Romey Cherishes Cyclone Memories
AMES, Iowa - He hasn't missed an Iowa State home football game since he was 10-years old. For senior and former Cyclone placekicker Michael Romey, there was no other college choice coming out of Carroll Kuemper High School.
"I've loved Iowa State since I was a kid" Romey said.
Education was among his basic priorities.
"The education came first," Romey said. "I really wanted to be an engineer. I love math and science."
Romey graduated from high school among the top-10 students in his class. It was no surprise that at Iowa State he was a regular on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Scholar-Athlete list. But Romey also had a passion for football. Romey also lettered in baseball and basketball in high school.
"I've loved those three sports and I played them every moment I could," Romey said.
Growing up, Romey said his life was out of the movie Sandlot, the story about neighborhood boys playing baseball. His hometown of Templeton, Iowa is small (pop. 334). That never stopped Romey and friends from playing whatever they could whenever they could.
Templeton is known for "Templeton Rye Whiskey."
It is not only part of Templeton's history but also Romey's family history. Romey's family was the last to own the rights to Templeton Rye formula, which was registered and renewed by members of the Romey family up to 2001. Templeton Rye was originally made during the prohibition era, and continued to be produced through the ensuing decades.
While family ties extended from the town of Templeton, Ames was always a familiar place to Romey. When he was in fourth grade he convinced his father to get him his own Iowa State season football tickets so that he could see every game. It was then Romey first felt like part of the team even while still in elementary school.
A true-blue Cyclone, Romey joined the Iowa State football team as placekicker but never played in a game.
"It was easy to get discouraged, and it took some getting used to, not getting to play," Romey said. "Being on the team took up a lot of my time, but it was still worth being a part of the program."
Romey, who stands 6 feet 5 inches, was used in many ways, including on the "zombie rush." Romey would walk toward the quarterbacks in practice with arms outstretched so the signal-callers would have to throw over the "zombies'" outstretched arms.
"I loved practice," Romey said. "I loved just being a part of the team."
Some of Romey's most memorable moments with the Iowa State football program include going to the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl as well as the Insight Bowl in 2009.
Romey enjoyed being the toast of the town at both events.
"I loved all the sites in New York City and the weather in Tempe," Romey noted. "The week in both places was fantastic."
Romey cherishes the wins over Iowa and Oklahoma State during the past season. The day following the Oklahoma State game, Romey's picture appeared on the front page of The Des Moines Register.
"I was collecting every copy I could and sending them to family and friends," Romey said.
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads appreciates Romey's selflessness.
"Here is a guy who came to practice every day with no complaints and did what was asked of him," Rhoads said. "He was a guy that brought his lunch pail to work and gave you what you needed. Fans don't really see the guys like Mike. In reality, you can't have a team without guys like Mike who make practice possible. No one here doubts the bright future of that young man."
Last summer Romey worked for global company Sauer-Danfoss and was offered a full-time position this past fall. Romey was able to apply what he learned being on the Iowa State football team to his job at Sauer-Danfoss. Teamwork and good work ethic were some of the things Romey was able to take away from football.
"I don't have any problem with working hard," Romey said. "I also learned from dealing with many different types of people on the football team, how to deal with all different personality types and opinions. Learning how to work with such a diverse group of personalities and opinions, I became better at communicating with all different types of people within Sauer-Danfoss and from around the world."
Romey is set to graduate in Mechanical Engineering in May and is currently applying for graduate school in the same discipline.