Madison freshman Van Skinner holds Columbus North’s Nick Holt (above) during the semfinal match at 170 pounds in the regional at Jeffersonville on Saturday. (Photos by Stacie Skinner)
Madison freshman Van Skinner holds Columbus North’s Nick Holt (above) during the semfinal match at 170 pounds in the regional at Jeffersonville on Saturday. (Photos by Stacie Skinner)
Madison’s Van Skinner found himself on the wrong end of an upset in the sectional two weeks ago but the freshman star rebounded a week later to win a regional.
Skinner knocked off sectional champion Nick Holt of Columbus North in the regional semifinals then cruised to an easy win to claim the championship at 170 pounds Saturday at Jeffersonville.
It was a remarkable turnaround story for the freshman who has been dominate all season.
Skinner was one of six Madison wrestlers to finish in the top four and earn a berth to the semistate round, tying a school record.
Switzerland County’s Austin Wolf and Jacob Wolf each placed fourth while Southwestern’s Brady McLain was also fourth as all three advanced to the next level.
Van Skinner, who finished third as the sectional after being seeded first, opened his tournament with an 8-1 decision over Jeffersonville’s Jadehn Debman. He then pinned sectional champion Holt in 3:28 to advance to the finals.
In the championship round, Skinner dominated Charlestown’s Deke Brown with a pin in 1:00 to win his first regional crown and improve to 46-4 on the season.
“Van really turned it on today and was on a mission,” said Madison coach — and Van’s father — Tyson Skinner. “I’m so proud of him and for a freshman in the upper weights to have this type of success is outstanding. Now we wait to see who he draws for semistate.”
Two other Cubs reached the finals. Noah Burkhardt (42-8) pinned Corydon’s Hunter Pitts in 1:36 in the opening round of the 120-pount weight class then pinned Tell City’s Kelby Glenn in 46 seconds in the semifinals. He then fell via pin in 4:21 to Charlestown’s Colin Knox in the championship.
Jacob McRoberts (43-8) pinned Charlestown’s Alex Sheehan in 4:58 in the opener at 126 pounds then posted an 8-0 major decision over Austin Wolf in the semifinals. In the championship he suffered a 22-7 technical fall in 5:48 to Jeffersonville’s Adonis Boyd.
“I have to constantly remind myself that Noah has only been wrestling for three years. He ran into a very tough Charlestown kid in the finals,” Tyson Skinner said. “Jacob has really become a great leader. He put together a pretty good tourney today and we will be ready to get back to the grind for semistate.”
Junior Dalton Berry (38-12) opened the 152-pound weight class with a win via pin in 3:29 over Jeffersonville’s Greg Shingleton before falling in 2:32 to sectional champion Noah White of Columbus East in the semifinals. He rebounds to beat Jennings County’s Cameron Woodard 8-6 to claim third place.
“Dalton killed it today. He opened the day with a win over someone he has never beat, then ended the day with another win over another kid he has never beat,” Skinner said. “He is believing in himself and what he is capable of.”
Mason Long (38-12) opened the 152-pound class with a win by pin in 3:01 over Jeffersonville’s Ethan Fox before falling in 3:52 to Tell City’s Corey Braunecker in the semifinals. Berry was then pinned in 4:10 by Charlestown’s Ben Phillips to place fourth.
Tucker Adams (31-16) defeated Tell City’s Will Kirtley in 36 seconds in the opener at 220 pounds but lost in injured time to Columbus East’s Shawn Tyler. He was then pinned by Charlestown’s Lucas Gagnon in 1:30 and placed fourth.
“Mason has grown as a person and wrestler so much in the last three years. I am so proud of him,” Skinner said. “Tucker has been the heart of this team this year. He has battled through his injury and to make back-to-back trips to semistate is outstanding.”
Switzerland County’s Austin Wolf (28-10) picked up a 15-6 major decision over Tell City’s Gage Meunier in the opener at 126 pounds before falling to McRoberts in the semifinals. He then lost 4-0 to Seymour’s Sam Castetter to place fourth.
Jacob Wolf (31-13) gutted out a 7-4 win over Jeffersonville’s Jeramiah Cain in the opener at 132 pounds but then lost 4-2 to Mason Martin on Eastern (Pekin) in the semifinals. He then lost 5-3 to Seymour’s Nate Banister to take fourth.
Southwestern’s Brady McLain (33-8) picked up a quick pin in 12 seconds over Corydon’s Isaac Gerdon in the opener at 195 pounds but then was pinned in 3:49 by Charlestown’s Manuel Ordorica in the semifinals. He then lost in 3:34 to Brown County’s Evan Bradshaw in a rematch of the sectional final to take fourth.
Seven other local wrestlers lost their first match and failed to advance: Madison’s Kelsey Bilz (29-10) lost in 55 seconds to Crawford County’s Donnie Feeler at 106 pounds; Madison’s Bryce Turner (31-10) suffered a 13-5 major decision to Robert Cline of Jeffersonville at 113; Southwestern’s Cameron Canada (27-12) lost in 3:21 to Charlestown’s Colin Knox at 120; Southwestern’s Clifton Hendrickson (26-11) lost in 3:31 to Eastern’s Mason Martin at 132; Southwestern’s Brandon Smith (22-5) lost in 3:20 to Tell City’s Shane Braunecker at 145; Southwestern’s Matthew Douglas (15-20) lost in 1:43 to Tell City’s Alex Stahly at 182; and Switzerland County’s Alex Boggs (23-16) lost in 2:44 to Jeffersonville’s Cody Matherly at 195.
All nine local qualifiers will compete in the semistate at Evansville’s Ford Center on Saturday. Action begins at 10 a.m. EST.