Welcome to Highline College Athletics
Home of the Thunderbirds
Moving On Up
April 14, 2018 – Highline improved to 4-1 in league play (6-6 season) with its third straight victory, edging pas the host Bellevue Bulldogs 5-4. Amila Gogalija and Celeste Andreotti continue to lead the team, recording singles victories in all three matches and also teaming in doubles play. The T-Birds also added away and home wins over Treasure Valley, winning 8-1 on April 4 and 7-2 on April 13. The team has three more regular season matches, two at home against Skagit Valley (April 27) and Spokane (May 4), before a May 6 match at Skagit Valley. The NWAC Championships will be held in Spokane on May 11 and 12.
Amila Gogalija (left) and Miriam Cabrera (right) with simultaneous serves on adjacent courts in Highline’s 5-4 win over Bellevue.
NWAC Player of the Week (Week 4)
“Freshman Miriam Cabrera, plays both #2 and #3 singles for Highline as well as #1 and #2 doubles,” said Thunderbird head coach Laura Rosa. “This week Miriam won at #2 singles against Treasure Valley and then the next day pulled off an amazing win at #3 singles against Bellevue. The match was tied with a team score of 4-4, Miriam’s court was the last match in play, she embraced the pressure and just kept forcing the pace. She pulled off a huge victory against an excellent opponent, winning 7-5, 6-3. This secured the first ever team win for the Thunderbirds over Bellevue College. Miriam is a powerful lefty, her first serve is arguably currently the most dom
inant in the Conference. Miriam is also an excellent student, she is planning a career in Electrical Engineering.”
Highline Invitational II
The Golf Team hosted the Highline Invitational II tournament at the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Federal Way on April 1-2. Jenna Muller took team honors in shooting 176 for the two rounds, finishing 4th in the tournament.
Coming up for the team is the the North Idaho League Match (April 15-16), Skagit Valley League Match (April 29-30), and the Southwestern Oregon League Match (May 13-14). The NWAC Championships will be held May 20-21 at the Appletree Golf Course in Yakima.
Jenna Muller led the Highline Golf Team with a two round score of 176
Women’s Softball – Closing Out the Regular Season
With 10 games to go in the regular season, the T-Birds stand at 14-17 (season) and 8-12 (league). The team has won four of its last six games with away double-headers at Edmonds and Bellevue before closing with doubleheaders at home against Skagit Valley, Pierce, and Douglas. The NWAC Playoffs start on May 18 in Spokane.
(Against Olympic College – April 24)
Hannah Geyer lays down a bunt against Olympic
Alexis Royal bats while Hailey Clark waits on deck.
Men’s Wrestling: NJCAA National Tournament
February 23-24, 2018 Council Bluffs, Iowa
Report from- Head Coach Scott Norton
The good news is we came away with 2 All-Americans: Emmanuel Daigbe 197 and Liam Corbett 157. In addition, our team won the National Academic Championship with a 3.34 overall grade point average based on our 10 starters and 2 extra wrestlers. This is the 4th time. It’s important because we encourage our kids to do well in school so they can transfer to a four-year college.Emmanuel Daigbe lost 8-6. It was heartbreaking loss because Emmanuel was given a stalling call which awarded Tyree Sutton an extra point. It was a barn burner. Tyree Sutton was a high school national champ two years ago. Really it was a battle of two of the best athletes in the tournament. It’s tough when you lose a close match like that. Emmanuel probably should have been on the other side of the bracket because no kid has challenged Tyree all year.
Emmanuel did come back and finish fourth but should have finished 3rd. He lost a point for locking hands, and that was the difference in the match.
Liam Corbett did a great job. He lost to a returning All-American from Ellsworth in the quarters. Liam then pinned his opponent from Thaddeus Stevens to earn All-American Honors. Liam ended up losing to Isaiah Diggs, but secured a victory over his fellow Hawaiian friend Thomas Stevenson from North Idaho.
On the other side of the coin, we had Austin Lister at 133 win his first match. But he injured his shoulder, and it changed the way he wrestled. Lister was caught in his next match by Baterdene from Mongolia who is a national champ in his homeland. Baterdene finished 2nd. In the wrestle backs, Austin lost to a wrestler from Spartan who went on to become an All-American.
