Abington High senior football player Josh Martin remembers the moment his childhood came to an abrupt end.
As a sophomore, Martin received a call from his brother that his mother had drug relapsed and was headed to the hospital.
After his mother’s relapse, Martin ended up in the Department of Children & Families.
“When I got to high school, I started to realize (my family’s drug problem) more,” said Martin. “It just became more apparent to me. I tried to help (my mom) a lot and then there was one week where she tried to completely go sober by herself. She told me that and she said, ‘I need to be strong for the family,’ because I’m the man of my house even though I’m the middle sibling. She told me it was going to be a rough week. I witnessed her go through withdrawal and it changed me forever. It made me realize how much pressure there is on me to be successful for my family.”
He moved in with his cousin, but she was planning to move out of town before his junior year at AHS. Martin wanted to stay in the community he had been a part of since he was 5 years old. As Martin was searching for a home to stay in, he went to his other family for help – the football team.
Assistant coach Ed Reilly, along with his wife Leslie and four children – Eddie, Kayla, Michael and Jack – extended their hand and offered a home. But there was one condition before the Reilly family welcomed Martin into their family.
“(Kayla’s) only comment was if he’s going to be a part of my family, he has to go my dance recitals,” said Reilly.
Martin has been living with the Reilly family and attending Kayla’s dance recitals since September of 2015.
Martin’s list of accomplishments over that time period is long. Martin is just one of two two-year captains in the history of the AHS football team, the other being current assistant coach Matt MacLean. He’ll be a captain on…