Rematch of Rivals Goes Dundee's Way
February 23, 2019
By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half
KALAMAZOO – One of the things that makes the MHSAA Team Wrestling Finals special is that a wrestler can be a hero for his team and make a real difference by taking a "good" loss.
That's exactly what happened for the Dundee Vikings in their Division 3 championship match against familiar foe Richmond on Saturday at Wings Event Center.
With his team down two points, and three matches left to wrestle, Dundee freshman Austin Jaworski stepped on the mat with Richmond junior Austin Kilburn, one of the top Blue Devils.
Suffering a pin would have been damaging, putting the Vikings behind Richmond by eight points with two pairs of evenly-matched wrestlers facing off in the next two matches.
Jaworski battled, and lost to Kilburn 11-5, but no bonus points were surrendered.
Dundee won the next two matches by decision with Tyler Swiderski and Jonathon White, and the Vikings won their second straight Division 3 title and 11th title overall with a 26-25 victory over Richmond.
"I just went out there and did my job," Jaworski said. "I didn't worry about how good he was, I just went out there and wrestled. I did the best I could."
Even though Jaworski may sound humble about what he did for his team, it did not go unnoticed by coach Tim Roberts.
"When Austin Jaworski did his job, and he had a stellar guy he was going against and only gave up three points to them, I felt confident going into those last two," Roberts said. "We didn't know this would come down to the last match. We hoped it would be over before that, but that is the way it goes in duals with good teams."
And Richmond and Dundee are two good teams.
Over the last 13 years, they have wrestled nine times for the Division 3 title. Dundee now has won the last two Finals matchups, and is 5-4 against its rival during that time.
"Every year it comes down to us two," said Roberts, whose team ended with an 18-5 record. "They do such a great job over there. They are a fantastic coached team, and they have a community that is really into it. Their kids work so hard, I have nothing but respect for what they do over there. So when we get a chance to compete with them and win, it feels really good because you beat somebody good."
The lead by either team was more than five points only once during the dual. And the Blue Devils had chances, but were unable to extend the lead when they had it.
"Both teams had their chances," said Richmond co-coach Brandon Day, whose team ended 26-3. "I wouldn't say one kid changed this match one way or another. We have some young guys that did a great job saving bonus, and they had some young guys do the same."
PHOTOS: (Top) Dundee's Stoney Buell works toward a major decision during his championship match bout at 160 pounds Saturday. (Middle) The Vikings celebrate their second straight Division 3 title. (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)