Knightdale's wrestling twins push each other

CorrespondentFebruary 3, 2014 

— Two-and-a-half minutes into his 170-pound match with Clayton’s Chad Sprouse, Knightdale junior Brandon Skinner pinned his opponent. Less than two minutes later, Brandon’s brother Bradley had won his 182-pound match in identical fashion.

The Skinner twins aren’t usually far apart. On Saturday, a season’s worth of brotherly sparring culminated in a pair of Greater Neuse River 4A wrestling tournament titles, as well as a most outstanding wrestler honor for Brandon.

“They’re all business when they step on the mat,” Knightdale coach Kenny Watkins said. “We have a motto: this isn’t a leisure trip, it’s a business trip. They kind of take it to heart.”

Watkins’ Knights finished second in team points to West Johnston, which featured six of the tournament’s 14 first-place wrestlers. Tony Jimenez – West Johnston’s 106-pound champion and the conference’s wrestler of the year – was the only wrestler not named Skinner to record a pin during the tournament finals.

The Knights, who nipped Harnett Central 153-145 for second place, counted on the Skinners to get pins.

They delivered. Brandon pinned Sprouse at 2 minutes, 32 seconds, and Bradley pinned East Wake’s Markus Mayner 49 seconds into the match. Bradley, the agreed-upon “bigger twin,” applauded his brother as he accepted the most outstanding wrestler honors.

“We practice with each other and make each other stronger,” Bradley Skinner said.

Brandon Skinner said the twin factor makes the brothers stronger on the mat.

“We would not be on as high of a competitive level without having a twin,” Brandon said. “He’s been my drill partner my whole life – I’ve been wrestling since I was 4 – and everyday I have someone my own size, my own age to help me get better.”

The brothers would not let on as to which Skinner holds the upper hand in their many practice battles, but coach Watkins confirmed the two go at it daily.

“Last year, they were very timid to wrestle each other,” Watkins said. “This year, they’ve really gotten after each other hard, and they’ve started to turn the corner. Their conditioning has gotten better, they’ve gotten stronger, and technique-wise they’ve gotten a lot better.”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service