Romar Dennis through the eyes of the Bulls
By Lauren Merola | Mar 6, 2023
Romar Dennis grew up in Huntingtown, Md. where lacrosse isn’t an “alternative” sport, as Dennis said. So, for as long as he can remember, Dennis played lacrosse, growing up in hand-me-down gear from his older brother Roberto Jr. It was a decision that made his father, Roberto Sr., who was a former New York Yankees minor league player, “furious,” Dennis joked.
By high school, Dennis wanted to go as far as lacrosse could take him. It led him to Loyola University Maryland, where he played in all 16 games his freshman year. He graduated from the program in 2017, having met net 55 times and adding 30 assists for the Greyhounds.
Dennis’ professional career started with the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse in 2017. He spent two seasons in Denver — winning a championship in 2018 — before joining Chrome of the Premier Lacrosse League. After one season, he was traded to Atlas and has since posted 28 points (13G, 5T, 5A) in 21 games played.
Dennis stunned in the debut of the Championship Series, when the top four teams of the 2022 regular season battled in a six-on-six competition, called Sixes. In the five games played in the round-robin tournament, Dennis netted 15 two-bombs, adding four single-point goals and four assists. He took home the Golden Stick trophy for his series-leading 34 scoring points.
Although Dennis, standing at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, can truck through any defender, he’s seen as a gentle giant off the field, and a funny one at that. This is Dennis, through the lens of his teammates:
Eric Law, Atlas attackman: Romar would be ‘Most likely to succeed on a reality TV show.’
Trevor Baptiste, Atlas faceoff specialist: Ro could do any show. He could do The Bachelor or Love Island, for sure. When I think of Ro in any situation, he’s thriving.
Law: If he ever did go on one, he’d be the star. With his personality, his demeanor, he’s an incredibly nice guy so I think that’d come through on camera. He’d become America’s heartthrob.
Baptiste: Sometimes I tell him that. I’m like, ‘Bro you should get on one of these shows. You’d tear it up.’ He’s like, ‘Nah, I can’t do that.’
Daniel Bucaro, Atlas midfielder: I’d say Romar is ‘Most likely to be a comedian.’ That’s literally who he is. He is the funniest guy ever.
Steven Brooks, Atlas assistant coach: He’s sarcastically witty.
Law: He has a dry sense of humor and he’s a bit sarcastic on some things.
Baptiste: He's very witty. He definitely has dry humor. He can do it all. He always knows exactly what to say.
Brooks: He’s very soft-spoken, very polite, but a comedian. At the Championship Series, him and Bucaro were bantering back and forth and all of a sudden Romar broke out into this accent. It was so funny and so witty but also sarcastic at the same time.
Koby Smith, Atlas long stick midfielder: He’s always going to be cracking jokes. He’s going to make light of any situation.
Law: Whatever TikTok trend that’s going on, he’s always imitating it, just in a short, little snippet.
Brooks: Romar is very quiet, so when you get to know him, his personality comes out and he’s almost like the team clown. Everybody’s around him and he’s always getting guys to laugh. He’s very soft-spoken at times, but he’s very bright as well.
Law: He’s got this big stature, physical guy, but he’s one of the more soft-spoken guys in the locker room.
Baptiste: I’m weary to say he’s soft-spoken, but he’s extremely humble. Talk about an amazing teammate. He’s a guy everyone in the locker room loves and wants to be around. I’m weary of softspoken because Romar is hilarious. He’s so funny. I can call him on any given day and he’d make me laugh for 30 minutes.
Bucaro: He’s never serious, except when games come.
Smith: In Catan games, too.
Baptiste: He does a good job of knowing when to be funny and when to be serious. He always knows how to lighten the mood in conversation off the field. On the field, he’s locked in.
Smith: Romar has that switch. It’s very, very uncommon in professional athletes. He can go from the field, where it’s super serious and he’s zoned in, but as soon as that whistle blows and the game’s over, there’s a smile on his face and his energy is bright. That’s one of the coolest things about him.
Brooks: I’ve been a huge fan of Romar since he’s been in the pro game, since his Outlaws days. I always loved how he played. We had an opportunity to pick him up and when I was on the Atlas coaching staff, I thought it was a no-brainer.
Law: I’ve been lucky enough to be teammates with Romar now for, I think this is year six. We had two years together with the Outlaws and then in the PLL, we’ve had three years together on Atlas, going into our fourth year together. I’ve been able to see Romar’s professional game grow and see the maturity of his game and confidence grow since his very first day as a professional lacrosse player.
Romar Dennis, Atlas midfielder: One of my favorite lacrosse memories is winning a championship with the Denver Outlaws.
