FEATURE: Brownwood kicker/punter Martinez a serious special teams weapon for Lions

As Brownwood attempts to go 5-0 to start the 2023 season while playing host to 3-1 Waco Connally at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Gordon Wood Stadium, there’s a pretty good chance the most important Lion on the field won’t carry or catch the ball — or, even, make a single tackle.

If past is prologue, Junior Martinez looms as one of Brownwood’s premier weapons, and his presence Friday could help determine if the Lions’ next-to-last tune-up before District 2-4A Division I play begins goes the direction of its four predecessors. In wins over Wylie, Marble Falls, Burnet and Glen Rose, Brownwood has scored 168 points, 33 of which have come via PAT conversions or field goals by the celebrated senior kicker.

This year alone, Martinez has converted each of 21 point-after kicks and made four of five field goal tries, including a 52-yarder. His loan miss came from 44 yards out and was pushed just wide by a swirling wind.

But that’s not all Martinez has done to buoy Brownwood’s hopes for a long season this year. He also has averaged 40.3 yards per punt on 12 kicks, with a season-long boot of 52 yards and another punt that pinned the opponent inside the 5-yard line. And, even at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, he has the leg to routinely turn his kickoffs into touchbacks.

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