Juliette Legault jubilant over opportunity to bolster offensive attack

Part of a new generation of gridiron heroines donning the colors of the Montreal Blitz, Juliette Legault is contributing towards the blazing of an exciting path forward. As the 2017 campaign marked the first for Legault, which was also the first for the Blitz in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), the journey towards calling herself a member of the team involved elements of serendipity and kismet.

Reflecting on her initial exposure to the Blitz, the result would prove to be a chance encounter for Legault. In attendance to observe her girlfriend, Blitz wide receiver (and former Flag Football All-Star) Rose-Amélie Brunet gracing the gridiron, she ran into head coach Pierre Migner. Such an encounter proved to be a career defining moment for Legault as she was recruited to try out for the team.

Image obtained from Facebook

With an extensive background in flag football, having starred at the CEGEP level for the Phénix of College André-Grasset, Legault’s skills would prove to be ideal towards transitioning into tackle football, making her a perfect fit among the Blitz’ 2017 rookie class.

“In March 2017 I went to see my girlfriend play and it was the head coach at the moment, Pierre Migner, who approached me first. I decided to try and I instantly fell in love with the game. At the time, I had played Flag Football for seven years, so (the) integration was easier for me”.

With Opening Day for the Blitz’s WFA season taking place on the road on April 15, 2017, it was the type of contest that signified the growth of both the Blitz and their rivals alike. Having opposed the New York Sharks in the IWFL, the first American-based league that the Blitz competed in, the chance for both teams to challenge each other in the WFA heralded a bold new era, signifying an exciting evolution in their rivalry.

Legault in action with the Blitz (Image obtained from Facebook)

For Legault, the chance to make her Blitz debut by participating in this intense rivalry marked an exciting step forward in her football career. While there was an obligatory sense of nervousness for Legault, who was still nascent to the game, the final result was a triumphant 32-8 tally, as the Blitz emerged victorious in their WFA debut.

“Our first game was in April, only one month after my first experience with tackle football in practice. We were playing against the New York Sharks, the Blitz’s great rivals since forever, so you can understand my level of stress. It all finally went well and we ended up winning the game.”

The following game would signify Legault’s home debut. Hosting the Maine Mayhem, the result was a convincing 49-14 victory, providing Legault with the proud milestone of capturing a win in front of friends and family.

Legault by PCJ Sports Photography

Competing as a running back, the presence of Legault allowed for another dimension on offense, supplying depth to a highly potent running game which featured Laurence Thivierge. Certainly, Legault’s efforts paid positive dividends for the Blitz, emerging as one of the squad’s finest, and most productive, rookies.

Ranking third on the club in rushing, Legault averaged a solid 7.8 yards per carry. As her longest run was for 45 yards, she would tie with quarterback Maude Lacasse for fourth on the Blitz in total touchdowns. Of note, she scored all of her touchdowns for the season (two rushing, one receiving) in the same contest.

As the Blitz challenged the Connecticut Hawks on May 6, it was a game that saw Legault provide her most exemplary performance of the season. Eager to gain the opportunity to play, Legault delivered on all accounts, a key contributor in an inspiring victory that not only saw the Blitz remain among the elites in their division, but provide a cherished season highlight for the rookie running back.

“My favorite moment is probably the game against the Connecticut Hawks. Many veterans were injured and it was the first time in a while the rookies had the opportunity to shine. I scored three touchdowns and after that game, (it was) the moment I knew that football would stay in my life for a long time.”

With an exciting 2017 season that culminated in a sparking 6-1 regular season mark, suffering their only loss against the Boston Renegades, the Blitz reached the second round of the playoffs, losing to the Tampa Bay Inferno. Taking into account that the Blitz averaged 42.7 points per game, along with 367.2 yards per game of offense, plus 158.2 rushing yards per game, Legault is proud to have aided in a high-flying offensive attack that resulted in such an amazing campaign.

Although Legault and her teammates would be the recipients of shocking news in the aftermath of said campaign, as the WFA would not have any Canadian teams in 2018, such a decision would not spell the end for the proud Blitz. With the admirable outlook of establishing an Eastern Canadian football league, players such as Legault hold the potential to be building blocks in this empowering enterprise.

The first phase in this effort sees the Blitz host the New Brunswick provincial women’s team. As players from both squads were part of Canada’s contingent at the 2017 IFAF Women’s Worlds in Vancouver, there will be no shortage of familiar faces in a home-and-home series that shall take place in Montreal and Fredericton on July 14 and 21, 2018.

Eager to participate in this contest, one destined to be an exciting chapter for the evolution of female football, Legault also feels a strong sense of satisfaction in the fact that her girlfriend, Rose-Amélie Brunet was one of ten members of the Blitz that suited up for Team Canada in 2017. With Brunet helping provide guidance in the latest facet of Legault’s gridiron journey, it embodies the sense of friendship and belonging that defines what it means to be part of the Blitz,

“My girlfriend Rose-Amélie Brunet was indeed on the Canadian team and she helped me a lot understand the game. I am really proud of her achievements throughout the season and I hope for her to be on the next Canadian team. I love how the Blitz, no matter the age gap between girls, is like a second family.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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