Freshmen, JV and varsity patches awarded each season

A+Varsity+jacket+with+the+block+%22R%22%2C+class+year+numbers%2C+and+JV+patch.+

Ed Grijalva

A Varsity jacket with the block “R”, class year numbers, and JV patch.

Many student atheletes vividly remember the moment when they got their precious varsity letter and picked up their brand new, smooth leather letterman jacket adorned with their team patches. They try it on and their heart can’t help but beat with pride for what they have accomplished.

Others may not be as excited for that moment, as they don’t spend much time playing and don’t see themselves as a key player.

Sophomore Hunter Schattler, who played varsity basketball as a freshman, has a stern opinion on giving letters to just any player.

“I just think it’s unfair,” Schattler said. “A guy who rides the bench and never shows up to optional practices getting the same letter as a player who might not play much either but shows up to everything and gives one hundred percent. It’s not right.”

At RHS, athletes earn participation certificates at the end of each season. Varsity football coach and economics teacher Erik Vernon thinks participation awards at the high school level might be unnecessary.

“It’s a bit of a blanket statement,” Mr. Vernon said. “Good and bad things come with these participation awards. For younger kids maybe. It would encourage them to keep playing, but for the older guys I’d say no. Are you simply going to be rewarded for just being active?”

According to athletic director Mr. Luke Beach, standards are set in place to get these letters so kids actually put in some work.

“Here at Rochester, most teams have certain requirements to get a letter,” Mr. Beach said. “For example you have to be on the field for 20 percent of the season to get a letter in a certain sport.”

In addition to participation awards, freshman are typically awarded their graduation year number patches and JV members receive the circle JV patch.

“I don’t believe that freshman and JV should be awarded patches,” Mr. Beach said. “I believe they should wait until they are on Varsity to receive all those patches.”

Because not every athlete who plays freshman and JV will eventually play varsity, some wonder if the cost associated with those patches is worth it.

“It doesn’t cost a lot to buy the patches,” Mr. Beach said. “But to continue buying them for so many sports year after year, it starts to add up.”

Schattler has his own thoughts on the JV and Freshman awards.

“I just think it would push kids to try harder. If those kids make varsity, the feeling will be just more satisfying when they get all those patches at once,” Schattler said. “In the end, I’m just happy to able to play these sports and rep the school ya know? The awards are just an extra incentive.”