CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Two Charleston brothers grew up playing Pop Warner football together; with the dreams of playing for Division I programs.
Now, 15 years later, the brothers stand on the field where it all began. Both, now committed, to D1 schools.
“Kerry was the kind of player you heard about when he was in middle school, so he was a big deal,” says Capital High School Principle Larry Bailey. “Kerion is a worker. He came in as a freshman and put the work in.”
Kerry Martin Jr. and Kerion Martin are two brothers who make Capital High School proud.
“Those guys, you don’t really coach; you just manage a little bit. They’re extremely talented obviously,” says the boys’ high school football coach Jon Carpenter.
Raised in Charleston, Kerry and Kerion have a special bond.
“We share a room,” says Kerry. “So growing up, it was more ‘go pick up your clothes. If you don’t pick up your clothes, we’ll fight.’ Then we fight, and the clothes still don’t get picked up. Stuff like that.”
“He was always just in my ear telling me what to do,” says Kerion. “I would be like ‘get out of my ear I’m not trying to hear that,’ and now I’m texting him every day like ‘what could I have done better in this,’ or ‘what can I do here?'”
Kerry, advising his little brother. While becoming a break out defensive player for West Virginia University.
“I’m definitely honored to be able to go to the university I go to,” says Kerry.
Kerry just finished up his freshman season as a safety for the Mountaineers.
“When you’re born and raised in this stare everyone wants to go to WVU,” says Coach Carpenter. “WVU or Marshall. So I think as soon as they offered him a scholarship it was done for him.”
“It wasn’t really a hard decision to make once I got the offer,” says Kerry. “It is a power five school, I’m only two hours from my family, and I got the opportunity to play my first year.”
Playing in almost every game, Martin Jr. quickly became one of the leaders in the secondary.
“I feel like our coaching staff established a more family-oriented program early. Like as soon as I came on campus, they wanted everyone to be together; because they know the bigger the bond we have, the more of a chance for success we’re going to have.”
WVU finished five and seven this season, seventh in the Big 12. But Kerry says he has some personal plans this off-season to try and help the Mountaineers snag a winning record next year: “This off-season, I’m focused more on my strength and trying to gain more weight to be able to withstand the whole season and play the role I’m about to be playing.”
“My decision was kind of the same as his,” says Kerion Martin, who just signed this week to join the Thundering Herd at Marshall University. “I felt family down there. I felt like the atmosphere down there was just amazing. I love everything about Marshall. It hasn’t settled in yet.”
Kerion faced some challenges throughout his high school career, making this moment all the more special.
“I got injured my sophomore year,” says Kerion. “I was just coming into myself and becoming more confident. Then I go and get injured. Now, it’s a setback. It was kinda hard to gather myself back but I was able to get myself back towards the end of my junior year.”
Kerion will finish out his senior year at Capital High. Then he’ll put on the white and green.
The Martin Boys’ high school coach says he’s proud to know the brothers and although he misses them, he loves watching them chase their dreams: “We’ve been blessed with some really good football players. But I think after they’re gone… there will be somebody to throw the ball (to) and all the positions will be taken… but kids like that, you miss as a person… and it’s just extremely rare, especially two brothers… their parents have done a beautiful job.”