The Allure of C Sports at JBS

Ann Zhang, Reporter

Most of us at Burroughs are familiar with a few C team archetypes: many athletes decide to try out a new sport, some have been playing since second grade, and others just show up to fulfill a requirement. We often view C sports as a net to catch us if we can’t make JV or Varsity, and especially with all the recent buzz over the reserved/select name change, surely students have been wondering: What’s so great about C sports?

First, according to Nathaniel Doty ‘21, “C sports are a great development program for the future of our varsity teams.” While C athletes may not receive the same glory and recognition as varsity—or even junior
varsity—the less stressful environment can help ease students into competition.

Take the case of Kami Lou Harris ‘20, for instance. This year, she was promoted from the C tennis team to JV. So were the rest of her teammates—as of now, there are only two sections of high school tennis: varsity and JV.

At the start of the season, Harris had a few doubts about the heavier commitment. “C was about having fun and goofing around,” she reminisces. “I just didn’t think it would be fun anymore.”

JV required more time and effort, and “the coaches cared about winning a lot more.” However, Harris admits that her game has definitely improved since last year.

I ask Harris if she can imagine experiencing the same success playing JV as a freshman. She is quick to reply: “No! Not even a little bit.”

Another C team story takes place on the field hockey field; last year, Allison James ‘19 leapt from C to a starter on the varsity team. “It actually wasn’t as weird as I thought it was going to be because I fit in skills-wise with the team,” James says. “Everyone was super welcoming and there were nine other new players on varsity.”

At the same time, on varsity, “the time commitment was way more.” James no longer had the time to juggle both field hockey and squash during the same season.

Perhaps due to C sports’ lesser demand for time and stressful competition, C teams often have more comfortable team dynamics.

“You don’t feel the need to compete with your teammates for playing time, because everyone will get to play,” says Adina Cazacu-De Luca ‘20, captain of C volleyball. She also reports that the team went ziplining together and had fun at a team sleepover.

Similarly, C-select boys soccer has proven to be a tightly-knit bunch; the team’s sophomore athletes are constantly making announcements at lunch, to much applause.

Ethan Kalishman ‘20, a member of the team, reflects, “C-reserve lets us learn how to work together as a team and really understand ways to communicate with each other. As we move up the ladder to JV or varsity, we can improve individually.”

Kalishman makes sure to add that he’s also a captain, but with this side note: “Everyone is a captain on C-reserve. Each game we rotate.” The team, he tells me, is all about equality.

So for freshman and sophomores, right now there’s no need to stress over making varsity. Playing a C sport is an excellent way to gain more experience and make lifelong friends, without devouring a huge chunk of your time.
And just remember, “If it’s a nice day outside and I’ve finished all my homework, then I’ll go watch games my friends play in,” says Claire Harkins ‘21. “It’s cool to see them in a different setting.”

No matter what level you’re playing at, your classmates and fellow Bombers will be cheering for you all the way.