This year, Sequoyah separated the girls volleyball team into two teams: a Junior Varsity (JV) and a Varsity team. When Sequoyah announced the separate teams, there was a lot of controversy about the split.
Kelsey Wetmore, Sequoyah’s Daycare Director & Sports Coordinator, said that “it was a decision made out of necessity by the coaching team, which I then supported. We simply couldn’t fit all the players on the court in a single practice, and it wasn’t possible to work to all play levels.” Wetmore continued to say that “we experienced almost a 100% increase in enrollment from last year.” Last year, 18 girls signed up, whereas this year, there were 34.
Michele Milner, one of the girls volleyball coaches, and parent of Junior High student Ben Hudnut, said, “We decided to split the teams so the athletes would get more playing time. In addition, we could have better practices with players getting more court time and individual attention. We decided to make the teams according to age and experience. All of the girls in the Junior High went on to varsity. Girls who had played on the team before, but who weren’t in the Junior High could decide for themselves whether to play on varsity or junior varsity. These players were called ‘flex’ players.”
The two teams had different opinions on the split. The Varsity team appreciated that they did not have to relearn skills, whereas the JV team felt as if they were not good enough to play with the Varsity team. Junior High student Krystalle Lagunas, on the Varsity team, believes that “the two volleyball teams help separate the people who are beginners and people who have been playing volleyball [at Sequoyah] for a while. I doubt any of the varsity volleyball players want to be held back by the JV players. And [I], as a varsity player, don’t want to be working on things that are too easy.” Out Back student Zoela Gullo, on the JV team, said that “I feel sort of small and not as good because I am on the JV team.”
Wetmore noted that the divided team was standard practice for Sequoyah athletics. “In every sport we play, [there are] V and JV [teams] when we have a large enough team. This helps us ensure that all players get as much playing time as possible.”