Ascend Wrestling

News & Announcements

Fundraiser for Matty "Moose" Mustakis @ Ascend Sunday October 18, 2015 10a - 3p

**Save the Date**

Ascend will be hosting a fundraiser clinic for Matty "Moose" Mustakis on Sunday October 18 from 10a - 3p.

As many of you may know, Matty was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

I will be joined by Hofstra Wrestling & Long Beach Gladiators to support this effort. We are really looking to have our wrestling community rally around the Mustakis family during this difficult time.

More details to follow.

Thank you,



Nationally Ranked Araneo commits to Princeton!!

Click here to read the article in New York Wrestling News!


Ascend Fall High School (grades 7-12) & Youth (grades 1-6) Registration begins September 2, 2015!!

I hope everyone is having a great Summer and enjoying the last few weeks with their families and loved ones.

Ascend Wrestling Club will be holding its Fall High School (grades 7-12) & Youth (grades 1-6) registration beginning Wednesday September 2, 2015.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to some schools starting at different times and Labor Day falling on a later date, this year's Fall registration will be extended over the following days:

Wednesday September 2 from 6-7p, Thursday September 3 from 6-7p, Sunday September 6 from 10-11a, & Tuesday September 8 from 6-7p.

If you are not able to make any of these times please contact me via email or call or text 917-449-6098.

Come train at Long Island's Premiere Wrestling Facility!



Fall High School Practice Schedule:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 7:00p - 9:00p, Sunday 11:00a - 1:00p for All Members.

Please call or text 917-449-6098 or email for more information regarding High School pricing packages.  We offer team discounts for 5 or more.

Also to save time please print and fill out downloadable form at the bottom of the membership section of our website.

Wrestlers must have a valid USA Wrestling card.

You can apply for a USA Wrestling card here:


Craig Vitagliano

Craig is a 3x Nassau County Champion, New York State Champion, University National Freestyle Champion, and a 4x Empire State Games Gold Medalist. He was a 4 year starter at Harvard University.

In addition to his work with Ascend, Vitagliano – USA Wrestling's Developmental Coach of the Year for the Northeast Region – serves an assistant coach at Commack High School and has been a member of the New York State National Freestyle coaching staff for the past 4 years.

Justin Accordino

Justin was a 2012 NCAA All-American at 149, placing sixth for Hofstra and a 2x NCAA Qualifier. He was also a 2x PA State place winner, Junior NHSCAA Champion, 3rd place at NHSCAA Senior Nationals, and a Freestyle & Greco-Roman Fargo Bronze medalist. Justin also serves as an assistant coach at Chaminade.



Fall Youth Practice Schedule: Monday & Thursday 6:30p – 8:00p

COST: ONLY $250 for 3 months.


Jamie Dunn

Jamie was a 2x All-County wrestler & a 4x County Qualifier for Mepham High School and has the 3rd most wins in Mepham history with 117. Jamie also serves as an assistant coach at Grand Avenue Middle School.


Ascend wrestLing camp featuring Ivy League coaches June 27-30!!

Ascend’s Ivy League Camp Expands for 2015
June 27-30

HICKSVILLE, New York – For the second summer in a row, brains will meet brawn at the annual Ascend Summer Wrestling Camp, where local grapplers receive unique exposure to college wrestling through a number of Ivy League clinicians.

Ascend’s Chief Wrestling Officer Craig Vitagliano, a 1995 Harvard graduate, announced today that clinicians for the four-day camp include head coaches Chris Ayres of Princeton, Todd Beckerman of Brown, Carl Fronhofer of Columbia, and Harvard assistant coach J.P. O’Connor.  The star-studded lineup headline a week-long, intensive wrestling program at Ascend Headquarters in Hicksville.

The 2015 camps build on successful 2014 Harvard-themed clinics hosted by Ascend.

“Ascend is about more than just wrestling,” said Vitagliano.  “Long Islanders raise well rounded kids, and I’m looking to give my wrestlers an extra leg up on the college admissions process.  Ascend prides itself as Long Island’s pipeline to Ivy League programs, and nothing made me more proud than watching alumni like Dylan Palacio (Cornell) and Chris Perez (Princeton) compete in this year’s national championships.”

O’Connor, currently an assistant wrestling coach for Harvard, is one of the most celebrated wrestlers in New York history, winning four state crowns at Oxford Academy before an outstanding career with the Crimson capped by an undefeated season and national title in 2010.

An All-American wrestler at Lehigh, Ayres has led the Princeton Tigers wrestling program since 2006.  He has rebuilt the program with several marquee wins, and coached Perez to within one victory of All-American status at the 2015 NCAA national championships.

After capping an All-American career at the University of Nebraska, Beckerman coached at Maryland and the Naval Academy.  He’s helmed the Brown program since 2013, and in his brief tenure has already coached the school’s first All American in 16 seasons.

New York native Fronhofer was a national team wrestler and collegiate All American.  Since 2011, he’s lead the Columbia wrestling team to several impressive victories and coached 2013 graduate Steve Santos to All-American status and the highest NCAA finish in school history.

“This camp is important for the kids but also for the parents,” said Vitagliano. “Exposure like this makes the Ivy League more tangible, realistic, and possible.”

The camp will take place at Ascend’s headquarters.  Covering 6,200 square feet, the space is Long Island’s largest wrestling room and enables the club to host one of the country’s most diverse collections of wrestlers in what Vitagliano calls “the leadership laboratory.”

For more information, contact Ascend at 917-449-6098 or email



2015 NHSCA Nationals

Mike D'Angelo wins the Senior NHSCA National Title at 138 lbs!!! Ascend with 7 All-Americans!!!

