By Tom Barry
Since last November, two sets of twins from Steve and Brenda Finesilver’s family have actively competed in Cherry Creek High’s wrestling program. Mitch and Zack are 16 year old juniors competing on the Bruins’ varsity team. Their younger brothers Josh and Matt are 14 years old and on the varsity as freshmen. Three older sisters are also graduates of Creek.
The two sets of twins practice with each other and compete throughout the year. The four boys are incredibly close and do nearly everything together. The older boys share a cell phone, along with a car, driving their younger brothers around. The older twins are also remarkably competitive on the mat between each other.
When Zack was asked if he thought his younger brothers could eventually beat the older twins, he said, “I would like to think not,” while laughing.
This year Mitch, Zack and Matt advanced to the Colorado State Wrestling Championship held at the Pepsi Center. Josh had a very challenging district match and was unable to advance to the finals on the big stage.
On Feb. 23, Zack had some tough competition from Payton Tawater, another 126-pound wrestler from Arvada West, and finished in fourth place for the Bruins. He approximates that his record for the season was 41 and 3.
Toward the end of the evening, Mitch competed in the 120-pound weight class against a familiar foe, Adrian Cordova from Coronado High in Colorado Springs.
“It was a season in the making, the third meeting between Mitch and Cordova,” said Mike Luhring, the Bruins head wrestling coach who also teaches physical education and health at the school. “Mitch won the first tournament of the season and Cordova won the second between the two at the halfway point over winter break. The third meeting was last Saturday night.”
The 5A championship match went the full six minutes for the match with both competitors aggressively going after the other as two officials watched over. Two coaches from each team were on opposite corners of the massive mat.
“The game plan going into the match was to push the pace,” said Mitch Finesilver. “We knew the opponent and knew we had to stay aggressive and look for openings – waiting for him to come out of position.”
At the end of the feisty and challenging match, Mitch was declared the victor as one official grabbed his hand and raised it to signify the winner. In a somewhat formal manner, both wrestlers shook the hands of the officials and the opposing coaches and then exchanged well wishes with each other after the hard fought battle.
Mitch then headed off the main floor and to the area under the stands where he hugged his brothers and coaches. An exuberant assistant coach Marcell Gash jumped into the arms of Finesilver to celebrate. Mitch’s record for the season was 44 and 2.
Both of the Finesilver boys then had respective times on the champions stand. When asked why everyone looked so serious when posing for photos, Zack replied, “I was disappointed in winning fourth place and I also wanted to show respect to the sport and the competitors.”
The Finesilver boys excel academically with the older twins maintaining a 4.0 or greater GPA. They hope to become active in the National Honor’s Society their last year and a half in school. They will start considering colleges next year with their main focus on academics and secondly,
on a good wrestling program. They intend to attend the same college and may obtain scholarships.
“I am tremendously proud of the work and effort that all four boys have put into this sport and they have made school and wrestling not just something they do, but a lifestyle,” said Steve Finesilver, who is teacher and coach at George Washington in Denver. “My wife and I have never suggested that they do extra work, they have just taken up wrestling and school and work hard at it.”
Creek placed 11th in state competition with 49 schools competing and had four grapplers advance. The Bruins qualified four wrestlers for the end of the year competition, including Mason Harms who placed fifth in the 152 pound classification.