MVP Spotlight: Josie Collier and Nick Thornburg

She plays volleyball, He plays football, both star in the Hemet High Daily Bulletin

Photos by Corey Evan
An action shot of Nick Thornburg during a play.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

It’s one thing to be the face of your school in the sports arena. It’s a whole other deal being the face of the school in the morning announcement broadcast as well. But it’s a scenario which Hemet High School’s Josie Collier and Nicholas Thornburg both know well. Both Bulldog nominees to our MVP Spotlight feature as regulars in the school’s Daily Bulletin videos. And both students are seniors.

Josie Collier
Collier was nominated to our MVP spotlight by Coach Joe Schnake: “My first impression of Josie Collier was that I thought she had a great attitude and fantastic work ethic. Her sheer power has always impressed me on the court and other teams. From Freshman year to Senior year, she has grown in leadership and has been a great teammate to her peers and younger classmates coming in. I am so proud of the person she has become.”
This season saw Collier play as an outside and a team captain. Collier says the 2018 volleyball season was her favorite season playing for the Bulldogs: “I was really happy with the team and I love this team to death!”
It’s easy to see why, as she and her fellow Lady Bulldogs went 10-0 in Mountain Pass League to become this season’s champs, and made it to round two of CIF playoffs before being bested by the Viewpoint Patriots. And also because Collier has known most of her teammates since she was a freshman: “It was very reminiscent of old times,” she says.

Josie Collier is a regular in Hemet High’s Daily Bulletin videos.

Collier expresses her gratitude to the Bulldog coaching staff, including Coach Schnake, Lauren Valdez and Mrs. Brown, as well as her club coaches for helping her along the way. “They were all so great, so helpful to the team.”
Her future plans include playing volleyball at UC San Diego, and she is currently undecided between Psychology, Environmental Science or Political Science. Only time will tell how she casts her ballot! She also thanked Mr. Hill for “everything.”

Nick Thornburg
Nick was nominated to our MVP spotlight by his father (without bias!), Coach Jason Thornburg: “His greatest accomplishment this season on the field is being balanced, passing and running the ball. Off the field.. being balanced academically and socially. No extra pressure due to (daily bulletin duties); He knows some are going to like him and most are going to hate him due to being in the spotlight. That’s just the way it is.”
Nick’s duties as quarterback this season also included team captain duties. Nick said this honor has validated his efforts in recent years: “It always feels great to be put in a spot like that, especially when you feel like you do a lot for the team and you’ve been putting in work since last season.”
According to Nick, this season has been one of the best he’s taken part in: “Having a winning record means a lot, and going to the playoffs and having a good chance of winning. Hosting for the first time since 1999 is really a great thing for Hemet High… It really shows what potential we have.”
Not to mention the Bulldogs are in the semifinals of CIF Division 11, the farthest Hemet has gone in postseason since 1969, according to Coach Thornburg.
As far as future plans go, Coach Thornburg describes Nick’s plans like this: “His future plans are to go to college, get an education to turn Nicholas into Nicholas on his own.”
We will have to see what Nick turns Nick into!
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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *