Two coaches in our area share a special bond.
Bobby and Orion Martin are both former Virginia Tech football players. They are also related.
Bobby Martin is the new head coach at William Fleming, while his nephew Orion Martin is taking-on his first head coaching job, leading the Bulldogs of Martinsville.
“I do know this much -- he's going to do it right. He's going to get the kids to work hard,” Bobby Martin said. They're going to be respectful. They'll respect themselves, their school and their community. And that's what you do in football. We're supposed to teach our kids how to be young men.
Orion was a standout defensive end at Virginia Tech and learned a lot about football during his college years, but a lot of learning came before that.
"The work ethic. I really got that foundation at home with my parents and my uncle just learning how to work and be an athlete,” Orion Martin said. “Not waiting until somebody tells you to work out but doing extra stuff on your own."
Bobby Martin said, "I hope he learned a lot from me and from our family, having a football family. I hope he's learned a lot. I know one thing he learned is treat people right and work hard. That's going to be a foundation of what we do."
While the Martin men share the same approach to the game, their coaching abilities and philosophies are going to be put to the test, as they each try to rebuild a program that finished 1-9 last season.
"You look at last year and a few things here and there could have changed the record and hopefully I can come in and bring some technique and fundamentals to help with that process,” Martinsville’s coach Orion Martin said.
As they each try to focus on that task of rebuilding, the two coaches can't help but have September 6th circled on their calendars. It's the day of the Martin Family Showdown, when the Bulldogs make the trip to Roanoke to take on the Colonels.
"It'll be a little awkward. Last year I had to play him when he was at GW. But it's a little awkward you know going against your family,” Orion Martin said.
Bobby Martin: "It's just tough because one of us is going to lose. I don't want him to lose and I don't want to lose, but one of us is going to lose."
And once Week 2 is out of the way, they can get back to being family instead of opponents, at least until their teams meet again.