Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Martin’

Andrew Martin, destroyer of worlds. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

One giant walking, talking bruise with an undying love for IHop pancakes.

Some football players try and do things with finesse, try and run away from their rivals, try to keep their uniforms clean.

Andrew Martin was never, ever one of those players.

“Hambone” is what you get if you build a time machine, go back to the ’50s, grab the guy who’s covered in mud and grass chunks, the guy everyone else is trying not to be hit by, then bring that dude back to modern times.

In other words, a new-school player with an old-school mind set.

Martin rarely dodged, always choosing to run right through fools instead, whether he was playing offense or defense for the Coupeville High School football team.

Hand him the ball, and the human battering ram often ran over the top of his own blockers, surging into the crowd, tearing off chunks of yardage (and sometimes ripping off opponent’s arms and legs in the process).

Martin bulldozes a would-be tackler.

Even in the open field, with no one in front of him, Martin sometimes pivoted backwards, seemingly just so he could feel the thwack one more time as he obliterated a would-be tackler.

He got in the end zone a fair amount of times, especially in big games, but all his best runs, all the plays which linger after his prep career has ended, involved slo-mo destruction.

The same was true on the defensive side of the ball, where Martin recorded tackles at a much more impressive pace than stat guys often recorded.

Rumbling from his linebacker position, or anywhere Wolf coaches plugged him into to as they employed various schemes, he was a wall of bricks.

Few got past him, no one got through him, and virtually everyone who wandered through Martin’s air space paid for it with a deep, aching burn down in their nether regions the next day.

He was a wrecker, a rumbler, a glorious throwback to a time when football players knew only one way to play the game — all-out, aggressive, and loaded for bear on every play.

Martin rose to the occasion, never more than on the night last fall when CHS football sealed the deal on its first winning season in 13 years.

Playing against 2A Anacortes, the Wolf senior rumbled for all three Coupeville touchdowns during a 27-carry, 137-yard swan song in front of his home fans.

Want to marinate in the moment one more time? Pop over to:


During Martin’s final season, I travelled to the team’s road games with Andy’s parents, and saw a different side to him than I might otherwise have.

After the Friday Night Lights had dimmed, after the roar of the crowd had receded, Andy would hobble back to the car, the effects of his playing style evident in how he moved, and in his good-natured description of all his various aches, pains, and injuries.

Yet, he never stopped moving forward. On the field, and in life.

Whether he was arguing for why he deserved post-game KFC, even if the nearest chicken outlet was way off the highway, breaking down every play from the game just ended, or trash-talking (in private) an opposing team player who tried (and failed) to intimidate him, Andy was a quality traveling companion.

I respect his game, appreciate the passion and grit he played with, and always found him to be quietly hilarious.

“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.”

Off the field, the youngest member of the Martin clan was a strong student, and a talented member of the CHS band.

He also had some quality moments for the Wolf track and field squad, and could have been a beast on the basketball court like dad Jonathan, if he hadn’t needed downtime to heal his myriad football injuries.

But Andy made his mark on the gridiron, and jammed into the back of a car on the way home from games in some far-flung outpost, and that’s more than enough.

Today, his exploits, his fire, the way he lived, breathed, and (sometimes) suffered for football carry him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find him, along with older brother Jacob, hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

Bring him some KFC, sit back, and let him tell you in vivid detail what REALLY happened down there on the field, under the dog pile, away from the eyes of the ref.

Can’t write about it all, maybe, but it still makes for a heck of a story.

Read Full Post »

Coupeville senior Andrew Martin was named to the All-Conference team, despite not playing any league games. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hard-hitting, fumble-causing Sean Toomey-Stout, a contender to play in the All-State game, was also honored by North Sound Conference coaches.

Well, this is a nice bonus.

Despite not playing a single league game this season, the Coupeville High School football squad still landed two players on the All-Conference team.

The Wolves chose to step away from the North Sound Conference for a year, to give a young, inexperienced team time to build and mature.

