Huntington baseball players, parents show support for Coach Martinez at school board meeting

Huntington baseball players, parents show support for Coach Martinez at school board meeting
(Source: KTRE Sports)

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - It has been almost a month since allegations of hazing arose at Huntington High School in the baseball program.

After a brief suspension, the program is back but without their coach.

This would have been Richard Martinez’s second season with the Red Devil baseball team. While there was no planned discussion on the future of Martinez at Monday’s school board meeting but that did not stop community members from voicing their concerns about the team not having Martinez. Three people signed up to speak at the open forum in the meeting.

“I am speaking on behalf of the baseball team,” senior baseball player Tyler Harris said. "Coach Martinez treated us like family. He has made us better people not just players. He wants each of us to learn to respect others. He has taught us to look at each other in the eye when we shake their hands and to tuck our shirts in and look respectable. He has also told us to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We know what he expects from us and if we want to play we have to put in the work. We respect Coach Martinez for teaching us these things. It not only helps on the field but off the field. "

One parent that spoke believes Martinez is a rare type of coach that should be allowed to continue being around the team.

“It is hard to find good people,” Huntington parent Lee Chancellor said. " Opportunities are lost every day and you have an opportunity with Martinez, a person who cares so much for the success of children. Not just athletically but also academically. He trains them mentally. He is preparing them for the future. He works them and makes them do what is expected of adults. That is hard to find... He wants to make sure you are successful even if you don’t... I think taking him out of this position is a mistake and I think you will be loosing a valuable resource with coach."

The message tonight from the community members that signed up to speak in the open forum was simple; they stood with Coach Martinez.

“This board and the superintendent;s decision to relieve him is not right,” Huntington community member Rory Stringer said. “I hope you guys go back in that room and when the time is right give that man his dignity back. He is the only one that cared.”

Because the issue of the Huntington baseball program was not on the agenda, no action could be discussed by the board during the meeting. It was acknowledged that a board member or the Superintendent could take what was said and ask for the issue to be put on a future agenda.

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