Just 10 days after getting verbal commitments from a pair of NYS DII Champions in the persons of the Scott twins, Cornell Head Coach, Rob Koll had cause to celebrate again when 2010 Michigan State Champion, Joe Rendina, the #65 ranked recruit in the land according to InterMat, announced live on Wrestlingaddix.com that the Big Red had won the sweepstakes for his services. The EIWA conference powerhouse beat out the hometown favorite Spartans of Michigan State (who in their own right have had an impressive start to the class of 2011 recruiting season), as well as the University of North Carolina, who represented the only other institutions to make the final cut on Rendina’s short list of schools.
Rendina, who will carry a 164-2 record into his senior campaign at Dundee High School, enjoyed what can only accurately be described as a dream season in 2010, going unblemished in all 64 of his bouts en route to his first state crown. In doing so, he successfully achieved an objective that he ambitiously, but confidently dedicated himself to at the youthful age of five. Perhaps for Rendina, all last season symbolized was the culmination of a feat that he had always known was his destiny…A state bronze medalist as a sophomore (65-1) with his only loss coming in the state semifinals, last season was the proverbial nail in the coffin of two previous seasons that had met him with frustration and discontentment. After all, if not for a season ending injury as a freshman and the aforementioned loss in the state semis in ’09 (the gentleman who beat him did go on to eventually win the title), Rendina might have already had the hardware that he had worked the entirety of his life to capture. If patience really is a virtue, than this young gentleman is one virtuous individual. It is this perseverance and ability to bounce back from adversity and disappointment that will ultimately make this dynamic student-athlete a real asset to Koll and staff.
Nationally, Rendina arrived on the scene at the 2009 Super-32 tournament, finishing 6th at a stacked 125-pound weight class consisting of current DI wrestlers, Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), Brandon Wright (Indiana), Nick Arujau (American University), Mitchell Port (Edinboro), TJ Mitchell (Virginia Tech), and Justis Flamio (US Naval Academy) to name a few….Already registered to compete in 2010, the Ithaca, NY bound standout will be among the favorites in a deep 130-pound weight class.
Projected on the collegiate level at either 133 or 141 pounds, Rendina could find himself in position to crack the starting line-up as a true freshman in 2012 following the graduation of the incumbent starter @ 133, 2008 All-American Mike Grey…With future teammates like fellow 2011 recruit Caleb Richardson, Cody Kelly, Joe Stanzione, Ryan Dunphy, Mike Nevinger, Chris Villalonga, and returning NCAA Champion Kyle Dake, coupled with the coaching prowess of Jeremy Spates and Matt Azevedo, Rendina certainly will not have to look hard to find a guy capable of pushing him to the next level. As the USA wrestling motto goes, steel sharpens steel. And today, by virtue of his college selection, one Great Lakes State wrestler finds himself several steps closer to becoming one of the sharpest knives in the cabinet.
On behalf of everyone here at LHW, we sincerely congratulate Joe, his family, and the Dundee program on today’s exciting news. We wish both the young man and his teammates the very best of luck in 2011 as they look to build off of the momentum created by a state runner-up team finish last season.