At first glance, some people may see club hockey as just another club sport for the university. However, this hockey team is more than just a group of guys skating around and passing a puck; they are a family, according to the team. Before his passing, Bobby Skinner, one of the team’s defenseman, always made sure to keep his team in good spirits with high energy and lots of laughter and it didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.
“[His] personality lightened every room,” said junior goaltender and team vice president Kyler Ayers. “As far as hockey goes, he helped keep things light. Hockey is a game, it’s supposed to be fun. Bob was a constant
reminder of that for everyone.”
Skinner was born in the small town of Englewood, N.J. and shortly after, the Skinner family packed up and moved to the area of Seattle, Wash. His childhood consisted of hockey and traveling, primarily traveling to play hockey. He competed on the ice in Post Falls and Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, continuing on with the Wenatchee Wolves during his senior year of high school.
In his time spent at Boise State, Skinner completed two seasons as a defensive player for the club hockey team. During the 2018-2019 season, he played in 29 games with a total of one goal, seven assists and 36 penalties in minutes.
Even when he wasn’t on the ice, his roommate and senior teammate Mitchell Hodges described Skinner’s personality as vibrant, paired with an infectious smile. He always found a way to make everybody’s day, particularly that of Hodges.
“Bobby was always a showman,” Hodges said. “[He] loved to make people laugh and spread joy through him acting out a certain way to make us laugh, busting a dance move, or just being a goofball to see us smile. He had a sense of heart and instantaneous love for everyone that is just incomparable.”
To his teammates, there are an infinite amount of words that could be used to describe Skinner. Ayers was able to do it in three: everybody’s best friend.
“He made everyone feel welcome and like they were his best friend, even if he’d only met them once,” Ayers said. “All he ever wanted was to include people and have fun. Bobby was probably the most social person I’ve ever met. He could be friends with anyone.”
Skinner was loved by many on campus, on the ice and within the community. He cared for those around him and had endless love to give. His contagious laugh, big smile and loving heart will be terribly missed by those who knew him.
“There aren’t enough words to be said to depict the impact he made on all our lives,” Hodges said.