Hofstra's Steve Bonanno Earns First Team Academic All-American Honors

 
 

Photo by BV

Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno has received a number of honors during his career with the Pride. On Thursday, he added to that list when he was named to the Academic All-American First Team. (The squad is named by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA and is for “at large” sports such as fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling). Bonanno was one of three wrestlers included, along with Penn State’s Matt Brown and Nebraska’s Josh Ihnen.

Bonanno, was also an Academic All-American in 2012, when he earned second team accolades. During that season, he made the podium at the NCAAs, taking eighth at 125 pounds. The Wantagh native was the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior and is currently a graduate student working toward his MBA.

For the full story from gohofstra.com, see here.

Dake, Nevinger, Santos, Bonanno, Vinson Among New York Representatives on the NWCA All-Academic Team

 
 
The National Wresting Coaches Association (NWCA) released the 82-member Division I All-Academic team for the 2012-13 campaign, including several New York wrestlers.

Four-time national champion Kyle Dake was one of four NCAA titlewinners on the squad (along with Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple, Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry and Penn State’s Quentin Wright). Joining Dake was fellow Big Red All-American Mike Nevinger.

Santos, Photo by BV

Another wrestler who stood on the podium in Des Moines, Columbia bronze medalist Steve Santos, made the squad, along with his teammates Jake O’Hara and Josh Houldsworth. The Lions were 28th in the team GPA standings (3.0212).

Also chosen for the team were a pair of 2012 All-Americans and current graduate students – Binghamton’s Donnie Vinson and Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno. The Pride 125 pounder, working toward his MBA, was ranked third on the individual academic list with a 3.77 grade point average.

Rounding out the Empire State representatives are Billy Watterson, a former Section 1 standout now at Brown and Section 3 star Ryan LeBlanc, who wrestles at Indiana.

For the full release, see here.

NWCA All-Academic Team – (Wrestlers with Connection to New York)

Donnie Vinson (Binghamton, 149 pounds) – Masters (Student Affairs)

Billy Watterson (Brown, John Jay HS, 125 pounds) – History

Jake O’Hara (Columbia, 157 pounds) – Financial Economics

Josh Houldsworth (Columbia, 165 pounds) – Financial Economics

Steve Santos (Columbia, 149 pounds) – Financial Economics

Mike Nevinger (Cornell, 141 pounds) – Mechanical Engineering

Kyle Dake (Cornell, 165 pounds) – Development Sociology

Steve Bonanno (Hofstra, 125 pounds) – Accounting (MBA)

Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana, Morrisville Eaton HS, 165 pounds) – Fitness Specialist

Check Out Video Interviews With All Five All-Americans From NY Schools And More from the NCAAs

 
 
Check out video interviews with NY wrestlers at the NCAA tournament, including all five All-Americans from New York teams (Kyle Dake, Steve Bosak, Nahshon Garrett, Steve Santos and Mike Nevinger) and more.

 

Kyle Dake After Making History

 

Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett “Content But Not Satisfied” With Third Place at the NCAAs

 

Damion Hahn on Cornell’s Medal Round Performance at NCAAs

 

Steve Santos Takes Third at 149 For the Highest Columbia Finish Ever

 

Cornell’s Mike Nevinger Takes Fifth Place at NCAAs After a 9-2 Victory

 

Steve Bosak Finishes Off Three-Time All-American Career With Third at 184

 

Mike Nevinger – All-American Again After Five Straight Consolation Wins

 

Hofstra’s Jamie Franco – Two Straight in Overtime at the NCAAs

 

Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno After Upsetting #10 Seed in the First Round (Day 1)

 

Harvard 2012 All-American Steven Keith (Shoreham Wading River) After a First Round Pin (Day 1)

 

Photo by BV

 

 

Hofstra Wins CAA Championship; Vinson and Reed Capture Titles for Binghamton

 
 

Hofstra came into this weekend having won 10 of the last 11 CAA championships. The Pride did it again on Saturday in Boston, led by titlewinners Steve Bonanno at 125 and Jamie Franco at 133. Franco was the #4 seed, but he upended returning gold medalist Scott Festejo of Old Dominion in the semis before topping Binghamton’s Derek Steeley in the final bout.

Franco, Photo by BV

Also picking up significant team points for Hofstra were runner up Jermaine John at 174 and bronze winners Luke Vaith (141), Cody Ruggirello (149), Tyler Banks (157) and Taras Luzhnyy (184).

With their showings, Bonanno, Franco and Vaith all picked up automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.

Binghamton captured a pair of titles on Saturday, as Donnie Vinson won for the second straight year at 149 while Cody Reed defeated Ryan Wolfe of Rider in overtime at 184. For his efforts, Vinson was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Taking second were Nate Schiedel at 197 and the previously mentioned Steeley at 133.

All four of those Bearcat grapplers will be making the trip to Des Moines for the Nationals in a few weeks.

For results and brackets from the event, see here.

