If one ever saw Alexandria Martinez compete in any one of the four sports she excelled at – softball, basketball, volleyball, track and field – it’s easy to see why she’s been one of Port Isabel’s most distinguished female athletes.
Her presence on the hardwood in both volleyball and basketball commanded attention, while her performance on the track as a pole vaulter garnered respect.
However, Martinez’s athletic journey was far from easy.
After racking up accolade after accolade as a freshman, Martinez was sidelined almost her entire sophomore year with a devastating ACL injury.
Nevertheless, she persevered and continued where she left off after her freshman campaign in both her junior and senior seasons.
This season she’s being recognized for all her hard work and dedication, and has been nominated for this year’s Sub-6A Girls Athlete of the Year Award at 2016 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet, which is set for Tuesday in McAllen.
The other nominees up for the award are Jaida Muhammed of Edinburg Vela and Karla Sosa from Brownsville Porter.
Q: How does it feel being nominated for the Sub-6A Female Athlete of the Year award?
A: It’s a great honor being nominated! I’ve worked real hard all year long for four years. Even though one year was rehab everyday from my torn ACL, it was all worth it in the end to get to where I am today.
Q: What would winning the award mean to you?
A: Everything I’ve done since I was 5 years old really helped and pushed me to where I am today. It’s already all worth it right now, but this award would just make me feel like I’ve ended high school with a great sports career.
Q: How would you define your high school career and what do you plan on doing now after graduation?
A: My high school career has been a true blessing, really. Not only did I have great coaches but I had amazing teammates/sisters. They all pushed me so hard every practice to get better as I did for my teammates. All the sports I played will most definitely be one of my best highlights in my life. I will be attending AlvinCommunity College and then transfer to Dallas University, and will try out for their basketball team.
Q: You’ve spent almost your entire life playing sports. What’s going to be the one memory that you will always remember? Why?
A: The memory I would probably always look back to would have to be when I was 9 years old, my mom was my summer track & field coach ever since I was 5, and I remember hating it. But as I got older, I started to love it so much and I understood why my mom would make me practice so much and kill me every time. Then she made me join a softball team and I instantly fell in love (with the sport after) my first game. My favorite memory is when I went to my first track meet in the morning and my first softball game in the afternoon, and I will forever look back because I knew from there on I will have no more days off, and spend the rest of my life playing sports.
Q: What has been your biggest athletic accomplishment?
A: My biggest accomplishment to me is when I made a full recovery from my ACL injury. When people ask me how my knee is, I always tell them, “It feels like nothing ever happened.”
Q: Is there any sport that you might have missed out on and wish you could go back and play?
A: To be honest, I will miss all the sports I played – volleyball, basketball, softball, and track (pole vault). I wish I could start high school all over again, go back to freshman year and play it all again.
Q: Everybody is motivated by something or someone. What kept you motivated throughout your high school career?
A: My motivation would definitely be my mother. Like I said before, she’s been my coach since I was 5 years old. She was there at every game, she pushed me to do better and stay on top of my grades. My mom saw the potential in me and never once did she give up on me. My mother is my biggest fan and supporter.
Q: Do you have a saying, motto or quote that you live your life by?
A: I like to take risks and try my best to be better. That’s why I say this quote almost everyday to myself: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”
Q: What is your biggest challenge in juggling all the sports you played and how did you did you manage this challenge?
A: My biggest challenge while playing all these sports was definitely trying to stay on top of my grades. After every practice and especially after games, I was always very tired but school comes first, so I had to do homework and projects before bed, even if it was long. I would stay up real late finishing what needs to be done.
Q: What was the best advice you were ever given in your athletic career and is there any advice you would like to share to younger, aspiring athletes.
A: The best advice I ever got was from a coach telling me to never give up on any sport or any class and to always be a better person than you were yesterday. To all the young athletes, never give up on your dreams, set a goal, achieve it and then set another.