With rugby season now in motion, Jessica Sauter will be stepping out on the field for her third time, as a key player for the Highlanders. With high hopes for the season, she’s excited to see what her final year will bring her and the team.
Sauter started learning about rugby when she was in the ninth grade, but due to previous commitments, had to wait to make her debut until the following year as a grade 10 student. She gained interest in the sport thanks to her friend Anna Mallard’s dad, Russ, who saw potential in her and gave the support she needed to go and try out for the team. Now Sauter is a key player for the Highlanders, being able to play two positions, full back (15) and outside center (13), showing her flexibility and effort to benefit her team in any way possible.
This year’s team is quite young, meaning Sauter will have to step up and be there, to help motivate and teach the new players. As of now Sauter says, “Our chemistry is building and we are starting to play very well together. I have no doubt they will all be rugby superstars in the next few years.” These are encouraging words, due to the fact that they lost a lot of vets last year, who were great contributors to the team’s success.
Anna Mallard, rugby player and teammate of Sauter, who played a large role in getting her to play, said “The sport is absolutely perfect for her and she is a tremendous player. She has so much passion for the game and has helped lead our high school team with her enthusiasm and experience.” Mallard also went on to say “She is always there to motivate others and is a true leader on and off the field.” These statements speak volumes to Sauter’s character.
Sauter has a lot of love for this sport and it has helped her realize her strength and perseverance for the things that she cares about. Rugby has also been a large contributor to the person that she has become, due to the lessons she has learned along the way. “Three huge life lessons rugby has taught me is to always respect, trust, and believe. We have that on our warm up [jerseys] and we all wear it proudly.”
With summer and fall just around the corner, Sauter has a lot on her mind, and plenty of things to work for. She is currently trying out for Team NB Rugby, which she has played in the past, but is also hopeful for the chance to play for her university of choice, Saint Thomas, located in Fredericton, NB. Sauter is also determined to play with Black Tide, a local club team, so she is doing as much as she can to enhance her strength on the field. Sauter is doing all this while still maintaining an honours average and a part time job, which is very impressive.
When referring to her rugby future with Saint Thomas University, Sauter is awaiting a visit from a coach to watch her play a league game. So from now until then, Sauter must play each game to the best of her ability, as she isn’t sure which game the STU couch will be attending.
Speaking to Sauter’s career-long teammate Abigail Winters, confirmed how hard Sauter works to get the job done. Winters explained that “She is one tough rugby player, one of the toughest I know. She goes as hard as she can all the time, puts her all out on the field, scoring lots of try’s and making great tackles, runs, and kicks. She brings a lot of positive aspects to the team.” She added “Jessica is a great rugby player and it’s been awesome playing with her.” With such positive words from Winters, it demonstrates what a special player Sauter is.