What happened to the JV teams?

Megan Curling, Editor-in-Chief

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“Building a comprehensive athletics program instills collective pride in the student body, the staff, and the R.J. Reynolds community.”

Listed as one of the vision statements on RJR’s website, this goal has proven to be difficult with the start of the 2019 spring season.

This year, RJR’s 4A athletic program will not feature JV women’s or men’s lacrosse teams, nor JV or varsity softball teams.

After finishing 5-9 in the previous 2017 season, the JV softball team, typically coached by Jessica Weaver, failed to have a team last season.

In addition, the varsity softball team, coached by Miles Warfford, has historically struggled to make an impact on the Central Piedmont Conference, finishing 3-17 in the 2018 season.

This lack of a softball program can be attributed to many factors.

“One reason was because the old field got torn apart and they are in the process of building a new one but it didn’t get finished in time,” senior and former RJR softball catcher and pitcher Kasey Talbert said.

Additionally, Warfford quit his position as head coach and most of the foundational players in the program, including Allie, Julie, and Sarah Rice, have graduated in the past couple of years, leading to a lack of turnout.

With this, Talbert also urges that the lack of a team should not be ascribed to success, or lack thereof.

“Different teams have different definitions of success,” Talbert said. “For example, most teams will probably measure success by the amount of wins they get. The Reynolds softball team has never really been as strong as other schools but we have gotten stronger and learned a lot.”

Contrastingly, with varsity teams consistently winning the conference and advancing to latter rounds of the state playoffs, the lack of both JV lacrosse teams comes as somewhat of a shock to the athletic program at RJR.

Although the men’s JV team finished 2-8 in the 2018 season, the women’s team went 8-1, thus storming back from the 2017 season where there was again, not a JV women’s team.

“While we have enough girls to fill both a JV and a varsity team, the talent that we have from the girls is too high to be playing at a junior varsity level,” women’s lacrosse Coach Kim Ali said.

On the other hand, on top of not having a JV team, the varsity men’s lacrosse team lost two senior starters due to academic ineligibility between last year’s 11-6 season and the current 2019 season, this deficiency of foundational teams can to lead to larger problems in future seasons.

As the spring season rages on without four of its regularly scheduled teams, the RJR community is simply left disappointed, while also encouraging any interested players to tryout next year.