No Varsity, No Games


Dylan Thakarar

The girls’ junior varsity team is being blocked out of the league

Simrat Singh and Farhad Taraporevala

With Portola High being a new school, many of the sports teams do not currently have a varsity team, which is having a negative impact on girls’ soccer. In order to be in a league, there must be a varsity team, making girls’ soccer ineligible to compete in leagues, which are varsity competitions.

Because JV girls’ soccer is not able to be in a league this year, it makes it difficult for it to schedule games with other schools while making their schedule more random and unpredictable.

“It can be frustrating trying to schedule games for the girls,” head coach Jeralyn Jelnick said. “Tournaments and league games take up the majority of school’s schedule, so most of the time when I reach out to schools it is not that they do not want to schedule games with us, but more they don’t have availability in their number of games.”

Next year, the team will compete in the Pacific Coast league, which consists of schools from Irvine Unified School District as well as other neighboring schools. Next year, the team will have to compete against other teams in their league; however, this year they are not being given an opportunity to prepare against these teams.

“Some of the disadvantages of not being in a league include: traveling farther for games, playing schools we won’t play in the future, and our game schedule is random, meaning we have random days of the week and different start times each week,” Jelnick said.

This year, the team has seen an opponent simply not show up to the game, likely because the game is not important for the league. Most of the team is looking for a harder challenge and strong competition as they are currently standing at 11-1-2.

“The games aren’t as challenging, so we’ve been winning by a lot in some, and it’s just more fun to play against varsity teams, and we don’t get as many people out,” freshman Peyton Weidner said.

It is often hard for girls’ soccer to manage not being in a league because it makes it more difficult for the team to prepare and get ready for games against IUSD schools next year; however, some students are taking a positive outlook on this situation.

“I really like that we’re given the chance to play schools that are not in the league we’re supposed to be playing,” sophomore Ximena Espinosa said. “We have no knowledge of these teams, which is what I like because it doesn’t affect our game mentality. It is also a great way to challenge ourselves against schools that could be better than us.”