A football player’s football player

Fairview’s Sam Martin catches the ball again and again

The Fairview Knights seem to have a special football season underway, thus far undefeated (4-0, 1-0) in contests featuring some spectacular wins.

Senior wide receiver Sam Martin is a big reason why.

Martin, #83

Martin, #83

Martin has caught 38 passes this season for 683 yards and five touchdowns; he also has a TD on the ground.

A varsity player for three years, Martin’s ability to catch balls that look impossible to catch – among other football talents – has drawn big attention from the media and college recruiters.

But right now Martin is focused on one thing and one thing only: next Friday night.

“We can’t just look at the games we’ve won and have the wins be the peak. We have to keep preparing,” Martin explains. “We have to stay humble and hungry and come to every game with fire. I think we have a great opportunity this season, but we have to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

The contest this weekend is with Arvada West (3-2, 2-0) in Arvada. Up against this opponent last year, Martin caught three touchdown passes for 172 yards, and also tossed his own TD.

Last Friday, the Knights shocked powerhouse Ralston Valley with a 43-18 lopsided win. Ralston brought a big name offense to town, but dug a hole with an early fumble. The Knights took control and kept their foot on the gas. Fairview had never before beaten Ralston Valley in previous meetings.

“We forced the first turnover and that set the tone for the whole game. They felt our defensive presence and we never let up,” Martin says.

Where the Knights go from here is fast becoming the local sports story to watch. Where Martin goes from here is just as intriguing. That story is just beginning. One thing is clear: this game is in his heart, soul and future.

“I’ve always loved football, and from a very young age I was dying to play,” he says. “As soon as my parents said yes I jumped at the chance.”

The Lafayette native began as a youth player with the Bobcats development organization, mainly as a running back – smaller than most but quick and balanced. He later played for Platt Middle School as a quarterback. When he arrived at Fairview, the coaches tried him at wide receiver and found the perfect fit. Martin has never looked back.

“I always had pretty good hands and that helps in a running style offense or where we’re throwing the ball a lot. Receiver just became my natural position,” he says.

Martin, at a lean 6’3’’, has football and size in his blood. Sam’s Dad, Scott Martin (a local mortgage broker with RE/MAX of Boulder’s in-house partner Premier Mortgage Group), was a tightend for the Buffaloes under Coach Bill McCartney and he stands 6’5”.

Today the younger Martin plays for a younger McCartney, Bill’s son Tom McCartney, Fairview head coach.

Martin is inspired by players like the NFL’s Calvin Johnson and AJ Green, CU’s Paul Richardson and Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, who also attended Fairview.

He gives a lot of credit to his parents for their encouragement in every aspect of his football experience – from playing catch in the back yard to taking an active role with his teams.

“They are my #1 fans,” he says.

Today, Martin is busy. Carrying a full load of classes and holding steady with a 3.0 GPA, he spends several days every week in the gym and every day (except game days) on the practice field. Come winter, he’ll play basketball for the Knights and strap on his snow skis.

Come the first week in February, Martin likely will learn where his 2014 football season will unfold. Among others, Iowa, Wyoming, CU and Rutgers have shown interest.

“I’m hopeful and keeping an open mind,” he says.

Does Martin, one of the state’s best wide receivers by any measure, have his sights set on playing the game professionally?

“That’s always in the back of your mind,” he says. “Right now, it’s a little early on. I’m just focused on this season.”

And the promise of those Friday night lights.

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SEE SOME OF SAM’S BIG CATCHES

Sam one-hands it vs. Overland

Sam one-hands it vs. Overland

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