Junior varsity fever

By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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At midseason, one can’t help but cast an eye on the basketball teams and players that will be filling the varsity ranks the next two or three years. Among the schools I cover, only Whitney High shows no sophomores on either its boys or girls varsity clubs. Lincoln and Rocklin both carry sophomores and some are key players. However, the success of those players isn’t as easy to define as is that of a junior varsity squad; partly because win/loss records reflect team strength, not individual talent. Team records also tell us a little something about the competition expected in the coming years. Right now it appears Lincoln has the decided edge in what we can look for in 2012-’13 and beyond. Coach Chance Peterson’s club is 3-0 in the Pioneer Valley League after virtually destroying Foothill this past week. “I keep telling people these two classes (freshmen and sophomores) have ARCO written all over them.” Peterson said. He was, of course, referring to the Sac-Joaquin Section championships. Coach Donna Toffts’ girls JV squad is right up there with the boys. They knocked off a strong Bear River team and crushed Mesa Verde prior to that. They also won Lincoln’s Chavez Christmas Classic tournament, and came up one point short in taking their own invitational tournament. Still, one never knows what will develop. Student/athletes come and student/athletes go. Potential stars move in and some move away. And, players with seemingly boundless talent can actually descend into mediocrity over time; after all, it’s high school “Kids this age, they’re up and down,” said Peterson. “We work at it, work at it, work at it; it takes time. It’s all a numbers thing.” And in the end, there’s only one No. 1.