The 20127/18 Season Wrap

The team had another successful season, on the mat and in the classroom, under Head Coach Scott Norton. In addition to Emmanuel Daigbe and Liam Corbett taking All-American honors, Highline wrestlers Austin Lister and Jacob Mendoza also participated in the national tournament. And just as importantly, the team won the National Academic Championship with a 3.34 overall grade point average, the fourth time it has done so, more than any other school in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The Year in Photos

Men's Wrestling Head Coach Scott Norton

Men’s Wrestling Head Coach Scott Norton

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.

Academic Champions

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.


Highline All-Americans Emmanuel Diagbe and Liam Corbett

The Highline Wrestling Team at the 2018 NJCAA National Championships

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.

Emmanual Diabge in Portland State football gear.Emmanuel Diabge in Portland State football gear.

Scott Norton and Emmanual DiagbeScott Norton and Emmanuel Diagbe

The Open Mat just published an interview with Wrestling Head Coach Scott Norton, highlighting the Highline College Wrestling Program and his success in developing one of the top programs in the Pacific Northwest.
Read the interview here.

From the interview:

Your program won back to back Academic National Championships in 2014 and 2015 becoming the first program to accomplish that feat.  How much of a sense of pride does that bring to you?

“I think it’s a pretty big deal.  It shows that our college and program have a tremendous commitment towards education.  We have actually canceled meets and pulled out of tournaments because we didn’t feel our team was where they were supposed to be academically.  I am an educator myself.  I have taught 5th grade since 2000 and the entire time I have been coaching at Highline.  Technically, I have pretty much had two full-time jobs for 15 years.  I’m sure my academic expectations have rubbed off on our teams.  We also communicate to our team the importance of going to class daily and doing well in school.  I am very proud of what our team has achieved academically.” Scott Norton

Dr. Coyte Cooper, an entrepreneur, author, former university professor, and NCAA All-American wrestler who competed  under Scott Norton, has given a TEDx talk entitled Perspective Sparks Potential (link).  In the video, Dr. Cooper encourages people to actively seek out the lesson in the adversity that they experience. Once we learn to shift our perspective, what we once thought of as a negative situation is actually a gift that propels life to an extraordinary level.

Highline College Wrestling Boosters

John Aiken – Former Auburn Head Coach
Brian Alphi – Edmonds Woodway Head Coach
James Barfinch
Chris Boeger
Robin Buban
Frederic Bunnag
Douglas Burnham – Tahoma High Assistant
Chris Chambers – Spanaway Lake Head Coach
Ricky Christian –  3 x Tahoma State Champ
Jody Coleman – Orting High Head Coach
Jason Conley
Lou Ann Crook
Taylor and Nathan Curry
Chris Feist – Tahoma High Head Coach
Brandon Forster
Pam Gabel
Dave Gilbertson – Referee and Washington Wrestling Promoter
Steve Hadsel – Former Highline Assistant

Steve Hood
Matt Iwicki – UW Wrestler
Kyle Jones
Rick Kelley
Brad Luvaas – Highline Assistant Coach
Martin Martinez
Andy Marty
Elias Mason – Highline All-American
John McBride
Jim McCullough
Kevin McDaniel
Rory McDonald – Hazen High Head Coach
Kevin McNulty – Head Coach ILWACO High
Taylor Meeks – Current Oregon State Assistant
Anji Monta
Phred and Laurie Morin
Mark Nickels
Randy Negley

Lynn Nodgile
Derek Norton – Former Highline Wrestler
Scott Norton – Highline Head Coach
Guy Omanaka
By Pham
Susan Richardson
Richard Rockwell – Head Coach in Oregon
John Snediker
John Sneva
Matt Smith
Sonnen Family – Tri-Pak
Suplex City
Tahoma Junior Bears
Toro Wrestling
Kirk White – Former Boise St. Assistant/Highline Assistant
Mike Wooding
Wooding Family
Yelm Twisters
Chris Zocco