Itasca is Working Hard to Create Champions

By Matt Krumrie

The Itasca CC wrestling team made tremendous progress in its first season under the leadership of head coach Joe Umlauf, qualifying six wrestlers for the NJCAA national tournament and finishing in the top 30 in the country amongst NJCAA Division I and non-scholarship DIII programs (Itasca is a DIII non-scholarship program).

Things continue to look good heading into the 2020-2021 season. Four of those six national qualifiers are back, and a balanced roster has grown to 25 wrestlers. A few upper weights are even four deep.

Umlauf, who wrestled at North Dakota State University and is a physical education and health teacher at Greenway High School in Coleraine, is looking to raise the bar at Itasca.

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NJCAA announces 2020-21 eligibility status

Charlotte, NC – The NJCAA Board of Regents met Thursday to discuss NJCAA student-athlete eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year. Following the Board of Regents’ vote, all 2020-21 NJCAA sport seasons (fall, winter, spring) will not count towards student-athlete eligibility. The eligibility relief is provided to all NJCAA student-athletes regardless of sport season participation in the 2020-21 academic year.

“The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “There is no right answer to this challenge and situation, but as an association, we are going to support the eligibility of all our student-athletes to help them succeed in their academic and athletic careers.”

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Meet The 2020-2021 Vikings Coaching Staff

Joseph Umlauf is entering his second year as the head wrestling coach of Itasca Community College. Umlauf is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he was a four year scholarship starting wrestler for The Bison. He is currently pursuing his masters degree in sport management with an emphasis on high performance training from the number one rated sports management program in the country, University of Florida. Umlauf is also a Personal Training certified elite trainer from the International Sports Sciences Association in Personal Training, Sports Nutrition, and Strength and Conditioning.

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Itasca Community College Vikings Returners

Eight wrestlers return to Itasca Community College’s 2020-2021 roster from a season ago, including four national qualifiers. Leading the way for the Vikings are Jamaal Baird 133/141, Davion Barnes 165/174, Austin Voss 165/174, and Larry Sanchez 174/184 with national tournament experience. Other wrestlers back and looking to make an impact are Hamartrya’ Trey’ Tharpe 184/197, Cole Walsh 174-197, Westyn Doubler 184/197, and Brady Gross 184/197.

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MCAC Presidents Announce Decision on Fall Sports

The Minnesota State presidents of the member colleges of the MCAC met to determine how to move forward with intercollegiate athletics for fall semester in light of COVID-19. The presidents reaffirmed the commitment to protecting the health of student athletes.

In consideration of the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, fall sports will be limited to those that have been identified as low-risk, Clay Target and Golf. Seasons have been canceled for football, volleyball, and soccer.

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MCAC Wrestling Programs Head to National Tournament This Weekend

Winona, MN — The Minnesota College Athletic Conference wrestling season concluded recently with the 2019-20 North District Tournament, hosted by Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. At the event, several student-athletes earned their way to the 2019-20 NJCAA Wrestling National Championships, to be held at the Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa on March 6-7.

For the most in-depth coverage of the 2019-20 NJCAA Wrestling National Championships, fans, families, and followers from around the MCAC should head to NJCAA Wrestling Championship website, found at

The NJCAA Wrestling Championship website includes key details, such as the event Live Stream link, updated brackets during the competition and more, courtesy of FLO Wrestling and the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Continue reading at