Rico Rosario, one of the top running backs in the state, made a huge life decision last week. He chose to remain at Waianae for his senior season rather than move to Nevada with his family and play at Liberty High.
Rosario will be staying with his grandmother. His parents — Shane and Sunny Rosario — and two younger brothers ages 9 and 6 moved to the Las Vegas area Friday.
“I was supposed to go and play for Liberty,” Rosario said via cellphone Tuesday. “My dad planned for me to move there and play there, but at the last minute, he left the decision up to me. It was kind of a tough decision. If I went, it would mean more exposure. But down here, we have a good team and I feel like we’re going to win the state championship.”
Baseball opportunities for the two younger Rosario children was part of the reason the family made the move, according to Rico.
“At first my dad was telling me I was moving before he decided to leave it up to me,” Rosario said. “He is kind of disappointed.”
Rosario has an offer from Division II Adams State in Alamosa, Colo., and he has drawn interest from FBS D-I schools Air Force, UNLV, Hawaii and Georgia.
Rosario rushed for 1,266 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. The Seariders beat Farrington 14-8 in the first round of the inaugural Open Division state tournament before losing 42-7 to eventual champion Saint Louis in the semifinals.
Rosario mentioned two standout defensive players — lineman/linebacker Kanai Mauga and linebacker Francis Mailo — and the team’s overall defense as big reasons why he thinks Waianae has a chance to go far.