Blossom: An Unsung Wrestler For Holliston High
A captain in wrestling, Finn Blossom also is an honor-roll student who’s aiming for a career in chemistry.
Finn Blossom is a captain on Holliston High’s wrestling team who knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity and understanding the value of playing an unsung role for the Panthers
A senior, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder didn’t have much success during his sophomore season, finishing with a winless record at 0-10 during a covid-shortened schedule. A year later, as a junior, he elevated his record to 11-21, earning the team’s most-improved wrestler award.
But, adversity lingered at the conclusion of that junior campaign — he missed qualifying for the state tourney when he lost two of three bouts at the sectional playoffs.
Blossom, however, deals with setbacks and challenges in a classy manner.
“When I lost all my matches as a sophomore, I decided to get stronger physically,’’ he said. “I also relied on a strong work ethic and staying mentally tough. The winless record was a fire under my feet and I wanted to put it in my past.’’
Blossom obviously was disappointed when he fell one victory shy of advancing to the state tourney. “I was a bit crushed,’’ he said. “I look back at it now and it was difficult not being with my teammates to compete. But, I’ve used that situation as motivation this year.’’
Blossom’s goals at the start of the season speak volumes about his desire to meet challenges head-on and to develop resilience.
“My team goals are to improve, compile a winning record, for many of us to get to the state tourney, and strive to be competitive in the Tri Valley League,’’ he emphasized. “My individual objectives are to qualify for the states and aim to advance, improve all season long and for my win-loss record to reach 20 victories or beyond.’’
At Local Town Pages deadline, the Panthers were 3-8 and Blossom’s record was 8-5.
The sectional tourney is less than two weeks away (Feb. 11) and that’ll be the starting point in determining if Blossom’s goals are reached. “I’m optimistic and I believe all the goals are realistic,’’ he said.
A native of Holliston, the 18-year-old Blossom gets rave reviews from head coach Alex Strum — for his ability to lead in unsung fashion.
“Finn is the first to arrive at practice and he’s quick to roll up all the mats after practice,’’ said Strum, who’s been elevated to head coach after serving as an assistant to Mike Capobianco last year. “He’s not our most accomplished wrestler but his teammates thought enough of him to elect him as a captain.
“He’s got no ego, he just shows up and does his work. He’s coachable, asks the right questions and pays attention. Always on an even keel, Finn has a good wrestling IQ, he’s strong, mentally tough and relies on sound technique.’’
A leader by example, Blossom is a captain who’s also supportive, always quick to assist a teammate. “I try to lead in a behavior-wise fashion,’’ he said. “On the mat, when I get passionate about wrestling and win, I hope my enthusiasm is on display.’’
Why Strum refers to Blossom as “unsung’’ is easy to understand. He’s all about putting his team first.
“I give 100 percent on the mat at all times.’’ Blossom said. “I try to be supportive of everyone and I’m a team-first competitor.’’
Blossom began his wrestling career as a freshman and started out on the jayvees. Now, he’s in his third year as a starter and he’s a captain driven to excel.
“I enjoy wrestling because it’s an individual sport and also a team sport,’’ he noted. “I like striving to score points for the team but I also enjoy the one-one-one challenge. It’s personal because you know you gave 100 percent when you win. I’m not great at focusing on strategy but wrestling gets my brain going to execute what I want to achieve.’’
Blossom relies on a cradle move that involves getting an opponent’s arm, head and a leg in a bear hug and striving for a pin. He also relies on and admires Holliston’s other three captains — seniors Michael Derubeis and Anthony Touchette and junior Zak Robinson. “They’re contributors, quality competitors and technically sound,’’ he emphasized. “They’re also vocal leaders.’’
Blossom also likes Strum’s coaching style. “He recruited me for wrestling,’’ he said. “He’s a motivator who teaches the sport effectively, knows strategy and is supportive of his players.’’
Calling former Holliston wrestler Thoren Berg a role model for his support and encouragement, Blossom’s competitive philosophy is all about “enjoying your sport and the moment and reaching your potential.’’ Winning, he believes, “will follow and be the by-product.’’
Valuable life lessons can often be learned from athletics and Blossom has indeed learned many. “I’ve learned how to lead and how to overcome adversity,’’ he noted. “I’ve also learned that when aiming to achieve a goal, it’s imperative to go all out to make it happen. Sports also help to teach us the value of commitment.’’
An honor-roll student who has a 3.89 GPA, Blossom hopes to attend Dartmouth College and eventually focus on a career in chemistry. He likely will stay involved with wrestling at the club or intramural level. Worcester Polytech and the University of Colorado are also potential collegiate venues.
Achieving goals is important for Blossom. He’s fulfilled some of his early-season objectives but a berth in the state tourney will not be determined until the sectional playoffs conclude.
Blossom’s determination should lead to a slot in the states because that attribute so often leads to success.
Holliston has something called ‘the G-Club,’’ and there’s only eight wrestlers in the history of the program who’ve gained membership. It focuses on takedown drills and if a competitor compiles 1,000 in practice for an entire season, he’s in the club.
Last year, Finn Blossom became the eighth member.