Losing eleven starters on the offensive side of the ball and seven more on defense sounds like a troubling predicament, but the Pella football team has been taking on that challenge this summer – though their mindset may be a bit different than it has been in years past. Head coach Jay McKinstrey says he and his staff have emphasized two specific themes in pre-season practices.
“I think our focus this year has been on patience and consistency. We have a lot of inexperienced guys out there playing; some guys that have never played varsity football – most of them haven’t played varsity football – so we just ask our kids to be patient in the development of this team. We ask them to be consistent in their play, and we like what we see,” says McKinstrey.
“We see great potential, but it’s going to take time to develop. The kids need to understand that, [we] coaches need to understand that, and hopefully our fan base understands that. It’s going to be a work in progress.”
McKinstrey was also quick to clarify that “work in progress” does not mean that he doesn’t expect a good football team to be out on the field in week one. Pella opens the regular season next Friday at home against Newton.