Kautz bound for college in Colorado
Two-time all-state defender and midfielder Jessie Kautz is set to begin her post-high school soccer career at Colorado College.
“I’m very excited because this has been a dream of mine since I was 9 years old,” said Kautz, who leaves on Aug. 3 for Colorado Springs.
After arriving, Kautz said, the Tigers team members will perform a week of community service before starting practice on Aug. 9.
It all started in San Diego last August when Colorado College contacted Kautz after her San Juan Spirits ’88 club soccer team of Sacramento finished runner-up in the Surf Cup.
Colorado College, which plays Division I soccer, invited Kautz on an official visit the following month and offered a scholarship to cover 65 percent of her tuition, Kautz said. After visiting UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis, Kautz said she made the commitment in November to play for the Tigers.
“Hopefully, I can increase (the scholarship) to a full ride by my senior year. That’s my goal,” Kautz said.
Amy Valdivia, Truckee’s varsity girls soccer coach, has no doubt that her former player has what it takes to stand out in the Division I program.
“Physically she’ll do great,” Valdivia said. “She just has to stay in it mentally. I think she can be an impact player at that level. She definitely has the skills to do it. …
“She’s incredibly skilled. She can play any position on the field. And not only can she play (every position), but she can do a very good job at it.”
According to a press release put out by the Colorado College women’s soccer program, head coach Geoff Bennett thinks the same.
“Jessie is a quick, explosive wide player who can play either in the midfield or in defense,” Bennett said. “We see Jessie using her quickness and technical ability to make an impact and to help our team to become more dynamic.”
Kautz prefers to play defense because she likes “the competition (the position brings), just the pressure of stopping the ball,” she said. “But I’m a runner, so I get put at outside mid a lot.”
While Kautz earned first-team all-state recognition as a sophomore and junior at Truckee, and made honorable mention playing varsity as a freshman, she played in only a few games last season due to a torn MCL.
“It was a bummer,” Kautz said of the injury, which occurred while playing for her club team in Sacramento. “(The recovery) was a long process. But I feel like I have come back stronger and have worked harder for what I have now.”
Valdivia said that’s another strength of Kautz’s: her work ethic.
“She works so hard on her off time that she gets better all the time,” Valdivia said. “She is determined to improve.”
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.