July 9, 2024

Memorable field goal kick-started a momentous day for Brett Lauther

Brett Lauther will never forget one kickoff — to the month of September, nearly five years ago.

His 26-yard field goal on the final play of a Sept. 1, 2019 CFL game gave the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 19-17 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Mosaic Stadium.

After the climactic three-pointer, Lauther and holder Jon Ryan sprinted nearly the length of the field and plunged into Pil Country.

Little did Lauther suspect that, a few hours later, an already memorable day would get even better.

He met his future wife.

“I always joke that if I didn’t make that kick, she wouldn’t have talked to me,” says Lauther, who exchanged vows with Jill Swenson on June 28.

“We just met through some mutual friends at a team gathering and kind of kept talking after that. It just grew and blossomed into what it has been the last few years.

“I’m thankful every day to have met her and for her family and everyone else along the way.”

Lauther proposed to Jill on Dec. 23, 2023 — having decided to pop the question much earlier. It was simply a matter of when and where.

“I kind of knew right away that she was the one,” Lauther says. “I’m thankful that she agreed to put up with my shenanigans.”

The formal agreement took place during a small ceremony in Regina, toward the end of the Roughriders’ most-recent bye week.

The officiating, by the way, was perfect.

The ceremony was performed by marriage commissioner Cindy Fuchs — Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation.

Morgan Fleury, the Roughriders’ Digital Media Co-ordinator, took the photographs.

Roughriders receiver Mitch Picton and his wife Kaylee — newlyweds themselves — were the official witnesses.

A considerably larger event is to be scheduled around a Roughriders home game in 2025.

In the meantime, there are logistics to consider.

Brett is from Truro, N.S. Jill was born in tiny Bindloss, Alta. (“Population: Her family,” Brett points out.)

“It’s a little bit trickier with the east and west families and not being from Saskatchewan, so we kind of figured, ‘Why wait?’ ” the Roughriders’ sixth-year placement specialist says.

“We’re planning more of a celebration next year when we can have a little more time. We’ll have a ton of people coming from Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Not everyone who has supported me from down east can make it out to Saskatchewan for a game. This is the best place to play and the best place to watch a game, so we really want everyone to experience that.”

Lauther cherishes all the experiences that have unfolded in life since he met Jill.

“She just makes me a better person every day,” he says. “She’s my everything. Without her, I don’t think I could be able to do what I do on the field and off the field.

“Her and her family mean the world to me and she means a lot to my family as well.”

The couple’s families are separated by 4,400 kilometres — the distance between Truro and Bindloss.

“She grew up on the farm with her brothers,” Lauther says. “I was lucky enough to be out there and spend some of COVID learning the tricks of the trade with them.

“I’m so thankful to have that experience with them and all the support from her and her family. I can’t say enough good things about them.

“Her dad and her brothers and her mom and everyone in their whole family has been so accepting and awesome and caring and loving and appreciative of myself. It’s likewise right back to them.”