Recent wins change the game for DV sports


Saanvi Haridas

2022-23 DV varsity men’s basketball team wins their way to NCS, marking the farthest DV basketball has ever gone.

Since Dougherty Valley was founded in 2007, students have been more academically inclined than athletically adept. Known for being notoriously bad at sports, DVHS receives open mockery for the school’s lack of athleticism. However, in the past year, Dougherty has gained a better reputation regarding their athletics program. Whether it’s due to an improvement in the school teams, a sudden increase in student interest in sports, or both, it begs the question: has DV really gotten better at sports?

An obvious highlight of a better performance in athletics is DV’s varsity basketball team. The 2022-2023 season has been the furthest the team has gone, driving their way to the state semifinals and ranking #12 in the entire California division. There is no doubt that the team’s remarkable success is a result of the hard work and dedication put in by the players. 

This year, four seniors on the team committed to playing basketball in college, compared to the one player from previous years, showcasing not only the improved performance of this year’s players but also their own personal passion for the sport. If the most recent basketball season is any reflection of the school’s athletic performance, then we can claim ourselves one step closer to becoming both an academic and sports school.

If the most recent basketball season is any reflection of the school’s athletic performance, then we can claim ourselves one step closer to becoming both an academic and sports school.

Although the school’s improved performance in sports may be the cause of Dougherty Valley’s increasing athletic focus, it could also be due to the expanding engagement and alacrity of the students. 

From sold-out games, spirit days and popular fan accounts such as @dvhs12thman on Instagram, the Dougherty Valley student body’s interest in sports has spiked this year. More student excitement regarding the school’s athletics could possibly justify why Dougherty has gotten praise in the field of sports even though most team statistics have stayed stagnant over the past few years. 

For example, the Wildcat baseball team maintained a record of ten wins for the past three seasons. Even the varsity football team’s record stayed relatively consistent. The Wildcats ended the 2021-22 season with a 5-4 record. Their next season ended with 6-4, showing slight improvement. However, compared to other sports, the boys basketball team showed the most pronounced improvement. Last year, the Wildcats ended the 2021-22 season with a record of 21-7. This year, they achieved a 27-4 record during this year’s season. 

So what has truly caused the sudden switch in opinions towards a better athletic reputation? Senior Aiden Mathew explained why he believes DV has received more attention as a sports school. 

“I think the success of the basketball team has put us on the map in the world of high school athletics,” Mathew said. “And because basketball has been doing great, I think students assume that the rest of the sports are doing good as well.”

Based on the data of the team’s records and student opinions, the basketball team’s success this year seems to be the primary reason for Dougherty Valley’s increasingly positive reputation with sports. With the addition of amplified student body interest and more coverage of sports like basketball, Dougherty is gradually gaining recognition for their athleticism and could even earn the reputation of being a sports school.