The win-loss record doesn't matter much at the junior varsity level. Any coach will tell you, the real measure of success is the development of the athletes and stocking the program for the future.
Without shiny new uniforms, and often times playing in front of sparse crowds, JV players look for ways to better hone their skills through coaching and experience.
For some players, the season begins and ends on the JV level, but for others, a coveted varsity call-up awaits.
Through hard work and ambition, the foundation is laid for the next two or three fall seasons.
We contacted each school, through its athletic administration, and asked for information on their JV teams. Here's what we heard back:
The future looks bright for the Howard varsity football squad after the JV team went undefeated in the fall. The Lions (10-0) were dominant on both sides of the ball - scoring 32.6 points per game, while only allowing 2.9.
The defense, which collected five shutouts, was led by captains DE Winston DeLatibautierre, DB/WR Kendall Phoenix (four interceptions), and LB Shane Kieta. Lineman David Billings and RB/LB Zach Ciepiela were also captains and two-way starters.
Running back and defensive back Malik Anderson led the team in rushing and scored 15 touchdowns in eight games. He was moved up to varsity for the last two regular season games. Sophomore QB Kevin Sheahin threw for seven touchdowns and ran for another. He was also called up midseason. Running back and linebacker Najee Savage was second in rushing and had seven touchdowns. Lineman Elijah McBride opened up big holes for the running backs.
Defensive tackle Saif Bryant was a force in the middle along with LB/RB Vanden Vale. The defensive backfield was patrolled by Jamil Campbell (two interceptions) and Keenan Fischer (one interception). Sophomores Max O'Donnell (TE/DE) and Devin Saunders (QB/LB) were also key contributors.
When Howard faced off with Reservoir, it was for the top spot in the county. The Lions entered the game at 6-0 and the Gators were 5-1. Freshman Casey Crawford replaced starting quarterback Sheahin, who went down with an injury. Crawford hooked up with Fischer for three touchdowns to seal a 36-12 victory.
"This year's team was led by a balanced attack on offense and a stout defense," said head coach Jimmy Creighton. "This was a great group of guys who showed up to practice on a daily basis excited about football."
The sophomores end their JV careers with a 17-1-1 (7-1-1 last season) overall record over the past two years and a lot of potential to do good things for the Howard football program in the near future.
Marriotts Ridge started off its season with an 0-3 mark, but evened its record to 5-5 overall after winning the final four games.
"I'm very proud of this team and their hard work throughout the year," coach Dan Sageman said. "We never gave up."
Assad Dar led the team in rushing, while TE Cade Buch was a threat in the passing game, pacing the team in receptions.
Running back and strong safety Grant Hanlon contributed on the offensive side, and was a leading tackler on defense. Up front, OL/DE Alex Zabaldo led the team in sacks and OL/DE Cully Desautelle was a leading tackler on the defensive line.
Mt. Hebron showed great improvement over the course of the season with the motto, "Big team, little me."
Khalif Green, Nicholson Porter, Kevin Chung, Brennan Flemming, Nick Suri and John Gant were spark plugs on offense.
Defensive contributors included Tyson Porter, Jake Norton, Alex Hosseini, Micah Bullard and Brisly Goldner.