Pelion standout juggles many roles, on and off the field

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

PELION, SC (WIS) - When you talk to teachers and coaches at Pelion High School and mention the name Rutland Martin, they just light up. The junior is the do-it-all guy on campus, and he has maturity well beyond his years at home.
"I started band in eighth grade," said Rutland Martin. "My father was a band director, actually."

Martin plays the tuba in the Pelion High School band, and is also on the football team. As you would imagine, fall is a busy time for the junior. "It's interesting timing carrying around the 40-pound tuba and then playing football," said Martin. "It's no joke. But I wouldn't want it any other way."

On Friday nights, when his teammates head in to the locker room to grab a Gatorade, he grabs his tuba. "He's smart enough where we can make the adjustments quick after they finish their performance," said Pelion football coach Ben Freeman. "It works out pretty good."

It's just part of the juggling of activities Rutland performs daily. He also plays basketball and runs track while maintaining a 3.8 GPA, but none of this compares to his responsibility at home. Rutland's mother had back surgery in December which left her paralyzed. At the moment, she's not sure if she will ever be able to walk again.

"My mom has always been one of my best friends," said Martin. "Her being down definitely has hurt. Not having her to depend on. But she's been an inspiration to me. It's only made us stronger."

"He's our spiritual leader, our emotional leader," said basketball coach Parrish Deans. "We know how much he loves his mom. I am a better person from knowing him."

Rutland says his goal in life is to go to Washington and be a politician. He doesn't rule out making a run at being president someday.

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