Building blocks to success

OHS Junior Varsity teams


Sophomore Alex Raichle drives the lane against Winona defenders

Aidan Ebner, Writer

Owatonna High School sports have always been known to provide dynamite varsity teams year in and year out. How do these varsity programs develop these varsity athletes, though? Serving as a breeding ground for future varsity athletes, lower level high school sports provide a competitive and winning experience for young players. In a brief four year OHS athletic career, half of which may be played on sub-varsity level, varsity athletes across the board need to pay respect to developmental teams for their success now. Light needs to be shown on the junior varsity programs of the OHS as well. These teams, modeling the same, if not better, success as varsity programs, continue the winning tradition of Owatonna sports’ team. Many OHS programs build from the bottom up to provide success when athletes get to the Varsity level.

Currently, OHS Winter sports teams are finding success early on in the winter season.  The Owatonna JV Boys Basketball team is currently 8-0, looking like a force in the Big 9 conference and not letting up anytime soon.  Many of these players are making strides at the varsity level as well. Junior Ethan Dekam said, “We are playing good team ball right now. A lot of guys are bringing leadership, and the chemistry is there.” The Owatonna JV girls basketball team has found early footing with a hot start as well at 5-1. These girls look to compete at a high level in preparedness for the varsity years. Sophomore Maddy Kuck said, “We are playing good as a team right now. Everyone plays good together. We set good goals and push each other.”

Another Junior Varsity team making some noise in the record books early on this season, is the JV boys hockey team with a current record of 6-1-1. They are another team looking to make strides toward the varsity level in the years to come and will be a big time contender. Girl’s hockey does not have a junior varsity team this season. Meanwhile, off the ice and the hardwood and on the wrestling mats, the JV wrestling team is off to a dominating start with a 4-1 team record. Many of the boys look to continue their success into varsity matches as the wear and tear of the varsity season goes on. JV Boys Swim has competed in only one meet so far this season, losing their first meet, which will start them out at 0-1.

On the gym mats this year, the JV gymnastics team is 2-0 and off to a great start. Head Coach Tom Smith said, “Our JV is scoring what a lot of varsity teams are scoring in the state this year. They have started out amazing.”  Look to see these gymnasts continue their success into the years ahead.

With a great start to all JV seasons this winter, it looks as though Owatonna has no absence of a winning tradition for their JV sports. Many fans continue to focus on varsity sport headlines, without giving junior varsity teams much attention. Through a reoccurring pattern, it looks as though many of these JV teams seeing great success now, provide success in the future for Owatonna varsity programs. This pattern is not absent this winter season as all of the Junior Varsity teams hope to continue their early success throughout the rest of their respective seasons.