For Class B softball programs, a junior varsity team used to be the norm. Now, it’s almost a luxury.

Nokomis is one school that will have a JV team. Coach JD McLellan said that the roster is filled with mostly freshmen.

“I was actually worried whether we were going to have enough (players),” McLellan said. “Every school now is always worried about that.”

Some teams, like Winslow, had to abandon their JV team. Others, like Mt. View and Maine Central Institute, will play an amended JV schedule, with just a few games and some players swinging between JV and varsity.

For MCI, this is actually a great development. The Huskies ended the 2010 season with 10 players, and although they had 20 at tryouts last spring, they didn’t play any JV games because they found out too late that they would have a stronger turnout.

MCI coach Nicole Steeves said she had a couple freshmen on last year’s team quit because they couldn’t get any playing time. Steeves said with the JV games this season, she’ll be in a better position to keep that from happening.

Waterville also has a JV team this season. Coach Matt Madore said 27 players tried out, even though the Purple Panthers were 0-16 last season, and Waterville’s perennially successful track and field team takes a big chunk out of the talent pool.

“We haven’t a pitcher for JV for a couple years. We’ve just had girls going out and throwing,” Madore said. “It’s nice to have a full JV squad, and a full varsity squad. It’s been two years since we finished a JV season.”

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There isn’t much Tim Alberts hasn’t seen in his 24 years as coach of the Lawrence track and field teams.

On Monday, however, he experienced a first, when he announced siblings Tim and Katie Dudley would serve as captains of their respective teams.

“It’s the first time in 24 years we’ve had brother-sister captains,” Alberts said. “It’s pretty unique.”

Tim Dudley, a former baseball player who went out for track last season, is a senior sprinter for the Bulldogs. Katie is a junior hurdler/jumper.

“We couldn’t have asked for better people,” Alberts said.

The process changed this season to determine captains.

This season interested student-athletes applied to become captains. The six coaches then sifted through the applications before determining the captains.

“This year we did something totally different,” Alberts said. “We had 16 kids who put in an application and then we all sat down and looked at what they said. It was almost a no-brainer. It was a tough process, but it really worked out well.”

* * *

The Lawrence track and field teams are collecting household goods — toilet paper, bed sheets, pillow cases, waste baskets — to benefit the Veterans Affairs of Augusta.

The VA on May 16 is holding a 2-kilometer run/walk fundraiser.

Lawrence coach Tim Alberts said his teams will collect the household goods from now until then.

“We’re gathering donations and then we will bring them down to the VA,” he said. “We’ll have baskets at our meets for people to donate items.”

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