Skinner’s Strong Start to Wrestling Season Leads to Semistate Appearance


The 2021-2022 MCHS wrestlers who advanced to the regional competition. From left: Noah Burkhardt, Danny Mack, Eli Stewart, Van Skinner, Cameran Wall, and Emmett Wilhite

Carter Hay, Staff Reporter

To start a season, in any sport or competition, the Madison Consolidated Junior Van Skinner has this year for the Madison Cubs Wrestling team is nothing short of astounding. Skinner held a 34-1 record at the time of the writing of this article, and he isn’t looking back. The way he has led this team, the MCHS wrestling team, brings to mind that of a professional, and it shows the amount of dedication and leadership someone like Skinner has to possess, not only to be great but to help his team be great.

Skinner has enjoyed his junior year wrestling season.

“I’ve had a fun year so far, and I’ve practiced and worked hard this season to show myself this is what I can do,” Skinner said. “This is what I’ve grown up doing, I’ve been working for this for a long time, and I’m just trying to enjoy this season and competing with this team.” 

And with the season he’s had so far, it’s hard not to be proud of what he has shown. Skinner has put in work on the mats and in the weight room, but one of his main focuses was increasing his calorie intake this offseason. Skinner worked with his trainer to focus on caloric intake, working out and repeating. His calorie intake was up to 8,000 calories per day, focusing on his macros and micros. He was drinking lots of protein shakes, and he worked out for about two hours every day for five days a week.

Skinner’s season has shown us what dedication and hard work looks like. He’s been working for this for years, competing all over the state and showing improvement every year. He has a unique talent that not many people have when it comes to competition, and for most, when they face adversity, things get complicated, and frequently they don’t know what to do. But for Van, things slow down, and he can implement what he has practiced and what his instinct tells him to do. And that, along with so many other things, is what makes him an exceptional and talented competitor, and more specifically, a unique and talented wrestler.

With Van’s remarkable season, he has caught the attention of many here in Madison and all across the state. This past weekend he and teammate Emmett Wilhite qualified for the state tournament. To be eligible for the state, a competitor has to win the first two matches at semistate, and in both his freshman and sophomore years, Skinner lost to a highly ranked wrestler in the second round.

Skinner finds himself in a unique position. He is coached by his father, Tyson Skinner. The elder Skinner has had the opportunity to watch the younger Skinner on the mat and at home.

“He’s had a great season so far. He’s won the Columbus East Invite and joined the 100 career win club as a junior. (Also,) he’s currently ranked 8th in the state at 195 lbs weight class. He focused on getting into the weight room in the offseason and getting stronger and putting on some size. He bumped up from 170lbs last year to 195lbs this year. He has a tremendous work ethic and will practice after school till six, then get home, get some food in the body, and then hit the weight room for two hours four to five times a week on top of being an excellent student. I’ve enjoyed coaching Van because he is a great competitor no matter what sport he is playing, and he will run through a wall for his teammates and coaches.”

Some people might think that coaching your son is easy or that it might be easier for the competitor to be coached by their father. For the Skinner’s, that is not the case.

“Coaching Van isn’t bad because he doesn’t take advantage of the situation. I am harder on Van, and other coaches have told me I’m hard on him, so I’ve had to try to reel that back in.”

Skinner wrestles at the semistate this Saturday at 8 a.m.