HELENA — Isaac Romero's signing day to Iowa's Loras College was delayed by a week because he didn't have any college apparel the Duhawks wanted him to wear during his signing day.
When that changed, the Helena High senior wrestler finally did sign with NCAA Division III Loras out of the American Rivers Conference on Tuesday afternoon at Helena High.
"It feels good to be wearing, and getting the real stuff, and just being a part of (the Loras wrestling program), and being with everyone is what I am looking forward to," Romero said. "I didn't realize they wanted me to have something to support (their program), and I had to postponed (the signing) until (Tuesday after) I got my stuff Saturday evening."
Romero won back-to-back Class AA state wrestling championships at the 113-pound weight class and the 120-pound weight class. Then last year he finished runner-up to Helena Capital wrestler Carson DesRosier
Three other colleges were interested in Romero, but he decided on Loras, located in Dubuque, Iowa, based on knowing assistant wrestling coach Trevor Kittleson.
"I choose Loras College because of the way it feels," Romero said. "The head assistant coach is a perfect friend, with my good friend, and they are close to me, and I feel comfortable with that."
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Bengals coach, and former Helena High assistant for eleven years, Sam Bogard, said he felt Romero's development as a wrestler was a result of hard work.
"His work ethic is good, and he is even still lifting with the (Helena High) wrestling team right now," Bogard said. "He has a good work ethic, and knows the sport, and loves the sport, and that is half of the battle right there, is putting in the time, if you want to succeed."
Bogard said Romero's work ethic, over his natural ability, is what is allowed him to be recruited by Loras. And he expects him to compete right away.
"I guess I don't know if it is natural ability or hard work, and he has such good movement, and feet, and he is excellent on top, and I don't know if it's natural, or hard work, maybe hard work pays off more. I've seen guys it comes natural, and don't put in the work, and don't succeed."
Romero will report to Loras on June 14 for orientation and will begin working out with the team. As a freshman, Romero is aware the world of college athletics is big but he's ready.
"This year I learned a lot (about wrestling), and that is going to help me in college," Romero said. "However, I still have a lot to learn."