Franklin County senior loves soccer, animals

Published 11:00 am Friday, July 14, 2023

MEADVILLE — Franklin County High School senior Braxton Martin was helping a vet work on a calf Thursday afternoon when she took a break from work at Larkin Veterinary Clinic. Martin epitomizes the role of Student Athlete and then some. 

She is a competitor, an artist, a lover of animals, a cockatiel owner, a soccer team captain, a vet clinic intern and a Mississippi State Poultry Science Camp scholar. Originally from Natchez, she moved to Franklin County in sixth grade and tried out for the Bulldog soccer team in seventh grade. 

Five years later, she earned the Most Valuable Player award at Jones College Summer Soccer Camp where the defender headed in a goal to beat Brookhaven Academy with 40 seconds remaining in the game. She steps into the role of captain this year with excitement for the opportunity. 

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“I have always liked being on a winning team. I’m really competitive and I enjoy trying to win. It drives me to be successful,” Martin said. “As captain, I’ll get to lead the team and look over them. Our goal is to win the district and see how everything goes after that…From soccer, I’ve learned how to be aggressive and how to get my touch better. Soccer allowed me to find my initiative and determination.” 

Head Coach Jeff Long said Martin is an even keeled person with a positive attitude. He saw her grow from a junior varsity player stepping up in seventh grade to the strong and dependable senior leader she is now. Martin first earned a varsity letterman in ninth grade and has improved each year since, Long said. 

A coachable player, she corrects mistakes and remembers everything they have worked on. Long said Martin has always been one of the best listeners and a dependable player. She understands and applies the team’s strategy and defensive scheme. 

Franklin County High School gives out Hall of Fame awards for each sport and Martin has a good chance of earning the Hall of Fame spot from Long. 

“It is safe to say Braxton has that already wrapped up because of her career, dedication and work ethic. It has been unmatched and she has been a blessing to the community and represented the community well,” Long said. “She gives everything 100 percent and has been a huge asset to the program. She always has the same positive attitude, win or lose in the game. She recognizes soccer is just a game and we are all out here trying to get better at soccer and life. That attitude has really paid off for her.” 

Life off the pitch

Martin took the initiative to apply for a Poultry Science camp at Mississippi State University at the recommendation of a teacher. She applied and was one of a few students from Mississippi to be accepted into the summer camp. 

Martin said they learned a lot about agriculture and enjoyed learning about dairy science in Starkville. One of her memorable experiences from the trip was dissecting a bee to look for diseases. She said it was a very insightful experience. 

In the summertime, she works with Larkin Veterinary Clinic as an intern working with everything from cats, dogs, horses and cows. Her plan is to study veterinary medicine in agriculture in college. 

“I just like working with animals and I feel like I can do the work to become a vet. It just interests me,” Martin said. “I like helping animals.” 

One of her hobbies is breeding, raising and selling cockatiels. Currently, she has eight birds but one of them is pending a purchase, four are for sale and two of the birds are breeder birds. Cockatiels are pretty and pretty easy to maintain, Martin said. They are her favorite animal and she started raising them in eighth grade to breed. 

Martin said she does not live on a farm but lives in a brick house with a chicken coop in the yard and cockatiels live in her room. She enjoys incubating and hatching chickens and hopes to be able to sell baby chickens one day. Chickens are fairly easy to take care of if you feed, provide water and provide the right light source. 

Outside of soccer and animals, Martin enjoys expressing herself through art. She draws and scrapbooks. Her artwork is digital or painting with a cartoony style of dragons and fantasy themed scenes. 

Once she earns her diploma Martin will be headed off to college and plans to stay in Mississippi. She said she may not come back to Franklin County but has considered sticking close to home. She will miss Franklin County. 

“I will miss the people the most,” Martin said. “I’ve made a lot of friends and a lot of people have helped me grow as a person. I will miss them.”