Farmington — Max Martin is a young man with many interests, but his lone focus this week is on beating his former coaching staff while playing quarterback for Farmington on Friday night in a Oakland Activities Association Blue game at North Farmington.
The winner will have bragging rights in the Farmington areas.
Martin moved on to Farmington High for his senior year after Farmington Hills Harrison closed good this past in June.
Several members from Harrison’s coaching staff transferred to North Farmington with Jon Herstein becoming a head coach for the first time with the state’s all-time winningest coach John Herrington (443 wins, 13 state championships) joining him, along with Mill Coleman and defensive coordinator Dave Thorne.
Martin is talented on the field, in the classroom and on stage. He's recorded an album and dances to ’60s music with a 25-member group called Earth Angels in places like Walt Disney World in Orlando. The outfit also performs in nursing homes in the metro area.
“I’m promoting my album right now, it’s called ‘Max vol.1’, just inspirational rap, all clean and positive and it’s on iTunes and YouTube,” Martin said.
Martin played quarterback, tight end and safety last season for Harrison, which lost to Chelsea in a Division 4 regional final. He started the season as the starting quarterback, then after getting banged up, moved to tight end while Keel Watson took control of the offense after transferring from Detroit Delta … which had closed its doors that fall.
Martin transferred to Farmington due to the district's Internaitonal Baccalaureate Program, which moved its classes to the high school when Harrison closed. Farmington High is also closer to where he lives.
"The transition has actually been smooth," said Martin, who has a 3.94 grade point average. "I always accept change, always happy to go try new things, do new things, do something different or I just get bored, so having this opportunity to go to a new school and meet some new people has been a lot of fun for me.”
No doubt, Martin is all Farmington now and wants nothing more than to show his former coaching staff that he is a championship-caliber quarterback.
“It’s definitely the biggest game of my life,” said Martin of facing North Farmington. “I’ve never had a game more important than this, so I’m thinking that everything that I’ve done, even back at Harrison, all of it is leading up to this and how I play in this game.
“I really appreciate how the coaches taught me a good work back at Harrison. I can really tell the difference going to another program. I’m used to conditioning really hard, so it’s beneficial and I’m super grateful that they taught me that work ethic.
“I think the head coach over there, Coach Herstein was more of a lineman coach last year, so I didn’t get that one-on-one coaching from him, but he’s a great guy. Coach Herrington and I weren’t always on the same page, so this game will determine who was doing it the right way, so it means a lot to me. I want to kind of prove myself because back then they didn’t take me seriously as a quarterback, so it’s a big game for me.”
Farmington is running an offense that's more suited to Martin's game.
“At Farmington, we run a lot more quarterback designed runs where I get some good holes where I can explode so it’s an added layer to your game if you can have a quarterback running,” Martin said. “Our passing routes are very flexible so if we see anything on a defensive front than we can just add in a new play the way the coaches have it set up. We also have our standard run package.”
Farmington coach Kory Cioroch is happy to have Martin running his offense.
“Anytime you have a 6-foot-4, 200-pound kid who can run and throw the ball a mile I’m pretty sure you’re happy to have him in your offense,” Cioroch said. “He’s real versatile. He’s a definite run threat. He’s a definite pass threat. He starts on defense for us. He’s the full package.
“We’re happy to have him. He meshes with our kids. He’s come in and learned what we do and has been real successful. He’s just a great kid.”
Said Wisconsin-bound linebacker and teammate Jordan Turner: “He an interesting person. When I first met him, he was so different, I haven’t seen a person like him. I like it. He’s not scared to express himself. I like him as a teammate, plus he has his leadership skills. He loves talking to us. He loves to get us pumped up.”
Martin plans to make more music, and is deciding between Michigan, Michigan State and UCLA for college.
went,” Martin said. “I’d be happy to go anywhere," he said. "I’m more excited to just have more free time so that I can spend it on music, doing what I really love and other things I’m passionate about like dance and acting, I might want to dabble into that.
“Who knows, if I take a gap year I could go to UCLA, if I live there for a year so I could get that in-state tuition, that would really let me explore all the different music outlets and stuff like that.”