Seniors Mike D’Angelo 138 (Commack), Jesse DellaVecchia 132 (East Islip), Sam Ward 138 (Locust Valley), & Brandon Aviles 160 (John Glenn), Junior Christian Araneo 195 (Ward Melville), Freshman Maguire Horl 220 (St. Anthony’s), & Middle School Division Kyle Mosher 100 (South Side) all captured All-American honors at the 26th Annual 2014 NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships held in Virginia Beach, VA on March 27-29. 


2015 Ascend All-Americans

Middle School Division

Kyle Mosher (South Side) 2nd place, 100 lbs

Freshman Division

Maguire Horl (St. Anthony's) 5th place, 220 lbs

Junior Division

Christian Araneo (Ward Melville) 3rd place, 195 lbs

Senior Division

Jesse Dellavecchia (East Islip) 3rd place, 132 lbs
Mike D'Angelo (Commack) 1st place, 138 lbs
Sam Ward (Locust Valley) 7th place, 138 lbs
Brandon Aviles (John Glenn) 8th place, 160 lbs


D'Angelo finshes 2nd at Super 32, Araneo 7th, Arceri Wins Freak Show!!

Congrats to Commack Senior Mike D'Angelo upon his 2nd place finish at 132 lbs at the prestigious Super 32 tournament! He moves up the national rankings to #6 at 132 lbs. Ward Melville Junior Christian Araneo placed 7th at 195 lbs.

Huntington Junior Johnny Arceri goes 5-0 to win the Freak Show in Las Vegas! Arceri came in as the #10 seed, and left as a champion at 115 lbs.

Read article here

D'Angelo photo credit Tom Mullen for


CHaminade's Christian Briody commits to Columbia!!

Click here to read article in New York Wrestling News & Gotham City Wrestling!


Nationally-Ranked Mike D'Angelo Commits to Princeton!!

Click here to read article in New York Wrestling News!


Introducing Ascend 2.0: Long Island's Premiere Wrestling Facility

Announcing Ascend 2.0:
Wrestling’s Leadership Laboratory Triples in Size

HICKSVILLE, New York, January 25, 2014 – Sunday marks a major transition for Long Island’s Ascend Wrestling Club, as the region’s “takedown startup” moves into a new, more spacious headquarters in Hicksville under an initiative the club’s leadership hails as “Ascend 2.0.”

Covering 6,200 square feet, the new space will be about three times the size of Ascend’s former location, making it Long Island’s largest wrestling room and enabling the club to host one of the country’s most diverse collections of wrestlers in what Craig Vitagliano, Ascend’s Chief Wrestling Officer, calls “the leadership laboratory.” 

“Since we began, we have a strong track record of putting guys on the podium,” said Vitagliano, who notes that Ascend already counts four, three-time high school All-American wrestlers among the program’s alumni.  “But that’s just the beginning.  Ascend’s mission is to help our guys succeed on the mat, in the classroom, or on the job.”

Since 2009, Vitagliano has worked to build Ascend Wrestling Club from a part-time hobby to a full-time venture.  The 1991 graduate of Plainedge High School was a New York State Champion and a four-year starter at Harvard before winning a University National Freestyle title in 1997.  In addition to his work with Ascend, Vitagliano – USA Wrestling’s Developmental Coach of the Year for the Northeast Region – serves an assistant coach at Commack High School and was recently named the head coach for the New York State Cadet Freestyle Team.

One of the program’s strengths has been the diversity found in the room, located at 32A East Carl Street in Hicksville.  On any given night, practice includes wrestlers from all over Long Island, New York City, and White Plains.  Together with wrestling consultant Justin Accordino – a recent Hofstra grad, NCAA Division I All-American, and Chaminade assistant wrestling coach – Vitagliano is looking to fill the super-sized wrestling space with as many grapplers who are interested in learning the sport as possible.

“In recent years, you’ve seen a lot of non-traditional powers come out of the woodwork at the county tournaments,” said Vitagliano.  “It’s easy for everyone, regardless of background or home town, to understand that the values learned on the mat clearly apply to success in life.”

Ascend 2.0 comes at the perfect time as the wrestling community’s focus moves towards post-season tournaments and the state championships in Albany Feb. 28-Mar 1.  An end-of-season celebration/grand opening event is planned for later in the spring.


For more information on Ascend, visit, Phone: 917-449-6098,


Home for the holidays

Many of the best Ascend almumni were home for the holiday break and came down to train and also give back to the club by working with future champions. Thanks guys. It was awesome having you all home!

from left: Dan Fiorvanti (Coast Guard), Dan McDevitt (Penn), Simon Greebel (Oswego), Declan Gray (Hunter), Robert Person (Binghamton), Pat Skinner (Rider), Coach Craig, Chris Araoz (Columbia), McZiggy Richards (TC3), Pankil Chander (Wilkes), Chris Koo (Oklahoma State), Conor O'Hara (Air Force).


New addition to Ascend coaching staff

I am excited to announce that Hofstra's 2012 NCAA All-American, Justin Accordino has joined Ascend's coaching staff.

He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and I am confident that he will be able to help Ascend reach new levels.  He has only been with us for a week now and I already see a difference in the room in terms of technique shown and the level of intensity. He is exactly what Ascend has been looking for!

Justin will be helping to run practices and coach at our various competitions.  We are also looking into starting a youth group for wrestlers 1st grade through 6th grade.

Justin was a 2012 NCAA All-American at 149, placing sixth for Hofstra and a 2x NCAA Qualifier.  He was also a 2x PA State place winner, Junior NHSCAA Champion, 3rd place at NHSCAA Senior Nationals, and a Freestyle & Greco-Roman Fargo Bronze medalist.

Justin is also available for private lessons.  One on one or small group.

Anyone interested should contact Coach Craig at 917-449-6098 or email




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