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P.O. Male Athlete of the Week: Chase Martin

For the first two years of his high school career, Chase Martin was a defender for Shalom Christian's boys soccer team.

Fast-forward to the present, and Martin is one of the Flames' leading scorers. He played an integral part in all three of their victories in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference playoffs, and he is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.

"It was really awesome, coming down to the last minute of the championship game," Martin said. "It was really nerve-wracking when they scored in the last 40 seconds, but it made it all the better when we finally pulled it off in overtime."

Despite being a defender first, Martin has adjusted well to his role as a midfielder and has even become a big scoring threat for the Flames.

"He's been playing mostly in the mdifield, but he definitely pushes up when he gets his opportunities," Shalom coach Chris Lehman said. "He looks to score and assists on goals, and he also does a great job back on defense as well, marking opposing players."

Martin said, "We had a different coach the first two years, and I think playing defense definitely shaped me and made me a better passer. I'm able to share the ball more."

Alongside Peter Livermore (14 goals, 8 assists on the season) and Jonah Stains (19 goals, 7 assists), Martin (13 goals, 4 assists) has helped Shalom have a seriously well-balanced offense.

"They're definitely good friends of mine, and on the field, I'm privileged to be able to play with them," Martin said. "They're both great players, and passing the ball is really easy when you can tell where your teammates are always going to be."

It's certainly paid off. Martin scored five goals this week in the Flames' run to their second straight MDCC championship.

Chase Martin, Shalom Christian

Sport: Boys soccer

Grade: Senior

Position: Midfielder

Parents: Laurinda and Kirk Martin.

Other interests: Chase also plays basketball and baseball for the Flames; he plays guitar and is currently attending a mission trip with the senior class.

Surprising fact: He was a defender for his first two years of high school.

Favorite teams: Steelers, Orioles and UNC.

Athlete most admired: Michael Jordan.

Statistics: Martin had a hand in all three of Shalom's wins in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference playoffs ... He accumulated five goals in three games, including a three-goal performance in the opening round against Heritage and a tally in the 2-1 championship victory over Broadfording.