WENDELL — Two-and-a-half minutes into his 170-pound match with Claytons Chad Sprouse, Knightdale junior Brandon Skinner pinned his opponent. Less than two minutes later, Brandons brother Bradley had won his 182-pound match in identical fashion.
The Skinner twins arent usually far apart. On Saturday, a seasons 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.
Theyre all business when they step on the mat, Knightdale coach Kenny Watkins said. We have a motto: this isnt a leisure trip, its 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 tournaments 14 first-place wrestlers. Tony Jimenez West Johnstons 106-pound champion and the conferences 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 Wakes 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. Hes been my drill partner my whole life Ive 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, theyve really gotten after each other hard, and theyve started to turn the corner. Their conditioning has gotten better, theyve gotten stronger, and technique-wise theyve gotten a lot better.