After starting his career with two 20-win campaigns, including a sixth-place finish at regionals last season, Susquehannock wrestler Colby Romjue expected to take the next step as a junior.
In the past few weeks, Romjue has dominated on the mat, including a victory over one of the York-Adams League’s best wrestlers. The 152-pounder is 6-0, which consists of two forfeits, three first-period pins and a 7-1 victory over South Western’s Ethan Baney, who finished eighth in the PIAA Class 3-A Tournament a season ago.
Romjue said the impressive start is a precursor of what he can accomplish in his final two high school seasons.
“I’m aiming for the sky. I’m aiming for state medals,” he said. “I came up short last year, but I feel like I have what it takes to finish top five in the state.”
Steady improvement: Romjue went 22-7 as a freshman and 27-7 last season, finishing first in his 3-A section and sixth in the region as a sophomore. He said becoming more aggressive is the main reason he’s improved this season.
“I think I started out knowing all the technique, but I didn’t let loose. I’d practice well and then I’d go into a match, and I would be hesitant,” he said. “Now it’s about just wrestling hard and being aggressive and not holding back.”
Susquehannock head coach Aaron Trimpey said Romjue’s improvement can be attributed to a better mentality.
“I would describe it as mat dominance,” Trimpey said. “As a freshman he did his best, and sophomore year he improved, but he didn’t put it all together. This year, he has the mindset that it’s his mat, and he’s going to do everything to beat you. That’s the difference between Colby (then) and (now).”
Learning from his older brother: Trimpey said Romjue has also improved over the years because of his older brother, Joey Romjue, who graduated from Susquehannock last season and is now wrestling at Seton Hill. Joey Romjue won 91 bouts at Susquehannock, qualifying for two regional tournaments.
“I think it definitely has been good for Colby,” said the third-year head coach. “It’s helped him see that his brother worked his butt off, had success and got a scholarship to college. And (Colby) wants to do the same thing.”
Colby Romjue said his brothers, including freshman Blake Romjue, wrestled frequently on the mats they have set up in their house.
“It was great. We’d wrestle all the time,” Colby Romjue said. “We spent hours and hours just wrestling downstairs and banging around. It helped because I could see what I was supposed to do, because Joey was always a really aggressive wrestler.”
Win over Baney: In the Warriors’ 48-21 loss to South Western on Dec. 18, Trimpey moved Colby Romjue up to the 160-pound weight class to wrestle Baney.
“He wrestled a very smart match,” Trimpey said. “That was a big win over him.”
The junior Mustang was 60-21 in his first two seasons, and Colby Romjue grew up wrestling him at the same club in the offseason.
“We’ve always been neck and neck, competing our whole lives,” Colby Romjue said. “It had been a while since I wrestled him, and it was cool to get back in there against him. We’re pretty good buddies. When you get on the mat, though, it’s all business.”
After a scoreless first period, Colby Romjue led 2-1 late in the third period before capitalizing on a few of Baney’s mistakes for the decision.
“He was bigger, and he came out aggressive,” Colby Romjue said. “I let him wrestle hard early on and kept the score tight in the beginning. I felt good and felt like I was tiring him and then made him make make a mistake in the third period. It worked out perfect, and I was able to take him to his back.”
Trimpey said a win like that is one that can boost a wrestler’s confidence. In his three bouts since, Colby Romjue has pinned all three opponents in the first period.
“I definitely see the confidence improving, especially with bigger kids,” Trimpey said. “He was a little nervous before maybe with a big 160-pounder. Now he can go up against them, and he has that confidence. He knows he’s done it once, and he can do it again.”
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.