The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

‘Like brothers’: Inside W&L football’s dynamic junior duo

 Juniors Jacob Romero and Uno Christopher bring their middle school football chemistry to Wilson Field
Washington and Lee University

“Uh, like brothers?” That was associate head coach Bobby Jones’ response when asked about the relationship between two of his star players Uno Christopher, ’25, and Jacob “Jake” Romero, ’25.

“I very much think that Uno thinks he’s the big brother, and Jake thinks he’s the little brother,” Jones said. “I don’t know if they’ll agree with that, but that’s how it comes off to me.”

Christopher and Romero are a talented pair. Christopher was a second-team all-conference selection his sophomore year for his 27 tackles with 8.5 of them being tackles for a loss. Romero recorded 480 all-purpose yards in his sophomore campaign and already has 672 yards this year with three games left to play.

“I knew pretty quickly that Jacob would be able to translate very early,” said Jones, who is also the offensive coordinator for the team. “Uno started playing because he was giving us a scout team look, and we couldn’t block him when he pass-rushed.”

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The pair started their friendship, or brotherhood, long before their time on Wilson Field. They met in seventh grade at Thornburg Middle School in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia. Christopher transferred to Romero’s school hoping to play at Massaponax High School which Thornburg fed into. It was a natural fit from the start.

“I can’t even describe it,” Christopher said. “It just clicked.”

Romero and Christopher said they were best friends from the start along with two other teammates Luke Morley, who played football at Navy, and Mike Swain, who played at Campbell and is now a redshirt sophomore at Towson.

“We just made a big melting pot,” Romero said. “We were best friends, always training together, playing football or doing whatever.”

The four carried that friendship to Massaponax where they all captained a district and regional championship team their senior year in 2021. Romero was first-team all-district as a running back, and Christopher was named the Area Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year.

“After every Friday night game, all four of us would go stay at our friend’s house,” Romero said. “We were together 24/7”

That meant when it came time for college recruiting the pair was eager to stay together. Jones said Romero was torn between W&L and another school.

“I told Jake at one point just because the levels of education are so drastically different [between the two schools] that if these were two options that we were considering equally then maybe we needed to go a different direction,” Jones said. “An hour later he committed.”

Romero committed to W&L the summer before his senior year.

“Yeah, I’d be dumb not to go to Washington and Lee,” Romero said.

He pitched Christopher on the idea of playing together just once.

“Coming here together would be so cool,” Romero said. “I might have mentioned it… but it was his process.”

Christopher committed in December of his senior year. In his commitment tweet, he said “Let’s get this ring,” and tagged Romero.

They did just that the following season, leading W&L to an 8-2 regular season record and an Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship.

After a more disappointing 5-5 sophomore campaign, the pair are stepping into leadership roles on the team this season as juniors. Christopher was voted one of the five team captains, and Romero was appointed to the team’s leadership council to help make decisions for the program.

“Having guys looking at us to make those big plays at a younger age,” Christopher said. “We’re kind of used to that. That’s how it was my freshman year of high school.”

The Generals are 6-1 this season as they enter their hardest stretch of conference play in search of another ring. No matter how the season goes, Romero knows that Christopher will be there by his side.

“He’s just always been there for me through hard times in my life,” Romero said. “[He] gives me a shoulder to, not really cry on; we don’t cry. But he’s just always been there.”

On the field, nothing changes.

“It’s great to just come together and have a really impactful season,” Christopher said. “We’re having a really good year so far, so I’m looking forward to what we can do in these next four games.”

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