HELENA – At 113 pounds, he’s far from Helena High’s biggest wrestler.
But Isaac Romero is one of the Bengals’ best chances to bring home a state championship this weekend in Billings.
“Isaac is a hard worker,” Helena wrestling head coach John Burke said. “You watch him in conditioning, you watch him in the room, and he’s just going, and the thing about Isaac is he just loves wrestling.”
The junior has been the best in Montana before, winning a state title at 103 pounds last year.
And after winning the seeding tournament in Kalispell this past weekend and locking up the top spot heading into state, a repeat is in his sights. But it all almost ended before it even started.
“One of our friends asked my dad if we wanted to do wrestling, and my dad said, ‘No, not if it’s like the TV wrestling. No, I don’t want my kid doing that,'” Romero said about his introduction to the sport. “But they were like, ‘Oh no, this is real wrestling,’ so we went and tried it for a day and I ended up liking it and picked it up.”
Yes he did, and then some.
At 24-0 this season, Romero’s approach to wrestling isn’t just to win every match, but to destroy his opponent.
“I want to get as high up in the first round,” said Romero. “I kind of want to mentally break the kid before the second period. It can bring out someone’s true character and can really show some people what you’re made of. It can really show what your body’s potential is and what you can push yourself to.”
Romero pushes himself off the mat, too. The junior is already thinking about his academic college career in a area that suprisingly makes sense if you know him.
“Architecture and wrestling kind of have the same components,” Romero said. “In wrestling, when you’re taking a shot you have to be precise, you have to time it correctly. You have to be moving the kid in the same direction that you want to be, making sure that your lines and your design is precise and to scale.”
Precision, skill and intensity — that pretty much sums up Romero.
“I just don’t want to win the state title, I want to dominate at my weight,” he said. “I don’t just want to win. I want to dominate every kid I wrestle and not make a single mistake.”