2020 Vision: Horizon’s Jake Martinelli

Many have been hit hard by the news that schools will not return to campus for the remainder of the academic year. It’s a tough and transformative time for all, but especially for the senior class, the class of 2020. Sports360AZ wants to hear from those seniors on how they’re adjusting, what they’re feeling and how this experience can make them stronger moving forward in a segment we call “2020 Vision.”

Whether on the field or in the classroom, Jake Martinelli’s mind is always hard at work.

So it’s not difficult to see why, between recovering from a torn ACL last fall and being away from his usual high school setting, stimulating the quarterbacks’ drive for knowledge and improvement has been challenging at times during our current COVID-19 quarantine.

“It’s definitely not the greatest scenario,” Martinelli said in a recent Skype interview with Sports360AZ.com. “I’m still figuring out ways to lift. Puzzles have kind of become my thing. I’ve already done about 10 puzzles. I’m out right now. I’m on the hunt.”

The Region Offensive Player of the Year saw his prep career end in the Huskies’ eighth game last fall but it didn’t diminish their remarkable season — capped off by a birth in the Open Division Playoffs. Horizon finished their season 9-2.

“I think this [senior] class being so close and so gifted, I think we were able to set the bar pretty high for the upcoming classes,” he explained. “We’re all really excited to see what those underclassmen can do. We’re just hoping we started something that can continue on for a couple of more years.”

Martinelli, who will continue his academic and football career at the South Dakota School of Mines, credits head coach Ty Wisdom and his remodeled coaching staff in helping put Horizon football back on the map.

“He did a great job preparing us every week,” Martinelli said. “In the off-season, spring ball, during the season he did a really good job of taking care of our bodies with yoga and lifting. He’s got a great support staff around him.”

Horizon’s 2020 class was in eighth grade the year before Wisdom’s arrival when the Huskies went 0-10.

Martinelli said he and his fellow classmates saw turning the program around as “a challenge to make a difference.”

Mission accomplished.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.