OREM – By Cari Doutre – Feb. 16, 2020
Bear River High’s head wrestling coach Jeff Smart has coached plenty of brothers throughout the years. Some closer in age than others while some years apart, but one family of wrestlers stands out the most to him – the Skinners.
“Maybe people would disagree, but I think they’re the first family of wrestling in Tremonton, Utah, or in that area,” Smart said. And his reasoning is simple.
“I can’t recall anybody else with four titles on that wall. Three of their four boys have titles,” he replied.
Smart is referring to the family of Jeff and Lisa Skinner of Garland and their four sons. A family of all sons who, over course of the past decade, have made a name for themselves in the wrestling community locally and state-wide.
The oldest Skinner brother is Taylor, the first state champion in the family. Taylor Skinner was a 3A state champion wrestler in the 160-pound weight division at Bear River High in 2011.
Riley Skinner, the second of the four brothers, may not have a state wrestling title but only because time was not on his side, according to Smart.
“I think Riley would have been a state champ had he been with us a little longer and had a little more time,” Smart said.
Next up is Cooper. Cooper Skinner is the most decorated state champion in the family with two state wrestling titles. Cooper won his first state title in 2016 during his junior year in the 3A state championships at 138. He repeated that success as a senior in 2017, this time in the 4A state championships (Bear River was reclassified to 4A that year) at 152.
Last, but definitely not least, is the youngest Skinner brother – Maverik.
Maverik Skinner had some big shoes to fill and a lot of expectations to become a state champion like his brothers. He knew it too.
“It was a lot of pressure for me,” Maverik said. “Being a senior, I knew it was my last chance. I wanted to be the third brother on wall.”
However, it’s not his brothers or his parents that are putting that pressure on him.
“I kind of bring it up on myself. My family doesn’t really like to push it on me, but I bring that own pressure on,” he said.
But an injury his sophomore year derailed his chances in 2018 for a state title. As a junior in 2019 Maverik took fifth place at 160 in 4A. Coming back this year as a senior, Maverik had something to prove.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, Maverik became the third state champion wrestler in his family. In the 4A state championships finals at 160, Maverik defeated Clayton Warr from Hurricane High, 9-4.
“I’m so grateful just to win,” Maverik said.
And guess who was there that day to watch their youngest brother earn his first state title? His three brothers, of course.
“You can hear them in the front row screaming because they’re more into than anyone,” Maverik said.