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Athlete Spotlight: Oakridge’s charismatic Arturo Romero-Serrano prolific on the pitch

Eagles senior recently notched his 100th career goal and he’s not ready for this ride to be over.

MUSKEGON — Oakridge senior Arturo Romero-Serrano sits on 105 career goals entering his team’s Division 3 district finals soccer game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

He’d like to make it three district titles in four years.

Regardless of what happens for Oakridge (12-7-1) against GRCC (10-9-0) in the 6:30 p.m. Thursday matchup at Russell A. Erickson Stadium, Romero-Serrano has left an indelible mark. But, as he’s shown dozens of times on the soccer field and now as a strong-legged placekicker for the Eagles’ football team, don’t put anything past him.

“We were here for homecoming, he actually tackled the guy on the kickoff,” animated Oakrige soccer coach Greg Fleener said. “We’re walking off, my wife and I are leaving, and I hear, ‘On the tackle, Arturo Romero!’ And I’m like, ‘No! That’s not what he’s supposed to be doing!'”

No worries, coach Fleener. Romero-Serrano is holding his own on the football field with two tackles on the season. He’s pretty much automatic on PATs and he’s been booming his kickoffs for touchbacks.

He’s intelligent and charismatic.

On the soccer field, everybody knows Romero-Serrano’s talent and impact.

Last Wednesday, Romero-Serrano reached the 100-goal milestone in his career with a four-goal effort in Oakrige’s 5-0 district-opening win over Grant. He delivered the goal on a header and got the Eagles on the board with 28:09 left in the first half.

Fleener and the Eagles presented Romero-Serrano with the game ball, encased, after the contest.

Photo sequence of Arturo Romero-Serrano’s 100th career goal (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Romero-Serrano and his Oakridge team clearly are not done yet, however. He scored two more goals in Monday’s 5-1 district semifinal victory over Belding.

“Beyond (his talent), the positive stuff, he involves everybody, he’s a great leader,” Fleener said. “There’s not a time when he’s not working. If you’re going to have a leader like Arturo, he’s got to work every day and (Romero-Serrano) works every day. In practice, the bar is set by Arturo — (he sets) the expectation.

“And then he’s a 4.0 student, so this kid’s the full package.”

Romero-Serrano has erupted for 42 goals this season after netting 40 last fall.

Romero-Serrano, who also plays baseball in the spring, plans to play soccer in college but he’s not yet ready to commit to a school.

No reason to rush that decision. After all, he’s having so much fun as an Eagle. With his dad, Arturo Romero Fierro on Oakridge’s soccer coaching staff, it’s enriched the season.

“It means a lot, man. This community, I mean, it’s awesome,” Arturo Romero Fierro said. “They welcome me (and his family) like one of them.”

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Fleener has watched Romero-Serrano mature as a player and person over the course of his four-year varsity soccer career.

Talent is one thing, and Romero-Serrano has that, but he’s seeing the game so much better, too.

“The really big difference is his skill set is that much better than everybody else,” Fleener said. “It just adds to the effectiveness and the success.

“Over four years, it’s clear to me that the game’s slowing down for him and he sees things and anticipates things so well,” Fleener said. “(For example) avoiding a tackle because he sees it coming before it happens. That’s not easy to do.”


‘He does not missL’ Oakridge’s Arturo Romero-Serrano a record-setting revelation

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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