WESTMINSTER — In the early and mid-70s, the Finch brothers -- Bill, Brad, Dann andRay -- all enjoyed great success on the wrestling mat at WestminsterHigh.
With numerous county and district wrestling titles behind them
"We were successful in what we did because we gave 120 perdo today," said Brad, who manages the Finch Services branch in Hanover, Pa.
"Sports has given us a common ground and ability to work together.
We use much of the same principals and have the sameteam atmosphere in business," he added.
While they all excelled in football and each played in at least one other varsity sport, theirforte without question was wrestling.
"They were just outstandingathletes and outstanding people," said current North Carroll Coach Dick Bauerlein, who first lured Bill to the sport in the junior high wrestling program at Westminster.
"I started wrestling as a result of Dick Bauerlein in eighth grade," Bill said.
"Initially, I went out for the basketball team and it was obvious I was not going to fare that well. Coach (Paul) Hinkle, who was also the track coach, didn't cut me as soon as he should have because he was worried I would be insulted and quit track. He asked me if I would consider wrestling and when I said 'yes,' Bauerlein was hiding around the corner with my wrestling gear.
"It was a pre-arranged bushwhack between Hinkle andBauerlein."
The wrestling fever turned out to be contagious and resulted in four outstanding wrestlers and a lot of living room roughhousing.
"Mom was terrified when we would start a wrestling match in the living room," Bill said.
"The furniture definitely suffered when we wrestled."
Ray, the youngest of the bunch who went on to win two state titles in 1975 and 1977, perhaps benefited most from theliving room encounters.
"I learned more from my brothers than anycoaches I ever had. Every year, I would wrestle with them and they taught me moves high school wrestlers didn't know. I definitely benefited and was on the receiving end of their knowledge," he said.
After graduating from Westminster High in 1977, Ray selected Penn State University because it was "a good business school, they offered me a scholarship to wrestle and dark blue was my favorite color."
A separated shoulder and countless knee injuries -- along with some stiff competition -- resulted in a short-lived collegiate career.
"My freshman year, the two weight classes I competed in were against seniorco-captains. My sophomore year, I was in final elimination against afreshman who was the three-time Virginia high school state champ. I lost by one point and separated a shoulder. I never wrestled in a varsity match with a blue uniform on," he said.
He graduated from Penn State in 1981 with a degree in business management and is now managing the golf and turf product line at Finch Services in Westminster.
Bill, who wrestled at Susquehanna (Pa.) University before attending Notre Dame Law School, is the only sibling who can claim he is undefeated against his rival brothers.
All in all, a Finch faced a Finch three times at the college level.
During Bill's senior year, heedged Brad, who was a junior at Salisbury State University, by one point in a controversial and still-talked-about match.
"We have it on film and to this day Brad feels the ref missed a reversal. We've debated back and forth," Bill said.
Brad faced Dann -- who wrestledthree years at Towson State -- twice and each of the brothers won one match.
"It was a good thing none of us had to wrestle Ray," Dannsaid. "It wouldn't have been fun having a younger brother whoopin' up on me."
Dann, who also played varsity football and helped get lacrosse started during his days at Westminster High, enjoyed the competitiveness of wrestling the most.
"It's one-on-one and there is noone to depend on but yourself," said Dann, who works in sales at Finch Services in Westminster.
Perhaps Brad sums up the Finch attitude best.
"We are very competitive with each other to this day and Itry to keep things uplifting and positive. 'No' is not a word in my vocabulary."