Isaac Martinez Featured In Monitor Newspaper

Isaac Martinez In Monitor's Feature Story
Posted on 11/14/2013
Isaac Martinez Monitor Article

Isaac Martinez, outstanding football player for the Edcouch-Elsa Yellow Jacket football team was recently featured in The Monitor:

http://www.rgvsports.com/prepsports/football/article_15d13154-4ce4-11e3-b0d3-0019bb30f31a.html


Martinez's Size, Athleticism 
A weapon for No. 4 Yellowjackets

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:20 pm | Updated: 11:44 pm, Wed Nov 13, 2013.

Dennis Silva II | The Monitor RGVSports.com


ELSA — Words don’t do Isaac Martinez justice. Actions define the Edcouch-Elsa senior tight end/defensive end.

Take last Thursday, for example. Prior to his team’s regular season finale at Rio Grande City, Edcouch-Elsa coach Joe Marichalar received a call from his niece in Dallas, who is dealing with skin cancer. His niece wished the Yellowjackets good luck and asked Marichalar to call her after the game to let her know how they did.

Marichalar relayed the story to his team during a pre-game talk, a motivational tactic for an otherwise meaningless game, emphasizing how what they do on the field is important to everybody, even an ill girl a half-dozen hours away. After the 50-21 win, with the players re-entering the locker room, Martinez stopped by to talk with Marichalar, the only Yellowjacket player to do so, offering a fist-pound and saying Marichalar’s niece would be in his prayers.

“That’s Isaac,” Marichalar said. “He takes everything to heart. He’s just a good guy, and a lot of good things are going to follow him.”

'MAN AMONGST BOYS'

Off the field, Martinez is someone who brings his team together. On it, he helps tear other teams apart, so much so that he has earned a pair of nicknames: ‘The Beast’ and ‘Megatron,’ after Detroit Lions superstar receiver Calvin Johnson.

 

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Martinez is a daunting task for opponents. At tight end, he has caught 22 passes for 408 yards and nine touchdowns, numbers that would be greater if Edcouch-Elsa’s offense wasn’t rich in playmakers. In a few games as defensive end, he has amassed 21 total tackles, six hurries and 1.5 sacks.

“Defenses, since the beginning of the season and even since last season, plan their schemes around him,” offensive coordinator Joseph Lee Garcia said. “He does a great job with his role. He will make a play every down.

“He’s a man amongst boys.”

Martinez is No. 4 Edcouch-Elsa’s leading receiver. Whenever he’s not facing double teams, he’s scoring touchdowns. Whenever he is facing tight coverage, he’s blocking, like when he set up Israel Loredo’s game-winning TD run in double overtime earlier this season at Roma, delivering a crushing blow that players and coaches still talk about.

“I’ve just been trying to help out my team any way I can,” Martinez said. “Whatever it takes. I’ll play wherever, as long as I’m on the field helping my team get wins.”

IN ISAAC THEY TRUST

Martinez is quick to deflect attention. He praises his teammates whenever possible and is humble with his words.

But his coaches and teammates have no problem doing the talking for him.

“He’s special. He’s a luxury to have,” Marichalar said. “Whenever you get put into tough situations, you can just lob it his way and feel pretty confident he has the advantage to get the ball. We’ll take that 50/50 chance all day.”

More than a few times this season, Martinez has been on the receiving end of jump balls thrown his way despite defenders draped all over his No. 5 jersey. He has played football with most of his teammates since he was a kid, and that shows.

It’s not uncommon for quarterback Noe Gonzalez, who has played with Martinez since they were nine years old, to unleash a random bomb Martinez’s way, and to be rewarded for his faith.

“He’s a safe route for us,” Gonzalez said. “He’s the go-to guy whenever we need a touchdown. The chemistry has always been there.”

HE'S GOT SMARTS

Aside from the physical gifts, football I.Q. is another thing that separates Martinez from his peers.

Garcia talks often about his star receiver’s ability to make reads and suggest plays to call, often adjusting his own alignment in-game depending on where the defense is playing. Martinez has seen enough defenses to know what will take place prior to the snap.

Most of the defenses Martinez has seen this season have been pretty consistent: two or three defenders, with a safety over the top. There will often be long stretches when Martinez doesn’t even get the ball, but that’s because the attention being paid toward him is opening things up for guys like Loredo, Miguel Mariscal, Diego Garcia and others.

Martinez wouldn’t have it any other way, Garcia said.

ONE LAST GO

“We know he plays for the team,” Garcia said. “That’s all that matters. He understands that his part will come when it comes. He takes pride in blocking, pancaking two or three guys on plays, and he feeds off that. This is a guy who is just as happy making a block as he is a touchdown.”

Martinez knows this is his last go-round as a Yellowjacket as the Class 4A bi-district playoffs loom against Alice at home on Friday. Last season he was a key player in helping Edcouch-Elsa get to the third round. But this season he wants more, because it means more.

“I’ve known almost all of these guys since I was little, and it’s just awesome playing with them,” Martinez said. “This is exciting, more than nervous. We all love playing football and we’re just hoping to make the most out of it.”

dsilva@themonitor.com