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Stella Martinez — Encouraging children and let go

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Goddard’s junior Julianne Martinez in a home game last season. (Steve Notz Photo)

Mother’s Day means to Stella Martinez — a day she can be sure all of her kids will be home.

“It means a lot to me,” Stella said. “It’s nice to be able to spend the day together.”

Camille Martinez, 24, just graduated from Ball State University with her master’s degree. And Julianne Martinez, 16, is in high school.

Stella feels like her husband; Jamie Martinez didn’t treat his kids any different when he coached them. She felt he was fair with them and away from the soccer field at home, he was a dad.

“He treated his daughter like the other girls,” Stella said. “He expected out of his daughters what he expected out of the other girls. He never says too much to them when they’re home, he’s just dad at home.”

Jamie was a wrestling coach, and he was presented with the opportunity to coach Camille. Stella feels like Jaime was born to coach and had the personality to coach.

When it comes to the impact her husband has made on their daughter, Stella feels like her husband has taught the children to be a good sport about things and taught them how to be tough and resilient.

As a mom, Stella was there for her girls to support them. After the games, she was the first person the girls went to, because Jamie was still the coach, dealing with parents, players or other things.

“If the girls were upset,” Stella said, “I’m the first person the girls come to because dad is dealing with this or that. I wanted to always be there for them. I have told the girls to put bad things behind them and there’s always another chance.”

One of Stella’s favorite memories of her girls is seeing them elated with a win or making a goal and seeing the looks on their faces after they do something great.

“I have tried to instill patience and understanding of other people,” Stella said. “I try to lead them back to faith and trust in God; that there is always tomorrow. We can handle anything together if we stay honest with each other.”

Camille has been on the go since she was young. She has lived in Texas, New Mexico, California and Indiana, and been to seven countries. The family has been supportive of her and feels good to know that Camille is living her dreams.

Stella and Jamie knew that failure was not an option for Camille. Her love of traveling and seeing the world was a good thing and because she is so strong-willed, Camille would find a way to make things work.

“I always tell them,” Stella said, “just let us know everything, be honest — even if it’s a big mistake. If you’re honest with us, we can know how to approach it and we can make a plan to solve the problem. If they hide things from us, then we’re shooting in the dark. Keep the lines of communication open, even if it’s uncomfortable.”

One of Stella’s favorite memories of Mother’s Day was going to Abilene, Texas, and being able to spend the day with her daughter.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.