High School Sports

Martinez only suspended two games

Northwestern's Alex Martinez will not be lost to the Trojans for two weeks as originally feared after Martinez picked up a red card against Rock Hill on Tuesday.
Northwestern's Alex Martinez will not be lost to the Trojans for two weeks as originally feared after Martinez picked up a red card against Rock Hill on Tuesday.

The penalty against Northwestern boys soccer player Alex Martinez is not as severe as first thought.

Martinez, a sophomore, received a red card in the Trojans' 7-1 win over rival Rock Hill last Tuesday with the final second melting off the clock. It was believed that it would be counted as his second red, and that Martinez would be suspended for two weeks.

Instead, he was given a one-game suspension by the S.C. High School League and an additional game was added one by the school. Martinez sat out last Thursday's 6-0 win over Lancaster and didn't play yesterday in the Trojans' game against Dorman in the Manchester Cup at Rock Hill's Manchester Meadows.

The belief at Northwestern was that the double-yellow card Martinez was given earlier this season was equivalent to a red card. Not so, Northwestern athletics director Bill Warren found out after checking with the S.C. High School League.

The league rules on what the official writes the red card to be. In Martinez's case, the first was a Category C and the second a Category B (see chart above).

"We were told that the yellows were a warning and the red against Rock Hill was his first, and because he was ejected, Alex had to sit out a game,'' Warren said. "If he gets another red, he'll be out for two weeks, and if he gets another after that he could be out the rest of the season.

"We added on an extra game for this incident. We also added some provisions that will be in effect.''

Warren chose not to discuss the provisions, but he's proved in the past that he takes situations like this one seriously.

Martinez, who has scored two goals this season, is the younger brother of Trojans standout junior Enzo Martinez, considered to be the top player in the state. He came away from Saturday's match with 27 goals this year and 120 for his career.

The South Carolina High School League's soccer penalty chart divides red cards into 3 categories:

A -- Fighting, attempting to strike; Foul, vulgar, abusive language or gestures; spitting at others

B -- Any straight red not mentioned above

C -- Technical red (two yellow cards)

The punishments are as follows:

1st offense:

A -- Next two games

B -- Next game

C -- Warning

2nd offense:

A -- Player ineligible

B -- Next two games

C -- Next game

3rd offense:

B -- Player ineligible

C -- Two games

4th offense:

C -- Player ineligible

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