As a two-sport varsity star and head coach’s son, it could have been easy for Paul M. Rosa to act like the “big man” on campus, despite his smaller stature at five-feet, six-inches tall. However, the Wilcox football and baseball star is far from the average coach’s son.
Arrogance and overconfidence simply aren’t adjectives anyone would use to describe the rising junior. The football tailback and baseball shortstop, who mostly goes by the nickname “Bro,” is soft spoken, leads by example and excels in the classroom just as much as he does on the diamond and the gridiron.
“He’s always been a bit reserved, doesn’t show too much emotion with the highs and lows of the games,” commented Paul Rosa, who is the Wilcox Head Football Coach and Third Base Coach for baseball. “He’s also such a good student, that when it comes to possibly playing baseball in college he thinks about school first which is good. He’s going to get to play in an academic game in Arizona this summer. You get to play if you have a 4.0 or better. Schools like Yale or Harvard and other Ivy league schools will be there. I think he might do something like that over going to a big name baseball school.”
While coach Rosa believes his son might actually prefer football to baseball—Rosa admits he prefers the diamond.
“I think I like baseball a little bit more,” remarked the soon-to-be junior. “I think I want to play baseball in college at a four-year university. Thus far I’ve visited UC Santa Barbara and I like Cal Poly too.”
Rosa’s mother is no doubt fine with the prospect of her son choosing baseball over football.
“Freshman year football I was scared, because I’m his mom,” chuckled Corena Rosa. “I’m still scared, sometimes I watch with one hand over my face.”
Rosa doesn’t have the prototypical size for football and, while that is part of his and his family’s thinking about leaning towards a future in baseball, the teenager sounds more than ready to take on a larger role for the Chargers football squad this fall.
“I feel like my own expectations have definitely been raised up a notch,” admitted the shifty tailback. “Previously I was young and I could use that excuse. I never really did use it as an excuse, but people would say ‘it’s okay, you still have a couple more years and you’ll learn.’ Now, though, I don’t have as many years, I have to learn now.”
Last season, as a sophomore, Rosa was the Chargers’ leading tailback with 1,246 yards on a 150 carries, good for an impressive 8.3 yards-per-carry average. He also added 10 touchdowns. However, last year’s quarterback David Hernandez will have moved on to college. Hernandez also racked up 1,297 yards on the ground and had a whopping 23 rushing touchdowns. Now an upperclassman, Rosa will likely need to shoulder a bigger offensive load to help make up for Hernandez’s absence and take the pressure off first-year starting quarterback Alex Adame.
Given Rosa’s track record tackling all of his previous high school challenges, it would be unwise to doubt the one they call “Bro” excelling in the new role as “Big Bro” on the gridiron.