A Season to Remember
Nutley High School senior, Brandon Martins, has been tearing it up on the football field this season and has been a part of several wins for the Raiders. On September 28, 2019 against Central High School in Newark, Brandon made a play he will never forget. He came off the edge and intercepted a screen pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. The Maroon & Gray caught up with Brandon, Head Coach Mr. Vick, and senior Kyle Manalang, who was in attendance for a few Raider games, to discuss the Raiders’ season.
Coach Vick had nothing but good things to say about Brandon. Brandon is a starting defensive end for the Raiders and has shown great improvement over the course of the season. “We are looking for Brandon as well as the whole team to continue to improve so we can finish strong,” Vick said.
Now that Brandon is a senior, he now also has to be a good example to the younger players and try to help them improve just like him. Vick said, “The best way that our seniors can influence the younger players is not just ins what they say, but their actions and the way they play, that speaks louder than words. We will miss Brandon and all our seniors next year.”
Brandon had a couple words to say about his time as a Raider through all his years as well. He has been playing football since before middle school and is going to miss running out into the Oval every Saturday with his teammates. Brandon said, “I definitely am going to miss these kids I’ve been playing with for years and you start to think of them as family on and off the field.” Brandon also said, “My plans for next year is to go to college for a really good education, I would love to play in college too but the education comes first to me and my future right now,'' Martins said.
Senior Kyle Manalang has been to his share of Nutley football games during his time at Nutley High School, but the home game against Central High on September 28 is one he will never forget, as he saw Brandon’s interception live from the stands. “It was unreal. We all jumped out of our seats and started cheering ‘STANDO!’ The crowd was absolutely electric,” Manalang said.
After seeing what happened at that game, it made Kyle want to attend many more games this season. “I enjoy the Nutley football games seeing all my peers engage in such an intense activity. It fills me with joy seeing the Nutley Maroon Raiders go out there and play their hearts out,” Kyle stated.
As the season progresses Brandon, Coach Vick, and Kyle all hope and expect for the Maroon Raiders to go on a serious run to make the playoffs and shock some people. Good luck to Brandon and the rest of the team as their season continues.