MVP Spotlight: Tyalaja Pride and Roy Garcia

Tyalaja shot hoops this winter for Hemet High, while Roy took to the Bulldog wrestling mat

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Tyalaja Pride with her basketball coach, Isaac Heggins.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

No matter what life throws at you, you have to have the will to throw something back at it. For Hemet High School seniors Tyalaja Pride and Roy Garcia, throwing down in the sports arena is their way of doing just that. For their efforts, they are being recognized here today.
Tyalaja Pride, who also goes by “Ty,” captained the Lady Bulldogs this season and was nominated for our MVP Spotlight by her basketball coach Isaac Heggins.
“She worked harder than anybody—she put in the extra effort,” said Heggins. “She separated herself from the team, and that’s why she got this award. She was the hardest working kid in probably all of the winter sports!”
Pride recalled how she got into basketball. “When I was in seventh grade, I liked running and thought basketball would’ve been my sport, so I tried out and I made the team.”
Pride plans to head to Riverside Community College after graduation, chasing a career in psychology. “If Ty puts her mind to it, she will succeed,” continued Heggins.
Pride thanks her parents; specifically her mom, for their support in her academic and athletic efforts.
Our Bulldog wrestler Roy Garcia made it to the master’s meet this season before suffering a tough defeat, but nonetheless was nominated for our spotlight by his coach Aaron Rhoades.

Roy Garcia.

“I feel really blessed, and really thankful that I was able to be a candidate,” said Garcia on the nomination.
Garcia got into wrestling through his dad’s job.
“I was in the seventh grade and soccer didn’t work out and I had to find another sport to do,” Garcia explained. “So my dad’s boss brought me into wrestling and ever since then, I’ve just stuck with it.”
Garcia wants to keep wrestling as he heads into college, whether it be at Pacific Life College or Cal Poly Pomona. He would like to to major in either plant life or business and eventually become a dairy farmer! Got milk?
Coach Rhoades did not respond to requests for comment at press time.
“I gained a lot of knowledge and I realize that hard work does pay off and as long as you continue pursuing what you like you’ll eventually come out a winner one way or another,” concludes García.
On behalf of The Valley Chronicle, congratulations to Ty and Roy! May you continue to inspire young minds, or at least help them think to have their recommended daily allowance of calcium.
Do you have a student athlete to nominate for our MVP Spotlight? If so, Corey Evan can be reached at 760-270-5625 or by email at

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