ONTARIO — After two months in Ontario, Police Chief Steven Romero has officially brought his wrestling club to Oregon with the Team Cobras wrestling clinic on Saturday at the Ontario Municipal Airport’s fire station.
The clinic was open to middle school and high school wrestlers from all area schools.
The guest clinician at Saturday’s clinic was Eric Montoya, one of Romero’s old wrestlers. Montoya is a two-time All-American from the University of Nebraska. He is in Ontario both to run the wrestling clinic and to see his old coach. The next stop for Montoya will be Albuquerque, New Mexico where he will be a police officer.
Romero has been running Team Cobras in California for the past 19 years. He took over as Chief of Police in Ontario in June.
The location of the clinic was moved from Ontario High School to the airport’s fire station to accommodate OSAA rules, but Romero said that this new arrangement worked in his favor.
At the clinic, Romero was able to have the mats right next to the station’s hazmat truck. Outside, there was a fire truck, a police car and other emergency vehicles. Staging the mats right next to the public safety vehicles fits one of Romero’s missions with Team Cobras: to turn wrestlers into police officers, just like Montoya.
“I pipeline wrestlers into public safety careers,” Romero said. “I get to take world-class athletes and turn them into cops and firemen.”
Romero also had a storied wrestling career, starting from when he was 10 years old. Romero was a high school all-American and went on to wrestle in college. He ended his wrestling career while still in college when he passed police academy at 21 years old. He would wrestle at the senior level (post-college) until he was 34.
Romero’s son, Steven Romero, Jr., will be a freshman at Ontario High School this fall.