Today: Feb 29, 2024

Senior football player changes position to help team

photo courtesy southernctowls.com
Junior Romaine moved to fullback before the beginning of the season.

RYAN FLYNNStaff Writer

Fullback is far from a glamorous position, but it is that very position that one member of the Owls football team has finally gotten his chance to shine.

Rich Romaine, having spent three years at linebacker, made the switch from defense to offense following last season. Starting at fullback, Romaine has made his mark on an offense averaging 40 points per game.

“[Coach Rich Cavanaugh] mentioned it at the end of my third year here,” Romaine said. “We were pretty deep at linebacker and I wasn’t going to be getting any time there, so I think he figured give me a shot a fullback and see what happens.”

What happened is that Romaine has become a mainstay in the Southern backfield, leading the way for tailback Rashaad Slowley, who has racked up 1,197 yards on the ground this season to go along with 24 rushing touchdowns in just eight games.

“Slowley is having an outstanding season as our tailback,” Cavanaugh said, “and he’s done a great job of running, without question, but Rich Romaine is the guy that’s leading him through the hole most of the time.”

Romaine was recruited by the Owls coaching staff out of Milford Academy, where he attended prep school. He is a junior majoring in exercise science, and looks to one day become a strength and conditioning coach.

As far as adjusting from the linebacker position to one where the chief assignment is to block the those playing his former position, Romaine has apparently made a smooth transition.

“I think that he’s handled the switch without any hitches,” Cavanaugh said. “He’s been a great addition to our offense and he’s the kind of guy who really doesn’t get the credit he deserves.”

Romaine credits a teammate for helping him learn the ins and outs of his new spot on the field.

“Curtis Shappy, who I work with in the backfield—he was a big help to me,” Romaine said. “He helped me out with a lot of plays and different things that’s going on, and reads and so forth. He was definitely a big help for me, and made things a lot easier.”

Like his coach, Romaine said he commends Rashaad Slowley for the season that he’s having, saying that he makes blockers like him look good. The Owls have often utilized tight running formations this season, replacing a wide receiver or tight end with their newest fullback.

“It was a great opportunity for me,” Romaine said of the switch. “It was like I was given a new life here at Southern Connecticut. I was real excited when coach [Cavanaugh] told me about it.”

The Owls, who currently hold a record of 6-2, 5-1 in NE-10 play, have two remaining games, both at home, including homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 29. Romaine said he looks to continue his excellent season, and counts on his teammates to do the same.

“I just hope that if we can prepare well and we can play up to our capabilities for the rest of the season,” he said, “I think we’ll be all right and we’ll be right in the playoff mix.”

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