In high school sports, most players work up from Junior Varsity to the Varsity team. For upperclassmen, making Varsity is the product of their hard work and hours of practice. For underclassmen, it’s a rare honor. This fall season, a handful of freshmen have earned their spots on the Varsity team, skipping JV altogether. Joanna Briscoe, cross country, Elijah Molden, football, Alejandro Lee, soccer, Annie Cooper, soccer, Inna Reichner, soccer, and Kendra Ogden, volleyball, are the freshmen of this fall’s Varsity sports teams.
“It feels great to be on Varsity as a freshman,” Briscoe said. “Cross country is really fun because the team is really bonded and I love running.”
In many areas, freshmen often receive the short end of the stick. Not only that, but compared to the more seasoned players, they still have a lot to learn and a lot pressure to perform. For Inna, and for other freshmen as well, this rings true.
“I have to pick up balls sometimes,” Reichner said. “I haven’t been able to play because of my leg, but being on Varsity was a surprise and it’s really great. Playing with my sister and on club has really helped my game.”
However, these duties are not the only tasks she is relied with. Every player on a Varsity team – whether it be soccer, football or volleyball – has big shoes to fill. There is a lot of expectations riding on these freshmen, who will most likely carry the team during their senior years. Compared to the more seasoned players, they still have a lot to learn.
“Yeah, I guess we have high expectations, since we’re on the same team as a lot of upperclassmen. But they’re nice and encouraging,” Briscoe said.
To meet their high expectations, these freshmen have to endure hard practices and constant conditioning. One must truly love a sport in order to dedicate themselves in the way that many Varsity players do. Molden has been playing football since fifth grade; his passion for the sport has largely been influenced by his father, Alex Molden, who has played for the University of Oregon and the Saints, and is a coach for the football team.
“I guess my dad helped me. He gives me tips and stuff,” Molden said. “I want to play football in college. U of O, hopefully. I want to go as far as I can in football.”
With high hope and great determination, these freshmen look forward to their first experiences on Varsity. Being a freshman on Varsity is a huge honor, and they hope to meet their teammates’ and their own expectations this season.