Home Sports Local Sports Valerie Martinez is ready to help lead Goddard volleyball

Valerie Martinez is ready to help lead Goddard volleyball

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Goddard’s Valerie Martinez is expected to provide senior leadership this season. (Mike Smith Photo)

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Goddard volleyball player Valerie Martinez admits she’s self motivated and she plans on pushing her teammates this season. Even if the Lady Rockets are down by a wide margin, she has the confidence that the team will rise up and defeat the competition.

Martinez is entering her senior year at Goddard High School and this season, new head coach Dwayne Roberts will be looking to her for help as he replaces Kristi Hager, who left during the spring. Roberts was hired around Memorial Day and the announcement wasn’t made official until last month.

“It was definitely sad to see coach Hager leave because she was what we came to Goddard with,” Martinez said. “But, we’re excited for the change and so far it seems like he’s in it to win it.”

Martinez and the rest of the Lady Rockets got introduced to Roberts’ style of coaching during a recent open gym at Goddard High School.

“I’m excited,” Martinez said about the summer workouts. “We’re ready to kick some butt.”

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During her tenure at Goddard, Martinez feels that she has grown as a player.

“I have been able to hold myself more accountable both on and off the court and I feel it has made me better as a person overall,” Martinez said.

Martinez is an outside hitter, which she describes as playing on the left side of the court.

“It’s pretty much the best position out there,” Martinez said.

Martinez spent part of last season on the junior varsity roster. As the term went on, she got the call that most high school players wait for. She got the promotion during the middle of the season.

“Even though I didn’t get as much playing time, it was still an honor to be on the team and I gave it my all whether I was on the court or off the court, I was always screaming or going my hardest on the court,” Martinez said.

After cutting her teeth on the JV squad, Martinez admits she was ready to make the leap.

“I didn’t want to go in there nervous and I knew that I could handle it, “ Martinez said. “I didn’t want to be scared.”

Martinez describes her years in a Lady Rocket uniform as “great.”

“It’s been great on my character and personality,” Martinez said.

Martinez didn’t wait for the open gyms to get ready for the upcoming season.

“I’ve done a lot of running,” Martinez said of her offseason workouts. “I’ve been working at New Mexico Military Institute with their coaches and a couple of other teammates and we are still doing that to this very day.”

During a workout last week at Ground Zero, Roberts had players like Martinez going through a number of drills, including some sprints around the gym that will prepare the Lady Rockets for the upcoming season.

Martinez would like to see the Lady Rockets grow as a family for the next few months and win a state championship.

The last time Goddard won a state championship was in 2013. The Lady Rockets have made it to the playoffs each of the last three season, only to be ousted each time by St. Pius X from Albuquerque.

Since Martinez has been down the playoff road, she wants to pass her knowledge to the younger generation of Lady Rockets.

“I want to hold them accountable,” Martinez said. “And from there, it just kind of flows through. You hold yourself accountable for your job on the court. In school, it just builds character as well.”

As a student, Martinez said her favorite subject is math. With hard work and a positive attitude, the upcoming season could be a great addition for her and the rest of the Lady Rockets.