By: Albert Luna and Anthony Kennedy
Martinez, pictured top far right, as a Freshman on the Eastwood baseball team in 1999, a program he now takes over.
Fresh off a nine year stint as a collegiate baseball coach, Robert Martinez has returned home to Eastwood. The former 2002 EHS graduate was named and introduced as the new Head Coach of the 6A Varsity baseball team last week after spending the past 9 years coaching the El Paso Community College Men’s baseball team.
Martinez spoke with high praise towards the program he will be taking over. “The main goal here is to develop these players, if we do what I think we’re capable of doing, these players can be the best at their positions in the city," he said.
Martinez, who naturally played baseball while at Eastwood and earned all-state honors in the sport, said Eastwood was his only choice when asked to leave the college level. “I would have never tried to coach high school if it wasn't here, the pride of graduating from here and being an Eastwood Alum is something you can’t describe.”
Martinez isn't the only person that is excited about the hiring. Junior Joey Castaneda, a key returnee from last year’s varsity squad, said he views this as a positive. “I think it’s good for the baseball program. [We have a] good chance of being successful. Coach Martinez has been a college coach for 9 years so he will help us a lot.” Castaneda would also say the players are excited and ready for their new coach to teach them new things.
Although Martinez is taking over a program that lost a heavy load of seniors last year, he does not expect a down year for Trooper baseball. “To me, high school is about developing, helping these guys understand the game, and put them in a place where they can play at the next level,” he said. Martinez believes that with this philosophy, winning will follow suit. “With the coaching staff we have available and building these players at each position, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
Martinez went on to add that the school and its vibe has not changed since his days of roaming the halls almost 13 years ago. “[The School] has the same feel. Obviously every graduating class isn’t the same but it’s still a big pride to be a Trooper. Plus, a lot of the teachers also came here; I don’t know if a lot of high schools can say that.”
The baseball season won’t be rolling around until after the new year (January 2015), but there seems to be plenty to look forward to in the new chapter of Eastwood Baseball.