JV Spotlight

JV teams serve as important experience for future varsity athletes

Olivia Gurley and Kyle Elmendorf

When it comes to high school sports, the varsity squad gains the most attention.

However, for most varsity teams, there is also a junior varsity team for the younger and less experienced players to gain valuable playing time, so they might one day compete in a varsity game.

The JV teams help athletes prepare themselves and develop skills used at the varsity level.

“It is important to have JV teams to allow as many [students] as possible to participate in a sport that they enjoy and to help them find a team whom they can trust, develop friendships with and learn from,” JV girls basketball coach Devan Boeger said. “JV teams help support the varsity teams by challenging their skills and helping each other improve and perform at a higher level.”

JV is a way for the players to get better both on and off the court.

“This year especially, it improved me for being a leader and role model since it was mostly made up of underclassmen,” JV volleyball player junior Maddie Brown said. “[I] showed them the ropes, how things are done and also [how to] take charge.”

Basketball player sophomore Rachel Graves said she is having fun with her teammates on JV this year, and she enjoys playing for Boeger.

“The best part about playing on JV is my teammates,” Graves said. “They encourage me to be my best every day and every game. I don’t know what I’d do without them by my side. I have learned to develop as a leader by listening and taking advice from the upperclassmen.”

JV soccer coach John Dale said the JV team is a good way for players to get used to a program’s playing style and help them become better athletes.

“Player development is the critical function of any JV team,” Dale said. “Those athletes who have aspirations to contribute at the varsity level often need practice and game time to improve. The JV team provides that atmosphere to grow into future varsity athletes in a competitive environment with other athletes performing at a similar level.”

Dale said it’s important not to rush players up to the varsity level before they’re fundamentally sound. He said it can hurt a player if they’re forced to compete at such a high level when they’re not ready for the competition.

“[The difference between JV and varsity is] the definition of success,” Dale said. “With varsity teams, success is most often judged by the win-loss record relative to the talent level. JV teams evaluate success on the overall level of individual and team improvement as well as enjoyment.”Photos by Olivia Gurley