Following in his footsteps
BAY SHORE—A recent Bay Shore High School graduate is following in his older brother’s footsteps and kicks on the soccer field as a student-athlete at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in Old Wesbury.
Both Kevin Martinez (Bay Shore Class of 2017) and Carlos Martinez (Class of 2011) have played the sport for as long as they can remember.
“My dad was the one who always took us to the backyard and played with us since we were little,” said Kevin. “I was basically playing soccer since I was able to walk.
“We practice competition and competitiveness,” added Kevin. “It pushes me to the limits and makes me the best I can be.”
“It was literally in our family,” said Carlos. “Every family event was all about soccer.
“I just love the sport,” continued Carlos. “I’ve always loved what I could do with the ball and all the abilities I could do with my feet. It made me want to be better and do better.”
During his tenure at NYIT from 2011-2014, Kevin won two East Coast Conference (ECC) titles during his freshman and senior seasons and led the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances with a 50-19-6 record overall. Nowadays, Carlos works in the Child Services Unit of Suffolk County Social Services – where he has been for three years – and coaches junior varsity soccer at Bay Shore High School.
“I love teaching kids and I love coaching,” said Carlos. “I want them to know what I know now so they can each become better as a person and player.”
Carlos takes the time to watch his brother play games in both his same uniform and his No. 22 as much as he can. He also gives him any advice and guidance after games.
“I try to go watch his games – especially on the weekends when I don’t have work – to show some support,” said Carlos, who played as a left wing and left-back. “It feels great to watch him play and I’m proud that he’s following in my footsteps. As an older sibling, you always want to be a great role model for your younger siblings.”
Kevin said that his time at Bay Shore – where he played all four years, just like Carlos – helped hone his skills and prepare him for the next step in college.
“Bay Shore was amazing,” he said. “It gave me the confidence to be myself when playing.”
Kevin acknowledged that Carlos helped steer him towards playing in the same college as he did. Although they have never been teammates due to their age gap, they have always maintained a close relationship to both the sport and each other.
“He convinced me by telling me how good the program is and how good the soccer team is at the school,” said Kevin. “I feel like the school is just the right place for me, and it feels right when I come here.”
“I told him it was a great program and how I enjoyed my four years there,” said Carlos. “He had offers, but he didn’t want to go too far away. I told him that NYIT would be perfect and close to home.”
With the season now underway, Kevin is already on the path to success in college. He has started four matches for the Bears, which is tied for the most starts on the team as a freshman. So far, he has already scored three goals and has one assist as a forward. He was even just named Conference Player of the Week.
“We definitely have a good group,” said Kevin, who is majoring in behavioral sciences. “We all work hard and push each other. We’re family on and off the field.”
For Kevin, it particularly feels special to have always had a member of his true family there to motivate and support him.
“It feels amazing to carry on the legacy,” he said. “It’s great to be able to make myself proud and my family proud.”
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