High school wrestling: Provo High Hall of Fame inducts inaugural members

By Deseret News

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 12:23 p.m. MST

PROVO — The Provo High Wrestling Hall of Fame will induct its first members at a banquet held at Provo High School Saturday Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. The first inductees will be Joe Martinez, Craig Prete, Chris Miller and Nathaniel Holt.

Martinez coached the Provo High wrestling team througout the 1960s and early 1970s. He led Provo to its only state wrestling championship 1970 and had several Top Ten finishes. His teams were known for their tough-mindedness and superb physical conditioning. Martinez also coached in the football, track and field and even the basketball program at the school.

Prete, who wrestled for Martinez, won state titles in 1971 and 1972. Prete was the school's first two-time state champion. Prete's most impressive victory was defeating Pleasant Grove's Steve Sanderson, father of Cael Sanderson, to win one of those state titles. He continued his wrestling career at BYU.

Current Provo High head coach Chris Miller was one of the best big men wrestlers in state history, a two-time state champion and three-time state place winner. Miller competed in the early to mid 1990s against some of the top heavyweight wrestlers in state history and scored impressive wins over All-American Jeff Holtry of West High School and Cottonwood's Brian Gertino. Miller then wrestled at BYU and was a WAC champion.

Holt is a 2006 Provo High graduate and was a two-time state champion and three-time state finalist for the Bulldog program. Holt also won the Reno Tournament of Champions and was a silver medalist at the Senior High School Nationals, losing to Bubba Jenkins, who later became a NCAA champion for Arizona State, in the championship finals. He wrestled in the 2008 Olympic Trials and was the youngest competitor in the freestyle field. Holt also wrestled for Central Michigan and Boise State before a neck injury ended his competitive career.

The banquet is open to the public. Tickets cost $15. The event will be catered by the Provo High FACS program.