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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Competition between varsity and junior varsity

Inequity presents challenges

In an athletically competitive high school, all focus is on the highest competing team. This raises the question, besides the level of skill, what are things that differentiate varsity from junior varsity and other teams?

As a junior varsity (JV) athlete, having a difference between varsity and junior varsity is motivating. After all, if the higher teams were not favored, no one would try their hardest to make them. However, we should be able to find a balance between giving varsity the upper hand and respect, as well as acknowledging all the work lower teams, such as JV and B-Squad teams, put into their sports as well.

Having a higher level to work towards motivates athletes to better themselves as competitors. Despite this, excessive attention to varsity players neglects junior varsity players, failing to give credit for JV players’ efforts or encourage them to continue in the program. I believe that the difference between junior varsity and varsity is important, as it can and will affect an athlete’s work ethic. However, programs should maintain connections between the two to instill confidence that all athletes can compete at the higher levels.

 Although lower teams don’t play at a level as intense as varsity, they work just as hard. In fact, they are at a disadvantage because their work ethic goes unnoticed because they don’t have the same title as varsity. 

It’s easy to place all of the sympathy on the underdog, but if you approach it from a different perspective, it becomes apparent how surface level this opinion can be. Being well-known can present struggles of its own. When you’re placed in such an important position and expected to perform for people, there is much more pressure of perfectionism. A higher risk comes with a higher reward. Therefore, mistakes are more prone to occur with bigger consequences in place. This competitiveness allows varsity to be seen as deserving of more recognition. Still, the performances of other athletes should not be neglected, as they are the ones who will be competing at those levels in the future and are displaying their talents to prove so.

Another factor that cannot be overlooked is funding. A fundamental way most programs distribute new equipment is by prioritizing the highest level or highest ranked team. Often there is a lack of resources and funding that creates disparities between the teams, considering a majority of the benefits are gifted to the highest team. However, I believe that equal distribution should be our reality, as all athletes are deserving of equipment and resources that help to better their teams, not just varsity.

In conclusion, sports attendance, athletic attention and funding should benefit all teams equally and not reflect the level of competition. Regardless of the team’s skill, everyone wants to play the sport they enjoy without being reduced to the level they compete at. All athletes are worthy of being recognized for their talent and effort.

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About the Contributor
Claire Williams, Echo Staffer
Hey! My name is Claire, and I'm a sophomore. This is my first year on Echo, and I am so excited! When I’m not writing, I’m playing lacrosse or soccer. I love going to the beach, trying new restaurants, and walking around the lake with my older sister.

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