The J. Taylor Finley Middle School’s second winter season athletic program is set to get underway on Tuesday, January 22. There will be two basketball teams for seventh and eighth grade girls and a wrestling team for seventh and eighth grade boys.
Finley’s first athletic season came in September 1965 when the school opened on a 20 acre site that was cleared on Greenlawn Road. The building housed grades 7-9 and was the third junior high school in the Huntington UFSD.
The J. Taylor Finley Middle School wrestling team begins practice on Tuesday, January 22
The district, like its counterparts across the state is much smaller today than it once was. There are about 4,600 students enrolled in grades K-12. At its peak enrollment in the 1970’s, Huntington UFSD had more than 7,500 students, including graduating classes totaling more than 750.
The district closed Robert L. Simpson Junior High School in late June 1976 and then closed Robert K. Toaz Junior High School in June 1982. Finley eventually transitioned to a middle school when ninth graders were moved into Huntington High School.
Finley current enrolls nearly 700 students, split almost evenly between seventh and eighth grades. As of December, there were 343 boys and 351 girls in the building.
Finley girls’ basketball try-outs will be held Tuesday-Friday, January 22-25 from 3-5 p.m. In order to try-out, players need to be cleared by the nurse (which requires a current physical exam and health history form), submit a signed parent permission form and wear appropriate apparel, including sneakers, shorts and a t-shirt. Prospective players must attend all try-out sessions on the above dates.
Physical education teachers Timothy Madden and Alex Nelson will coach the two teams.
Wrestling practices will be held in the Finley gym from 3-5 p.m. Practice sessions will move to the Huntington High School wrestling room on Monday, February 11 and meets will be held in the gym at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School. A shuttle bus will be provided daily from Finley to the high school and on meet days to Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School.
Prior to participating on the first day of practice, wrestlers need to be cleared by the nurse (which requires a current physical exam and health history form), submit a signed parent permission form and wear appropriate workout clothing, including wrestling shoes/sneakers, shorts or sweatpants and a t-shirt or sweatshirt.
Physical education teachers Michael Marinello and Travis Smith will coach the team. Both of the coaches were All-County wrestlers in high school and both went on to wrestle in college, with Marinello taking the mat at Springfield College and Smith grappling at SUNY Brockport. They have both been varsity wrestling head coaches during their respective careers.
Contact Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy at or [email protected] for more information.