In what many local coaches hope is a sign of things to come, JV boys soccer returned to the North Coast on Monday, when Fortuna played McKinleyville.
The Panthers won the game 3-2, but more importantly the occasion gave some of the younger local high school players some valuable game time.
And that’s important in helping develop the local programs.
“We’re trying to get the JVs going again,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes said. “It’s only going to benefit all of us.”
Two of the smaller schools in the area, Ferndale and Hoopa, don’t have the numbers to field even a varsity team in either boys or girls soccer this year, but some of the Big 5 schools appear to have the numbers to field JV programs in addition to their varsity teams, provided they can get the funding necessary.
It’s been roughly seven years since there were local JV games.
Fortuna girls head coach Kathleen Lynch, who has been coaching high school soccer for 22 seasons, says she is hoping to see some JV girls games in the near future and believes it’s something they could do.
Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville and Fortuna have all talked about participating.
“That was a cool moment,” Holmes said of Monday’s game. “McKinleyville coach Ryne Deppe helped put that together.”
The two programs are hoping to play again this season, although it appears at this stage they will be the only two schools to compete at that level for now.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.