One of Perry’s most prolific scorers in school history will take her talents to a national champion. On Friday, May 10, Jayette senior Natalie Martinez signed her letter of intent to play at Tyler Junior College in Texas for the 2020 season.
Martinez did not commit to just any school. Playing for multiple titles over the past couple of year, the Apaches have become a junior college powerhouse. She not only has a great opportunity to hold up a national trophy but will do so with a full-ride scholarship having left a great impression on Tyler coach Corey Rose despite never meeting in person. Martinez’s play and personality on the field both for Perry and her club team in Ankeny speak for itself.
She said she was introduced to the school through former Perry coach Rick Carpenter and is putting full faith in the decision despite having yet to step foot on campus. The opportunity for an education on scholarship and to play for such a prolific team was enough to commit.
The Apaches have routinely ranked at the top of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), playing in the back-to-back title games with a national title in 2017. Four players were also given NJCAA All-American honors, giving a world of opportunities for Martinez to further develop on and off the field.
Part of their success stems from a wide-reaching recruiting program that found itself stretching the country to Iowa.
“I know I will have to work a lot harder when it comes for playing time,” Martinez said. “Although my coach has been recruiting girls all over. [He was] recently in Japan recruiting. It will be difficult to compete against other talented girls, but it’s not impossible.”
After suffering a number of minor injuries throughout the current season, she said she’s focused on getting in better shape to continuously play. But her ultimate focus remains in Perry to help the Jayettes close out the season strong and prep for the upcoming regional games.
Perry will face either Collins-Maxwell or Boone on Tuesday, May 28 in the regionals second round.