Our 4th competitor was Jacob Mendoza at 125. Mendoza didn’t seem like himself as he lost his first two matches.
It’s a weird tournament and a lot of things can happen. I’m proud of what our guys accomplished this year.
On the mat, the Highline College Wrestling Team is very good. In the classroom, it is a juggernaut. The team, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.34, based on its 10 starters and two extra wrestlers, won the 2018 NJCAA National Academic Championship, the 4th time the program has won this award in nine years. This is more than any other NJCAA college wrestling program. The coaching staff, led by Head Coach Scott Norton and lead assistant coach Brad Luvaas, focus on academics so their student-athletes can successfully transfer and continue their athletic and educational pursuits at a four-year college or university.
Liam Corbett at 157 lbs finished 5th in national competition and gained All-American status
All-American Emmanuel Daigbe finished in 4th place at the 197lb weight class in his first national championship competition.
Emmanuel Daigbe Moving On
by Head Coach Scott Norton
We have one of our sophomores moving on to play football at Portland State in Emmanuel Daigbe. He is by far the best athlete that I have ever worked with. This young man has busted his tail on and off the mat. Nothing was given to Daigbe on a silver platter. It was hard work, drive, and integrity that have propelled him to the next level. He is currently taking close to 30 credits to complete his AA this Spring. I’m not a huge football fan, but I am an Emmanuel Daigbe fan. He chose Highline because we are the top Junior College in the nation when it comes to developing students and wrestlers. We have proven it 4 out of the last 8 years. We turn 2.0 students that are at risk of failing out of school into strong students that reach a 3.0 or higher and move to a 4-year college. Thank you for being a part of our program, Emmanuel. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, NFL bound? Definitely possible.
Emmanuel Diabge in Portland State football gear.
Scott Norton and Emmanuel Diagbe
Women’s Soccer Takes First Championship
Defense Stifles Peninsula For 1-0 Win in Overtime
In the end, it took grit, perseverance, an unbreakable defense, and a jewel of a kick in overtime for Highline to win its first ever championship. After playing to a scoreless tie in regulation time, it was Jewel Boland, Highline’s top goal scorer, playing with a heavily wrapped left leg, who hit a rocket from 20 yards that caromed off the top crossbar into the Peninsula goal at 1:06 into overtime to bring the long-awaited championship to the Women’s program. It was the first loss for the Pirates, who entered the game a perfect 19-0-0. Highline finished the season as the league’s only unbeaten team at 18-0-2, and the 2017 NWAC Women’s Soccer Champions.
In addition to the winning goal by Boland, assisted by Bella Keane, the story of the game was Highline’s defense, which had surrendered only five goals all season, best in the NWAC Conference. Although constantly tested by Peninsula, with the league’s most prolific offense averaging seven goals a game, and hanging on by its collective fingernails at the end of regulation time, the Thunderbird defense, with Jocelyn Hanrath in goal, kept Peninsula at bay just long enough for Boland’s jewel of a kick.
See the full report and photos from the game at the Women’s Soccer page.
T-Birds Edge Whatcom For Men’s Soccer Title
Kasim Sparkles in Goal; Evanger Gets Game Winner
When your goalkeeper is named Most Valuable Player in the Championship game, chances are you walk away with the title. And so it was with Highline defeating the Whatcom Orcas 1-0 behind Akili Kasim’s spectacular play in net and Dane Evanger’s goal at 58:39, assisted by Ryley Johnson. For the Thunderbirds it was their first championship since 2014, and the second for Head Coach Steve Mohn. Despite the lack of goal scoring the game was wide open, with Whatcom getting the majority of the better scoring chances, especially in the waning moments as it pressed the Highline defense in looking for the equalizing goal. In the end it was a contest between Whatcom, with the league’s best offense (65 goals scored) against Highline, with the league’s stingiest defense (11 goals against). In this case, defense won out. And as for Highline’s offense, while it was Ryley Johnson, the team’s top scorer and Adama Kante (3 goals in the semifinal win over Spokane) who put the most pressure on the Whatcom defense, it was Evanger, the team’s third leading scorer, who boomed in what proved to be the game winner off an opportune bounce. For the Thunderbirds and its defense, that is all it took.
See the full report and photos from the game at the Men’s Soccer page.