Sacred Heart’s Jessica Hyde and Blair Viator will continue their soccer careers at the next level. On Thursday, Hyde signed with Southeastern Louisiana and Viator with Jones College.
Before committing to the Lady Lions this past summer, Hyde leaned on her sister, Sarah Beth, for guidance throughout the recruiting process.
“I kept her updated on every part of my recruitment,” Jessica Hyde said. “She would tell me like, ‘Say this, don’t say this, make sure you do this, go to this person, email this person back’. She was really the guiding light throughout my recruitment.”
Sarah Beth Hyde signed with Spring Hill College back in 2015. Seeing her sister sign pushed Jessica even more to do the same.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind, but once my sister signed to play college soccer in 2015, it was a definite, ‘I have to do this, this what I want to do’.
“I’m just super excited to see where this can take me because it’s always been my dream to play college soccer. It’s finally becoming a reality.”
Hyde called Southeastern Louisiana an “easy choice”.
“I really like the coach. He’s a fantastic coach, and his style really fits what I like to do. And when I met the team, they were all really nice girls. I just felt like I was really in the right place.”
Hyde scored 10 goals and added 10 assists last season for the Lady ‘Saders, who captured a third-straight state championship with a 2-1 overtime win over St. Andrews in February.
Blair Viator missed that match for Sacred Heart after tearing her ACL earlier in the season. It’s been a long road to recovery for Viator, who signed with Jones College the same day she’s expected to make her long-awaited return to the pitch.
“It’s kinda crazy, tonight’s my first game back since I got hurt,” Viator said. “It’s kinda nerve-wracking that I’m getting to play at Jones after all that.
“It’s been tough. The people at Hattiesburg Clinic have been helping me through it. I still have to do a gradual start, but I’m ready to get back on the field. I feel good about it.”
After her final season in a Sacred Heart uniform, Viator will join a Jones program that captured MACJC and Region 23 championships just last month.
“It was the atmosphere, and I know a lot of girls on the team,” Viator said of her choice of Jones. “It was just a good fit for me.”