Finn Chooses To Go Off The Beaten Path

A Walpole High senior poses in United States Marines apparel.

A Walpole High senior poses in United States Marine’s apparel.

Justin Rouhana

A Walpole High senior poses in United States Marine's apparel.
A Walpole High senior poses in United States Marine’s apparel.

Spring has sprung and with the new season has come thoughts of graduation, the Senior Class moving on and what their plans for after they go out into the world are . Most students choose to further their education and have been searching for colleges and universities that they want to attend and or have been accepted to.

Senior Ryan Finn is a student who chose a different path, one that not too many people choose: The Marine Corps.

Every day, after 7 hours of being in class, Finn trudges down the stairs after last period and heads into the locker rooms where he prepares himself for a workout. Workouts are not unfamiliar to Finn, being an starting outside linebacker required becoming well acquainted with the weight room. You can often find Finn in the wrestling room, where he is usually preparing for boot camp by doing an outrageous abdominal workout. Additionally, Finn’s cardio endurance is absurd. Finn’s abdominal muscles are in prime condition from doing his infamous “5-minute non-stop battle” in which you continuously are excersising your entire core, just in a different excersise every minute. Amongst his fellow gym rats, Finn is known for this. Secondly, Finn is also known for being able to run a mile in under 6 minutes.

Finn played his final season of football this past fall for the Rebels and has been in the weight room every day since. “I always need to be active,” Finn said. Ryan was a starter on defense as an outside linebacker in the Rebel’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Finn finished with a great senior season, being one of the top tacklers on the defensive side of the ball. Finn’s work ethic was a big part of his success on and off the field. “I’ve never seen anyone like Finn, he lives in that weight room,” said Junior team mate Mike Fortin when asked just how hard Finn has worked to get to where he is today.  Referencing his Coach, local legend, Barry Greener, Finn said, “football has prepared me for not just The Marine Corps but life as a whole. It taught me how to deal with loss, how to overcome adversity, and being tired. Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Finn was also proved to be a very versatile player for the Rebels, participating actively on all special teams. Finn also proved that he wasn’t just a defensive specialist, as he was apart of The Rebel’s trick, tackle eligible play, in which he goes out for a pass from the Tackle position on the offensive line.

Finn truly loved the game and he described the game with this, “Just like Coach always said, ‘football is the closest thing to war without actually killing anyone’.” Team mate, Junior Dan Aldridge, who spent the season on the sidelines due to injury, had this point of view, “Finn was the most intense player I saw all season, he played every down like he was a wild man. After that whistle blew, he could just shut it off, it was really a sight to see.”

Never very interested in school and his classwork, Finn searched for something that interested him more and thus has found him self a short 2 months away from his last day of schooling he will ever have to battle to the final bell.  Finn has wanted to join the military from a very young age and decided as long ago as his sophomore year that the Marines was the right branch for him. He has never been one to shy away from a challenge and in his opinion, “The Marine Corps is the toughest and the biggest test, I definitely want to be tested day in and day out.” Additionally, Finn believes The Marines are the most honorable of the branches of the military — they are the first to fight and are always right in the thick of things. A prime example of this is in the recent Iraq War in which the Marine’s were the first ground troops on Iraqi soil.

Finn plans to enlist into an infantry platoon and be “a grunt” for four years of service. Second, he hopes to get plenty of combat experience. Finn chose enlistment over ROTC because, “ROTC is just a way of using the Marine Corps to pay for your college. I don’t plan on attending college.” Finn hopes to join the police force after returning home from his service and plans to make a career out of it.