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Times Observer File Photo Sheffield’s Ethan Finch has been named to the Allegheny Mountain League First Team and named the AML’s Outstanding Wrestler.

The recognition keeps rolling in for Sheffield wrestler Ethan Finch.

While the announcement may have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Finch, coming off 34-win junior season and a sixth-place finish at states in March, has been named to the Allegheny Mountain League First Team.

He was also named the AML’s Outstanding Wrestler, the first time a Wolverine wrestler has been so recognized.

Many wrestlers have the talent to get to states, but it takes more than talent to succeed there.

Sheffield Head Coach Jack Rice credits Finch’s “determination” as the factor that has driven him to that level.

“Literally, from the beginning of his freshman year, he has had a goal of becoming a PIAA state champion,” Rice said. “He separates himself from the others because he realizes the fact that champions are made in summer. … The kid has always done above and beyond. He just gets it.”

And that effort has also lifted up his teammates.

“He just brings a new level to the wrestling room,” Rice said. “The kids look up to him and aspire to be like him. Right now he is the face of Sheffield wrestling. I’m privileged and honored to be the coach of Sheffield wrestling and not only because of Ethan.

“The fire this kid has ignited in the team, and the heart they all show makes me look forward to seeing what we can do. I see multiple state qualifiers in the future and it’s just a joy to watch.”

Finch’s road to the podium in Hershey was perhaps as impressive as anything that transpired over the three days in the “Sweetest Place on Earth.”

After on opening-round loss via fall, Finch had to win three straight matches to medal at 182. He did just that, the last of which came via a first-period win by fall.

For good measure, he won his fourth straight match, 6-5, over Tamaqua’s Nate Wickersham before a 4-1 loss to Dane Csencsits of Saucon Valley sent him to the fifth-place match on Saturday against Burrell’s Richard Feroce.

Feroce earned a 4-1 decision, but Finch’s sixth-place finish in Hershey sets him up nicely going into a senior season that will be filled once again with high expectations.

He also became the first Sheffield wrestler to earn a state medal since Terry Schrader in 1992. He finished the season with a record of 34-12.

Finch, along with Eisenhower senior Logan Jaquay’s fourth-place finish, combined to bring back the most medalists the county has seen in one year since 1993.

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