Sean Roemhild is a perfect representation of Archbishop Ryan High School.
And when he’s on the field, he represents himself and the Raiders very proudly.
But this year, every time he steps on the football field, he’s playing for more than himself, his team and his school.
He’s playing his best to honor his friend.
“I don’t know how it happened, but I was picked to wear George Karusky’s number, 6,” Roemhild said of his friend and former football teammate, who passed away in 2020 when he was a senior due to meningitis. “Out of nowhere they asked me to wear it, and Georgie’s dad pulled it out and said, ‘I want you to wear it.’ It means so much to me, just to wear his number is a huge honor. It makes me go harder on the field.”
It’s an even bigger honor when you consider what kind of person Karusky was.
As a senior, on top of being a three-sport athlete, he was best known for always going out of his way to assist younger players.
Roemhild was one of those players. He was a freshman when Karusky was a senior, but the two were close, mostly because Karusky always made time to make sure the younger players knew what they were supposed to do, both in sports and in the school.
“He taught me everything, he taught me my way around the school,” said Roemhild, who was also selected to wave the George Karusky Foundation flag while leading the Raiders on the field prior to their game against Father Judge earlier this month. “He helped me around places. I was really close with him. I had no clue when I got here, but he helped me. He also taught me respect. He was a great mentor for the younger guys. I think we all looked up to him.”
Now Roemhild is putting into practice what Karusky taught him.
No longer a freshman, Roemhild is now a senior and a captain on the Ryan football team. And just as he is a perfect selection to wear the No. 6 jersey, he’s the perfect player to show the Raiders what they need to do to be successful.
Roemhild came into the season as a returning starter at wide receiver, but now he’s also starting at defensive back.
And no matter where he’s at, he’s making a difference.
His latest heroics occurred Friday night when the Raiders knocked off Archbishop Carroll 21-7. Roemhild picked off a pass late in the game to clinch the win for Ryan, snapping a two-game losing streak and putting the Raiders on the road to compete for the Catholic League Blue Division championship.
The Raiders loaded up the schedule in the early going. In their opener, they knocked off a Frankford team that came into the season having lost one game a season ago. Next up were the Crusaders, before their Blue Division opener with Conwell-Egan. It was a rough few weeks, and even though Ryan started 1-2, it should prepare Ryan for the rest of the season.
“It’s by design, I don’t know if our coach set it up or how it happened, but it’s a great schedule,” Roemhild said. “We played tough teams first to know who you are. You don’t want to play cupcakes, smack them around and just win easy games. That’s not how you get better. Frankford is always decent, Judge is very good and Conwell-Egan was very good. It was a great start.
“I think we know who we are now and we have a lot of work to do, and we know what to do. I really think we’re in a good position now. We can definitely have a great year, and we learned a lot from our start.”
This is a great year for Roemhild, who hopes to parlay a strong senior season into a chance to play college ball. He’s heard from some schools and is keeping his options open.
“I’m probably going to be an athletic trainer or in sports medicine, depending on how this year goes,” Roemhild said. “Definitely something with sports. I love being around the game, I don’t want to sit behind a desk, I want to be involved with a sport. Something in sports would be perfect.”
He’s also getting a chance to have one more year with his brother, Kevin, a two-way tackle.
“Playing with my brother is a really cool experience,” Roemhild said. “Not too many people get to do it. Being able to play with him is really cool. We have a great bond, we’ve been playing together since we were 5 years old. It’s a lot of fun. We push each other all the time. If I’m down, he gets me up. If he’s down, I get him up.”
The family bond goes beyond his brother.
His mom, who cuts hair at Fox Cuts, a barbershop at 10050 Roosevelt Blvd., will shut down the shop to watch her boys play.
His uncle Sean Fox got him involved in weight lifting, and that has helped him greatly with his football game.
“We have a very close family, all of us are really close,” Roemhild said. “My family is a huge part of this, they always push me. My mom, she’s always doing something and she’s always with me. On game day, she’ll come out and watch me and close her barber shop.”
She’s never let down by either of her boys. They’re both huge parts of the Ryan football team, and Roemhild hopes they leave Ryan after a great season.
“I think we can have a great season,” said Roemhild, who plans on wrestling and playing baseball this year. “We have great coaches and players who want to get better. We have what we need, we just need to do it.”
And if you’re a younger student at Ryan and you get help by a senior, you can thank Karusky for that.
“I feel personally I help young kids because of George,” Roemhild said. “I have a bigger role in motivating the younger kids to lift and be on the field. I always help younger kids. One kid on our team, he was lost the first day. I helped him around. It makes me feel amazing. I know what it’s like to be lost and I had George. I try to do the same for kids and hopefully they’ll do it when they’re older.”