It worked out nicely, as CHS went 5-4, claiming the program’s first winning record since 2005, but the decision seemed to deny any of the Wolves a chance to be honored by league coaches.

But not so fast.

Hoping to get his seniors consideration for the All-State game, Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith approached his league counterparts and hit pay-dirt.

Not only were the AD’s in support of making sure the Wolves remained viable in the All-State process, but they turned around and voted two of them onto the All-Conference team.

Sean Toomey-Stout was named to the First Team as a Specialist, while also being honored as a Second Team pick for his play in the secondary.

Fellow senior Andrew Martin was tabbed as a Second Team player as both a running back and linebacker.

Selections to the 2A/1A/B All-State game, known as the Earl Barden Classic, will be announced later.

The All-Conference honors topped Coupeville’s season-ending football banquet Wednesday night, as Wolf coach Marcus Carr and staff honored their team.

Dawson Houston, Martin, Gavin Straub, Toomey-Stout, and Gavin Knoblich received four-year awards for playing every season of their high school career, while 25 players and two managers lettered.


Varsity letter winners:

Nick Armstrong
Isaiah Bittner
Brian Casey
Dominic Coffman
Sage Downes
Dakota Eck
Scott Hilborn
Dawson Houston
Daylon Houston
Cole Hutchinson
Alex Jimenez
Gavin Knoblich
Joven Light
Andrew Martin
Melanie Navarro
Jonathan Partida
Kevin Partida
Gabe Shaw
Breanna Silveira
Ben Smith
DJ Stadler
Gavin St Onge
Gavin Straub
Sean Toomey-Stout
Josh Upchurch
Tim Ursu
Kai Wong


Participation certificates (8th grade practice squad):

Cameron Breaux
JP Edoukou

Read Full Post »

“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sean “The Torpedo” Toomey-Stout explodes, sending a fumble flying to the skies.

Dakota Eck slices through the defense.

Gavin Knoblich wrestles down the Anacortes QB before he can get his pass off.

No one escapes from Gavin St Onge. No one.

Andrew Martin fights through the defense on his way to a 137-yard, three-touchdown night.

Toomey-Stout climbs the ladder to pull in a catch.

Wolf managers Brenna Silveira (left) and Melanie Navarro get photo-bombed by head coach Marcus Carr.

Friday Night Lights shine, and the cameras pop.

Visiting Cow Town for an evening, John Fisken was on hand Friday for Coupeville’s 18-6 waxing of visiting Anacortes, and the pics above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, and maybe get an early Christmas present for Gram and Gramps, pop over to:


Read Full Post »

Gavin St Onge leads off a look at Coupeville High School football Senior Night portraits. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jonathan Partida (24)

Dawson Houston (12)

Sean Toomey-Stout

Gavin Straub

Andrew Martin

Gavin Knoblich

The Magnificent Seven

Tis the season for senior salutes.

Friday night brought farewells for Coupeville High School football players and cheerleaders, followed by an 18-6 Wolf win over Anacortes.

That allowed the seven Class of 2020 gridiron giants to accomplish what so many seniors before them had missed out on – bringing home a winning season.

Read Full Post »

Gavin St Onge is a key part of the first Coupeville High School football team to post a winning record since 2005. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It is done.

All the big plays on the turf, all the work off the field, all the blood, sweat, and tears in the locker room, the weight room, and on the practice field, paid off Friday night.

Unleashing a dominating defense, the Coupeville High School football squad stuffed visiting Anacortes 18-7, claiming their fourth win in their last five games and clinching the program’s first winning season since 2005.

Now 5-3, with just a trip to Bellevue to play Interlake left on the schedule, the Wolves have silenced the ghosts of the past.

There have been 13 complete seasons since the last time a Coupeville gridiron team finished on the plus side of the ledger.

Twelve losing years and one .500 mark in 2014.

