Staff Editorial – 10/15

Junior varsity athletes have unique, applaudable victory

When Junior Varsity athletes compete, there aren’t rows of bleachers filled with a neon, flour-laden student section.

These are not revenue or spectator sports, though the teams that play them are just as decorated with trophies as any varsity. As Comet varsity sports teams are extremely selective, more athletes are demoted to JV, despite the fact that they may have made varsity at another school. And yet this never fazes JV athletes, as now they have found a green-and-white opponent that demands an unyielding focus—themselves.

To make it to that varsity arena, JV athletes push themselves to the max with extra mileage, extra layups, extra batting practice. They strive to improve in all aspects of their game, hoping that their next performance will be better than the last. These are the years that test their resolve, that teach them how to win when no one’s watching.

The freshmen that step off the middle school court, turf or trail to play at the varsity level are athletes of unquestionable skill, but as they bypass the JV tradition, they miss years of conditioning that build character as much as champions.

The competition against one another and themselves teaches JV athletes how to overcome physical and mental obstacles. The soreness in their quads, the all-nighter they pulled to study for a math test after a game, the three PB&J sandwiches they really shouldn’t have eaten for lunch–all are irrelevant when it’s time to get better. JV athletes will sacrifice all they can just to cut half a second off of their time, eyes blazing, set on that varsity standard.

Varsity athletes may have a similar drive, fighting through impossible workouts on a daily basis, but as most Comet superstars were JV once, they understand the necessity of this foundation. They felt the burning desire to improve and they learned how to work their way up to the top. Even the greatest athlete cannot play football, soccer, or lacrosse forever, but the push to be better—cultivated at the JV level—is one that translates to all aspects of life. These Comets will be successful because they have learned how to work for the best version of themselves.

In this regard, perhaps Comet sports teams deserve their greatest applause not for the trophies they bring home but for the ones they don’t. For JV athletes that have competed since the season began and not once heard the roar of a crowd, victory may not be gold or silver. Victory may come in the satisfaction that they are the best soccer, basketball, football, baseball, or lacrosse player that they can be, whether or not that makes them “varsity material”.  This is a victory that no shining medal, nor sparking  trophy, can measure—and they’re alright with that.