The reigning champion at 130 has nearly quadrupled her win total this winter from a year ago.
140 Danni Swihart, Hanover-Horton senior (32-6) – The reigning champion at 135 is top-seeded at 140 and a combined 52-10 over the last two seasons.
140 Emma Pendell, Montague junior (17-8) – Last season’s champion at 140 was Montague’s first in any division of the sport since 1989.
190 Sabrina Nauss, Brighton junior (9-0) – The reigning champion at 170 is a combined 18-0 over the last two seasons and another top seed.
2022 runners-up: 100 Tricia Pyrzewski, Gladwin junior (31-4, 100 last year); 110 Sunni LaFond, Gaylord sophomore (27-14, 105 last year); 125 Lola Barkby, Sturgis sophomore (20-19, 120 last year); 140 Ryen Allen, Goodrich junior (3-2, 125 last year); 130 Faith Blackburn, Clinton junior (7-3, 130 last year); 145 Teairah Elsemann, Saline senior (10-2, 145 last year); 170 Khloe Williams, Clio senior (28-0, 170 last year); 190 Gabriella Allen, Marcellus junior (27-4, 190 last year); 235 Mady Frisbie, Belding sophomore (17-12, 255 last year).
Additional No. 1 seeds: 105 Nakayla Dawson, Westland John Glenn freshman (37-2); 115 Morgan Irwin, Westland John Glenn senior (27-6); 120 Cecilia Williams, Mason freshman (19-5); 135 Caylynn Chandler, Birch Run senior (10-2), 145 Lydia Roope, St. Charles senior (21-7); 155 Maddie Hayden, Caledonia freshman (21-4); 170 Khloe Williams, Clio senior (28-0); 235 Mady Frisbie, Belding sophomore (17-12).
PHOTOS (Top) Detroit Catholic Central’s Dylan Gilcher wrestlers during his team’s Division 1 championship match last weekend at Wings Event Center. (Middle) Dundee’s Braeden Davis finishes a pin in his team’s Division 3 Final last Saturday. (Below) Algonac’s Sky Langewicz has her arm raised in victory after winning a match during her team’s Division 3 Semifinal. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)
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@example.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.)