GRAND MEADOW, Minn. (KTTC) -- Some dogs are all bark, no bite, but this GMLOS Bulldog is the exact opposite. As humble as he is talented, Anthony Romero pinned all three of his opponents in the Section 1A team tournament to punch his team's ticket to state for the first time in 15 years.
"I think it's pretty cool," said Romero. "Hopefully I can just keep going."
Fifteen years is a long time to wait. In fact, it's almost as long as the 17-year-old Romero has been alive. But he knew that his team had the depth to make it to the Xcel Energy Center for the first time since 2005.
"We have a talented room," he said. "We just had to work hard and put in the time and effort to get there and we did that."
Romero is ranked third in the state at 106 pounds and boasts a 36-3 record on the year. He's pinned 26 of his opponents, and won by technical fall two times. All year, he's been the tone-setter for a state-bound team.
"It's very important to get the momentum going, kind of get the rest of the guys pumped up," said GMLOS Head Coach Randy Smith. "Anthony always comes out and usually gets us bonus points right off the bat so it's really, really huge just to get that momentum going for us right away."
And that's exactly what he did in the section championship on Saturday. Romero pinned the 6th-ranked wrestler in the state, and let out a rare burst of emotion that even surprised his coach.
"He's not real emotional when he wrestles, but we had a huge crowd there Saturday," said Smith. "The crowd was pumping us up and he was proud to get that pin against that No. 6 wreslter, so it helped us out a lot."
Now that Romero has helped lock up a state team berth, he's turning his attention to the individual tournament coming up this weekend.
"Top of the podium. I'm just working for that top. First place."
Anthony Romero of the GMLOS Bulldogs wrestling team is this week's KTTC Athlete of the Week.