Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-It was a conversation that changed everything.
When Michael Prieto was in eighth grade, he told his father, who would soon become his high school wrestling coach, that he was giving up all other sports to concentrate solely on wrestling.
“I knew wrestling was what I wanted to do,” the younger Prieto said. “So it was an easy decision for me.”
During a trip to the NCAA tournament during his freshman season, Prieto told his father Carlos that he would be wrestling on that stage in a couple of years.
“Michael told me that’s what he was going to do,” Coach Prieto said. “And through a lot of hard work, he’ll have his chance.”
Call Prieto the wrestling whisperer.
After a career that was highlighted by becoming the first four-time individual state champion in Garden City High School history, Prieto officially signed with South Dakota State on Monday.
“They were the only school that actually asked for my film,” said Prieto, who also had an offer from Oklahoma on the table. “I feel like the program is going in the right direction.”
During his illustrious four-year career, Prieto posted a 162-10 record, with four state championships. He is the winningest wrestler in Garden City High School history.
His senior season was marked by a knee injury that held him out until January. All he did after that was go 31-3 and beat Dodge City’s Tylor Garcia in the state finals, avenging a loss to the top-ranked wrestler a week earlier during the regional championship.