Anyone who watched Drake Martinez carry the football the past two seasons for Laguna Beach will tell you the all-league, all-CIF, all-Orange County running back is definitely all that. Now he can add all-southern California to his growing list of honors.
Martinez was recently selected to play in the 2013 Canyon-Coast Classic, an annual all-star game that pits 32 top players from Arizona against 32 from California’s CIF Southern, Los Angeles City and San Diego sections. Players from all divisions and school sizes make up both squads. The game is at Riverside Community College on Monday, Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports West.
Members of the Southern California Interscholastic Football Coaches Association and the Arizona Football Coaches Association select the players not only on their athletic accomplishments but also on their academic success and dedication to the game and their community.
Martinez will put on his high school pads on one more time and play for southern California coaching legend Dick Bruich, whose resume includes 20 league, four CIF, three state and one national championship with Fontana and Henry J. Kaiser High Schools over a 22-year career. “I’m just blessed to be able to be coached by him,” said Martinez.
Although Martinez played both running back and safety for Laguna, the school’s all-time leading scorer made most of his headlines on offense, racking up 65 career touchdowns to break former Breaker receiver Chris Paul’s (’11) career record of 44. Martinez expects to play mostly on defense, although his coach told him he would get some carries on offense. “I’m just glad to be a part of it,” said Martinez. “Hopefully I can get at it and make some plays happen.”
Several division one colleges have been courting Martinez, but he has yet to sign a letter of intent. He has been training for the Canyon-Coast Classic for several weeks, hoping to show those who doubt his talents because of Laguna’s perceived “weaker” division and league. “I just want to show everybody that I can play with better competition,” he said.