Greetings, Lion fans. We’ve often written here about the rest of the world finding out what we’ve known all along about former A&M-Commerce standouts and their football careers after they’ve left Commerce, America. Usually these stories have revolved around some familiar names…Wilson, Perez, Martin, White, Mason, etc.
Today, though, we talk about probably one of the smallest Lions ever to wear the blue and gold, but arguably has the biggest heart, and plays well beyond his physical stature. Kristov Martinez, all 5’6″ and 135 pounds of him, made his professional debut for Head Coach Clint Dolezel and the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League last night.
As fans, we’ve known just how good Martinez is. In 2017, he won games against North Alabama, and the thriller in the second round playoff game against Central Washington. In the regional final, he took the heart out of a very good Minnesota State-Mankato team with a 48 yarder into the wind. In a second round playoff matchup in 2018 with Tarleton State, Martinez kept the Lions in the game with field goal after field goal until the offense got the bugs worked out. The buzz around Commerce was that Kristov was headed to an NFL camp.
Now, three years later, despite kicking and punting being the two positions in football where the level of competition faced has no bearing on the talent of the player, Kristov remains on the outside of the NFL. Instead, he is now a coach and teacher in the D/FW Metroplex. That is, until a couple of Lion alums came calling.
Clint Dolezel and Bobby Bounds remembered, though, and Martinez became a part of the Frisco Fighters. After pulling a groin muscle during warmups before his very first game, Kristov finally made his first appearance in New Mexico against the Duke City Gladiators. Martinez was 6 of 7 on extra point attempts, and converted his only field goal attempt from 29 yards out.
A 29 yard field goal may not seem like a big accomplishment. In the indoor game, however, it is. The crossbar is 15 feet high instead of the 10 feet of the NFL. and the goalposts are only 9 feet wide instead of the usual 18 feet. Accuracy is paramount.
And, like we’ve all known, Martinez has had the accuracy of a surgeon. Now, the rest of the country gets to see it.
Kristov Martinez. He may not be a big man, but he sure doesn’t play that way.