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Heading for the Hall of Fame

John Watkins, a Price resident, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in October.

John Watkins is a lifelong wrestling supporter who has touched the lives of hundreds of young athletes. All of the hard work and effort into helping young wrestlers to perfect their craft has paid off as Watkins will forever be remembered for his coaching prowess.

Watkins will be inducted into the hall of fame at the Nevada Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction Banquet held on Oct. 7 and 8 at the Silver Legacy in Reno, Nev.

Way back in 1956, John competed for the Roosevelt Junior High School in Williamsport, Penn. From 1957 to 1960 he repre-sented South Williamsport High School. Following a highly successful high school career, John entered Lock Haven State Teachers College and added power to their lineup from 1960 to 1963. He was doing his student teaching his senior year when he graduated in 1964. During 1966, John attended Northern Arizona University.

In 1968, he became the Head Wrestling Coach at Western High School in Las Vegas, Nev., and ran a successful program there thru 1975. He took a break and took over the wrestling program again from 1990 to 1993. During this time, John was active in the Nevada AAU program from 1967 to 1977. He was head of USAW Youth through Junior National teams from 1990 to 1993. John's teams produced many Nevada State champions and several National YMCA and AAU place winners.

From 1983 to 1998, John was on the Nevada Executive Board and was Co-Chairman and State Chairman for USAW.

In 2004 to 2006, John moved to Carbon High School as an Assistant Coach and moved up to head the program from 2007 to 2011.

In Utah, from 2007 to 2009 John was a State Executive Board member.

In addition to coaching, John was an accomplished referee in Nevada High Schools from 1983 to 1989 and USAW from 1983 to 1993.

John's ability to get his wrestlers to focus and put his teaching into action was a skill John passed on to hundreds of young men during his years of developing athletes into top rate grapplers. He seldom had the talent to work with that the other high schools had, but he developed champions on and off the mat.

Currently, John supports the Utah High School Wrestling Coaches Association and National Federation of High School Wrestling Coaches.

Watkins will be inducted along with other wrestling legends including Ross Aguiar of Reno, Nev., Scott Barrett of Spring Creek, Nev., and Leon Durbin of Mesquite, Nev. All of the inductees have more than 20 years or more of service to wrestling.

John lives with his wife Christine and sons, Douglas and Justin in Price.

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