For any sports team, the goal is always to put the most talented product on the field to win as many games as possible. The idea that some coaches conservatively hold freshmen back from playing varsity sports serves as detrimental to their teams. Many East coaches choose a different, more sensible route, placing freshmen on teams competing at the varsity level. This idea of playing freshmen at the varsity level does not even warrant a second thought in the eyes of some of East’s coaches.
Varsity soccer coach, Mr. Karl Moehlmann, evaluates his players based solely on experience and talent. If the talent of a freshman outweighs the experience of a veteran player, he never hesitates to play the freshman.
In a highly competitive high school league such as the Olympic Conference, teams simply need to exercise the entirety of their talent pools to win games. This talent pool includes the freshmen of the programs.
One can certainly question the chemistry aspect of a team comprised of mainly upperclassmen with only a few freshmen. However, the East baseball team has four freshmen that play a crucial role on the team and the team reports no such chemistry issues.
“Nobody puts pressure on me just because I’m a freshman,” said Mike Brambilla (‘14), an important player on the varsity baseball team.
On a team such as varsity baseball, which lost many of its key players after last season, playing freshmen is the right move. Playing these gifted freshmen on freshmen teams would only delay the inevitableness of the players turning into leaders at the varsity level.
Softball coach, Mr. Charlie Musumeci, has experienced success in the past when he has played freshmen at the varsity level.
“I’ve seen them eventually become the team leaders. Having a four-year varsity starter is a plus,” said Musumeci. “No one is entitled as a senior to play. The best person plays.”
Musumeci’s strategy certainly can be beneficial to all teams. Even if a freshman does not fare well in his or her freshman campaign, they can easily rebound the next year with good coaching and encouragement. Ultimately, the common denominator on all winning teams is talent. If a freshman is capable of playing at the varsity level, holding them back only does injustice to the rest of the team. The goal is always to win.