CAA Preview: Hofstra and Binghamton Looking for Conference Supremacy

 
 
Hofstra edged Binghamton by just two points at last year’s CAA Championships to win the conference title for the 10th time in the last 11 years.  The Pride will look to keep that streak going in Boston this weekend with expected challenges from the Bearcats and Rider.  Old Dominion, which fields a strong squad, isn’t eligible for a title since the Monarchs are departing the CAA.

Photo by BV

Who are some of the standouts to watch this weekend?  You could start with two of the conference’s returning All-Americans, who will look to go back to Nationals and improve their placing.  At 125 pounds, Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno has a perfect record in league competition in 2012-13 after taking eighth at NCAAs in 2012.   He is the favorite to capture the one automatic qualifying spot.

Also on the podium in St. Louis was 149-pound bronze medalist Donnie Vinson of Binghamton.  The returning CAA Wrestler of the Year has his sights set on a national title to cap off his career.

Vinson isn’t the only Bearcat currently ranked in the top five nationally.  His teammate Nate Schiedel has had a banner year at 197.  Schiedel is the frontrunner for the CAA crown and hopes to capture a medal in Des Moines.

What Other Returning Champions Are Back?

Besides Bonanno and Vinson, two other 2012 CAA champions return – 133-pounder Scott Festejo of Old Dominion and 141-pounder Luke Vaith of Hofstra.

Festejo will have his hands full with some wrestlers with strong New York ties, including Rider’s Jimmy Morris (a former CHSAA star) and Hofstra’s Jamie Franco.  Franco made an appearance at Nationals a year ago, and has rebounded from a slow start to record some solid victories lately, including over nationally-ranked George DiCamillo of Virginia. (There are three automatic qualifying spots at 133).

Vaith will need to contend with a pair of opponents who have wrestled well, especially in conference action – Frank Cimato of Drexel and Chris Mecate of Old Dominion.   And while he has seen limited action, Binghamton’s Joe Bonaldi started off the season on a high note, beating a number of tough foes to capture the Binghamton Open crown.  He returned to the mat in the final dual of the year and will try to recapture that early season form and take one of the three guaranteed CAA slots in the NCAA field.

Other New York Storylines

Photo by BV

Only the champions at 174 and 184 pounds are guaranteed slots at the National tournament.  Could Jermaine John fit the bill at 174? How about Cody Reed at 184?  Hofstra’s John has put together an undefeated campaign in the conference and was second in the latest CAA rankings behind Old Dominion’s Billy Curling, with James Brundage of Rider in third.

Meanwhile, Reed recorded one of the big upsets in the first round of the NCAAs a year ago when he upended fourth-seed Christian Boley of Maryland. While he hasn’t seen the same level of success down at 184, he knows what it takes to win in March and will be someone to keep an eye on.  (Reed is also second in the CAA rankings, behind Rider’s Ryan Wolfe).

Hofstra 285-pounder Paul Snyder was in the midst of a solid senior campaign when he sustained an injury against Cornell. He didn’t return and according to gohofstra.com, he will not compete this weekend.  (Zeal McGrew took his place at the National Duals). In any event, look for Binghamton’s Tyler Deuel to be in the hunt with Old Dominion’s Matt Tourdot and Boston’s Kevin Innis at heavyweight after going 5-1 in CAA action.

So, what will we see this weekend? Hofstra has owned this tournament for much of the last decade.  Can the Pride ride the production in the lower weights to another title?  Binghamton will once again be in the mix, propelled by a probable slew of bonus points from Vinson and Schiedel.  And Rider can’t be overlooked, with a solid and balanced lineup.  The Broncs had seven grapplers in the top four in the last CAA poll, while Hofstra and Binghamton had five apiece.  (Old Dominion led the way with nine).  Last year, the team race came down to the wire.  It could be that way again.

** According to gohofstra.com, Snyder will not compete.

Hofstra Wins First Dual of the Season, Tops Rider 17-15

 
 
 
Hofstra won its first dual meet of the season on Wednesday night as the Pride topped Rider 17-15 in Hempstead.  Both squads captured five victories, but bonus points earned by Hofstra’s 125-pounder Steve Bonnano and 141-pounder Luke Vaith were the difference in the meet.

The Pride will look to build on the momentum as they travel to Virginia for the CAA Duals this weekend.

Results

174: Jermaine John (Hofstra) dec James Brundage (Rider), 3-2

184: Taras Luzhnyy (Hofstra) dec Ryan Wolfe (Rider), 6-4

197: Donald McNeil (Rider) dec Tim Murphy (Hofstra), 10-6

285: Paul Snyder (Hofstra) dec Greg Velasco (Rider), 5-1

125: Steve Bonanno (Hofstra) maj Patrick Skinner (Rider), 20-8

133: Jimmy Morris (Rider) dec Jamie Franco (Hofstra), 8-2

141: Luke Vaith (Hofstra) maj Vinny Fava (Rider), 17-9

149: Curt Delia (Rider) dec Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra), 7-2

157: Zac Cibula (Rider) dec Tyler Banks (Hofstra), 3-2

165: Ramon Santiago (Rider) dec Nick Terdick (Hofstra), 8-6