Sandusky's Ryan Repeats, Aims for 4
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
February 12, 2020
Logan Ryan had to learn how to handle losing.
After a youth career that saw her win multiple national wrestling honors, including the NUWAY Nationals in 2017, Ryan’s freshman year competing at 140 and 145 pounds proved to be difficult.
“I got destroyed that year,” the Sandusky sophomore said.
Now the losses are much less frequent, but she has figured out how to turn them into positives.
“When I get beat, I just feel like that’s an opportunity for me to fix what I do wrong in a match,” she said. “I think it does really good for me to fix my mistakes and see what happens. Honestly, I feel like wrestling the boys in high school makes me tougher. The boys are stronger than me, it roughs me up and it makes me more aggressive and prepared for everything else.”
Ryan is 25-5 on the year, and while the MHSAA postseason is about to begin, she’s already claimed a state championship this season. Ryan won the 145-pound title at the Michigan Wrestling Association High School Girls State Championship on Feb. 2 in Adrian. It was her second straight title at the event, which was in its second year.
“It was pretty awesome,” she said. “I was super happy to win it again and wrestle really good. I still feel like there’s more room to improve.”
Ryan defeated Shelbi Daniels of Chesaning 8-2 in the championship match. She was the second seed entering the tournament and won by pin and technical fall in her first two matches before winning a 3-0 decision in the semifinals.
She could have made weight at 138 pounds, but her dad, Jeff, who is the assistant coach at Sandusky, said they decided to enter at 145 because of the depth of that weight class.
“We wrestle the best; that’s our whole idea of it,” Jeff Ryan said. “She went after the best and beat all the ones she wanted to.”
A year ago, Ryan won the title at 160 pounds. She was one of three freshmen to win a title last year, and this year, only she and Eliana Bommarito of Hartland (235 and 270) were able to repeat.
That leaves them both with an opportunity to become the state’s first four-time girls state champions.
“I don’t know who my opponents are going to be, which freshmen are coming in, but I definitely thought about that after I won the second one,” Ryan said. “I definitely think about becoming a four-time state champion. That would be awesome.”
There were four other repeat champions, including Ryan’s cousin, Kendra Ryan of Fenton, who won at 107 pounds. Sparta’s Rayan Sahagun (102), Southgate Anderson’s JoJo Palshan (117) and Lowell’s Reese Gonzales (132) also won their second title in as many years.
Sandusky coach Adam Filkins was excited with how much the meet grew from its first year to its second and noted that it follows a trend around the state with girls in wrestling.
“Last year, we started our first girls division at our tournament, and we more than doubled that this year,” he said. “They’ve doubled the amount of girls at the state finals. There has been a crazy amount of growth, way more than I would have expected. There’s a great push behind it, and there seems to be no resistance.”
Opportunities are also growing at the next level, as there are about 60 colleges which now have a women’s wrestling program.
“I think it’s amazing – I think it’s awesome,” said Ryan, who added her ultimate goal is to make the United States Olympic team. “I think more girls that have never experienced anything like wrestling should definitely try.”
As the postseason gets underway with Team District tournaments Wednesday and Thursday, and the Individual Districts on Saturday, Logan Ryan said her goal is to qualify for the Regional. She said she plans to move down to 135 pounds for the individual tournament.
“I lost in the blood round last year,” she said. “We have a tough region and district.”
As she looks further into the future, however, the goal is to be wrestling at Ford Field – along with the rest of the girls who have been competing at Adrian.
“Girls wrestling is coming,” Ryan said. “It’s big, and it’s growing.”
Paul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at email@example.com with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.
PHOTOS: (Top) Sandusky’s Logan Ryan, top, maintains control over her opponent. (Middle) Ryan’s arm is raised in victory. (Photos courtesy of the Sandusky wrestling program.)
MWA Girls State Championship finals results
Champion: Emme Hicks, Saline, Fr.
Fall, 4:56, over MaKenzie German, Jr., Clinton
Champion: Rayana Sahagun, Sparta, Sr.
Fall, 3:20, over Makayla Wiltse, Mio, Sr.
Champion: Kendra Ryan, Fenton, Jr.
Fall, 0:51, over Hannah Becker, Forest Hills Central, Sr.
Champion: Hannah Arledge-Teran, Fowlerville, Soph.
Decision, 6-4, over Casey Boni, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, Soph.
Champion: Jojo Palshan, Southgate Anderson, Sr.
Decision, 6-0, over Alana Nuorala, Ishpeming Westwood, Jr.
Champion: Autumn Teague, Holly, Sr.
Decision, 6-1, over Lydia Roope, Bay City Western, Fr.
Champion: Sylvia Pierce, Temperance Bedford, Jr.
Fall, 2:41, over Taylor Randolph, Clinton, Soph.
Champion: Reese Gonzales, Lowell, Jr.
Fall, 2:20, over Ellyana Kuzma, Gibraltar Carlson, Sr.
Champion: Alicia Pieper, Waterford Kettering, Jr.
Decision, 5-1, over Bella Wazny, Hemlock, Soph.
Champion: Maritza Gallegos, Salem, Jr.
Decision, 9-5, over Brynn Green, Howell, Fr.
Champion: Khloe Williams, Clio, Fr.
Major decision, 12-3, over Bo Geibe, Constantine, Soph.
Champion: Kailyn Garrett, South Lyon, Soph.
Fall, 1:33, over Grace Middleton, Mayville, Sr.
Champion: Eliana Bommarito, Hartland, Soph.
Fall, 0:40, over Teresa Rodriguez, Parchment, Jr.
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.)