Jesus Martinez has a lot of work ahead of him this fall, which is why he’s been doing exactly that this summer — putting in a lot of work.
As a veteran lineman in a rebuilding program under new coach Jay Dumas, the Davis senior will be called on to start at tackle on offense and defense, trenchwork that ‘s highly labor intensive.
He’s up for that.
“I’m more than excited because, as a senior, I want to represent the program in every way I can,” Martinez said. “I’ve been lifting and running and getting ready because I need to be ready. I know it’ll be hard but it will be rewarding, too.”
Martinez will be the lone returning all-league player for Dumas, who takes over a program that was thin on numbers last year, struggled with injuries and ranked last in CBBN offense and defense. Dumas will ask many new faces to rise up this fall, just as Martinez did a year ago.
After spending his entire sophomore season at the junior varsity level, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Martinez elevated to varsity and was a strong presence on the offensive line as a guard, where he earned all-CBBN honorable mention.
“I got good coaching and they helped me out a lot,” he said of his quick and successful rise. “Gaining confidence was the biggest thing, and then just working hard to keep getting better.”
When the Pirates attended the EWU camp this summer Martinez spent his time at tackle on both sides. That’s not only a change on offense but also on defense, where he started at end for the final six games last season.
“I’m comfortable at different positions, whatever we need,” he said. “It’s all a challenge I enjoy. The other thing is that now, as a senior, I want to be helping the younger guys get better. Being a leader on and off the field is important and I want to do that.”
The Pirates open the season at Mt. Tahoma in a rematch of Davis’ lone win last year. Their home opener follows the next week against Lewis & Clark and, after a third nonleaguer at Selah, Davis starts league play at home against Moses Lake on Sept. 27.
Davis concludes its season with three consecutive games at Zaepfel Stadium, capped by the intercity game with Eisenhower on Nov. 8.