By Kevin Eickman
From the very start, it was obvious that Son Martinez was not going to mail it in. The first time you saw him step on the football field or the basketball court, it was obvious that Martinez was going to be one of those players willing to do the hard work it takes for him to improve. Over his four years as a Buccaneer, Martinez did just that.
Excelling in both football and basketball, Martinez always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Making the big shot in basketball or coming up with a big play on the football field, just when Milford needed it the most. In a football game against Seaford, perhaps long forgotten by many football fans, Martinez gave a performance that in my opinion defined his career as a Buccaneer.
Having gone the first six weeks of the season without a victory, Milford was well aware that their only chance for a win would come against the visiting Blue Jays. As the game wore on, injuries began to take their toll on the Buccaneers. Milford would end up losing their top running backs in Vance Daniels and Octavion Wilson. Martinez would step up and shoulder the offensive load for Milford, as well as excel on kick-off and punt returners. With Milford pinned deep in their own end, late in the game, Martinez would blow through a hole and run 64 yards and force Seaford to try and go the length of the field. The effort that night demonstrated what anyone who had ever played with Martinez already knew; he was always ready and could always be counted on.
This past Thursday Martinez committed to Delaware Valley University, achieving one of the goals he had set for himself when starting high school. “I have been working for this since my freshman year, it is something I have always wanted to do,” Martinez stated. While at Delaware Valley, Martinez intends to major in sports psychology, with the goal of working in athletics or physical therapy.
Martinez gives a lot of the credit to his mother with regards to his achievements. “My mother was really inspirational to me, I have five little sisters and two little brothers and she has been a role model to us all,” said Martinez.
Talking with Milford football coach Shaun Strickland, it was easy to understand just how much Martinez has meant to Milford football. “He was a natural leader who would contribute however we needed him to. It didn’t matter if it was offense, defense or special teams,” Strickland said. “You can’t teach work ethic, and that’s one of his greatest assets.” Strickland went on to add, “When I first met him, he was working two jobs and still finding a way to make it to the weight room.”
Martinez is projected to play in the defensive backfield in college, a position that Strickland thinks he can excel at. “I think in that system, with his athletic ability, Son can be a quality defensive back,” Strickland stated. “Once he gets into a college weight program and looking at the size and strength he will add, he can be special.”
When asked about his favorite memory of Martinez, Strickland spoke about his effort against Indian River this past season. While Milford would end up on the short end of the score, it was Martinez whose effort got Milford back in the game when all seemed lost. “We were headed for a sure defeat, but he refused to quit. He returned a block kick for a touchdown and put us right back in the game,” said Strickland. “It’s that will to win, that continuing effort, that will serve him on the football field, as well as life.”
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