The junior varsity (JV) sports programs were brought to Pacific University in 2013 to utilize it as a recruiting tool for perspective athletes, as well as retaining athletes that may not get a lot of playing time in their first couple of seasons at Pacific. Pacific now offers JV sports in seven different sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer.  Athletic Director Ken Schumann is pleased with how well the JV programs have progressed in the past few years and highlights some of the benefits of having JV teams.  “First and foremost it gives our students more of an opportunity to compete,” Schumann said. “There are a lot of students coming out of high school who would like to play at the college level and instead of having just varsity spots in our program, this gives us a second team in addition to those varsity spots.
By allowing more of an opportunity to students in our program I think that makes it more attractive to a wider array of students. It also gives the coaches more of an opportunity to develop athletes.” Along with Schumann, many of the coaches are reaping the benefits of having JV programs and are able to develop players by tapping into their potential to help out the varsity team. One of these coaches is head baseball coach Brian Billings. “Without a doubt I think it’s beneficial,” Billings said. “It allows us to develop our younger players that might not otherwise get playing time and additionally at the Division III level you can’t redshirt, so if you go to a Division III school that doesn’t have a JV team you may burn a year of eligibility just sitting on the bench.”
With all the benefits the JV programs provide, it’s only fair to examine some of the challenges they have provided. The biggest issue for Schumann and the athletic department has been scheduling. “We’ve added more teams so we’ve been somewhat pressed to be able to accommodate those teams,” Schumann said. “But it comes down to the coaches working together and us working together to be able to accommodate everybody. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that. We are always looking for more ways to add more time and space for these programs, but I think it is working for us right now. It’s not ideal but I think we have come to a workable solution.” Along with scheduling, another issue some of the programs have run into is having JV players miss more class time because of mid-week games.

“The first year the scheduling was already set so there were a lot of midweek games, but last year we made an adjustment and we are trying to get as many weekend double headers as we can to avoid playing mid-week,” Billings said. “I think there is a little bit more missed class time for the JV players, but that’s just kind of the nature of the beast. But this year we have eight weekend double headers, so that’s 16 of our 24 games on the weekend, and the ones that aren’t on weekends are scheduled more towards the end of the day.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *