Less than a year after making All-Mid Columbia Conference teams in football, wrestling and boys soccer as a senior at Walla Walla High School, Edwin Romero is already a star at the next level at Walla Walla Community College.
Through 13 games of the men’s soccer season, coached by Ben Rotert, Romero has scored six goals — leading the Warriors. He had a hat trick against Blue Mountain last Wednesday in 4-0 victory over the Timberwolves.
The Warriors sit in first place at 7-1-1 in the NWAC East, and are 9-2-2 overall, as they host Spokane today, then go to North Idaho Saturday, and close out the regular season next Wednesday against Columbia Basin.
But at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, Romero has started on his way to become the first member of his family with a college degree.
“I’m first generation,” Edwin said. “I was born here, but my family migrated from Mexico years back. Not all of them made in through high school, so it’s just a blessing I guess — getting this opportunity. Ben gave me an opportunity to come play here, and I’m making the best of it.”
Before classes for the fall quarter began at WWCC, Romero had already started in seven of nine games for the Warriors.
Their fourth game, Aug. 31 at Pierce College in Lakewood, Wash., saw Romero net his first collegiate goal, though the Warriors ended up with a 2-1 loss.
A little more than two weeks later, Romero scored again — this time making them 2-1 winners over Blue Mountain with a tiebreaker in the final minute of regulation here.
The very next outing saw Romero chalk up is third goal of the season, and also assist the same Freddy Rodriguez that had helped him score at Pierce, in a 2-0 win over North Idaho here.
“We actively go out and recruit guys, try to keep the local guys,” Rotert said. “We feel that we could off them something and open a lot of doors for them. Edwin was some that we saw a long time ago, and we’d been chatting with him, and we’re just happy that he ended up with us.”
At Wa-Hi, Romero had received his four-year varsity letter in wrestling and soccer while also participating in football each year.
Romero earned All-MCC first-team honors in soccer last spring, having tallied nine goals and a league-high eight assists during the regular season.
The Blue Devils advanced to state before finishing with a 2-1 loss to Eastmont in the Round of 16.
Romero had already gone to state earlier that year as a wrestler, winning four of his six matches to place fourth in the 152-pound weight class.
The MCC dubbed him an honorable mention.
And Romero was an All-MCC honorable mention linebacker — versatile and athletic enough to also rush for three touchdowns with 259 yards on 54 carries.
The same hunger for a championship that fueled Romero at Wa-Hi, continues to drive him at WWCC.
“The reason why I came here was to get better, and also to open windows — and I came to win a title, too,” Romero said. “I’d fallen short while in high school. We went to state in both soccer and wrestling, but never won it. Giving back to my hometown, winning the NWAC title would be just a dream.”
Article by Hector del Castillo of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin