Billy Martell is headed to Mass. Maritime.
When he met with Whitman-Hanson Regional High head football coach Mike Driscoll to discuss his junior campaign, Billy Martell was told something he’d work tirelessly over the next year to make a reality.
“Coach Driscoll said, ‘You’re one of a few kids who has the talent to play in college,’’’ recalled Martell.
After an offseason consisting of many grunts, followed by a Patriot League All-Star season, Martell has committed to play football at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
“Mass. Maritime is getting a great young man and someone who can play football at a pretty high level,” Driscoll said. “He will do big things for Maritime.”
Martell, who said he’s looking into studying emergency management, has had his eyes on attending the Buzzards Bay-based college since August.
“I was thinking about my future and their employment rate is almost 100 percent,” Martell said. “I didn’t want to go too far, and I didn’t want to go on a huge campus.”
After converting to wide receiver as a sophomore, Martell transitioned back to running back this season and flourished, taking 73 carries for 518 yards and three touchdowns. His 7.1 yards per carry led the team.
Martell had his best outing against Bridgewater-Raynham, gashing the Trojans’ defense for 104 yards and a score.
On defense Martell, a two-year starting safety, posted 52 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions.
“I just wanted to show everyone who I am this season,” Martell said.
Martell said it was a rewarding season for him.
“At the end of last season we were in the weight room right away,” Martell said. “I worked much harder this offseason than I ever have. We did our offseason lift and we got a strength coach which helped us a lot and then we had passing leagues.”
Driscoll constantly lauded Martell’s speed throughout the season, calling him “the fastest player on the team.” Whether it was at running back or tracking down the ball carrier, Martell was instrumental in the Panthers’ success.
“He’s very dynamic in the backfield but his defense was really, really impressive at safety,” Driscoll said. “You didn’t have to worry about too much with him in the back.”
Mass. Maritime, which competes in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference of NCAA Division III, finished 2-8 last season.
“I’m looking to work on my speed and improve my footwork,” Martell said.