Ascend Wrestling

News & Announcements

Ascend Youth (grades 1-6) Winter Registration & Schedule

Ascend Wrestling Club Youth Winter session begins Monday December 15, 2014. You can come in and sign up in person.

The group continues to grow since the Fall.  It's a great class for beginners & intermediate wrestlers!

Youth sessions will be taught by Mike Doria. Mike was a 2x Nassau County Champion and State Place Winner for Massapequa HS and was also a former member of the USA National Judo Team. Mike is now the Head Wrestling Coach at Plainview-Old Bethpage.

Come train at Long Island's Premiere Wrestling Facility!

Schedule: Wednesday 7:30-9p & Friday 6-8p.

COST: ONLY $250 for 3 months.

Please call or text 917-449-6098 or email for more information.


Ascend High School (Grades 7-12) Winter Registration & Schedule

Ascend Winter session begins Tuesday 12/9.  You can come in and sign up in person.

With dual meet season now under way we will be scaling back the days like we do every year at this time.

Beginning 12/9 Ascend will now be going Tuesday & Thursday nights from 730p - 9p & Sundays from 11a - 1p.

Private lessons with either myself or DI All-American Justin Accordino can be made by appointment.

Come train at the largest wrestling facility on Long Island!!

Please call or text 917-449-6098 or email for more information regarding pricing packages.

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:

See you then!



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!


Ascend Wrestling Camp featuring Harvard Assistant Coach & NCAA Champ J.P. O'Connor 6/28-7/1!!

Ascend Brings Ivy League Wrestling to Long Island
June 28-July 1

HICKSVILLE, New York – In June, brains will meet brawn as local wrestlers get a unique exposure to the Ivy League when some of the most successful Harvard grapplers of recent vintage come to Long Island for the Ascend Summer Wrestling Camp, in association with Veritas Wrestling.

Ascend’s Chief Wrestling Officer Craig Vitagliano, a 1995 Harvard graduate, announced today that clinicians J.P. O’Connor and Walter Peppelman will lead the Crimson contingent for a week-long, intensive wrestling program at Ascend’s newly opened headquarters in Hicksville. 

“I’m looking to bring some of the best clinicians in the region down for some first-class training,” said Vitagliano.  “At the same time, we’re going to erase some of the mystique that surrounds the Harvard name.  Long Island has some extremely well rounded kids, and this is a great opportunity for them to learn how to leverage on-the-mat success as part of the college admissions process.” 

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.  Peppelman, currently an analyst at Deutsche Bank, was a two-time All American for the Crimson.

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

In addition to O’Connor and Peppelman, the camp will also feature counselors Todd Preston and Eric Morris, as well as Long Island natives Tyler Grimaldi and Paul Ligouri.  Before arriving in Cambridge, Grimaldi was the first state champion from Half Hollow Hills West and Ligouri was a two-time state champion out of Wantagh.  Preston, a Hampton, New Jersey native, is the reigning Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion at 141 pounds, and Morris, a two-time prep national champion out of Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Seminary, was named the team’s most promising freshman this year.

The camp will take place at Ascend’s new 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



Ascend PreseNTs Princeton Assistant Coach & 2x NCAA Champion Joe Dubuque & Hofstra All-American Justin Accordino 6/7 & 6/8!

Ascend will be hosting a 2 day clinic with 2x NCAA Champion and current Princeton Assistant coach Joe Dubuque & Hofstra All-American Justin Accordino Saturday June 7 & Sunday June 8.

Cost is only $100!


2014 NHSCA Nationals

Mike D'Angelo finishes 2nd in the Nation!!! Ascend with 6 All-Americans!!!

Senior David Yablans 106 (Jericho), Juniors Mike D'Angelo 126 (Commack), Sam Ward 138 (LV), & Brandon Aviles (Newfield), Sophomores Johnny Arceri 113 (Huntington) & Christian Araneo 182 (Ward Melville) all captured All-American honors at the 25th Annual 2014 NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships held in Virginia Beach, VA on March 27-30. 


2014 Ascend All-Americans

Sophomore Division

Johnny Arceri (Huntington) 6th place, 113 lbs
Christian Araneo (Ward Melville) 4th place, 182 lbs

Junior Division

Mike D'Angelo (Commack) 2nd place, 126 lbs
Sam Ward (LV) 8th place, 138 lbs
Brandon Aviles (Newfield) 7th place, 152 lbs

Senior Division

David Yablans (Jericho) 3rd place, 106 lbs


2014 New York State Tournament

14 Ascend wrestlers competed at the New York State Championships this past weekend in Albany.

113 lbs Hunter Dusold (Locust Valley, left) wins a state title and made history by becoming Nassau's first D2 state champ.

152 lbs Louie Hernandez (Mepham, right), won his second consecutive state title and is his school's first state champ since 1984. He is also a 3x Nassau County Champ and is ranked in the top 5 nationally.

Both Sam Ward (Locust Valley 138) and Mike D'Angelo (Commack 126) placed 3rd in the state.

Jake Einbinder (Bethpage 138) and Julius Diaz (Freeport 160) each placed 6th in the state.


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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