SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as 99¢ for the first month
SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as 99¢ for the first month

Green's Trey Martin has record night even in defeat

Andy Harris
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN In what's been an up-and-down season for the Green Bulldogs, last Friday represented a memorable moment even in defeat.

Junior receiver Trey Martin set a new single-season record for the program with his 14th and 15th receiving touchdowns, accounting for both of his team's scores in a 34-14 loss to Jackson.

Green's Trey Martin hauls in a touchdown pass against Worthington Kilbourne. Martin, a junior, set a school record last week with his 14th and 15th touchdown catching on the season.

It's a feat Martin didn't set out to accomplish at the start of the season and in fact, didn't realize he was close to until the previous record holder mentioned it to him.

"It's something that just happened. We have a whole new offense where we just spread the field and throw the ball, so I started getting more opportunities," Martin said. "I actually didn't know how close I was (to the record) until after the (Worthington) Kilbourne game when our assistant principal, Evan Elliott, told me that I was close to his record."

Elliott, who played for the Bulldogs a decade and a half ago, playing his final season in 2006, mentioned the record to Martin following a 30-27 playoff loss in which Martin found the end zone as part of a late-game comeback.

Martin broke the record with his first catch in Green's next game against Jackson, but he admits that going from five touchdowns as a sophomore to 15 and counting as a junior is hard to process.

"Initially, I thought this was crazy because I didn't realize been in end zone that many times," Martin said, adding that he believes his best quality as a receiver isn't his speed or even his hands. "I would say it's my work ethic ... when I get the ball, I'm know I'm going to keep working to get more yards."

Tracing his progress on the football field actually leads back to the hardwood and Martin's freshman season as a member of the varsity basketball team for head coach Mark Kinsley's squad.

It was there Martin was able to team up with his older brother Kaleb, who went on to become the program's all-time leading scorer and now a guard for the Charleston (W.Va.) University Golden Eagles.

Green's Trey Martin hauls in a touchdown against Worthington Kilbourne.

"My first year of varsity basketball, my older brother showed me the ropes of what it takes to be a varsity athlete," Martin said. "The most important lesson he taught me was that you're here for a reason and the coaches wouldn't put you out there if they didn't think you could do it."

That lesson has served him well on both the football field and basketball court. It may not have pertained to the weirdness that Martin and his football teammates would face this season in a COVID-impacted campaign that saw them in limbo at the outset due to Summit County health guidelines.

Initially left out when the Federal League created its schedule, the Bulldogs pieces together a makeshift schedule that saw them open with four non-league games and only play one league rival - Lake - before the playoffs.

The mindset, one espoused by head coach Mark Geis all season long, has been to appreciate every game and practice, knowing it could be the last if the virus worsened and forced an early end to the season.

With limited crowds at games and the pandemic impacting college programs' recruiting effort, Martin's standout season has drawn interest from Mid-American Conference programs such as the University of Akron, among others, through social media.

Playing college football has been part of the plan for Martin all along and there too he can draw on wisdom from his big brother.

"It definitely has always been on my mind and been goal to play Division I college football," Martin said. "He (his brother) told me that it's important not to play specifically for those offers, and once they do come, play the same way you always have."

Those words of wisdom are guiding one aspect of Martin's football career, but with games left to play this season, his primary focus is being part of more wins and finding the end zone as often as needed to help get his team into the win column.