Student: Brittany and Briana Martinez
Year in School: Seniors
Plans After High School: Brittany wants to attend Bakersfield College for two years and then CSUB to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies to become an elementary or middle school teacher. Briana wants to go to Bakersfield College for two years and then to attend an art school. She eventually wants to work in an industry that allows her to show off her artistic skills.
GPS Focus: GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE
What Makes Brittany and Briana #BulldogSTRONG: At 6am, most high school students across the nation are still in bed, sleeping, and having nightmares of the idea that they eventually have to get up and get ready for school. However, for twins Brittany and Briana Martinez of Golden Valley High School (born just three minutes apart with Brittany being the oldest), the morning narrative is much different. While most students are snoring counting their zs, Brittany and Briana are on the tennis courts of GVHS every morning, sharpening their skills and getting in extra practice to become the very best tennis players that they can be. The idea of showing up early started the second day of school this year as they showed up at 6am and were hitting tennis balls against the handball walls next to the courts in order to get some work in. However, after a few days, the Golden Valley Head Groundsman, Henry Cornejo, recognized the commitment of these Lady Bulldogs and began to open the gate to the tennis courts, so that the twins could get practice on actual tennis courts before school. “We are so thankful and appreciative of Henry,” state the twins, “He is so kind and helpful for letting us practice every morning.” The twins don’t mind getting up early in the morning because they enjoy the training, going the extra mile, and strengthening their sister bond. Brittany and Briana practice for about one hour and fifteen minutes, quickly get dressed in the locker room or available restroom, and start their school day.
Up at 5am and on the courts at 6am, twins Brittany and Briana Martinez are #BulldogSTRONG as they have shown much GROWTH and PRIDE in tennis.
However, tennis is a relatively new phenomenon for Brittany and Briana. As a sophomore, Brittany had aspirations of playing a sport in high school, but didn’t really know what interested her. One day, during second period announcements, she heard that there were tennis tryouts and she decided to give it a chance and from the start, she fell in love with the sport. “Playing tennis has been a fun experience for me,” indicates Brittany, “I enjoy the competition, but more than anything I really love my teammates and the tennis family that has been established at Golden Valley.”
After hearing on the announcements about tryouts, Brittany Martinez joined the tennis team and has been stable force for the Lady Bulldogs over the past few years. (Photo by Miguel Garcia)
While Brittany was thriving in her new passion, Briana was also trying to find a sport that best served her. Briana tried swim for a year and conditioned with the cross country team, but still had not found her passion. After seeing her sister have so much fun during her sophomore year, Briana decided to give tennis a chance. “When I first considered tennis, I thought it looked boring,” laughs Briana, “I wasn’t very good, but after a while, I really started to enjoy playing and now, I imagine myself playing for the rest of my life.” After just one year of putting in a solid junior campaign and lots of hard work, Briana elevated her status to #1 singles this year with her sister, Brittany right behind her at #2 singles. Moreover, Briana and Brittany are the Lady Bulldogs #1 doubles team. “Playing with doubles is sometimes stressful because we aren’t afraid to yell and be honest with each other,” smiles the sisters, “However, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve tried playing with other girls, but it just doesn’t work. We push each other and truly love each other and the experience of playing together has brought us closer together.” For the dedication and commitment of Brittany and Briana, the Lady Bulldogs have a very solid 7-7 overall record. “I am fortunate to coach such amazing young ladies,” states Head Coach Ed Crosby, “In our last game against Tehachapi, while we were waiting for the last match to end, Brittany and Briana found an empty court and went right to work on sharpening their skills. Their attitude is infectious to everyone that they are around.” Their favorite tennis player is superstar Rafael Nadal. “The intensity and speed at which Rafa plays is amazing,” states the twins, “We watch highlights of him on YouTube and are inspired to play like him.”
At first, Briana Martinez thought tennis was boring, but because of the fun her sister was having, she joined the Lady Bulldogs and is now the #1 Singles player. (Photo by Miguel Garcia)
Beyond the tennis courts, Brittany and Briana are excellent students in the classroom. Brittany carries a 3.89 GPA and is an active member of the Science and Medicine Club and SERVES in a wide array of community service opportunities as a member of the Interact Club. For her part, Briana has a 3.80 GPA and is also part of the Science and Medicine Club as well as the Interact Club. Briana also possesses incredible artistic ability. “Briana is incredibly talented and very hard working,” states Aarron Wherry, art teacher and Head of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Golden Valley, “She has shown tremendous GROWTH since the first day she stepped into my classroom, and continues to constantly work and improve on her skills.” For their relentless pursuit at being the best tennis players that they can be and for the tremendous GROWTH, PRIDE, & SERVICE that they have displayed in the classroom, on campus, and in the community, Brittany and Briana Martinez are #BulldogSTRONG.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Brittany: "#BulldogSTRONG means that we have to demonstrate GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE all the time, not just when teachers at Golden Valley are around. It means that we live to SERVE others and take PRIDE in being the best person and version of myself.”
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Briana: "#BulldogSTRONG means that we take efforts to make the school a better and safer place. It brings us together and allows us, as students, to support each other and give us good advice. GPS allows our school to be fun place that welcomes everyone with open arms.”
What Teachers Think of Brittany and Briana:
"Briana and Brittany Martinez are exemplars of what it means to be #BulldogSTRONG in the Classroom, On Campus, and in the Community. Both young women bring positive attitudes, a strong work ethic, and a persevering attitude into the classroom and onto the tennis courts as well. For example, each morning before school begins, and sometimes before the sun has even fully risen, both Brittany and Briana are out practicing hitting tennis balls on the walls. In We the People class, both young women have demonstrated mastery of complex concepts in our government and they have challenged themselves to excel at public speaking as well. Their hard-work and positive attitudes define what it means to be #BulldogSTRONG." - John Hansen, We The People Coach and Government Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"I have had the pleasure of coaching both Briana and Brittney in Varsity Girls Tennis over the past two years. They are both key members (#1 and #2 respectively) of our team and both work tirelessly to improve their game. I admire the positive attitude and cheerful disposition that both girls exhibit on a daily basis. Briana and Brittney are the epitome of a student-athlete and I feel blessed to have them as members of the Lady Bulldogs tennis team!!" - Ed Crosby, World History Teacher and Varsity Girls Tennis Coach, Golden Valley High School
"Briana Martinez truly represents the GPS spirit as she combines excellence in academics, sports, and clubs. She is heavily involved in everything she does. Best of all, she takes pride in performing all these roles as she walks #BulldogSTRONG!" - Luis Jauregui, Mathematics Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"Three things that make Brittany bulldog strong: 1. Very responsible and respectful 2. She is a very caring with classmate who connects with students very fast. 3. She is proud to represent GV Bulldogs in her involvement with campus activities." - Marianne Anderson Parsons, Social Studies Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"Brianna always showed up to class with her positive energy and a smile. Everyone likes her and wants to be around her. I know she will be successful in whatever she sets her mind to!" - Marianne Anderson Parsons, Social Studies Teacher, Golden Valley High School