- Taylor Adkins: OPINION
JV Sports Should Not be Taken for Granted
JV player Kyra Stanley at bat against Gloucester.
For our JV softball team’s very first scrimmage, the other team, Norview, never showed up.
A few weeks later, our team had an away game at Norview and drove all the way there to find out that Norview had “forgotten” to get umpires for the game.
Various other games have been rained out with no talk of rescheduling.
The week before spring break, the team drove all the way to Smithfield and found that nobody had informed the coaches or transportation that Smithfield did not even have a JV team.
All of these instances were a waste of time which could have been better spent practicing, instead of just driving around. Also, it was a waste of time for the umpires who showed up for nothing, the bus drivers who drove them around for nothing, and the players, parents, and coaches who are getting more and more frustrated.
Division opponents Lake Taylor, Booker T. Washington, Norcom, and Maury also don’t have JV softball teams. That means even fewer games. Subtract one home game and one away game for each school in our division without a team and you have eight fewer games on the schedule.
It’s not just JV softball though.
According to Churchland’s Athletic Director Michael Whittington, there has been discussion of eliminating JV programs in general. Some are saying that because JV programs for sports such as soccer, field hockey, and tennis have already been eliminated, why not eliminate the rest - like softball, baseball, basketball, and football. The reasoning is that JV isn’t making money; in fact, some schools believe they are “losing” money by having JV teams, and they are beginning to question keeping them.
This is unfortunate, because JV is a great way to introduce rising ninth graders to high school sports and a way for people who may not be as advanced to still play a sport for their school.
By cutting out the JV program, schools could lose players that would be really talented with a few years of practice at a lower level, and younger players who don’t feel ready to play a varsity sport.
Without JV teams, players may lose interest in their sport if they are not picked and don’t have a team to play on their freshman or sophomore year. If you don’t have younger teams building up players to eventually be very talented at the varsity level, cutting JV programs just for money could be even more devastating in the long run than keeping them.
Instead of pushing JV programs aside and acting like they don’t matter, people should be doing a lot more to hype them up. The school could start announcing JV games, making sure that games are correctly scheduled, and if schools are really worried about money, they could start charging a little bit of money to get into games.
Even just talking about the JV softball team and trying to get more people interested in the games would be a huge improvement over being treated unfairly, and a general awareness of JV sports may help prevent some of the unnecessary hassles the JV softball team has been through this year.
Photo: Taylor Adkins and Aniyah Smith