This Time, DCC Leaves CMU as D1 Champ
February 25, 2017
By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half
MOUNT PLEASANT – Last year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association held its Team Wrestling Finals at Central Michigan University's McGuirk Arena for the first time.
The Detroit Catholic Central wrestling team did not have a good first trip to CMU, losing in the Division 1 Semifinals with a team that ended up with five individual champions a week later at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
So the Shamrocks went to work in the offseason with a chip on their shoulders, and came back this year motivated.
That motivation took them all the way through the two-day tournament and winning the school's 12th team title, as the Shamrocks beat Davison, the team that knocked them out in the Semifinals last year, 35-22.
"We were frustrated last year," Detroit Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock said. "There was a ton of motivation. We weren't happy last year. We entered as the three seed and thought we earned the one seed by beating Hartland (the eventual champions) by 16 points. But we didn't wrestle to the best of our ability against Davison, and fell short."
That wasn't the case Saturday at McGuirk, as the Shamrocks flexed their muscles against Davison throughout their lineup, including getting wins from all five of their returning individual champions.
Nicholas Jenkins scored a decision at 285 pounds, Ben Kamali won 13-7 at 112, Kevon Davenport pinned at 130 pounds, Cam Amine won by technical fall at 140 and Tyler Morland ended the dual at 171 with a pin in 30 seconds.
"Anytime you lose in the Quarterfinals or Semifinals, that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth for sure," said Morland, a senior. "We have a lot of leaders on this team, more than our seniors, and we were motivated for this year."
Davison coach Roy Hall saw that motivation up close.
His team, which lost to Detroit Catholic Central earlier this winter 32-22, was hoping to find those 10 elusive points Saturday. But the strength of the Shamrocks’ lineup was too much.
"They are so well coached," said Hall, whose team ended its year with a 26-4 record. "But I am very proud of our guys; they wrestled hard. We didn't wrestle bad, that's just a very talented team."
The Cardinals took the early lead when their returning individual champion, senior 189-pounder Brenden McRill, won by technical fall.
Davison also got big wins from Andrew Chambal at 103 and 2015 individual champ (and 2016 runner-up) A.J. Facundo at 125, but in the end, Detroit Catholic Central won eight of the 14 matches wrestled and scored more bonus points throughout the dual.
"This is absolutely remarkable," said Hancock, whose team ended its season with a 31-1 record. "We went undefeated in the state of Michigan. Our only loss was to (Lakewood) St. Ed's out of Ohio. Everybody did their job today, and we represent DCC with pride."
The Shamrocks earned their way to the championship match by knocking off last year's champion, Hartland, in their Semifinal match. Davison beat a game Macomb Dakota team in their Semifinal, 37-21.
The MHSAA Wrestling Finals are presented by the Michigan Army National Guard.
PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Catholic Central wrestlers cheer on a teammate during Saturday’s Division 1 Final. (Middle) DCC and Davison competitors lock up during the Shamrocks’ win. (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.)