Junior varsity does work hard, too

Ever since there has been competition, there has been talent. The best have always competed with the best. While the best are competing, what are the rest of the individuals not as talented supposed to do? Why should only the talented get to participate in competitions? The answer, of course, is junior varsity. Wherever there is a varsity, there is almost always a junior varsity (JV). JV always stands in the shadows of varsity. Large crowds don’t go to JV events; they come right when they are done so they can see the varsity team compete. JV victories are never seen on the front page of a newspaper, while seeing varsity front page is not uncommon. JV teams are lucky to be tucked in on the eighth page. In most cases JV works just as hard as varsity during practices. In tennis and track, both JV and varsity athletes practice along side each other. During soccer try-outs, everybody goes through hell week to pick out the best. Varsity teams get their events broadcasted on the radio; JV teams are lucky if people can hear their score on 13th street as they pass behind the high school. In most sports, once you make varsity, there is no guarantee you will stay there. Varsity is a constant test of proving yourself to the coaches and your competition. Sophomore James Wandling ran varsity track until his spot was taken by David Tim. “At first I was mad but then I realized it was better practice for me running with JV,” Wandling said. To most people, JV is practice before becoming varsity. They might not be good enough and need more time. That doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. The efforts of JV athletes should be rewarded more than they are now. Varsity athletes look forward to becoming state champions. JV has no such motivation. JV just tries to win as many games as they can. There is no final event that decides what JV team is the best. It is discouraging because most people want to watch the best of the best play for the title, but who wants to watch the best of the mediocre? Some students don’t mind playing JV, though. “JV is good because you have something to work for,” said sophomore JV tennis player Holly Nguyen, “the ultimate goal is to move up.” It would be a truly wonderful world if everyone could make the varsity team and receive a letter for their letter jacket. Unfortunately not everyone makes varsity or ever will. This is why JV exists. Most students just enjoy playing. Senior Riley Wendt has played soccer at Ames High for four years and has not made the varsity squad. “If I was on varsity, I wouldn’t leave the bench,” said Wendt, “It is more fun to play JV than to sit on the varsity bench.” Failing to make varsity does not stop athletes from participating in their favorite sports and enjoying them. “I would rather be on JV than varsity,” Wendt said.