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The importance of a Junior Varsity squad
Last Post 03/28/2018 1:44 AM by Slash. 2 Replies.
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Jim West Posts:2028
03/26/2018 6:14 PM 0

In many areas in North Carolina, high school football is thriving!  You can head out east on Highway 64 and check out the Tarboro Vikings.  You can go another hour and watch the Plymouth Vikings (or whatever the new consolidated school will be named).  You can head to Elizabeth City and see my buddy Antonio Moore's team, the Northeastern Eagles.  You can head towards Morehead City and check out East Carteret.  Or you can go to New Bern or Havelock.  You can head down on I-40 towards the coast and make stops in Warsaw (James Kenan), Teachey (Wallace-Rose Hill), or down to Wilmington (New Hanover, Hoggard).  Richmond Raider football is still king...and don't forget the Scots in Laurinburg.  Dudley (or what I call the fish fry capital of NC) is alive on any given Friday night...and so is city rival Page.  Head to Charlotte and have your pick of many great teams.  Head to the Smoky Mountain Conference and catch Robbinsville or Murphy.  Franklin sure does bring it on...and so do the Rockets at A.C. Reynolds.

Unfortunately, many areas in the state struggle to field a competitive football team.  Many schools no longer have a junior varsity team.  

I am a big advocate of Junior Varsity football.  Junior Varsity builds character among the players...and the coaches.  Many teams use their JV squad to help transition kids into their high school program.  However, when a program no longer fields a JV program, a considerable void...a void called experience, creeps into a program.  

As a general question for everyone, how many attend JV football?  I've been to a few over the years, but I usually have other Thursday night commitments.  When I am available, I will try and attend a local game.

Who fields...and who does not field, a JV squad?

I would love for all of you to provide us with your input.

ThrowItAround Posts:6 Middle School Middle School
03/27/2018 6:25 PM 1
Extremely important in my opinion. I coached at a 1A school for nine years that only had a JV team four of those years, we would usually lose a decent amount of younger kids following a year without JV. The young kids have to play up when they're not ready, and they generally don't have a good experience playing high school football that year, so they don't come back. Repeat the same cycle the next year. This past season I was on staff at a different 1A school and we were able to keep everyone down (with a couple of 8qtr exceptions) on JV, those kids had a good experience, they went 4-4 and didn't have a bunch of injuries. Most of those kids will play again, and contribute on varsity in 2018.
Slash Posts:95 Sophomore Member Sophomore Member
03/28/2018 1:44 AM 0
I love JV football; it's as fun and important as varsity is.

Firstly I love it's atmosphere. It's the best way to get over my nerves before a Friday night game; unless it's an endowment or a school with no JV's then it's a bummer. The crowd isn't great in numbers which is a plus because you can get around the stadium better. There's a few games around here who get good numbers (MA vs. East every year,) but most of the time you'll be fine. It starts and ends earlier so you can do what you need to do afterwards.

Secondly it's a great way to get a grip on a school for the new few years. What I mean by that is you can scout a program's future by JV ball. Most of the time how their JV's do tends to be how they are in 2 years time. I've seen a few situations where it doesn't workout though (Bishop McGuiness in 2012 had a heck of a JV squad but they died out by 2014.) The final year of an alignment and the first year of a new one tends to show how a conference will fair during a 4 year stretch. That's not 100% accurate sometimes (a bad school can get a good coach and turn things around; South Stokes in 2011/12 for instance,) but it usually does work out. It can also give a group a big head and they under-perform; that's what a HC and his staff is for they gotta mold them into winners and fix their egos.

Thirdly it's proven that JV ball helps a program substantially. I've been in the same program for going on 11 years; I've seen head on how our JV focus has changed over the years. When I played we didn't matter; my class was solid but the group ahead of us was so bad the coaches didn't bother with us as much as they should have. When I made varsity they did and it got under our skin. But really we had a hands off attitude to the JV's thru my career into 2013. That JV team for us was so bad that year the coaches agreed they needed to start focusing on the new classes more. So they started doing camps with them and actually doing hands on stuff with the JV's. 2014 we improved 4 games and barely missed the conference JV title; 2015-16 we barely missed it again. Last year we finally broke thru and dominated the conference for the JV title. It was a long and agonizing wait at times but this whole process showed me how building a program up is all about. It's worth it for so many reasons. 1. It makes the kids more experienced and hungry to continue; 2. It makes you're program look decent and respectable, and 3.It shows a future is possible.

It's like my school's coach told the kids before the opener last year. "My goal when I started here was not to have successful teams every year or every other year. It was to build this schools team's into one program. And I believe we have done it."

As for my area; almost all but 2 fielded teams last year. Bishop had a lot of kids lose intrest due to the coaching change and WS Prep had the same happen. Besides that every team had a jV squad. North Stokes to the best I could find went winless but everyone else won a game. It's not shabby here; it could be a lot worse though.

I keep track of JV standings; they are quite fun to keep up with. JV kids deserve the same attention albeit at a different scale.
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