East Grad Romanski Chosen Second-Team All-American

East Grad Romanski Chosen Second-Team All-American
Posted on 12/19/2018

Tim Johnson

Wausau Daily Herald
USA TODAY NETWORK - WISCONSIN

WAUSAU – Sam Romanski’s status as one of the top linebackers in Division III football was confirmed Friday morning. But the Wausau native wasn’t sitting around waiting to hear if his name was included on the list of All-American players.

"I was actually working out while (the team) was being announced," said Romanski of being a second-team selection. "One of my teammates came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ I had no idea until he told me. I don’t really know how to put it. It’s a mix of relieving, humbling and exciting. It’s pretty crazy, that’s for sure."

The Wausau East graduate and Blugolds redshirt junior became the first UW-Eau Claire player to earn Division III All-American status since 2013 when Paul Santi was an honorable mention pick.

Romanski received the nod for a season in which he thrived as an outside linebacker in the Blugolds’ 3-4 defensive scheme with 59 tackles. He led the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 14.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss.

Romanski, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, was named to the D3 football.com All-Region first team on Dec. 5 and was a first-team all-WIAC selection.

"First, it was because of my teammates for sure," Romanski said of his

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Romanski

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performance this fall. "I played right next to (Blugolds defensive end) Charlie Brookshaw and he had a hell of a season as well and was first-team all-WIAC. He definitely opened some things up for me and that goes for the whole defense. Some of the sacks were due to (the Blugolds) coverage. It was a give-and-take for the whole defense (this season). I just think I was the guy who got the stats."

The biggest stat he focused on was the four wins the Blugolds had — the most for the program since 2012.

"(The individual honors) are motivating, but the fact that we were 4-6 and had two losses that were within six points is even more so," Romanski said. "I would say to know how close we are to being a winning program is what is really motivating to me (for next year) than anything else."

Romanski was a three-sport athlete at East and a first-team all-Valley Football Association-North Division selection at outside linebacker as a senior. He received little interest from college football programs outside of UW-Eau Claire and St. Thomas and chose the former in part because of family ties. Both of his parents attended UW-Eau Claire, his grandfather was a professor at the college and his grandmother worked as a secretary.

"It is like you are sworn into it," Romanski joked. "You have to be a Blugold."

He was redshirted in 2015 and had 41 and 42 tackles in his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Blugolds. This season those numbers jumped in every category. Romanski finished with 142 total tackles and ranked third in the country overall in sacks.

"I think it’s (due to) comfort in the system," Romanski said. "I think I got faster and I really worked on my passrush moves in the off-season and those are a lot better now."

It’s just one area in which he hopes to continue to improve on for his senior season.

"I have believed in myself as an athlete but I still don’t know what my full potential is," Romanski said. "I want to build off this and see what comes (next)."