The following is a transcript spoken by Brad Hall, a former state qualifier and current school board member, during a presentation to honor Paul and Vicky Finfrock at the Covington Invitational on Saturday, February 13, 2010.
Wrestling for Covington Schools began in 1973, where Paul Finfrock along with 18 other grapplers formed Covington’s first varsity team: Covington wrestling historians call this the era of the Kimmel brothers. Although the Kimmel’s made their mark on the mat, the Finfrock family is unique in that they have extended their influence on Covington Wrestling both on and off the mat. Paul contributed to the early success of the Buccaneer inaugural season, where the team finished 2-1 in dual competition.
Two years later, Paul graduated from CHS, followed two more years later by Paul’s bride to be (Vicky Black). Together, Paul and Vicky had two sons: Jimmy and Marty, who were both quality Buccaneer wrestlers. Notable are Marty’s career wrestling accomplishments in Covington wrestling’s record book; Marty remains on the leader boards in seven different categories.
Marty continues to make his mark on Covington wrestling, as he coaches for the youth with his son Duncan – I think that the Paul/Marty/Duncan combination has the potential to make the first instance of third-generation wrestling at Covington High. Marty has an amazing chemistry with our youth; he and Andy Dysinger form a duo that are instrumental in keeping practices fun and light hearted for our kids.
The impact that Paul, Jimmy, and Marty have had on the mat is indeed impressive, but that is just the beginning. Perhaps the most significant impact of the Finfrock family is Vicky and Paul’s leadership in the construction of the wrestling building. Vicky held the office of President of the Wrestling Parents Organization in the late 1990’s through to Marty’s graduation in the year 2000 during which the Wrestling Parents were in the mode of saving money in hopes that a new facility could be built. Prior to the existence of the wrestling building, practices were held primarily in the elementary school gym/cafeteria. These marked times of compromise. Four major issues of compromise were
1) wrestling practices often got bumped due to scheduling conflicts
2) boundaries of the mats were hard surfaces
3) mats were laid upon the cafeteria floor where food spills occur
4) mats needed to be rolled up every practice
In the spring of 2000, Vicky led the charge in organizing the Wrestling Parents to save money to start the new building. Vicky, along with Coach Barbee organized the labor and equipment to construct the building with minimal cost – it was a team effort akin to an Amish barn raising. Upon completion of the building in the fall of 2001, Covington had one of the premier wrestling facilities in the Miami Valley. A facility that is now packed to the gills during practices.
The amazing aspect of Paul and Vicky’s contribution to Covington wrestling is that their vision for the wrestling building was selfless in nature, as both sons Jimmy and Marty were already graduated before the building was started. I look back at this attribute and recognize how blessed Covington is to have folks like the Finfrock family, who have the foresight to dream big and make those dreams come true for future champs.
Sadly, last fall Paul lost his battle with cancer. Yet in the midst of this loss, the Finfrock family used the occasion to memorialize Paul with a donation to the wrestling program, just as Paul would have wanted.