Glenwood’s Romero wins PI’s Male Athlete of the Month |

Glenwood’s Romero wins PI’s Male Athlete of the Month

Glenwood senior Stephen Romero has put together a strong season on the mound and at the plate for the Demons, leading to his selection as the Post Independent's Male Athlete of the Month.
Josh Carney / Post Independent |

Coming into the 2017 season, Glenwood senior standout Stephen Romero had big plans for the current version of the Demon baseball team, that included a playoff berth and growth as a group, considering the team as a whole was rather young.

So far so good for Romero and the Demons, as the senior has played a key role both on the mound and at the plate, leading the Demons to a 6-7 (3-4 4A Western Slope League) record on the year.

For all of his talents on the baseball diamond, one of the things that makes the Garden City (Kansas) signee so unique isn’t his ability to throw a ball more than 80 miles an hour or hit a ball more than 350 feet, it’s his ability to understand — and like — Shakespeare.

Yes, you read that right.

As a guy with some serious fire and drive in uniform on the diamond, he has an interest in Shakespeare’s works.

“I’m more of a reader and writer; math and stuff like that really isn’t my thing,” Romero said. “Shakespeare interests me a lot. That’s easily my favorite class right now. I have a really good relationship with the teacher, and just being able to understand how they talked back then and trying to relate it to now is fun. It’s interesting to be able to know what they were talking about despite it being such a different language, in a sense, back then.”

Romero was quick to point out, though, that Shakespeare won’t stay with him past high school, largely because baseball and sports communication classes will draw the majority of his attention in college.

Hitting .383 (18-for-54) on the year with 1 home run, 13 runs batted in and 2 doubles, Romero has been a key cog in the middle of Demon lineup. But arguably his biggest contribution has come on the mound, where the powerful righty has a 2-4 record with a 1.91 earned run average to go along with 33 strikeouts in 29.1 innings, serving as the ace of the Glenwood staff.

Despite have a good arsenal of pitches to work with, his success this season has largely had to do with his mentality as soon as he crosses the foul line.

“Playing the last four years on varsity and playing the game year-round, I’ve built up this mindset that when I step on the mound, I’m the best on the field,” Romero said. “When I’m on the mound, it’s really only just me and the catcher. I know that I have a job to do, and I have to hone in to make sure I do the best that I can to help my team get the win.”

When Romero is on the mound, there seems to be a belief that permeates through the Demons that they can win any game with their ace on the mound.

“When Steve’s on the mound, we feel like we can compete with anybody,” Glenwood Head Coach Eric Nieslanik said. “He’s our ace and he’s in the middle of our lineup. He’s just a kid that when he does well, we do well as a team. That’s kind of how it’s been.”

The Demons have six games left in the season with a hopeful playoff berth in the future, but the thought still lingers of what this program will look like once Romero graduates in May. Based off of the numbers he’s put up and the impact he’s made as the emotional leader of the club, the hole will be sizable.

“We’re losing that solid piece of the team,” Nieslanik said. “He’s a kid that this group looks up to for his skill and his commitment. When he’s not around and he does graduate, we’ll wish him the best in his baseball career, but he’s the type of kid you just don’t replace. That’s a cliche you hear all the time in sports, but it’s so true; you just can’t replace a guy like him who’s meant so much to not only the baseball side of things, but the program as well.”

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