The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Underclassmen prove young skill by participating in varsity athletics

Sweat dripping onto the smooth court as the ball flies over the net. Soles of shoes scraping against the green grass of the field as the goalie successfully stops the attack. The clash of plastic as two players collide head on in pursuit of the sailing football.

It is no news that sports are a big part of CHS. More than two thirds of the students are involved in a sport. To deal with the inevitably different skill levels, several freshmen and sophomores were selected to play on the varsity teams this year at CHS.

Sophomore Nikki Tomova, the setter of her volleyball team, has enjoyed her experience so far playing on varsity.

“I think that it’s hard at first,” she said, “but once everyone gets used to each other it’s way more fun and people just forget that we’re all in different grades.”

Mitchell Lazerus admits that there is more pressure from some of the older teammates to show that freshmen deserve to be there.

“But it’s great for freshmen to be able to step up and prove themselves,” Lazerus said.

A varsity team presents more intense competition to be the best. The player must work extremely hard to impress his teammates and coaches.

In fact, players are chosen based on their superior skill level, but also, according to Tomova, whether or not they’re willing to work hard.

“The higher level you go in a sport, the more independent the sport should be to you”, Tomova said. “You have to take time outside of scheduled practices to work.  There isn’t always the coaches’ support every single time you mess up.”

There are higher expectations, and a varsity player must be able to live up to the challenge. Varsity means an elevated amount of commitment to the sport. The player has to adjust to being in a more pressured, critical environment with less room for error: if they don’t understand something, they are expected to learn on their own.

Many of these players have spent time and effort training in sports since they were very young.  They are extremely invested in their success at the sport.  Despite, or perhaps because of, the increased difficulty, varsity teams give higher level players the chance to hone their skills. Not everyone sees varsity as a fair opportunity for talented players to improve, however.

“I don’t think it should be allowed, even if they are good enough,” Freshman Christa Kopp, who plays on the freshmen volleyball team, said.  “I think you should be at least a sophomore.  It gives the upperclassmen a chance to be on varsity.”

Kopp is not alone in her disapproval of freshmen on varsity teams.  Several of the coaches believe that a player should be put on the team where they will improve the most.  Therefore, if a player is on varsity, but never gets to play, they are better off on a JV or freshmen team.

For future freshmen striving for varsity or even JV, the trick is to be loud and encouraging. Stay positive, believe in yourself.

“It’s all mental motivation”, Tomova said.

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Underclassmen prove young skill by participating in varsity athletics