Sometimes JV can be the perfect fit.

Courtesy of www.blakebears.org

Courtesy of www.blakebears.org

There’s certainly a stigma with self-selecting a junior-varisty sport. JV isn’t just an excuse for a sports requirement or to hang out with friends, rather it’s often a time to improve skills in preparation for varsity tryouts. The great thing about our school is that every student is guaranteed a spot on a team, whether it be Varsity, JV or C squad. Emily Moffa ‘16, a member of the varsity softball and JV hockey teams, notes, “[JV teams are] really fun and it’s pretty laid back. It allows for a better experience because there’s not this level of expectation.” Moffa adds, however, “There’s the expectation that you try your best.”

But JV does come with its downfalls. Gabby Bean ‘19 plays JV volleyball and JV hockey. She claims, “You don’t really get to play if you’re on a line under line two.” Another notable issue with participating on JV is the varying levels of commitment and intensity; while some players are aiming for a spot on next year’s varsity squad, some are known to slack. Bean mentions, “If you’re not actually playing, late practices are not that fun.”

Michael Smith ‘17 who is the captain of the cross country team, a swing for varsity hockey, and is captain of the track team says, “JV isn’t as extreme and the coaches don’t hold JV players as accountable as varsity players, so sometimes JV players won’t show up to as many practices as varsity players or won’t play as hard.”

Varsity, on the other hand, is much more competitive. Smith says, “My favorite part about varsity would probably be the competitiveness of it but still having that strong bond with your teammates.” Because varsity teams have a faster game speed and focus on winning tournaments and state championships, some of the varsity players don’t always play in games. JV is about getting the foundation laid for the sport and varsity is about perfecting it.

JV soccer coach Christian Prouty says, “On the JV level the focus is on development. As a result I aspire to make sure that all players get a chance to play and I try to put them at places on the field where they’ll continue to grow and become more successful.”

As players get more advanced and ready to play at a higher level, varsity comes into the picture. Another hard question about being a coach of a sport is who should play: the best players or give everyone equal playing time. There are many factors that goes into this decision though. “The varsity coaches evaluate based on their team’s overall success. Success isn’t only winning and losing, but the expectation in soccer is that there would be year to year overall repeatable success.” On the JV level the focus is more on skill development and learning the sport. People play sports for many different reasons, but whatever skill level you are there is a team right for you.