Report from Head Coach Chad Beatty
Nov. 9 – Ten Thunderbirds took the mat for the first time on Saturday at the Clackamas Open in Oregon City, OR. Washington’s Team finished with three place winners; 2 finalists, John Sowers (157), & Hayden Henry (184) and a 3rd place finisher, Kai Olson (197). Gerardo Suarez (141) and Jeramias Sandoval (149) made it to the consolation-semifinals but didn’t have the opportunity to finish their tournaments before reaching their match limit for the day. Austin Cleland (141), Wyatt Schrader (149), Nico Torres (174), Ta-Tes Boulby (184), and Anthony Rawson (184:Unattached) completed very well their first event of the year, too. Considering all of the uncertainty surrounding who would be the torch barrier of the program the team fought hard and is already looking forward to making adjustments in order to avenge their losses. The Thunderbirds compete again next weekend in Forest Grove, OR at the Mike Clock Open.
Big Change in Highline Wrestling
Chad Beatty Takes Over as Head Coach
For the first time in 20 years the Highline Wrestling program welcome a new head coach. Chad Beatty, who wrestled at Iowa under the legendary Dan Gable, will be taking over for the 2019/20 wrestling season. Beatty comes to Highline with experience as an assistant and head coach at the high school and college level. In starting his new position, in an interview with the Thunderword, the Highline College student newspaper, Beatty stated that regarding recruiting that it “at small colleges is almost always the biggest challenge. Luckily for us, Highline is the most diverse college in the state and offers a bunch of degrees to choose from. Our goal is to recruit athletic kids and prove that they can accomplish their goals here, in state.”
Beatty was a two-time high school state champion in Iowa, winning three individual conference titles and setting multiple state records. At Iowa he was a two-time NCAA qualifier, posting a 50-25 career record and was a member of three NCAA and Big Ten champion Iowa teams. After college he coached at Forest Grove High School (Oregon) for five years as well as serving as Director of Wrestling Operations at the Washington State Wrestling Association.
Beatty will be replacing the head coach Scott Norton, who is leaving after 20 years as head coach of the wrestling team. Norton leaves behind an impressive legacy of both wrestling and academic excellence for his teams. In addition to the over 30 All-Americans he coached, his teams won the NJCAA National Academic Championship four times in the last ten years, more than any other NJCAA team. Norton, along with long-time lead assistant coach Brad Luvaas, spoke of their focus on academics so their student-athletes could successfully transfer and continue their athletic and educational pursuits at a four-year college or university.
Wrestling Starts Nov. 9
Highline kicks off its season on Nov. 9 as the team travels south to Oregon for the Clackamas Open. After spending November on the road, the team returns for its first home meet on Dec. 7 for the Warner Pacific Dual.