It was watching her brother play soccer that gave Destiny Martinez the motivation she needed to try the sport herself. Having played since she was nine years old, it is the competitive nature of the game that matches well with her own desire to win.
“I’ve always been a competitive person,” says Martinez. “I was playing sports, but I never really decided what I wanted to stick with. Soccer is just something I wanted to continue.”
As a sophomore at Cornelia Connelly High School, Martinez plays forward for the Koalas and feeds off the adrenaline that comes with being a goal scorer. Not satisfied unless her team wins, she has been working on her confidence as a way to improve her skills.
“My goal is to improve myself through my confidence,” says the 16-year-old. “Playing forward has helped me, and I’ve learned that I’m depended on to help the team win the game. Sometimes it may seem like a lot of pressure, but it has really helped me gain confidence.”
As a two-year varsity player and one of the younger members of the team, Martinez does not let her size or her age hold her back.
“This season, Destiny scored some important goals against big teams,” says Connelly head soccer coach, Evelyn Gomez. “She was smaller than some of the girls she was up against, but that didn’t stop her. In the second half of the season, Destiny found out how good she could be. I can’t wait to see her grow even more next year.”
Having played on a number of club teams, Martinez finds a special connection playing alongside teammates that are also close friends.
“My favorite part in representing Connelly as an athlete is that I get to play with my classmates,” says Martinez. “I also get to represent the school that I really enjoy being at. It’s just something really special.”
Martinez also runs cross country for Connelly, and she has found that the distance running has improved her overall endurance as an athlete. Admittedly on the quiet side, playing soccer has allowed her to be more confident in her communication skills.
“Since joining soccer, I’ve learned how to express myself more and communicate with people more often,” says the Cypress resident. “It’s helped me build relationships and a strong bond with my team, who is my second family.”
Martinez has an interest in journalism as well as the visual arts, and she can easily see herself attending college in New York City. Her father has always been her role model and the one who has taught her the meaning of hard work.
“I’ve always looked up to him because he has this amazing work ethic, and he’s always persevering,” says Martinez. “He does so much for me, and he’s providing me with an amazing education. I’m really inspired by him to be as successful as he is.”