Anyone who thought the Pella football team would experience a down season last year would be wise to not make that assumption again this time around.
Though the Little Dutch lost a number of talented seniors to graduation, they still return a number of experienced players from a squad that went 12-1 last season and reached the Class 3A State Semifinals.
Senior Josh De Waard took a number of snaps as back-up quarterback last season, and is an early candidate to lead the Pella offense this fall. The Little Dutch were also rich in running backs in 2010, and seniors Sam Davis and Austin Fuller are among the names that are likely to be present in the backfield this fall.
Pella’s defense gets a boost from the return of leading tackler Grant Gustafson – a senior – and sophomore linebacker Nathan Clayberg, while Jace Ver Steeg and Jake Wassenaar will help round out the second level of the defense. The Little Dutch do, however, have some question marks on the offensive and defensive lines, where they lost a number of fast, strong bodies from last season.
Pella’s football season opens a week from this Friday, when they host Newton in non-district play.