Non-Varsity Sports Under-appreciated

Elle Esquer and Beck Chambers

Sports are a huge part of high school, but varsity sports get all of the recognition while junior varsity, frosh soph and freshman teams are widely ignored.

Non-varsity sports are rarely covered by La Puma, they are not allowed a post season, and attendance at their events is low.

Yet these non-varsity athletes work just as hard as their varsity counterparts.

Why does the school magazine, whose purpose, one would think, is to feature a broad range of student achievement, fail to cover these athletes and their accomplishments? La Puma sports editor Madeleine Singh’s explanation is sadly inadequate: “We just don’t.”

The vast majority of Campolindo athletes reside on junior varsity, frosh soph and freshman squads, yet the are treated like they don’t exist by the school’s supposedly “unbiased” media.

Furthermore, these sports get no love from the school’s leadership. Non-varsity sports are never mentioned in the weekly announcements by leadership students who visit classes during reading period.

“It is because JV doesn’t ask us to advertise the game,” said ASB Treasurer Lydia Hancock.

Again, this rationale is pathetic. Leadership advertises varsity games without being asked, a fact confirmed by leadership student Nick  Mediati.

With the school administration and leadership class frequently citing “diversity” and “breadth of opportunity” as a focus for the campus, their failure to recognize non-varsity athletes is ironic, and insulting to those who put on the Campolindo colors and fight for their school’s reputation on the field of play.

“It would be nice to get attention. I think varsity does deserve attention, but JV doesn’t get attention,” said freshman Tucker Shea, a junior varsity lacrosse player.

“I’m kinda sad, depressed and it’s not fair,” added freshman JV basketball player Livi DePaschalis. “[JV basketball] won league and no one knew about it.”

Beyond the failings of the school itself, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and North Coast Section (NCS) are equally responsible for relegating non-varsity sports to “2nd class” status. These institutions provide no post season opportunities beyond the varsity elite.

“I actually think [JV playoffs] would be cool. I think a chance for those that aren’t at the highest level to get to feel like they are at the highest level,” said Shea.

According to girls’ lacrosse coach Shane Carney, there are athletes on junior varsity teams who may be just as skilled as those on the varsity squads.  “In many sports the gap between varsity [and JV] sports is big, but in some it maybe a little too close to call who is on JV or who is on varsity,” he said.

“JV is just as competitive,” DePaschalis added.

Despite the similar rigor, turn out to the games are devastatingly different, as most of the time only parents of the athletes regularly attend the non-varsity competitions. However, in addition to witnessing some of the more compelling athletic stories unfold (e.g. Track & Field’s frosh soph squads upsetting the favorites to win league titles in heroic fashion at last Saturday’s DAL championships), improved attendance of these events would raise more funds for the school’s programs.

Non-varsity athletes work hard, yet they don’t get attention, turn out, or coverage that they deserve. Today’s JV players are tomorrow’s varsity players.

It’s time for La Puma, Leadership and the Campolindo community at large to give them their due.