Eau Claire (WQOW) — The UW-Eau Claire football team is off to their best start since 2011, and a big reason why is their defense led by senior outside linebacker Sam Romanski.
The Wausau native has been sacking and tackling his way to the top of division three since 2016. He’s been an essential part to a talented defense, including earning both all-conference and all-american honors during his career.
“I don’t want to be just an average student. I don’t want to be just an average person that can attend a University, says Romanski. “I want to be someone that’s known for being a part of this group.”
Now the fifth year senior is getting ready though to stay goodbye to the college game, but he’s going out with a bang. Romanski is top-15 in the nation in tackles for loss, and committed to playing strong until the final whistle.
“I was pretty under recruited out of high school, and I think that aspect has kind of always made me work harder,” Romanski says. “It made me focus even more on the things that I want to do, and goals I want to accomplish.”
“It doesn’t really matter what level you’re at, kids are going to play hard or they’re not,” says head coach Wesley Beschorner. “He practices a hundred miles per hour, and really if you practice that way you’re going to play that way, and he certainly does.”
In 2018, Romanski was an all-conference first-team performer, received second-team all-american, and was third in the entire country for sacks. But these days, the awards mean very little to him in comparison to just playing the game.
“I would trade a lot of that in just to win a couple more games. Because at this point in my career, I notice myself not valuing the individual statistics as much,” says Romanski. “I really enjoy and taking a second to appreciate the small things about football.”
“He’s really grown as a person since I’ve been here. And seeing how he just attacks every day is great, because he impacts other people,” Beschorner says. “I think if you attack it with the right attitude you’re going to bring some people along with you, and I think that’s a big deal.”
While Romanksi doesn’t know if his playing career will extend after college, like he’s learned on the gridiron you’ve got to just roll with the punches.
“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. Or if I want to continue playing football, or if I will even have the opportunity to,” says Romanski. “But as we always talk about here, pressure is a privilege. And whether it’s football or the future, I just look as it as a privilege.”
Regardless of what the future holds for him however, it can’t change the mark that he’ll leave on the program and leading the Blugolds back to winning football.
“It’s trending upward,” Romanski says. “And it’s cool to be able to be a part of the ground-level base that helps build this program up, because you can see where it’s going.”
The Blugolds are on the road Saturday for another WIAC contest, taking on UW-Oshkosh at 1:30 p.m.