Players of the Pine Belt: North Forrest’s Michael Martin a force on both sides of the football

Players of the Pine Belt: North Forrest's Michael Martin a force on both sides of the football

EATONVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - North Forrest High School senior Michael Martin makes no bones about one of his main attractions to football.

“I like to hit people,” Martin said.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Martin, who was named the Eagles’ “Player of the Pine Belt,” has been a long-time fixture on both the offensive and defensive lines for North Forrest.

“He’s a great player, on and off the field,” North Forrest coach Anthony Dillon said. “He’s been a four-year starter for us. He’s very versatile player. Mike can play multiple positions. We’re just glad to have him on our team.”

During his career, Martin’s been one of the physically largest players on a rather diminutive North Forest roster.

“All my years we’ve had very short numbers,” Martin said. “But I love this school and this team. We go through a lot with short numbers. We’ve had to fight to go both sides.”

Martin has had opponents scratching to figure out ways to handle him, particularly when he’s on defense.

“He’s a guy on the defensive line that always demands a double-team, so that’s good for us,” Dillon said. “It frees up some of our linebackers and allow those guys to flow and make plays for us.”

Martin said he’s just hoping to get a final opportunity to attract double teams as a senior despite the dark cloud of the coronoavirus pandemic looming over the season.

“I just hope we get the chance to play,” Martin said. “It’s my last year.

"It means a lot. It plays a part in my role as a senior to go out with a bang and end my last year with a good record."

Dillon said he, too, is hoping football can proceed this fall.

“We’re living in the unknown,” Dillon said. “We don’t know. Things are changing on a weekly basis almost. We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

“We’re just going to give it what we got. We’re very low in numbers and, due to COVID-19, everything is just kind of discombobulated. I tell the guys that in life you’re going to have to have ups and downs, so we just got to overcome the adversity and persevere.”

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