MUSKEGON, Mich. — As Cameron Martinez approaches the final game of his high school career, he can't help but reflect on what it's meant to play for Muskegon.
“It's always been a well-known program, not only in the state but nationally too,” Martinez said ahead of Saturday’s Division III state title game against River Rouge. “Just to be a part of that and to be a part of that program, just to just keep going and making history, it's an honor.”
And it's been a pleasure for the Big Reds and all their fans too. Since transferring from Muskegon Catholic Central after his sophomore season, the 6-foot, 195-pound quarterback has become one of the all-time greats at Muskegon. He's broken six school records, led the Big Reds to 26 wins with just one loss, and now has them back in the state final for the second straight year.
“Just watching him play is remarkable,” said Muskegon head coach Shane Fairfield. “He's done amazing things as a junior, and amazing things for us now in his senior year.”
Throughout his two years with the Big Reds, Martinez has created his fair share of moments, but he says his favorite moment hasn't happen yet.
“I was talking to my mom the other day and you know I won my freshman year [at Muskegon Catholic Central], and it would be great to finish it off my senior year,” said Martinez.
But state title or not, Fairfield says Martinez's legacy has already been set. Believe it or not, he says it has little to do with what Martinez has done on the field.
“I think there's going to be lots of future Big Reds that are coming through, and he's having an impact on and he doesn't even realize it,” said Fairfield. “Just by being who is he is and taking pictures. Those will be the next Cameron Martinez’s coming through."
No matter what happens Saturday, Martinez will say goodbye to it all. To high school football, to his teammates and coaches, and even being a quarterback. The quarterback will be playing at Ohio State next year, but he will be playing a different position that has yet to be announced. Martinez is moving on to a bigger stage, but he says he's not about to forgot some of the best times of his life.
“Friday night lights,” said Martinez “I've never experienced something quite like it and I don't think I ever will.”
Muskegon won't forget Cameron Martinez and the feeling is mutual.
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