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News / Sports / Prep Sports

All-Region boys multi-sport: Jacob Martin, Mountain View

3-sport standout adjusted to everything that came his way

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 16, 2023, 9:00pm
4 Photos
Mountain View senior Jacob Martin stands for a portrait Friday, June 2, 2023, at Mountain View High School. Martin, who plays football, basketball and baseball, is The Columbian's All-Region male athlete of the year.
Mountain View senior Jacob Martin stands for a portrait Friday, June 2, 2023, at Mountain View High School. Martin, who plays football, basketball and baseball, is The Columbian's All-Region male athlete of the year. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

There’s no shortage of important lessons sports taught Jacob Martin about life: commitment, self-discipline, leadership, and learning how to win and lose are just a few of many.

But when a medical disqualification from the Air Force Academy forced Martin’s future up in the air, other lessons through sports shined brightest: resilience amid adversity.

“Sometimes, the path you think you’re going to go now isn’t the right one,” said Martin, a recent Mountain View High School graduate. … “The biggest thing, especially from late in my high school career, is adjusting — adjusting to the opportunities that are given to you.”

For Martin, The Columbian’s boys multi-sport athlete of the year, adjustment went hand-in-hand during his four-year career for the Thunder. He won 11 varsity letters in three sports — football, basketball and baseball. It might’ve been a perfect 12 had he given football a shot as a freshman instead of sophomore year when he made an instant impact on both sides of the ball.

Football — not baseball as he first thought — is where Martin caught the most attention from college programs. That included the prestigious Air Force Academy, where he received an appointment and verbally committed to play football for the Falcons earlier in 2023. Yet the final months of high school were filled with ups and downs from medical appointments to appeals processes of trying to earn a waiver because of Martin’s celiac disease.

The appeals were unsuccessful. Martin learned of the disqualification ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

“That pretty much closed the door for all football-related activities and also my appointment to the Air Force Academy,” he said. “Getting that phone call from (Air Force coach Troy Calhoun) was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do in my life.”

But the adjustments took another step when Martin verbally committed to play football at Washington State as a preferred walk-on the week of Mountain View’s graduation. Martin said former Thunder coach Adam Mathieson and Air Force coaches were key in helping Martin find another program so late in the school year.

“It’s a blessed opportunity for me,” he said. “They wanted to give me a new home, and I think I found it in Washington State.”

Known as a baseball and basketball standout in his younger days, Martin gave football a shot sophomore year during the abbreviated COVID-19 spring season of 2021. His centerfielder instincts from baseball transitioned well to the secondary.

Flash forward to his senior year, Martin was captain of all three sports and helped the Thunder to the postseason in football, basketball and baseball. He was a two-way all-league player at receiver and defensive back in football, an all-league point guard in basketball and hit a career-best .381 to earn all-league honors on the diamond. In basketball, the Thunder reached 3A regionals for the first time since 2012.

“I wouldn’t take back anything from any of my senior seasons,” Martin said. “They all happened for a reason. I made so many memories and so many friendships that I’ll have forever.”

But Martin’s big senior year goes beyond sports. He was part of the first senior class to open the new Mountain View building, which features new sports fields and facilities.

A new school building, new facilities and a soon-to-be new home for college. Martin’s Mountain View career was filled with adjustments, but important lessons through sports set him on a path to success.

“Being able to see all of this,” Martin said, “this is the highlight of my year.”

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