For the first time ever, Eastern Nazarene College will have Junior Varsity (JV) Basketball teams for both men and women. Up until this point, ENC only had varsity teams which compete against other Division III schools.
According to the head coach of the women’s JV team, Madison Flowers, the teams were created to “give additional players opportunities to gain college-game experience to grow as athletes.” The season for both the men and women started on October 15. Flowers explains that in the beginning, they only had a handful of players at practice due to other sports. Some of the players were recruited at the end of the 2017-2018 school year while others expressed interest this year and decided to play.
The women’s team will be playing against junior college teams for their season. Flowers said their first game was successful with a 20+ point win over Bristol Community College. Regarding the opportunity for players moving up to the varsity team, Flowers said, “It’s definitely an option down the road, but not guaranteed.” She enjoys watching the girls compete and is happy with the improvements considering the limited amount of time they have had together.
The JV women’s team has 11 players in total. The assistant coach, Shelby Holmes, explained that some of the players have never even played basketball before. Despite their first big win, Holmes explained that some of the teams down the road would be pretty tough and good competition. Her hopes for the team are that they have fun, get to know each other, and are successful on and off the court.
The men’s JV basketball team consists of 15 players, all freshmen. They compete against junior colleges and preparatory schools. Their head coach is Logan Sharp, assisted by Joel Devastey. Devastey explained they worked hard, but the season is early, and it is a process. His goal for the team is to develop their basketball skills and get them to buy into what they’re being taught. By doing this, the team will be more cohesive and have good chemistry on the court. Devastey complimented the team stating, “They are a good group of guys willing to work hard and get better.”
The implementation of the JV teams has been a good way for students interested in basketball to try it out and play for a team. They can compete and make friends within the teams. It is also another event where the school and community can cheer on a team of their peers.