Martinsville, Va. – The 1st and 10 Trophy Tour turns to Southside.
Early in 2021, a number of schools didn’t play at all in that shortened spring season.
Once fall 2021 arrived, these teams were taking the field for the first time since 2019.
The Martinsville Bulldogs under coach Bobby Martin were one of those squads with no spring season.
So it was on Martin and his staff to somehow keep those young men involved, engaged and working towards a goal that wasn’t even real yet.
Eventually, it was.
Martinsville finished 4-5 with one cancellation this fall, made the playoffs as the five seed in Region 2C and even won a playoff game before falling in the region semifinals.
It was an amazing return to football, not letting circumstances that were out of everyones’ control derail the Martinsville Bulldogs.
John Appicello and Eric Johnson caught Martin a little off guard on Wednesday, but he handled the surprise with his usual class.
Coach Bobby Martin is your WSLS 1st and 10 Coach of the Year.
“I think the biggest thing we did -- I did it the way my dad and my mom taught me. You pull everybody together and you stay together and you find a way to communicate that we’re gonna get this done. We won’t control everything, but we’re gonna get it done,” said Martin. “I just told Coach Murphy, I said -- ‘this was a great year because I had a great group of seniors and when they bought in and they started leading it made our job easier. ' I asked our coaches -- one day I came in and I said we’re not gonna complain anymore and they bought in. We stopped complaining and we just started working together as a staff and the players we just pulled together. We didn’t have any superstars. We had no superstar coaches, no superstar players -- we all just pulled together,”
It was Martinsville’s first playoff trip since 2017 and the first time in five years they advanced to the second round.