“You’re a good player, but there are seniors in their last year, while you have some years ahead of you. JV will be good for you – you’ll get some valuable playing time to prepare you for varsity next year.”
This is what junior Roscoe Hill heard from his coach when he was cut from varsity softball in his freshman year. Although devastated, junior varsity was a good opportunity to get out and play, as the varsity coach had predicted.
“JV forces you to be a team player and a leader because there’s a wide range of skill sets,” said Roscoe. “Obviously, JV and varsity don’t have the same intensity, as there’s no motivation for IASAS in JV, but I focused on training hard and improving the whole season, and I think that’s what has brought me up to the varsity team last year.”
As girls’ varsity basketball coach Rich Modica explained, JV should prepare and nurture players for varsity in future years. “There’s always going to be seniors graduating, so JV needs to do a good job so the players are good enough to fill the opened spots,” said Mr. Modica. “In that sense, there’s got to be communication between the varsity and JV coach, so that we’re on the same page. I don’t dictate the drills for the JV team, but I have expectations of certain skills the players should have.”
Inaki Hew, a current boys’ varsity soccer player, is another player that went up the ranks from JV to varsity. Having experienced both sides, he believes that JV hasn’t given him the best preparation for varsity. “In JV, trainings are less intense, players sometimes goof around, whereas in varsity, it’s more serious as IASAS is on the line and more girls come to watch,” said Inaki. “That said, in JV I got lots of playing time, and I was able to take more of a leadership role, communicating with the other players. It helps with your mental attitudes and leadership skills.”
Another athlete that has been through JV and is in the varsity volleyball team is junior Miranda Schot. Miranda touched base on another beneficial aspect of the JV program. “Most of my teammates this year are players that I played with last year on the JV team. Since we have played together before, we have a good chemistry. JV also gives an opportunity to get lots of playing time, which I think helps the transition from JV to varsity become a whole lot easier for players.”
The athletics program is something SAS is very proud of. SAS is one of the top teams every year when it comes to IASAS, and teams would not be able to do so well had the JV teams not existed. While JV “is the essential process to becoming a varsity player,” as Inaki said, Mr. Modica argues that it does not guarantee an entry to varsity.
“If season ends and you don’t pick up the ball again until next season, you don’t improve,” said Mr. Modica. “With so much competition each year, I think it’s crucial to continue playing off season to improve your skills and get into varsity.”