When you hear about playing sports, often sportsmanship is one of the core values of any competitive event. There are players who lack sportsmanship and there are those who show it on a consistent basis. Greenville’s Junior offensive lineman, Daniel Martinez, is a player who shows good sportsmanship every-time he steps foot on the football field. His efforts of showing good sportsmanship never go unnoticed which is why he received the 2019 UMAC Football All-Sportsmanship Award.
Martinez spoke on the accomplishment stating that it’s an honor although he fell short of some goals this season making 1st or 2nd team all-conference. It is a motivation for him to get better, but to even just be recognized in any way by the conference is a really big deal to him. It’s a big deal to Martinez because he hasn’t really won any awards for football in the past and the fact that this is a college football award, it’s something he appreciates and doesn’t take lightly.
Speaking on the season Martinez said that it was a very successful season going 8-2 on the regular season, unfortunately, it ended the way it did playing Olivet Nazarene University. It was a tough loss, but the fact that the Panthers got to the postseason and played in a bowl game it showed how hard their players worked in the offseason to develop everyone. “It’s a bright future and hopefully next season we reach our goals,” said Martinez.
He is a player who played a huge role in the offensive line being one of the leaders on the team. Last year, he really focused on trying to develop into a leader, but this season it was kind of solidified as him, along with other guys on the offensive line, Sam Fitch and Scott Woker, as they all lead the rest of the offensive lineman. He was successful as a leader, there were even times when he had to discipline the whole offensive line, even himself for either being late or the smallest details. “The offensive line has a stricter culture to where if one messes up, then we all mess up,” said Martinez. It is something that made them better and allowed more success this season.
“On the field, there is so much hitting and tension,” said Martinez. There’s always going to be those moments where you mouth off to other players, but he feels like he’s been able to maintain himself through his whole career. Whether it’s helping someone on the opposing or our team up, or telling them they’re doing a good job, that is just something part of his nature.
Football has always been apart of his life. A funny story from Martinez is when he was a kid he used to watch his older brother cheer for the Chargers and he used to think football was stupid because his brother watched it. Just a sibling rivalry type of deal.
Football has been an escape for him and he’s proved a lot of people wrong. Martinez mentioned that he remembers never starting a single game in high school and being teased for his injuries and lack of playing time. It’s always been about proving people wrong with football and he’s always had the satisfaction of doing so. He is highly motivated because of all the doubts and hardships he’s dealt with.
Martinez goes by the quote “Doesn’t matter get better!” Meaning that whatever hits you in life, or whatever difficulties you face in the end it doesn’t matter and you have to get better. It has helped him in life get through a lot of hurdles as he started growing more and more in life. This quote has set him on the right track. “Doesn’t matter get better,” not only on the football field, but in the classroom, and relationships with people.
Martinez will be going into his senior season next year with many goals but the most crucial ones to him are to be a team captain, earn academic all-conference, win a conference championship, and earn 1st or 2nd team all-conference.
Media by Derreion Twitty