The Grind, Presented by Bank of Clarendon: Crestwood quarterback Javion Martin taking leaps alongside his father/OC


The Crestwood football team has a special combination on the offensive side of the football.

The father-son duo of Willie and Javion Martin make up the offensive coordinator and quarterback positions for the Knights. They've shared the stage with the Knights since Javion was a freshman in 2019.

"It's a pretty good experience" is how the younger Martin describes the situation going into their third season at Crestwood. "I like that we can sit at home and go over everything together. I appreciate my dad. He's played a big role in my life and has helped me go through a lot of stuff. Everybody doesn't grow up with their dad, so it's a lot to be thankful for."

The father-son dynamic comes with questions or maybe signs of favoritism, especially when it pertains to a starting spot at quarterback. Javion indeed earned the spot. It wasn't something just granted to him because his dad became the offensive coordinator. Skepticism is something that the Martins hear but don't really worry about.

"It doesn't really mess with me at all," Javion said. "If you're better than somebody, they shouldn't be mad because your dad is a coach. It wasn't his decision for me to start. So that's why I don't really worry about it. My dad doesn't worry about it either."


There is often a negative connotation surrounding video games and questions surrounding their benefit to children. For the Martins, the benefits of playing the games in EA SPORTS' Madden NFL franchise are still being seen today.

"We used to always play Madden together as he was growing up," the elder Martin explained. "I taught him a lot about the game and how to read coverages through playing Madden."

The Madden games have been a fixture in the two's relationship as Javion has grown up. Javion has finally now reached the point where he can beat his father.

"I was probably about five or six when I first started playing Madden," Javion said. "Over the years I just picked up and got better. Two years ago is when I started to be able to compete and beat him.

Playing Madden at an early age helped to develop Javion's quarterbacking skills, but the innate ability to be the leader on the football field just happened to be an intangible attribute that kicked things off for him.

"Javion's been playing the position since he was like four years old in a flag football league," Willie explained. "He really played a lot of other positions too, but most of his teams really had to use him at quarterback due to the fact that his knowledge of the game was so great."

Javion lined up and was dominant in multiple positions growing up, including running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He played basketball and baseball and runs track, as well. All of these have contributed to Javion being able to make plays outside of the pocket.


The line between being a parent and being a coach is one that can easily be crossed when a parent coaches their child. Emotions come into play over the course of a season and the line blurs. This is something that coach Martin has made sure to not allow to happen.

"I haven't had that problem," Willie said. "We really have a good relationship on and off the field. The fact that I'm his father never comes into play when we are on the field for practice or during game situations. I let his quarterback coach handle all of the coaching. I just call the plays and we work from there."

While they get told what plays to run, quarterbacks are ultimately the ones that make the final decision on the field before the ball is snapped. An audible can be called and the result of that falls on the quarterback - good or bad - for adjusting from the call the coordinator gives. This is something that hasn't caused any trouble, either. Javion is entrusted to make whatever decision he feels is necessary.

"He has free will to change plays if he sees fit," the elder Martin said. "He does that at least five to ten times a game. We haven't got caught in a bad situation yet with him changing a play."

That freedom and responsibility is what Javion likes the most about being the field general.

"I would say my favorite thing about playing quarterback is controlling the offense and having the ability to change the play when I want to," the Crestwood quarterback said. "There isn't any additional pressure with my dad being the coordinator. He isn't the hardest on me when I make mistakes. My quarterback coach, coach (Willie) Glover will be the one to correct me the most. I don't want to say there are bad conversations, but they'll both ask me why I made the change and coach Glover will be the one to really chew me out for changing the play and it not working."


As Javion has gotten older, his connection to the game has changed.

"I don't know why but when you're younger, you have a lot more energy and the game feels more fun,'' the signal-caller explained. " Back then, running around playing flag football, nobody could pull the flag. I used to score about every play, so it was fun. It's fun now, but I have to take it more serious."There was a pivotal moment for Martin that made him realize that loving the game of football looked a little different than it did when it was filled with the joys of his younger days.

"My eighth grade year, we lost in the first round of the playoffs," Javion said. "We got blown out 42-0."

The feeling from that blowout loss is something that Martin doesn't want to feel again. As a guy that likes to keep things loose and joke a lot, being able to flip the switch and get others to flip that switch in order to lock in and take care of business is a task he's equipped with and one he doesn't shy away from.

"There are people who really pay attention, they'll lock in and get right on their own," Javion said. "Others, I have to kind of get onto them a little bit so they can do what they gotta do to get right. It can be kind of hard to get some of the younger kids because most of these guys have their own little ways of getting locked in."

His ability to lead his teammates comes from the relationships he's been able to build with them throughout the years, even before high school.

"I know most of the guys on the team because when I was in middle school, those kids were in sixth grade," Javion explained. "Some of them played football under me or kind of knew me a little bit because they knew my dad and everybody liked my dad. You can't say too much to some people because they like to get mad and stuff. Those people, I know I have to be cool with them but still try to get them to lock in at the same time and the other ones they just listen and pick up on it."


Through two seasons, Javion has thrown for 2282 yards and 20 touchdowns and has ran for 319 yards and six touchdowns. All things are pointing toward him going on to play at the next level. Attending camps at various colleges has helped Javion with his development.

"I've been to a few camps and a good bit of coaches come up to me to talk," the QB explained. "I've been to camps at Coastal Carolina, UNC Charlotte, N.C. State and S.C. State. My favorite camp is the one I attended at N.C. State back in June. I'd say that's the one I did the best at. I like attending the camps because I get to listen to the coaches. Most of them coach quarterbacks that have played at the next level and the NFL. They know a good bit about the game and teach me a lot."

Camps aren't the only places outside of high school football that Martin gets inspiration and tools to develop from. Martin has a few NFL quarterbacks that he picks up things from in order to add to his game.

"I like watching Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray because they control the game a lot," Martin said. "Russell Wilson, he be getting it in, Kyler Murray too. Kyler Murray's smaller, so I watch Russell Wilson a little bit more. He does a lot of good things, and some of the drills he does, we do them out there at practice.


Going into year three, Javion is hoping to propel the Knights to great success in the postseason under his dad's tutelage. However, with the start of the season coming this week, there is an immediate goal that Martin wants to get accomplished.

"We need to beat Gray Collegiate Week 1 because they won state," Javion said. "If we beat them we'll be on the radar. A lot of people doubt us, so beating Gray Collegiate after they won state last year would mean a lot. People start looking at Crestwood like the team to beat this year. If we beat them, everybody that we play might come out a little timid, a little scared before the game and we'll be able to beat them pretty easily."