GORHAM, Maine – For the second consecutive year, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' wrestling program earned a share of the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Rookie of the Year honor as freshman Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) earned 2018 NEWA Rookie of the Year to highlight several post-season awards for USM after a tremendous 2017-2018 season.
Additionally earning a major post-season award, the Huskies' assistant coaches were presented with the NEWA Assistant Coach of the Year honor. Comprised of several alumni and long-time assistants, Southern Maine had one of its best seasons finishing fifth at the Division III Northeast Regional – its highest finish in program history. With the help of Associate Head Coach Julio Santiago, and assistant coaches Daniel Del Gallo '17, Sean Fagan '15, Jonathan Deupree '15, and Peter Delev. The Huskies also had a program best five All-Region wrestlers and had two wrestlers, Shorey and sophomore Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine), qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championship. USM finished the regular season ranked No. 25 in the country by D3wrestle.com, and had a 15-9 dual meet record.
Along with Shorey's Rookie of the Year honor the 141-pound grappler earned second team All-NEWA and All-Rookie team honors. Del Gallo, the 2017 NEWA Rookie of the Year, also earned second team All-NEWA honors for the second consecutive season at 125 pounds. Junior Brendan Weir (Easthampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) at 149 pounds, sophomore Justin Stacy (Rochester, N.H./Marshwood) at 174 pounds, and freshman Brandon Cousino (North Ferrisburgh, Vermont/Vergennes Union) at 197 pounds each earned NEWA Honorable Mention status, while Cousino joined Shorey on the All-Rookie team.
Several Huskies' earned a spot on the NEWA All-Academic team, including Cousino, Del Gallo, Shorey, Weir and freshman Joey LeClair (Keeseville, N.Y./Clintonville), and sophomore Josh Smith (York, Maine). Shorey and Cousino were previously recognized as National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-Americans.
Each placing fourth at the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional, Weir, Stacy and Cousino earned All-Region honors for the Huskies. Posting a 29-10 overall record, Weir earned NEWA Honorable Mention accolades in 2016, and is a two-time NEWA All-Academic team selection and a two-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete. He is pursuing a degree in Athletic Training.
A 2017 NEWA All-Rookie team pick last season, Stacy had a standout sophomore year earning All-Region honors and a spot on the NEWA Honorable Mention team, posting a 16-9 record. He went 4-2 in the NCAA Regional Championship to earn a podium finish.
Cousino had an excellent rookie season for the Huskies earning All-Region honors, as well as NWCA Scholar All-American and NEWA All-Academic status. A Mechanical Engineering major, Cousino finished 2017-2018 with an outstanding 29-8 record. Cousino was named the NEWA Rookie of the Week on February 16 after a 3-0 week with three wins by fall. Cousino finished his freshman season with 16 wins by fall.
The first USM freshman to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championship, Shorey placed third at the Northeast Regional, and finished the season with a record of 31-9, including an 8-0 mark in wins by fall. With his bid into the NCAA Championship, Shorey joins an elite list of nine USM wrestlers to advance to the national stage. Earning NWCA Scholar All-American and NEWA All-Academic team honors, Shorey is majoring in Criminology.
Already highly decorated in his short career as Southern Maine, Del Gallo, the 2017 NEWA Rookie of the Year, earned a trip to the NCAA Division III National Championship after placing second at the Northeast Regional Championship. A two-time All-Region wrestler, Del Gallo was ranked as high as second nationally at 125 pounds during the season and turned in a remarkable record of 39-2 in 2017-18. In two seasons with Southern Maine, Del Gallo has a record of 73-5. Majoring in Exercise Science, Del Gallo is earning NEWA All-Academic team honors for the second time.
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