BETHANY — The Rocky Martin Era got off to a tough start, thanks to a preseason injury to one of the players viewed as a potential MVP for Putnam City West.
But there's still hope in the land of the Patriots following Martin's promotion to head coach.
Martin, 33, brings an intense, competitive mentality to a team that has lost its last 14 games. The knee injury to running back/defensive back Joseph Wilcots suffered during a scrimmage will be a setback. Wilcots was expected to have a big impact on both sides of the ball, both with his athleticism and his leadership.
On the lines, Ben Holley will play a vital role with his wealth of experience. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior will be especially important as Martin installs a new prostyle offense.
Defensively, linebacker Caleb Sturgeon and end Doug Jones should also boost the front seven.
Martin comes to PC West with a wide array of experience in coaching, from middle school to the NCAA Division I level.
After a playing career as part of four bowl teams at Colorado State, Martin returned to his high school home at Cherry Creek, Colo., to begin coaching.
Then he spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Akron, but he eventually realized college coaching wasn't for him.
After his parents relocated to Oklahoma, Martin landed at Irving Middle School in Norman. Two years ago, he got hired to coach linebackers on John Jensen's PC West staff, then was promoted to his first head coaching job in the spring.
“I'm excited to see what we can do,” Martin said. “I think we have the athletes in the building to compete.”