THE SPECTATOR with Tryve Brackin: Former Eagle athlete now snaps sports photos in Georgia
Former St. John High graduate and football/basketball/baseball player Andre Martinez stays very close to sports these days over in Georgia.
Martinez began photographing high school games when his eldest son Blake played football for Wayne County High in Jasup, Georgia in 2003. The local newspaper, THE PRES-SENTINEL” asked him to begin taking sports snaps on a freelance basis. By 2004 he was working at the newspaper. He created ads for the production department as well as worked as a staff photographer and occasional sports writer. By 2007 he received three Georgia Press Assn. awards for his sports photography. He had a first place in Sports Feature Photo and a pair of third places in Spot News and Feature Photo.
“Jesup is a sports crazy community. They love their Dawgs or Gators. But as true colors run deep, the community soon knew who the LSU fans in this area are. Of course, being one of the LSU fans around these parts, I hear it a lot. Jesup is very close to S.E.C. rivals Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Auburn,” noted Martinez.
Andre says Jesup is a small railroad and timber town located in southeast Georgia approximately 40 miles from Brunswick on the Atlantic Ocean.
As good fortune would have it, Martinez managed to receive sideline photo credentials for the LSU bowl game in the Georgia Dome. “It had been a long time since I had seen LSU play in person. And I got to be right down there on the sidelines,” he said.
While staying in the media hotel and at the pre-game press conferences, Martinez met Dennis Hodges of LSUPix.net as well as Michael Cauble of WBRZ and Glenn Guibeau of LSUBEAT.com. Andre said Hodges showed he and his son Benjamin “the ropes around the Georgia Dome and what to expect.”
En route to the field, Martinez got to pass outside of the LSU locker room and met several Tigers who were waiting outside in the hallway before heading out for pre-game warm-ups. As he stepped through the portal to the field the Golden Band from Tigerland was playing. The game, a 38-3 victory over home standing Georgia Tech, was the icing on the cake for the long time Tiger fan Martinez. He said he photographing early in the first quarter from the end zone where Charles Scott scored the first touchdown of the game to give LSU a 7-0 lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the game, which was only the second he has seen since moving to the Tallahassee area and later to Jesup.
Andre played three sports at St. John before graduating in the early 1980s. I had the pleasure to watch him play sports in my early years at the POST and remember him well. He was very enthusiastic, hard playing, and was talented, especially in baseball. He talks occasionally with old classmates and teammates in Plaquemine and was scheduled to come into town last week for a funeral. He called me Monday of last week to tell me about his experience at the Chick-fil-a Bowl and sent me two photos take by Hodges of him on the sidelines of the game.
It was great hearing from him and I was happy to hear he checks out Plaquemine news on our website often.
DEFENDING lower classification state wrestling champ Brusly High last weekend placed eighth in a field of 30 teams, mostly upper division, at the 36th annual Lee High Invitational, one of the top mat meets held in the state prep ranks each year. Veteran Panther Jay Hood led the way for the BHS boys by taking runner-up honors in the 189-lb. weight class. Brusly tallied 84.5 points to beat a number of well-known wrestling powers, including long time rival Redemptorist High and higher classification legendary power Jesuit High. Catholic of Baton Rouge won the meet with 253 points. St. Paul’s was second and Archbishop Rummel was third.