Six head coaches, numerous assistants and managers and ball boys, and hundreds of players.

It’s been a lifetime.

Literally, since none of this year’s Wolf seniors were even in kindergarten in 2005.

But there they were Friday night, Coupeville’s seven seniors, Andrew Martin, Jonathan Partida, Sean Toomey-Stout, Dawson Houston and the three Gavin’s – Straub, Knoblich, and St Onge.

Each one pulling off big plays, each one writing a memory they will never forget, each one walking off Mickey Clark Field for the final time, having accomplished what so many others before them had been unable to achieve.

And, in the midst of a field full of celebrating players, family members, classmates, friends and fans, second-year Coupeville coach Marcus Carr stood off to the side, a giant, quiet smile gracing his face.

“It means a lot; I really wanted this for these seniors,” he said. “We’ve been rebuilding the program, and changing the culture, and sending them out on this high note … it means everything.

“This team as a whole has put in the work, on the field, and in the times when no one sees it,” Carr added. “I am so proud of them all.”

Coming into their home finale, the big question was how the Wolves would bounce back after a hard-fought loss last week to Island rival South Whidbey.

Anacortes was a bit of an unknown, as well.

The Seahawks rep a solidly-sized 2A school, while Coupeville is among the smallest 1A schools in the state.

With Coupeville breaking from the North Sound Conference and playing an independent schedule this season, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith had to scramble to pull together a schedule.

With Anacortes also being in a severe rebuilding phase, the Wolf head man rolled the dice on this one, and it paid off with a very-competitive game between comparable teams.

The visitors had a 32-25 advantage in players, but have no seniors this season and just three juniors, including fleet-footed starting quarterback Joseph Cutter.

With 18 freshmen on the roster, the Seahawks scheduled three games against varsity teams such as Coupeville and six against JV squads, and entered Friday at 5-2 and on a five-game winning streak.

The Wolves, who boast 10 freshmen of their own, came out strong however, and never backed down.

On offense, Coupeville employed a ferocious running attack, with Andrew Martin putting together a career-best night under the lights to key a Wolf attack which rang up 200+ yards.

Running like equally hard-nosed older brother Jacob did before him, #42 doesn’t always get enough credit for how he has played through countless nagging injuries while wreaking havoc as a two-way warrior.

I’ve seen Andy hobble into an IHop after a game, moving like an 80-year-old man, but pity anyone who gets between “Ham-bone” and the biscuits ‘n gravy awaiting him.

When he runs, slamming at full tilt into every potential tackler, daring them to bring him to the ground, the youngest heir to the Martin football legacy defines the word “beast.”

Friday night, legs churning through the grass on his home field for the final time, he racked up an unofficial 137 rushing yards on 27 carries, scoring all three of Coupeville’s touchdowns.

Add nice runs from Dakota Eck, Scott Hilborn, and Toomey-Stout, plus big-time catches by Knoblich and Toomey-Stout and the Wolves were moving the ball.

When they had the ball, that is.

Coupeville only had a single possession in the first quarter, yet led 6-0 when the teams went to the break.

Wolf frosh Daylon Houston, showing off his big leg, mashed the opening kickoff, giving Anacortes the first crack at scoring, and the Seahawks came out with a mix of plays.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

In the early going, Anacortes had exactly one play it ran. Maybe 1.5.

Using a little razzle-dazzle and trickery to keep the Wolf defense guessing where the ball was going, the result was always the same — Cutter kept the ball and dodged would-be tacklers.

The half of a play was the Seahawks QB’s ability to use deceptive hand claps when signalling his center to hike the ball, getting Coupeville to jump off-sides several times on the opening drive.

Anacortes had the end zone in its sights, and then, whammo, one play changed everything.

Facing a third-and-two from Coupeville’s 25, the Seahawks went to their bread-and-butter play, and Martin, throwing blockers out of his way with both hands, stepped up and tried to rip Cutter in half.

