Long Island Wrestling Takeover!

These are top wrestlers in the NCAA that came out of Long Island.

Nick Piccininni celebrating after pinning Iowa's Spencer Lee

Anthony Colavito, Sports Editor

New York State has been known as one of the toughest wrestling states in the country. New York has produced many NCAA Champions in the past and they still are producing them today. But perhaps the best county in all of New York State is Suffolk County, otherwise known in the state as Section XI. They have been the toughest County for the last ten years upstate until 2019, where they were beat out by Section V in upstate New York. Long Island has some of the best wrestlers in the NCAA, and here are a few of them.

Perhaps the most decorated wrestler currently wrestling in college from Long Island is Nick Piccininni. Wrestling out of Ward Melville High School, Piccininni compiled a 226-5 record in high school, was a four-time New York State Champion, and a two time Flo National Finalist, winning the tournament in 2014. Piccininni is currently a redshirt senior at Oklahoma State and wrestles at 125 pounds. When asked what weight class he would wrestle this year he responded with “125 for life baby!”. Piccininni is coming off the best season of his career. Last year, he won the Big 12 Championship for the third time, placed 4th at the NCAA Tournament, and became the first wrestler to pin Spencer Lee in his college career. Piccininni looks to cap off his NCAA wrestling career and bring a National Title back to Long Island. 

Another stud out of Long Island is Penn State’s Shakur Rasheed. A 2014 graduate out of Longwood High School, Rasheed was a two time New York State Champion for the Lions. Rasheed was a Suffolk County finalist three times and won it twice. He also placed 5th in the State as a freshman and was a finalist his sophomore year of high school. Rasheed was the #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament last year before being set back by a knee injury. He was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA and will compete this year at 184 pounds. He was on a collision course last year to wrestle Ohio State’s Myles Martin in the finals. Despite his latest injury, Rasheed also looks to bring home a championship to Long Island. 

Some other Long Island wrestlers are Arizona State’s Jacori Teemer (Long Beach), NC State’s Tommy Cox (Deer Park), Deonte Wilson (Amityville), Binghamton’s Anthony Sparacio (North Babylon) and Adam Busiello (Eastport South Manor) who is currently on the transfer portal, but will likely end up back with Penn State. 

Long Island also has two division 1 wrestling programs, Hofstra and LIU. Hofstra has been a D1 program, but this is the first year of D1 wrestling for LIU. Both teams are coached by the legendary Patrovich family. Mike Patrovich is the head coach at Hofstra and his father, Joe Patrovich, is the head coach at LIU. LIU is loaded with top class Long Island Wrestlers, as well as Hofstra. Hofstra is currently 1-0 in dual meets, with a 24-12 win over Air Force. They also placed 7th at the Army West Point Black Knight Invitational, where they had three place winners in a tournament which included the likes of Penn State, Army, and Michigan. Some Long Island Wrestlers currently at Hofstra right now are Dylan Ryder (Dix Hills), Zachary Knighton-Howard (Uniondale), and Ricky Stamm (Levittown). LIU hasn’t been great so far in D1, but they have a promising future. They also have a Long Island all-star lineup, with many wrestlers with great high school careers. Some wrestlers consist of Chris Gomez (Patchogue Medford), Anthony Dushaj (Dix Hills), and Mike Parish (Eastport South-Manor). 

Overall, Long Island is a very strong place for wrestling. The region has a storied history with the sport and looks to carry on with that history and break more records.