Standing in at a statuesque 5’9”, Saige Steinmetz may be the most natural athlete in the Legends Football League. A three-sport star with tremendous skill, she brings a solid all-around game to an ambitious Jacksonville Breeze franchise looking to win a championship.
Complementing her All-Fantasy Status with the Jacksonville Breeze is her experience in softball and soccer. An All-America selection in soccer, Steinmetz has an athletic resume that would be the envy of athletes, both male and female. Competing at the Community College of Baltimore County in 2008, she set a program record with 65 stolen bases in softball. Later in her academic career, she would transfer to the University of Tampa where compete in soccer with the Spartans.
After graduating from the University of Tampa, she would extend her athletic career to the football field. Of note, it was not her first introduction to the sport. At Upper Perkiomen high school, Steinmetz was already a star in basketball, soccer and softball when the football coach approached her about being the team’s field goal kicker.
For Breeze fans, they knew they were seeing a special athlete when Steinmetz had a performance to remember against the rival Miami Caliente in 2010. Having made two touchdown runs (both were nearly from end of the field to the other), she would also log a receiving touchdown in a Game MVP performance. Of note, she would also make three tackles, of which two were for losses. Not surprisingly, she was part of the LFL’s All-Star tour of Australia in 2012.
Although the Breeze were not able to qualify for the postseason this season, Steinmetz proved to be one of the most valiant performers on both sides of the ball. She tied for third in the LFL with 2 sacks, accounting for 12 yards lost by the opposition. Her 18 total tackles, of which an astounding 9 were for loss led all players on the Breeze, respectively. A nominee for the 2013 LFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, she contributed to a defense which allowed only 2 rushing touchdowns all season.
Defensively, her finest performance of the season may have come in the season opener. Competing against the expansion Atlanta Steam in their inaugural game, Steinmetz, Adrian Purnell and Lauren Ziegler made life miserable for Steam rookie quarterback Brittany Morgan. Steinmetz sacked her in the game, complemented by seven tackles as Jacksonville prevailed by a convincing 48-0 tally.
While Steinmetz was remarkable on defense, her versatility was evident with a superlative performance on the offensive side of the ball. Although she finished third in receiving, she was a workhorse at the running back position. Having accumulated 124 rushing yards, Steinmetz’ output represented 39% of the team’s rushing yardage.
Considering the Breeze had 65 total rushing attempts, the coaching staff showed remarkable confidence in Steinmetz as she had 33 of said attempts. Her value as a running back only became more evident when she accumulated four of the club’s nine rushing touchdowns. Without Steinmetz, it would be difficult to fathom the Breeze outrushing their opponents during the season (Jacksonville had an advantage of 318-225 rushing yards).
Armed with championship ambitions for 2014, Steinmetz will once again serve as the cornerstone of Jacksonville’s attack on offense and defense. There is no question that aficionados of the LFL can expect more memorable moments from Steinmetz. In the hearts and minds of her fans, she is still an All-American that anyone would want to call their teammate.