Tally Martinez goes from basketball to football with a defensive mindset


HOLLAND – Tally Martinez has been a tenacious defender wherever she is, whether on court or on court.

An elite football player and basketball player in Zeeland West, Martinez made her mark as a defender. It has led to a variety of opportunities in college.

Martinez came to Hope College as a basketball player. A year later, she started in the soccer team.

“My last year of high school, I couldn’t decide between basketball and soccer. I was debating and going back and forth. When it was basketball season, it was basketball. When it was football season, it was football. Towards the end, I ended up liking basketball. I had been in football the longest time and was a bit exhausted. I was ready for something new, ”Martinez said. “The freshman year I played basketball and loved it, but there was a part of me that lacked football. At the end of the year the coach came to me. see and (asked about it) I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is fate.’ I ended up saying yes and worked really hard over the summer.

This hard work paid off as Martinez became a starting defender for the Flying Dutch.

Tally Martinez is a starting defenseman for the Hope College football team.

“It was crazy the first time I started. I try to work my butt and play with the girls and keep doing what we’re doing, ”she said. “All the girls on the team were super welcoming and fun. I was quite intimidated when I walked in, but it’s a whole family and they greeted me right away.

Unlike many multisport athletes, Martinez didn’t really have to change his mindset in a sport change. As a defender, she does much the same in both sports – try not to let anyone pass her.

“The count has been excellent. She missed her last year of play (due to the pandemic). She didn’t play with us last year because she was on the basketball team. So she’s had two years off and she comes out and doesn’t miss a beat – and that really never happens, ”Hope College coach Leigh Sears said. “I think it helped that she played basketball last year, and I like defenders who play basketball because you can talk to them about basketball. It’s just a bigger, meaner basketball game.

Tally Martinez is a starting defenseman for the Hope College football team.

Martinez said his approach is similar to both sports.

“They get along very well with me. Defense has always come to me quite easily, at least the state of mind. Do your job and don’t let them overtake you, ”she said.

It’s something her sophomore teammate Madison Holloway has watched closely for years. When she was at Holland Christian, Holloway was defended by Martinez. Now they do the same in training before lashing out on their opponents during matches.

“She’s always been super athletic – always. I remember during club season she would cross country in the morning, then come to our game in the afternoon and still run super athletic. She is always ready to fight and work for it. She has this mentality of not wanting to be beaten with the ball, ”Holloway said. “Tally and I really fought over there in high school. It was fun having this season of life when we were competing. Now it’s really fun to play together. We also played club together, so it’s fun to come full circle and play together in college.

Tally Martinez is a starting defenseman for the Hope College football team.

– Contact sports editor Dan D’Addona at Dan.D’[email protected] Follow him on twitter @DanDAddona and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.

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