Third transfer sticks for GVSU forward

GVL / Emily Frye    
Forward Jayma Martin is tripped by the opposing teams goalkeeper on Sep. 20th. She was given a penalty kick which she scored with.

GVL / Emily Frye Forward Jayma Martin is tripped by the opposing teams goalkeeper on Sep. 20th. She was given a penalty kick which she scored with.

Mason Tronsor

Three different schools in three years would seem overwhelming for most college kids. For Jayma Martin, the journey was humbling.

Martin, a junior forward from Pueblo, Colorado, wanted to attend Grand Valley State after her senior year of high school. However, as her recruiting process continued on, she decided to head west instead.

“I was recruited at a high school all-star showcase game by GVSU my senior year of high school,” Martin said. “It didn’t end up working out so I decided to go somewhere else.”

Instead of GVSU, Martin chose the city of Los Angeles and California State University, Dominguez Hills. The City of Angels is known for the limelight and lively atmosphere, something Martin was far from familiar with.

During her freshman year a CSUDH, she scored two goals and recorded two assists in 17 games. She also started nine of those games, including a game-winning goal.

However, there was something amiss within Martin. She started to doubt herself and her decision to come to the big city. Her doubts led her to transfer to a smaller school in a nearby city.

“It just really wasn’t what I expected,” Martin said. “There were issues within the team that made me not enjoy my experience there.”

Because she decided to transfer later in the year her freshman season, Martin chose Santa Monica Community College in Santa Monica, California. SMCC is only 15 miles away from Los Angeles, allowing Martin to stay near the city life without being placed directly in it.

Despite its status as a community college, SMCC featured legitimately competitive athletics. Martin excelled in a passionate, gritty setting, as she scored 16 goals and dished out nine assists to help lead her team to the second round of the Southern California regional playoffs.

“I really enjoyed my second experience in California,” Martin said. “We made a nice run in the tournament and it was just really exciting.”

The purpose of some community colleges is to help student-athletes showcase their skills and find opportunities at bigger universities. SMCC helped Martin and GVSU link up – this time for good.

“Jayma was very persistent about coming here,” said GVSU head coach Jeff Hosler. “We saw her play in December and the rest was history.”

Martin was unsure she would be able to earn playing time for GVSU due to all the success the Lakers have had recently – including back-to-back national championships. Nonetheless, Martin took the chance and never looked back.

Martin knew early in 2015 that she would be attending GVSU in the fall. The transfer came relatively easily to her. After all, it wasn’t her first time.

All of a sudden, Martin was in a situation she could have put herself in three years ago. She was a Laker and a member of a national power in Division II college soccer. The college transition might have been easy, but the game became more difficult.

“My first practice here was a little tough,” Martin said. “But that’s what I expected when I made the decision to come here.”

Since the summer workouts and preseason practices, Martin has made the game look easy on the field. She has scored four goals and recorded six assists in 11 games to help the Lakers to a 10-1 record in 2015.

The transitions for Martin on and off the field have been easier for her thanks to her teammates.

“Knowing that I was going to be her roommate made me really excited,” said senior defender Katy Woolley. “She has gone all-in for GVSU and her hard work has really paid off.”

Martin has gelled with her teammates on and off the field. She is currently teaching senior Katie Bounds how to drive a stick shift.

Support from her parents, teammates and coaches have made Martin’s journey both an adventure and a success – unknown and exciting.

“This journey has been like stepping stones for me,” Martin said. “I have learned something from each decision I have made along the way.”