Hang around Hornet Stadium enough and you’ll see that Vinnie Patteri, punter and placekicker for the Hornets, puts in the work. He’s out there in the spring, after a girls’ soccer game, kicking field goals through the uprights. This year, Patteri and JT Turner have split kicking duties, with Patteri doing the lion’s share of the work - especially when punting.
Meet Vinnie Patteri
Parents: Christie & Kevin Patteri
You punt, place kick, kick field goals, play receiver and do special teams. Which do you enjoy most? I would have to say all of them. I absolutely love being on the field, wherever it is, whenever it is and competing.
Describe your favorite moment as a Hornet football player: My favorite moment has to be the Bedford game last year, hitting the game-winning field goal. The amount of energy in Hornet Stadium after the win was just amazing, such a great feeling.
I remember seeing your name in Saline Rec Punt, Pass & Kick articles. How long have you known you wanted to play football? I did the punt pass and kick for 7 years I think, since I was 8. But I’ve loved football as long as I can remember. When I was only two years old, I knew every single referee signal thanks to my dad's influence.
What does it mean to you to win the SEC in your senior year? It means a whole lot to win the SEC, but its extra special your senior year. It really put the finishing touch on the regular season, but also gives us a lot of momentum as we get closer to the Playoffs.
How important is winning the Ypsilanti game? The Ypsilanti game is a lot bigger than just the last game of the season, because for the seniors, it could be the last home game we play in at Hornet Stadium.
What do you like most about Friday nights at Hornet Stadium? The amount of energy and the atmosphere in Hornet Stadium cannot be matched by any other school in the state. I've been to a few college football games that don’t come close to what we have at home on Friday nights thanks to our fans. It really helps us players get hyped up.
The team is obviously rolling right now. What’s the atmosphere like around the locker room? The atmosphere in the locker room is very different than most teams that are rolling. You would assume it's hype and crazy, but it's very humble, and we're focused on what we have to do, looking at next week and not the previous week or our record. Coach Palka keeps us focused on taking care of business.
Describe your gameday mentality in one word: Focused
Song that gets you pumped up to play: Love Sosa by Chief Keef
Do you have any gameday superstitions/routines? JDrew McGovern and I always walk in the back of the specialist group when we walk out to the field. Even with injured players or odd amounts, you'll see me and JD bringing up the rear.
Who is the funniest player on the team? The funniest player probably has to be Tom Raupp. The kid just loves football and enjoys himself on and off the field. He doesn't trash talk the other team, he just constantly makes odd comments and jokes to the other players. Couldn't imagine the team without Tommy, I love coming to practice and seeing him there every day.
Who’s an unsung hero on this team? I would say an unsung 'duo' that works together helping me out a lot is Zach Drevno and Cole Daniels with the snap and hold for field goals. I may get credit for making the field goals but it’s behind the scenes where the credit is deserved. Those two have been very consistent all year and have really helped me achieve what I have in the kicking game.
Other sports and extracurricular activities: I'm on the Baseball team at the school and am looking forward to trying to get a second baseball state championship this coming season.
Favorite subject in school: My favorite subject is probably Auto Tech, working on cars.
Favorite ice cream: Cookies and Cream
You’re starting to get college offers. Who’s offered so far? How exciting is it for you to be touring college campuses with the chance to play D1 college football? I currently have offers from Temple University and UMass, and have interest from several other colleges. At this point I have not committed yet as we are still visiting some schools. It is so amazing to think that I have a chance to play on the same stage as so many other great players. I am just happy to have a chance to stay on the field because I can't imagine myself not on a sports team competing.