The Friday night lights shine down on the Mustang star football player as he runs through defenders. The crowd cheers the 195 lb wrestler pins his opponent. The stands unleash a worrisome “ooooh” as the Mason lacrosse defender levels an opponent who unwisely chose to take him on.
All of this is just “business” to senior Finn Roou
The 18 year old is one the most decorated football players in George Mason High School history, a skilled lacrosse player, and placed 5th at the VHSL 2A State Wrestling Tournament as a first year wrestler.
But Roou says he’s just a guy who loves hunting and fishing, watching Forrest Gump, playing the guitar, eating buffalo wings, and, of course, playing Fortnite.
His accolades include 1st and 2nd Team All District, 1st Team All Conference, 1st Team All Region, team MVP, Coaches Award, for football as well as Scholar Athlete Awards, and nine varsity letters (four in football and lacrosse, one in wrestling).
“I think playing different sports makes you a better overall athlete. Football makes you tough, wrestling puts you in the best condition in your life, and lacrosse works with hand eye coordination,” Roou said.
This year was Roou’s first season on the wrestling team.
“I was a little surprised to perform at the level I did throughout the wrestling season and especially in the postseason,” he admitted. “Wrestling taught me how to learn from my defeats and to take each failure and use it as a way to get better. This is a great lesson to know in life as well, because when you fail you have to come back stronger.”
In addition to placing 5th in the State Tournament, Roou was happy to pin two wrestlers who placed higher than him in the Regional Tournament just one week prior.
When asked how he felt about people who call him an ‘athletic freak’, Roou responded, “It’s just what I like to do, I train and lift hard and I think the results show. It’s all about working in the shadows. [Also], the bond you get with your teammates when you condition to complete exhaustion is awesome.”
He might seem unenthusiastic after a good play or move in a game or match, but that is his way of keeping focused.
“I don’t show off or celebrate very much. It’s not that I’m not excited, I just expect high things from myself and if I do something big I act like I’ve been there before.” Roou added.
Participating in so many athletics at a high level could make it harder to handle school work for many students, but not for Roou. “I always do better in school when I’m playing a sport. It helps me with time management and keeps me focused,” he said.
Roou also had some advice for students, “I’d advise younger guys to get in the weight room right away because that’s how you become elite. Don’t waste your time doing what everyone else is doing. Just focus on yourself and your team.”
Roou plans to continue to pursue athletics and academics at either Hampden Sydney College or at the United States Military Preparatory School (USMAPS) where he’s been offered admission, a high honor. He is being recruited to play football at both of these schools and also received a three-year Army ROTC scholarship for Hampden Sydney College.
Apart from his collegiate aspirations, Roou also feels a calling to serve his country. “Eventually, I plan on become an Infantry Officer in the United States Army and give back to a country that has given so much to me.”
According to head football and baseball coach Adam Amerine, Roou is a “tremendous athlete here at George Mason.
“He’s a hard working young man who excels in the weight room when he’s not on the field.” Amerine said. “He’s a high character student who comes from a great family and we look forward to seeing what he can do in the next four years of college.”
Reflecting on his years of achievement on the fields and on the mat, Roou notes the type of impact he hopes to leave on his teammates.
“I want to be remembered as both a good teammate and captain because good leadership is how you succeed as a team.”