It is often said that the most popular extracurricular activities in high school are the sports teams. The majority of the student body participates on a one sports team. This starts in middle school, and quickly progresses into the competitive high school teams. However, while the middle school teams are mostly focused on improving, having fun, and having equal playing time and participation for all, this fades on the junior varsity and varsity teams. The high school teams practice almost everyday of the week and constantly require hard work. It is not simply a sport for fun now, but a sport to compete and be the best team possible.
The difference between the middle school and high school teams is immediately evident during the first tryouts in ninth grade. Elan Sharony, a sophomore who was on middle school soccer and later J.V. soccer stated, “I did not expect the change in intensity I found on the J.V. team. On the middle school team I was focused on just having fun, but as soon as I got to tryouts for J.V., I realized the huge amount of effort I needed to put in.” Another sophomore, Kanvar Gulati stated, “On the middle school volleyball team everyone had equal play and we pretty much just played volleyball for the sake of doing something. However, the second I got onto the J.V. team I realized how much harder it was. The practices were much more intense. There was a lot more running, and there definitely wasn’t equal playing time. Overall, we were playing to win.”
Besides this change from the middle school teams to junior varsity teams, there is also an increase in intensity from the junior varsity to varsity teams. Varsity is much more focused on winning and competing with other schools. Sophmore Dylan Davis, who started off on the junior varsity tennis team a few years ago, now on varsity stated, “There is a huge difference from the J.V. and varsity team. The J.V. team is focused on improving players, and training them, without much care for the scores. They still have to work hard, but nothing compared to the varsity team. On varsity, every practice is intense. Everyone is constantly challenged for their spot in the starting lineup to ensure that the team has the best possible starting lineup.”
This fast pace and strong work ethic is prominent among all the teams because the coaches are determined to progress. Each coach is constantly looking to improve the team, and train them intensely. The varsity tennis coach, Mrs. Langendorfer, stated, “Intensity is the biggest thing. The players come out and give it their all to challenge each other. We have a young team that is extremely talented, and to compete with the others I have been trying to get them to practice as much as possible. They always run, and I have been trying to get as many scrimmages in with other great teams.”
The competition on the high school teams, as well as the strong determination to win, has resulted in these teams having rigorous practices to train the players. While the middle school teams have equal playing time, and are focused on fun, the high school junior varsity and varsity teams have a new outlook of developing the best possible players to win. The practices are six days a week, and every player on every team has to work their hardest to make the team, and to be successful on the team.