Nigel Romick of the Ottawa Redblacks CFL team paid a visit to his alma mater in Thunder Bay on Monday and gave some sound advice to current members of the St. Patrick Saints football team.
“He is our first ever St. Pats graduate to make it to the CFL and I think that is a pretty big accomplishment for him,” said Dave Battistel, the coach of the junior football team at St. Patrick High School.
“It’s important for the school community to see somebody that was able to go somewhere with football and he’s a good inspiration not just for the football perspective . . . here is somebody who worked hard and dedicated themselves . . . managed to go pretty far with it.”
Romick, who didn’t start to play football until Grade 10, played as a defensive lineman for the Ottawa Redblacks. The team advanced to play in the Grey Cup, losing narrowly to the Edmonton Eskimos last month.
Romick donated a game-worn jersey to the school. It will be displayed with other jerseys donated by former students, including Katie Weatherston, Robert Bortuzzo and Carter Hutton.
During a talk to a group of St. Patrick Saints team members, Romick stressed goal setting as a way to get better.
“I know Thunder Bay’s a big hockey town and I think that some of the football players don’t think they can actually go somewhere,” said Romick.
“It’s great for me to be able to come back to inspire the kids. If you are from Thunder Bay you can play football somewhere else. You can go to college and you can play university football and you can go to pros.”
Romick will be back on the field next year for the Ottawa Redblacks.