Hofstra All-American Accordino's Career Ends Due to Injury

 
 

Courtesy of gohofstra.com

Hempstead, NY – 2012 NCAA All-American Justin Accordino‘s Hofstra wrestling career has come to an end due to knee injuries, Pride Head Wrestling Coach Rob Anspach announced Thursday.

Accordino, Photo by BV

Accordino, who had been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the National Collegiate Athletic Association last June, did not get to wrestle in any competitions this season and reinjured his knee last fall. He will have his third knee surgery since 2009 this week. He ends his career with a 76-42 overall record including a 27-10 mark in dual matches and a 10-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Accordino placed sixth at 149 pounds to earn his first All-American honor at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis last March. It was the second NCAA Championship appearance of his Hofstra career.

Accordino, who posted a career-best 26-14 record in 2011-12 including a 12-3 mark in duals and a 5-1 slate in the Colonial Athletic Association, placed second in the CAA last season after bouncing back from season-ending knee injuries the previous two seasons. He was granted medical hardship waivers for both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

After red-shirting as a true freshman in 2007-08, Accordino tallied a 25-13 record, was ranked as high as 16th, and placed third at 141 pounds in the CAA to earn his first bid to the NCAA Championships in 2008-09. He was 2-2 and advanced to the fifth round of the wrestlebacks at the national championships in St. Louis.

In 2009-10, Accordino was 3-1 in the second competition of the year at the North Carolina State Open when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. He underwent surgery and returned for the 2010-11 season. Accordino posted a 9-6 mark before suffering a second knee injury at the Southern Scuffle. In 2011-12, he opened the year 7-7 before winning 19 of the next 26 matches after the new year for a 26-14 record.

Accordino, who earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts last May, is working toward a master’s degree in fine arts education.

One More Time: Justin Accordino Granted Sixth Year of Eligibility for Hofstra

Justin Accordino at the 2012 NCAAs; Photo by Boris Veysman

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

 

Accordino and Nevinger Notch Victories, Discuss the Experience at the Adam Frey Classic

Justin Accordino at NCAAs 2012, Photo by Boris Veysman

Prior to the fourth annual Adam Frey Classic on Sunday, organizer Josh Liebman (see video below) said he wanted the atmosphere at Grace Hall on the campus of Lehigh to resemble a reunion.  For Hofstra’s Justin Accordino, it was exactly that.

The 149-pound All-American was thrilled to be able to participate in the event, which benefits the Adam Frey Foundation, especially since he and Frey wrestled together years ago.

“I knew Adam pretty well,” Accordino said. “We were on a couple of national teams together.  It was meaningful for me to be part of the event to support the Foundation. I was also happy to see Adam’s parents and his brother because I’ve known them for a long time.”

In addition to catching up with the Freys, Accordino got to spend time with longtime friend Jake O’Hara of Columbia – including five minutes on the mat.

The former youth teammates faced off in one of the 17 main event matches, with Accordino earning a 5-3 victory on the strength of takedowns in the first and third periods.

“We’re pretty good friends,” Accordino said of his opponent. “He’s a tough kid and even though we were on the same elementary school team I think it’s the first time we wrestled in a match.  I think all the guys just wanted to go out and give the crowd a good show.  It was an exhibition match so it was a chance to wrestle and have some fun.”

Accordino had fun taking in the action throughout the afternoon, including viewing the 8-2 victory of Penn State NCAA champion Ed Ruth over Lehigh’s Robert Hamlin in the feature bout.

“It was great watching Ed Ruth.  He’s such a technical wrestler and he looked really good,” Accordino said. “He’s also a kid I’ve known for a while from Pennsylvania.  It was a great chance for me to see so many people I haven’t seen in a while.”

Ruth, Hamlin and Accordino were among the nine All-Americans who took the mat on Sunday.   In a matchup of two 141-pound medalists from the 2012 NCAAs, New York native Mike Nevinger squared off against Cal Poly’s Boris Novachkov, who finished in the top three at nationals twice.

Mike Nevinger vs. Adam Krop at NCAAs, Photo by Boris Veysman

After battling to a 2-2 deadlock in regulation, Nevinger notched the only takedown of the bout in overtime to capture a 4-2 victory.

“There were some good scrambles,” Nevinger said. “It was an exhibition, but I like opportunities to compete against the best guys.  It was great to get a competitive match in the offseason and I’m obviously happy with the win.”

Nevinger was also pleased to get an invite to the event, and while he said he didn’t know Frey personally, he felt a connection with the former Big Red wrestler.

“It was a lot of fun for a good cause,” Nevinger said. “I was really happy to be there to represent Cornell.”

As the only Big Red grappler taking part in the festivities on Sunday, Nevinger had some fun with the crowd, which included a large number of Lehigh and Penn State supporters.

“It was pretty funny when the fans were asking me what the big ‘C’ on my shirt stood for,” he said. “There were some jokes thrown my way, all in good fun.”

When asked about the match that stood out, both Accordino and Nevinger cited the 11-9 overtime tilt won by Kent State’s Ian Miller over Lehigh’s Shane Welsh.

“They both had some throws and there was a lot of action all the way through.  It was great to watch,” Nevinger said.

“There were lots of big moves,” Accordino added. “That match was really entertaining.”

For Liebman, bringing entertainment to the spectators was one of the main goals of the day.

“It was important to Adam when we were setting [the Foundation] up to not only do successful fundraisers but to put on a great wrestling events that promote the sport and do it the right way.  There was a great crowd, great matches.  I was proud to be a part of it.”

To find out more about the Adam Frey Foundation, visit adamfrey.us

Watch Josh Liebman discuss the 2012 Adam Frey Classic:

Results (Wrestlers with NY Ties in Bold)

Chuck Zeisloft (Rider) over Billy Watterson (Brown, John Jay HS)

Vinny Fava (Rider) over Tyler Small (Kent State)

Ian Miller (Kent State) over Shane Welsh (Lehigh)

Mark McKnight (Buffalo/Penn State) over Patrick Hunter (Binghamton)

Justin Accordino (Hofstra) over Jake O’Hara (Columbia)

Joey Napoli (Lehigh) over Lorenzo Thomas (Penn)

BJ Young (Newberry) over CJ Cobb (Penn)

Chance Marstellar (Kennard Dale HS) over Johnny Sebastian (Bergen Catholic HS)

Steve Mytych (Drexel) over Nic Bedelyon (Kent State)

Mike Nevinger (Cornell, Letchworth Central HS) over Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)

Josh Asper (Maryland) over Nestor Taffor (Boston)

Jim Resnick (Rider) over Nate Brown (Lehigh)

Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) over Ricky McDonald (Brown)

Andrew Campolattano (Ohio St.) over Christian Boley (Maryland, Brockport HS)

Ryan Tomei (Pitt) over Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State, Duanesburg HS)

Max Wessell (Lehigh) over Cody Reed (Binghamton, Walton HS)

Ed Ruth (Penn State) over Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)