Kevin Roemhild accomplished more than he ever would have believed last year.
Roemhild is a recent graduate of Archbishop Ryan High School, and last year, he wore a lot of hats for the Raiders football team.
And everything the defensive lineman was asked to do, he did happily. One of the reasons he did it was because it helped the team, and that was the most important thing for him.
But it also let him have fun playing football for the final time with his best friend.
His brother Sean was also on the team. While he wasn’t a grunt like his brother – Sean played wide receiver and defensive back – the pair that was tight to begin with only grew closer playing together on the Raiders.
“I had played with him in Bucks County for two years and in the Far Northeast before, but nothing compares to high school football with your brother,” Roemhild said about playing with his brother Sean. “It’s a blessing having him. Without my brother there, I wouldn’t be the man I am. Whenever I was mad, I’d look at him and he’d smile. Our motto was always inspire each other.
“If we were down 30, go hard and be positive. That was something my brother and I instilled in each other and we always stayed true. It’s an unbreakable bond. I think the team was the same way. It’s why our defense was so good and it’s why we’ve been successful. It’s because we love playing together.”
The Raiders enjoyed a fun season last year. They advanced to the Class 4A Catholic League championship game where they fell to Bonner-Prendergast. Ryan rebounded to knock off Washington on Thanksgiving to finish 6-4.
While the Raiders were having fun, Roemhild was working hard to get back on the field and feel better. He was forced to the sideline for some time thanks to a bum shoulder.
“Against Carroll I hit someone and my shoulder popped out and it went back in so I kept playing,” Roemhild said. “But it got swollen. It was on a tackle. It really took me the remainder of the season to get back to 100 percent, I just had to rehab my shoulder. It took maybe two or three months.
“I didn’t like not playing. I played with broken fingers against Bonner. I broke it in the middle of the game, they wanted me to stop playing. It was literally hanging off. But I kept playing. But there were times when I couldn’t play.”
Luckily, the injuries are a thing of the past for Roemhild. Now he’s getting ready to head to Sussex County Community College, a junior college where he’ll be able to continue his football career.
The hope is to go there, do well in football, even better in the classroom and eventually move on to a four-year school. Ideally, he’ll play at the Division I level.
“I love this school, it’s a JUCO and the defensive line coach is a very well-regarded defensive line coach and under his wing, there’s no limit to my potential. I can become great. They recruited me, I know if I do what I can there, I can go Division I.”
He wants to play at the highest level possible to show the world he can do it. He also wants to do it to keep a promise. He told his grandfather that he would play Division I shortly before he passed away.
“That happened last August, we were really close, and I told him I’d play Division I,” Roemhild said. “He was a huge football guy. It was hard, for the first few games, it was hard remembering that he’s not there, to talk to me about everything. I know he was there in spirit, and I know he was there in my heart, but I really missed him.”
Roemhild hopes to make a mark as a freshman and get as much experience as he can before he heads off to a different college.
And the team is expecting a lot from him. He’s already in a prominent position at Sussex.
“They told me they have a role for me, the coach reached out to me and they want me to be a captain for my college team,” said Roemhild , who was a leader at Ryan. “They know what I bring to the table. I’m a guy who takes football seriously. I love to have fun, when it’s time, I’m a fun guy, but when it’s time to be serious, I’m serious.”
He’s serious about his school work, and is looking forward to learning in the classroom, too. He’s leaning toward majoring in business, but he’s hoping after football, he can use his business degree to do side work.
He has a career planned in helping others.
“Eventually, I would like to be a fireman or a policeman,” Roemhild said. “I’ve always wanted to be a cop because they protect us and sometimes they have a target on their back. If we didn’t have cops, a lot of bad stuff would happen in this world.
“A firefighter? I love helping people and one of the main ways to do it is that. I’ll put others before myself.”
He’s now getting ready to leave for college, and getting ready to say goodbye to his family.
That won’t be easy. Just like his brother, he’s exceptionally close with his mom. He’ll miss them, but he’ll be keeping in touch.
“We’ll be on FaceTime every night, talking about practice. He’s going to Eastern. No doubt in my mind that we both can reunite. He’s my rock, I’ll do anything for him. He’s my heart in a human form. It’s very good. We’re so tight, we fight like brothers, but I’ll do anything for him.
“I’ll miss my mom so much, too, she’s always there for me. My family has a strong bond. They’d do anything for me and I’d do anything for anyone in my family. I’ll miss them, but they’ll always be there.”