CRESSKILL, N.J.– Cresskill High School shortstop Trevor Romeo's stellar 2016 season caught the attention of players and coaches around not only Bergen County but the state.
“Everyone knew my name when I got on the field. It was cool," said the 6-foot-5, 220 pound Romeo, who batted .530 with 36 RBI.
Romeo was chosen to represent the Northeast New Jersey at the state Top 100 All-Star Game at Diamond Nation in Flemington, where he'll also be the lone Group 1 school representative.
"I feel a little extra pressure trying to prove myself against the best talent in the state," Romeo said. "[But] I feel like I’m just as good."
His statistics bear it out: Romeo's 46 hits and eight triples led Northern New Jersey -- and his 16 doubles were the best in the Garden State.
Romeo also scored 30 runs, stole 21 bases, and assembled a 27-game hitting streak en route to first-team All-County honors.
"It was awesome. Finally all that hard work paid off," he said.
The highest honors Romeo had received during his three-year varsity career were second- and first-team All-League.
He also remembers talking to his dad, Jim, another former Cresskill shortstop, about the possibility of amassing 100 career hits.
“We never thought that was going to happen," he said.
Romeo didn't know until he reviewed his statistics after the season that he reached his goal in the quarterfinals of North 1, Group 1 state tournament.
"It's a great feeling, especially seeing how much time he's put in over the years," said Jim Romeo, a 1986 Cresskill graduate who played and coached at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, N.Y.
His son says he thrives most under pressure.
At bat, "I'm just completely relaxed," Romeo said. "I don't try to think too much -- just trust myself and hope good things happen."
In the field, "I see the most action," he said. "Shortstop is the hardest position on the field. Every play you're moving, backing up bases."
Romeo models his game after Houston Astros' shortstop Carlos Correa .
"He's big like me and plays hard," he explained.
This fall, Romeo will attend Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.
Fifty-two players have been drafted out of the school . Romeo hopes his turn will come in 2018 or 2019.
"It's always been a dream," he said.