Athlete of the Week: Ryan Romano

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Ryan Romano is the Nassau County champion in his weight class.
(Photo by Island Trees School District)

Trust the process. Just trust it. It will pay off in the future.

Island Trees High School boys wrestling head coach Louis Tuorto frequently says those words to freshman sensation Ryan Romano. The advice is paying off.

“I use the analogy of using a remote control car,” Tuorto said. “When you’re using a remote control car, you’re telling it what to do. That’s how his style is and that’s what it is like to coach him in terms of his listening skills.”

Romano is fresh off winning the Nassau County—Section VIII Division 2 Public High School Wrestling Tournament on Feb. 8 and 9. The championship battle, held at Cold Spring Harbor High School, saw Romano take down Locust Valley High School’s Kyle Shriberg in the 106-pound weight class.

But the championship triumph didn’t come easy for Romano. Just a year ago, he was in position to bring home a title as an eighth-grader. Instead, he watched on the sidelines after a hip injury kept him off the mats for several months.

“It means a lot because when my season ended last year, I thought I was going to do well,” Romano said. “I came back this year and I won the county.”

The official diagnosis for Romano was a hip flexor injury. It’s a type of stretch or tear that occurs in a hip muscle, causing pain when flexing or lifting the knee.

“We were going out of bounds on the line,” he said, recalling the moment the injury happened. “I stood up and he took a shot right on me. He was one of the kids I was going to wrestle in the county tournament.”

Romano faced off in the New York championship this past weekend at Albany’s Times Union Center. He became the first Island Trees freshman to win a match in states.

From the sidelines to winning a championship, it’s been a journey that coach Tuorto is proud to be part of.

“He’s very comfortable, energetic, works hard, he listens and he’s technical,” Tuorto said. “In terms of coaching him, it’s a pleasure. This year, he was committed, focused and dedicated, which made my job easier.”

Now that Romano has one county title under his belt, he’s hungry for more. This freshman has hefty goals for the rest of his high school career, and he’s determined to make sure he gets the job done.

Romano said, “My goal is to win three to four county championships.”
If he stays healthy, there is no reason why he can’t accomplish his goal.

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