Law: That 2018 championship was so special and so fun to do with that group. In the championship game, everyone had to chip in to make it happen. That was super fun and I’m really glad I got to be a part of that championship with Romar. The first day Romar came in, he actually dominated. I do actually remember [our first professional practice together] because it was for an Outlaws game. I just remember the first time I saw Romar shoot at practice, I have never seen anyone shoot the ball as hard as he does. My jaw hit the floor, especially coming from someone who doesn’t shoot the ball very hard. I was beyond impressed with him and could not believe the power he was able to generate, also how quick and elusive he was.
Smith: I live in the greater Towson area and I’ve grown up here, so when Romar was in college at Loyola, I got to watch him play a couple of games when I was in high school at Loyola Blakefield. My first experience seeing Romar was when he was playing in college and I said, ‘That kid’s going to be a stud one day.’ I remember wanting to be able to play around him or even against him one day.
Bucaro: He’s just a stud. No one in any league can guard him.
Baptiste: Romar is someone who can stretch a defense, someone who can beat their matchup, he’s drawing slides, he’s making the right plays. I think Sixes especially have shown that he can be a real threat. He is a real threat.
Smith: In my opinion, Romar should be on the roster week in and week out. There are not many players like him and the Championship Series showed that.
Bucaro: He should be playing every game. He’s one of the best players in the league.
Law: I think we can count on one hand the players that can shoot a two-pointer on the run like Romar.
Brooks: The way he’s been playing has been outstanding and guys feed off that.
Law: He’s been by far one of my favorite guys to be around.
Smith: He brings us all together. The first person to invite me to a Catan game was Romar and [Atlas midfielder Bryan] Costabile. Watching those two guys get after it on the board is crazy.
Dennis: Costabile is my roommate for every training camp and every game. We play a lot of video games, a lot of snacking, we love the same movie and show franchises. When we have five hours to kill, it’s Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Catan is a big board game we play. We’ve got the main and expansion pack. Our room is Catan HQ.
Baptiste: I pop into Catan games. It’s always a ton of fun. They’re definitely competitive, everyone is trying to win. Sometimes you gotta cross somebody else in the game to get the win. Sometimes you have to target some people. That happens, but it’s all love.
Dennis: I’d like to say myself [is the best Catan player]. Cade van Raphoorst is a sneaky and selfish Catan player. Costa is definitely up there as well.
Baptiste: Costa and Romar have a couple of wins under their belts. Cade is a fundamental Catan player. He’s talking probability.
Smith: These guys love being around each other.
Bucaro: Romar brings our team together but he also does that in the community. He’s traveling every weekend to help other people.
Law: The amount of work he does with local programs throughout the country, with the Harlem Lacrose program and helping out with the PLL Assists, he does a lot more than is shown, that’s the way he wants it to be.
Brooks: He’s always doing PLL clinics, he’s always going to inner-city leagues to talk and grow the game to a wider demographic.
Baptiste: First off, him being at this top level is doing so much for the game. Him being who he is, Afro-Latino and bringing his flavor to the game does a lot in and of itself. Actively, he does a lot of work with Harlem Lacrosse. He’s doing camps in Compton and going around as a part of the BLA, Black Lacrosse Alliance, and doing a lot of active work with that. He’s always an advocate for the game. He’s reaching out to kids and having meaningful conversations with them all over the country.
Bucaro: The way Romar reacts with the fans and all the work with young kids that he does – he always has a packed schedule, traveling every weekend to help grow the game and prove that the sport is for everyone. He does it right.
Law: After a game, Romar is always going to be one of the last guys on the field signing autographs and talking to fans. He really tries to grow the game at a grassroots level.
Brooks: And he doesn’t see himself as a trailblazer. He sees himself as everybody else.
Law: I work with a program called Denver City Lax. Whenever he comes to Denver, Romar is always the first one to send me a message to help out with the clinic or come say hi to the kids. The kids love him.
Brooks: He’s like a little kid around all these other little kids, high-fiving them and playing alongside them. You see these kids' faces and they’re like ‘Wow you’re huge and a pro and you’re talking to me?’ and he’s like ‘Yeah, man, I’m just like you.’ How he gives back to the game is what makes me most proud to be his coach. That’s all he wants to do is give back.
Smith: And he has my back. He’s a friend that will always have your back.
Law: He’s incredibly loyal.
Baptiste: [My favorite thing] about Romar is humor, his humility, his respect for other people, respect for the game and his team-first mentality. That translates to friendship. He’s always going to want the best for his friends and be looking out for them.
Law: Romar is a chameleon. He can get along with anyone in any situation. Everyone should want a Romar Dennis as a part of their team.