After becoming Le Grand High School’s head football coach in 1993, Dennis Stubbs named Rick Martinez as his first assistant coach.
Stubbs had never met Martinez, but needed any help he could get when he took over the Bulldogs program.
“I walked up to Dennis and introduced myself,” said Martinez, who was 21 years old at the time. “I told him I played a little college ball, and I was looking to get into coaching. He said ‘perfect.’ He told me he couldn’t pay me. At the end of the season he gave me $500, and I was happy as a lark. It’s just gone on from there.”
When Stubbs got the head coaching job at Golden Valley, Martinez joined him a year later. He coached with Stubbs until he was hired as the Le Grand head coach in 2004.
Now the two will be reunited – Martinez announced his resignation two weeks ago after accepting a teaching job at Golden Valley.
Martinez is a big addition for the Cougars.
How many assistant coaches’ résumés can match Martinez’s four section titles and an appearance in a state bowl game?
“We finished practice (Wednesday) and our four defensive coaches were in a room, drawing on the board and talking football,” Stubbs said. “Rick is an every day guy. He’s thinking football and how we can get better.”
Alex Thomas, an assistant under Martinez at Le Grand, is also joining the Golden Valley coaching staff.
Martinez brings 21 years of coaching experience with him, and the fact he’ll be on campus is an added bonus for the team. All of Stubbs’ assistants last year were walk-on coaches. With jobs off campus, some of his coaches can’t make it to the start of practices.
“It’s going to be huge having another person on campus throughout the day,” Stubbs said. “Instead of just me, we now have two coaches who can talk to kids during the day. It’s part of the process, and it’s something you’ve got to have.”
Meyer recorded 88 tackles as a linebacker for the Bears. Turner-Jackson rushed for 1,099 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Fellow senior Sam Scheidt has committed to play football at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.. A linebacker, Scheidt finished with 94 tackles and three interceptions.
The game will be played at 5 p.m. on May 31 at the Merced High baseball field.
Kravec and Foss have approached local businesses to ask for donations, which will also be accepted at the gate on game night.
“Our goal for this event is to raise awareness among our peers and community of the great sacrifice our warriors have made, the price they have paid in service to our country, and the support we can offer them through this endeavor,” Foss said.
Kravec’s motivation for organizing the event comes from growing up in a military family. Her dad, grandfather, aunt and two great uncles served in the military.
Kravec said the support she’s received from her softball teammates and the baseball players has been great.
“They all wanted to play and help as well,” Kravec said. “I’ve never heard of a co-ed game at Merced High before. I think it’ll be a lot of fun, and it’s a chance for us to play with each other. We’re all friends and we can give back to the community.”