When Reed Finfrock caught a calf in the Clark County Calf Scramble recently, it marked the third generation of his family to catch one.
However, the Tecumseh High School sophomore stepped into the Clark County Fairgrounds arena with an additional challenge that he never gave a second thought to — he had to do it one-handed.
Finfrock was born without his left hand. But he has never shied away from trying anything new, said his father, Bryan Finfrock.
“Reed has always had a challenge that he has had to set aside,” he said. “He figures it out and makes it happen.”
Reed went into the challenge with a battle plan.
“I’m going into this arena and I was going to get my fair shot,” Reed said. “I was pretty confident that I was going to get a calf.
“I was going to give it a solid blow that would take him down,” he continued. “I didn’t want to have to try and fight him.”
There were twice as many boys as calves, so Reed immediately started sizing up the boys. Then he got some advice from the sidelines.
“The challenge is between you and the calf,” said Mike Frinfrock, Reed’s uncle.
Reed took the advice to heart. He got the biggest calf in the scramble, a 455-pounder. First, he got the calf pinned down.
“It wasn’t over until I got him in the circle,” Reed said, “and I knew this calf was going to fight me all the way there.”
But he won the challenge. The reaction?
“Elation, surprise and shock all at the same time,” Mike Finfrock said.
His family attributed Reed’s footing and agility in catching the calf to two-a-day football practices. He plays on Tecumseh’s junior varsity team as an offensive guard and defensive end.
“When you have a challenge like Reed’s, you go into it fighting,” Bryan Frinfrock said. “That fighting spirit carries him through.”
The Finfrocks live on Reed’s great grandparents’ old farm, which they are trying to turn into a working farm again. So when Reed gets home from football practice, he goes straight to work.
“I’m amazed with all he has going and he just keeps up with it all,” Bryan Finfrock said. “It’s a big joy to be his dad.”
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