By Nick Nahas
Sam Skinner has taken the proverbial bull by the horns, facing adversity in his young football career with a tenacious, unrelenting approach. Skinner leaves Bloomingdale High School as the all-time sack leader, eager to take on a much tougher task — to play college football at its highest level.
Skinner has always had a natural love for the game of football. He started playing when he was 9-years-old and in the 4th grade. He picked up the game when his father, Michael Skinner, was deployed to Iraq. His career started in Maryland, where he played youth football in the Rockville League before moving to Florida and playing for the Brandon Ravens and Steelers.
His first high school season under head coach John Booth was a success.The Bulls went 6-4, and Skinner recorded 3 sacks. The next season, Bloomingdale had its best season in school history, going 9-2 despite replacing their head coach. Skinner was a big reason for the team’s success, recording 57 total tackles (15 tackles for loss) and 6.5 sacks in 10 games played.
The 6’3” Skinner had to expand his role with the team in his final two seasons in order to help them compete, scoring six total touchdowns last season (3 rushing, 2 receiving and 1 interception return). Skinner had his best season under current Bloomingdale head coach, Max Warner. He played wide receiver, defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end and wildcat quarterback, along with recording a career high 11 sacks and being a captain and team leader last season. “Sam was the heart and soul of our football team last year,” Warner said.
Skinner has left a great legacy at Bloomingdale. He is one of the most decorated athletes in Bloomingdale history, with countless accolades. He won the varsity academic award all four years and won the defensive and team MVP for the Bulls last season. He made 1st Team All-District and the All-Hillsborough County 1st team last year, was a Bill Minahan Award Winner Finalist and is also the all-time sack leader for the Bulls with 28 career sacks.
Skinner received a full-ride football scholarship to Southern Illinois University, accomplishing his lifelong dream of playing D-1 football. Skinner said. “I think it’s a great fit, and I’m just really happy with how things turned out.” He will major in history and play for the Salukis next fall alongside fellow Bloomingdale teammate Dalton Carde, and they will be roommates as well.