CLOSER LOOK: Patriot RB Nano Martinez

Take a closer look at Riverside Patriot’s Nano Martinez and you’ll see a warrior. Literally, Patriot’s mascot is the Warriors.

Martinez has been Patriot’s most effective offensive weapon this season, and although his stats are unavailable, he’s probably gained over 2,000 yards for his career running out of Wing formations.

He first emerged last season as the second option on offense, rushing for 894 yards and five TDs for a team that finished just outside of a playoff spot.

Martinez (5-foot-8, 200 pounds) has emerged as the leader of this year’s team, in part, because he also looks like a leader. His voice, like his actions, are firm. He speaks with certainty, and with humility.

He’d be a captain on any team in the Inland Area. It just so happens he attends Patriot, a school short on history or tradition. So he’s creating it himself, and will be the name others at Patriot will chase in the future.

I caught up with Martinez following Patriot’s 54-46 victory over Bloomington on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. He didn’t look tired despite having rushed for a career-high five touchdowns.

You just played your last home game of your high school career. What’s on your mind right now?

“We got our last game against NoVi. We want to come out, practice hard. It’s a short week but we’re gonna come out and work hard. Hopefully, get the best,” Martinez said.

Can you look forward to a football career after next week?

“I’m looking forward to playing college ball, but mainly, it’s about looking after the younger kids, all the people coming up behind me and everything.”

The last game is next week. What’s this week going to be about for you?

“I’m going to put in everything I have, man. It’s our last game, I’m a senior, and I want everyone to go out with a bang, and give the young kids something to feed off for next year.”

Future generations of football players at Riverside Patriot are lucky. They’ll be looking up at an alum worthy of admiration.

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