It’s official — Justin Accordino will be in a Hofstra singlet for the 2012-2013 campaign.
“Justin has been approved for his sixth year,” Pride head coach Rob Anspach said on Tuesday.
After redshirting as a true freshman and qualifying for the NCAAs in his second year, the Wilkes Barre, PA native missed nearly two full seasons, 2009-10 and 2010-11, when he suffered knee injuries that required surgery. Despite the long rehabilitation processes following the procedures, Accordino said there wasn’t any doubt that he would return to the lineup.
“Not coming back was never going through my mind,” Accordino said in an interview during the 2012 NCAA tournament. “This is something I love to do. The coaches asked me if I wanted to keep wrestling and it was always, yes. I really worked through my rehab as hard as I could.”
It showed. Accordino made a successful return to the mats last fall, culminating in All-America honors after a sixth place finish at the NCAAs in St. Louis. Overall, he compiled a 26-14 record and a second place showing at the CAA tournament in 2011-12.
The Coughlin High School standout said earlier in the week that he expects to remain at 149 pounds. Six of the eight grapplers that made the podium at that weight in 2012 return, including Dylan Ness (Minnesota, 2nd), Donnie Vinson (Binghamton, 3rd), Cam Tessari (Ohio State, 4th), Accordino, Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State, 7th) and Nick Lester (Oklahoma, 8th).
After winning his bout at the Adam Frey Classic on Sunday, Accordino said he will spend the summer on the Hofstra campus, training and preparing for another run at the podium and the ultimate goal of a national title.
–Special thanks to M. Diano