MVP Spotlight: Lauryn Patterson and Wyatt Salinas

Patterson played volleyball for Hemet High in the fall season, Salinas played football

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Lauryn Patterson was Hemet High School’s selection for MVP. She can spike a volleyball like no other.

■ Corey Evan / Reporter

Playing any high school sport catches the attention of one’s friends and family, as well as the rest of the student population. They see your strengths and weaknesses, but praise you win or lose. This fall sports season, seniors Lauryn Patterson and Wyatt Salinas get the glory in our MVP Spotlight.
Salinas was nominated for our MVP spotlight by head football coach Jason Thornburg.
“Great kid!” exclaimed Thornburg. “Whatever Wyatt sets his mind to do he will accomplish in school, sports, and in life.”
According to Thornburg, Salinas was a three-year starter, defensive back and linebacker for Hemet, as well as a starting kicker in 2016 and 2017 and a two-year captain. Salinas kicked two 43-yard field goals for the Bulldogs (the longest at Hemet High since 1992). He scored 10 field goals in his career, edging out the previous record held by Pat Maddox in 1992, according to records available since 1975.
Salinas says football has been a family affair for a long time: “My dad and my older brother, my family has always been into football… but seeing my older brother play made me want to be good at it and kind of follow in his footsteps and just be a football player.”
Salinas said that despite not winning the bell from San Jacinto this year, the experience has been largely about caring about his team:
“Not everything works out and we still worked very hard,” said Salinas. “I’m still really proud of my team.”

Wyatt Salinas was Hemet High School’s MVP for his skills on the football field.

Salinas has participated in baseball, track and wrestling for Hemet. He plans to play football this fall at Riverside City College. He is currently torn between being a zookeeper or coming back to Hemet High to teach ceramics. Only time will tell how he sculpts his future.
Lauryn Patterson was nominated by head volleyball coach Joe Schnake.
“It’s a really good feeling to know that my coach kind of thinks highly of me, and I was able to be a big part of the team,” said Patterson.
The girls volleyball team just came off an impressive 21-6 season, going 9-1 in the Mountain Pass League and only losing to Beaumont. Patterson was selected as Player of the Match three times this season, according to Maxpreps, a school sports statistics website.
Patterson says even though she grew up playing basketball, her family gave her exposure to volleyball.
“Growing up I was mainly a basketball player and I was just around the sport a lot because I had a sibling who was playing it at the time,” said Patterson. “And I had other family members who were into volleyball and I just fell in love with it.”
That’s not to say she’s doesn’t still shoot some hoops; she’s on the winter basketball team this season!
In addition to her continued sports presence on campus, Patterson is also part of the school’s video production class and often anchors their daily bulletin videos. She says being an anchor is no pressure:
“It’s just kind of something that I started last year and I thought I’d finish it out my senior year,” she said.
After graduation, Patterson will be making a run to Miracosta College to play volleyball for the Spartans. Her ultimate goal is to be a social worker in children’s services.
Coach Schnake did not immediately respond to requests for comment by press time. But his nomination alone speaks volumes about Patterson’s commitment to Hemet High!
Congratulations to our Bulldog MVPs!
Do you have a young athlete to nominate for our MVP Spotlight? Corey Evan can be reached at 760-270-5625 or

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