Patton Springs: Coach’s daughter stars as junior high running back

For the junior high squad at Patton Springs ISD, one of it's greatest additions has been Jocelyn Salas, an 8th grader, who is a running back on the team.
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 4:23 PM CDT
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AFTON, Texas (KCBD) - In a school as small as Patton Springs, it’s pretty much all hands on deck when it comes to putting together a football team. Patton Springs is located in Afton, Texas, which is in Dickens County.

“Here, it’s like it’s more hyped up. It’s more like, “We’re going to do this, we’re going to do this,” says 8th-grader Jocelyn Salas, who is the daughter of head coach Juan Salas. “We’re going to win, we’re gonna prove them wrong. Just because we’re small does not mean anything. We’re going to go hard.”

For the junior high squad, one of its greatest additions has been Jocelyn. After she started suiting up for the Thursday night lights, other guys have since joined the team. 

Not only has she had quality time on the field, but she has also been one of the most explosive running backs. She also plays middle linebacker on defense. Her brother, Juan III also stars on varsity (he returned multiple kickoffs for touchdowns while KCBD was in Patton Springs Thursday night).  Much like others in West Texas, football has been a way of life for the Salas family.

“I’ve just been watching football, playing football. So yeah, it’s a thing I’ve been doing it for forever, since I was born basically. It’s hard, but I’d rather run over people than get run over on defense.”

Jocelyn is likely to hang up the shoulder pads once the Thursday night games are finished. From there, there her focus will shift to other sports.

“I’m in all sports, cross country. I’m doing tennis, track, basketball. I’m also in cheerleading too. Yeah, I think that’s all I’m doing,” she joked. Her hoop dreams go far beyond her time in Afton.

“I really want to play college basketball at UCLA. Basketball is my main thing though, I feel like I could actually go somewhere with that.”