Juggling a rigorous academic schedule and excelling in sports can be tough for a high school student. However, many of these young students rise every day and meet the challenge. They arrive to school early for a study session and they leave late in the evening after practice.

Some of these talented children perform at the highest level in the classroom and during athletic competitions, often moving from sport to sport as the different seasons progress. For those who shine brightest, the Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority has created a special award to honor their efforts.

Rome High School is proud to announce John Finn as the winner of the 2019 John Pinson, Jr. Outstanding Student Athlete Award winner.

Each student considered for this award must be planning to attend college and must have achieved local, area, regional or state level recognition in athletics. In addition, they must have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and present a healthy list of school and community related activities. Jason Harris, Rome High School’s Athletic Director nominated Finn and he was chosen to receive the award from a group of his peers who attend area schools.

“Academics are always right at the forefront for me,” Finn said, “and are my focus in high school. I have been blessed to have had really great teachers and some of them are also my coaches. Coach (Luis) Goya and Coach (Joey) Powers, who are my cross country and swimming coaches, have been flexible with their schedules when I was taking some tough classes that required extra study time. I would oftentimes have to miss practice, and they were always willing to accommodate my schedule by letting me stay late or taking their time to bring me up to speed. I would do a lot of runs at my house to keep up with the rest of the team. They were very helpful.”

Finn went on to say that the environment at Rome High School better prepares students for college or other opportunities that await them after they walk across the stage. Having been a varsity athlete for three sports in all four of his years at Rome, he has learned to balance his time hitting the books and the pool or the track. Finn is on the track and field team, the cross country team and he is on the RHS Swimming roster.

“I am so grateful to my coaches, teachers and teammates for all they have done to support me over the years and especially to my coaches for nominating me for this award,” Finn smiled. “However, I think there is still room for improvement for me. I always set small, medium and long-term goals and really work on improving myself.”

“John Finn exemplifies what a student athlete should look like,” said Rome High Athletic Director, Jason Harris. “The most important part of what he does is his work in the classroom. He is also a multiple-sport athlete and has sustained a more-than- respectable GPA. He is simply outstanding, and we were happy to honor him for all of his hard work.”