5 for 5 in first game! Meet Brianna Saragih, Hightstown, NJ HS female kicker
Brianna Saragih is the varsity kicker for the 2022 Hightstown Rams high school football team. By the way, she's really good at it! So far this year she went 5 for 5 on extra points in the Ram's 35-12 win over Trenton Central. Not bad for the first game of the season.
I spoke with Brianna, a senior, through email and asked her how it all began:
"I’ve always been a huge fan of football and really wanted to kick since I was in middle school. I played soccer growing up and always got frustrated for kicking the ball over the goal. My dad always joked about getting into kicking field goals, and one day, he brought home a football and a kicking stand and that’s what got me started. I made a deal with my parents that if I still wanted to play once I got into high school, I would stop playing soccer."
"During freshman year, my dad and I talked to Coach Fullen to make sure I would get a separate locker room, and the rest is pretty much history."
Hightstown head coach Ryan Fullen who led the Rams to a 7-4 record and playoff appearance last year talked about his kicker:
"Brianna has been a vital part of our program for the past 4 years. Our coaching staff gives her all the credit in the world for her hard work in the offseason which has led to her getting better year after year. She is probably the most technically sound athlete we have in terms of her ability in the weight room and it shows on the field as her leg strength and accuracy have improved. If we had 58 like her we would win a lot of games."
Where does Brianna get her inspiration?
"I have always looked up to my parents, from each of their work ethics to their passion for giving my sister and I everything we have."
Brianna's father Rado tells New Jersey 101.5:
"We’re beyond proud of Brianna on so many levels," says Rado "My wife Cathy says every time she steps on the field, my stomach does somersault not knowing what will happen but my heart beats fast for the excitement I know she is feeling.”
Saragih is also very appreciative of Brianna's coaches.
"I would also add that we greatly appreciate Brianna’s coaches for allowing her to contribute to the team and most of all, for her to enjoy playing the game."
As is Brianna:
"Throughout all of my successes, between making history as the first female to score an extra point for the varsity team during my sophomore year, to going 5/5 in PATs this past Saturday, nothing would have been possible without my teammates and my coaches. I push myself as an individual, but my teammates truly shaped me into the player I am today. I am grateful to have a coaching staff that looks beyond my identity and recognizes the hard work my team and I put into the game. I am able to be the best version of myself on the field because I know everyone else has my back."
As Brianna got more intro football, her role models started to change
"Growing up, I’ve always had the classic role models, like JJ Watt, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan. But once I started playing football, I realized there weren’t many other people in the same situation I was in."
"My role models started to change. I started to look up to female coaches in the NFL, women working for the MLB, female hockey players, Sarah Fuller when she got to kick for Vanderbilt and so many other women that do things society deems them not fit for. I look up to these women most because I understand the work ethic and dedication it takes to make your mark where you aren’t exactly set up to do so."
So how will football factor into Brianna Saragih's life as she moves forward?
"Football has consumed my life since June of 2019. Moving into this 4th year of high school, it is hard imagining my life without waking up for practice, watching film, or lifting with my team. Playing at the collegiate level is definitely a big step, for a female player or not, college football is not the same as high school. My academics always have to come first, and while I am in the middle of applying to colleges, I am still unsure as to where football lies."
Right now it's lying with Hightstown High School where Brianna Saragih continues to make her parents, her coach, her team, her school and her community proud.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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