Saturday, August 27, 2005

Eagles, Romiti searching for positive momentum


A broken jaw, a cracked sternum, torn ligaments and countless concussions.

That's what linebacker George Romiti has endured during his 10-year career with the Scranton Eagles. And through all the pain and agony, he still loves the brutality of the game.

It's what keeps him coming back week in and week out, even during these dark days of the once proud franchise of the Empire Football League.

Tonight, the 43-year-old West Scranton graduate will lace up his spikes, pull on that traditional blue jersey and strap his helmet tightly for the 131st straight time as the Eagles (3-4) host the Broome County Dragons (4-3) at 7:30 p.m. at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

"I enjoy it a lot," Romiti said. "I still work out besides practice. I love the sport and love playing. I'm going to try and keep going for as long as I can."

Playing with a youthful energy, Romiti, a three-time first-team EFL all-star, leads the team with 73 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Doubling as the team's president, he's trying to keep the franchise afloat both financially and on the playing field. His duties have him out with John Kennedy, Mike Arcure and Susan Foley appealing to area businesses trying generate funds through sponsors.

That task has been more daunting than tracking down opposing players on the field.

"I truly believe if any of us in that group were to leave, we'd really be in trouble," Romiti said. "I try my best. Playing is a way of life for me now. It's like a job for me. A job I love to go to."

The Eagles, who have two forfeit wins, one win on the field against Ottawa, and three lopsided defeats, have shown improvement as they are maturing.

This week, they face Broome County, the team formerly known as the Binghamton Jets, the arch-rival of the Eagles during their glory days of the 1980s. The Dragons are led by quarterback Ty Fish, who is the second-ranked quarterback in the EFL. He's thrown for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns.

In addition to Romiti, the Eagles will be led by former Riverside wide receiver Eric Paroby, who has nine receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Bill Sandley, who leads the team with 166 yards rushing.

"Each year there are new faces and new people," Romiti said. "I'm excited about the new talent on the team."

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┬ęThe Times-Tribune 2005

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