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Roman wrestling has become a tradition at Chamberlain

Philip is the latest in the family to lead the team. He's hoping to secure a berth in the state tournament.

Wrestling is something of a family matter for Chamberlain High School senior Philip Roman, his brother, Allan, and his dad, Joe.

Joe wrestled as the Terriers heavyweight for retired coach Dominic Moresco at Hillsborough High in 1970, the first year of high school wrestling in the county. Allan was a middleweight at Chamberlain in 1996 and 1997.

Now Philip is in his fourth season in the Chiefs' starting lineup and is one of the team captains on a 3-3 team, which continues to improve with each match. By the end of the regular season, the Chiefs could be poised to win their first district championship in several years.

Because of his personal success, continued improvement and intense mat and vocal encouragement, Roman should be one of the keys for Chamberlain's success.

"We have been missing several of our experienced starters much of the season, and they should be back in January," Chamberlain coach Jeff Duncan said. "We have some guys who can come through when necessary and are improving. Phil is a big part in helping motivate them. He is especially helpful to the team effort by encouraging the younger guys. With the full lineup and a lot of hard work, the team should do well in the post-season."

Roman started preparing for a high school wrestling career in the sixth grade, when his dad enrolled him in karate classes. In three years he worked hard in karate, but with wrestling in mind.

"Karate helped me to develop self confidence, make better throws and to more accurately measure an opponent," Roman said. "I dropped it when entering high school to focus more on wrestling, my only sport now."

As a freshman, he competed at 135 pounds and worked up a weight class each season to 160 now. However, he hopes to drop to 152 by the end of January.

He has placed in the top four at districts each season so far, but still has not made the state tournament yet. This year he has been working extra hard to earn one of the four state berths out of his region.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class from each of the four regions qualify for the big dance at the state tournament.

Because of his size _ 6 feet 3 at 152-160 pounds _ he has an advantage over most middleweight opponents. Most middleweights are 5 feet 11 and shorter.

Consequently, he can wrap up opponents with a cross-face cradle pinning combination in most matches. With a cradle he locks his opponent's leg and head in a bow on his back, which scores back points and often records falls or pins.

That works well because of his long arms. His height also helps him throw shorter opponents off their feet for takedown points.

Roman wants to see his Chiefs do well this season as a team. For that to happen, he realizes each individual must do his best.

Currently, he runs three to four days a week, three to four miles, after practice. He starts from his home near Lowry Park, then runs around Chamberlain High and back.

From Jan. 1 through the state tournament he plans to make that a daily run.

"Once we get to districts, we have a new season and I plan to intensify my training," he said. "I plan to do 200 push-ups and sit-ups daily, plus run the extra miles. Coach Duncan often works out on the mat with me after practice and that helps. I really want to qualify for state this year and have several teammates qualify with me. We can do it."