The NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Association Poll for January 25th has been released.
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.
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.”
Fifteen wrestlers make up the incomming class of the Itasca Community College Vikings. The group includes several high school state champions, placewinners, and qualifiers hailing from eight states.
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.
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.