During his daily four-mile run, Skyler Boring, 17, would pass an elderly neighbor sitting on his porch. If the neighbor wasn’t outside, Skyler knocked on the door to check on him.
Skyler was a state-ranked wrestler who as a senior was the co-captain of his team at Heritage High School in his hometown of Maryville, Tenn. He began wrestling when he was in seventh grade and earned the nickname “Rooster” because of his hair. “Once he started wrestling you always knew it was Skyler because not only was it a Mohawk, it was as bleached white as his mother could get it,” his grandmother, Judy Mincey, told msnbc. Skyler never settled for a ranking less than first place; anything below was failing. He helped his team win fourth place in the state wrestling tournament earlier this year. He broke his ankle during his match, but refused to go to the hospital until the competition ended because he didn’t want to leave his team. “Wrestling pulls out things in a kid that you don’t normally see in kids that age,” Rex Matlock, Skyler’s summer coach and mentor, told msnbc. Skyler was dedicated to the team and eagerly taught younger teammates, he said.
Skyler graduated from high school last month and was enrolled for the fall in the culinary program at Tennessee’s Pellissippi State Technical Community College. Universities as far away as New York offered him wrestling scholarships, but he wanted to stay close to home. He dreamed of becoming a chef like his grandfather. Skyler had cooked on the grill at McDonald’s since he was 15 and hoped to earn a summer internship at a nearby hotel and resort. He saved his money for a year to buy his own car, a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. (Even though he had his own car, he still went inside to speak to bank employees instead of using the drive-through window.) The teenager also paid for his car insurance and cell phone bill. “I could have easily seen him being president one day,” his grandmother said, “because he just had that drive.”
Skyler died May 28 after being shot in the chest at a residence in Walland, Tenn. The investigation is ongoing.