Hillcrest High School’s Jose Martinez was part of one of the best back lines throughout his high school soccer career.
He will be taking those strengths to the next level, signing with the Blue Mountain Community College men’s soccer team on Thursday before family members, teammates, friends, coaches and administrators in Hillcrest’s conference room.
Martinez said the welcoming response he received from Blue Mountain’s coaches and players upon visiting after the 2018 season is what led him to sign with the Timberwolves.
“They were really friendly,” Martinez said. “Everybody had a good vibe.”
He is the second local to sign with the Timberwolves this week. His signing occurred two days after Thunder Ridge’s Fabian Sandoval signed. Sandoval, who was in attendance Thursday, played defender for Thunder Ridge but signed as a midfielder for the Northwest Athletic Association school in Pendleton, Ore. Martinez said it will be nice to already know someone on the team.
“We planned it,” Martinez said with a laugh. “We just signed different days.”
Martinez began playing soccer at age seven. He said he has always wanted to play in college, and Thursday was a big day for him as well as his family.
“My mom wanted me to play in college, and now I am,” Martinez said with a smile in her direction.
Several of Martinez’s teammates as well as Hillcrest High School head boys soccer coach Ryan Ellis were in attendance Thursday. Martinez said Hillcrest’s run of success, including three consecutive district titles and taking second at the 4A state tournament in October, has given him memories as well as preparation.
“I love everyone on the team,” Martinez said. “They’re my brothers.”