Burying the Anacortes QB in the backfield, he dropped him for a five-yard loss, and effectively ended the drive on the spot.

Sure, Cutter still had one more play, but it was a wobbly fourth-down pass from a guy still trying to get the stars out of his eyes, and it fell harmlessly over the middle.

Handed the ball for the first time, Coupeville QB Dawson Houston and Co. made short work of it, piling up 69 yards on seven plays, with Martin eventually crashing in for a three-yard touchdown run.

Before we got to that point, Eck ripped off back-to-back 10-yard-plus runs, and Martin blew up the Hawk defense on a 36-yard rumble.

On that one, he went up the middle, hit a different gear, skidded to a halt midway through the run to lurch around a tackler, then carried a pack of screaming Seahawks on his back for another couple steps.

Anacortes had some fight in it, however, and actually took the lead for a short time, using a three-yard scoring run from Cutter on the first play of the second quarter.

It was a pretty, pretty play, as the Hawk gunslinger went right, skidded back to his left, dodged a potential sack, then swept around the left side and beat three Wolves to the goal line by a step.

Coupeville’s answer? A nine-play, 62-yard drive on the next possession, with Martin’s 15-yard scoring run giving the Wolves a lead they would never relinquish.

While the running game kept the Seahawks on their heels, the big play on the drive was an 18-yard pass to Knoblich, with Houston zinging the ball over the middle to his tall target as he slashed from left to right.

With the score 12-7 in favor of CHS, the two teams went into a defensive stalemate across the remainder of the second quarter.

The Wolves recovered an onside kick, with Partida flying in from the left side to snag Daylon Houston’s perfectly-placed kick, but their next drive stalled out at the Anacortes 20 thanks to a lost fumble.

Coming out of the halftime break, Coupeville put the game on ice with a nine-play, 69-yard drive which wore five minutes off the clock.

Martin was a battering ram, and ended things with a one-yard TD plunge, but it was Toomey-Stout who made the highlight reel pop with a 30-yard catch-and-run.

Dawson Houston’s pass was crisp and on the hands, but it was the work after the catch, when “The Torpedo” picked up the final 10 yards while fighting through three defenders, which made the crowd lose it.

Anacortes should have brought Toomey-Stout down, but, every muscle in his body poppin’, the Wolf senior kept on churning, each step sweet agony as he drove the Hawk trio back, step by step.

When the Seahawks get up Saturday morning, and every part of their bodies ache, they will remember that play, and they will wince. And then wince some more for years to come.

For four years, Sean, like older brother Cameron and twin sister Maya, has been a relentless worker, in the weight room, in the classroom, and on the practice field.

Plays like that, when you make dang sure they will always remember you, is why he does what he does.

From that point on, the scoring was done, but the big plays weren’t.

With Coupeville Defensive Coordinator Bennett Richter sending his guys running wild, the Wolves got savage.

Eck came flying around the side and dragged a runner down in the backfield for a big loss.

Straub hammered another Hawk, also driving him backwards when he wanted to go forward.

Ben Smith, who always brings the fire and the energy, lived out the words of Muhammad Ali, to “rumble, young man, rumble.”

Gabe Shaw and St Onge and Kai Wong and Isaiah Bittner and all the linemen stepped up and smacked people.

And then, to close out the game, the home stand, and 13 long seasons of struggle, Coupeville put the ball in the hands of Andrew Martin.

One, two, three, four, five times in a row he ran the ball, each time charging into the heart of the defense with a laugh on his lips as he crushed those who dared to step into his path.

Across the five plays, Martin picked up the final 27 yards of his night, but each play meant more than that.

Each thump, each thwack, each crunch, echoed up, through the stands, and across the prairie.

The sounds of Martin’s success, the sounds of his team’s rebirth, carried on the slight Whidbey breeze which wafted through the stadium, and the message was loud and clear.

The past is dead.

It’s a new day for Wolf football.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »