April 6, 2014 12:43PM
By MATT BEZUYEN
Sun Sports Writer
WESTERLY — Shane Shortt won a lot of matches for Westerly High’s wrestling team and as a result the junior leads the list of Bulldog wrestlers earning postseason honors this year.
Shortt compiled an overall record of 37-6 and earned first team All-Division I-South honors at 152 pounds as well as making the Coaches Association All-State third team.
In dual meets, Shortt won 16 of 17 matches and pinned in 11 of those wins. He took third at 152 pounds in the state meet after not placing in the states a year ago despite totaling 35 wins. He posted three first-place finishes at tournaments and two seconds in the 2013-14 season.
“From the beginning of the season to the end he had an incredible year,” Westerly coach All Gaccione said.
Gaccione attributes Shortt’s success in tournaments to some improvements the junior made on the mat as well as his approach. Shortt was 21-5 overall in tournaments, with two of the losses coming at the New Englands.
“The difference between this year and last year is that he worked harder on his takedown game. Last year that was his downfall. We preached to him that he needed to be sound on his feet.
“To place third at the states and go on to the New Englands is a great feat for a junior. He’s a very sound wrestler on the mat, but has room for improvement that can carry him that much further next year,” Gaccione said.
Joining Shortt on the Division I-South first team is senior Ian Rose at 120 pounds. It’s Rose’s first time on any All Division team.
Rose finished posted an overall record of 31-15 with 12 wins by pin. Rose went 16-5 in duals and 15-10 in tournaments.
Rose, a senior, capped his career with a fifth-place finish at the state tournament.
“It’s great to see Ian get first team All-Division, it’s something that’s alluded him the past three years. Placing fifth at the state open was incredible for him for the fact that he wasn’t a strong tournament wrestler all year. He was another one that wasn’t dominant on his feet, but turned it up at the states,” Gaccione said.
Rose placed first at the South County Tournament and second at the Smithfield Invitational.
Gaccione said the fact the 120-pound field at the state tournament was stacked made the fifth place finish all the more impressive.
“To place fifth behind the guys he finished behind is incredible. He’s not the most explosive wrestler, but when opportunity knocks he answers,” Gaccione said.
Westerly had a pair of wrestlers — Rose and Drew Widdifield — qualify for the All-Academic team. Gaccione said to make the team wrestlers had to have a grade point average of 3.5 or better and have a winning record or place at the state tournament. Widdifield had a 31-15 record this season and won his 100th career match.
Westerly finished the year with a 4-17 record and went 3-12 in Division I-South. The Bulldogs finished 19th as a team at the state meet. Westerly’s best tournament finish was fifth at the Lancer Invitational.