Underclassmen on Varsity

Evan Pauletich

This fall, there has been controversy over whether or not underclassmen benefit the varsity squads. In nine sports through out the year, these young players take spots of juniors and seniors who may not have the same potential, but do not deserve to be cut. But, sports like water polo and track are no-cut sports, and as a result, these underclassmen do not jeopardize upperclassmen’s spots on the team.

Although they do not take the spot of  upperclassmen, these younger players still take playing time from their older teammates. Some upperclassmen are disappointed by the presence of underclassmen on varsity. They feel that they have worked for their whole high school career to earn playing time, yet underclassmen are robbing them of their positions.

Mirador interviewed some of the sports captains whose teams are most impacted by the presence of underclassmen to get their take on the issue.

Volleyball Captain Lauren Foster ‘15: “The underclassmen help the team set up a legacy. They will be on varsity for three-four years and set up a foundation of leadership for years to come. Also, the underclassmen bring a new energy and enthusiasm to the team. Although the coaches’ choices may not follow what others on the team believe is the best, overall their choices are what they feel is best. Even if it is at the expense of some upperclassmen spots.”

Men’s Water Polo Captain Jordan Hoover ‘15: “Underclassmen are on varsity because they are talented enough or Coach James Lathrop sees the potential for them to immediately impact the team. Some of these choices are planning ahead for future years. In the hope that they will step up, James puts younger players in the position to do so. Even if it takes away some playing time from people who may be better, these younger guys have made a positive impact so far.”

Women’s Water Polo Captain Kristen Hong ‘15: “I think that if the freshman is good enough to play with varsity, they have every right to play on it. I think although some underclassmen need time to develop their skills, some are at the skill level to play with varsity and can improve our overall play.”