In 2010 Iowa witnessed one of the deepest 3A boys’ fields in history. Eight teams left Fort Dodge feeling proud that they had run a Championship level race and in previous seasons may have left with top honors. Pella (finishing sixth) however has one event unique from all those other squads, all seven members of their state team return in 2011. Such an event is rare in any high school state competition and thus begins 2011 with lofty expectations.
There are fourteen returning letter winners amongst a record 61 members, many of which have aspirations of earning their first Varsity letter. This depth is Pella’s greatest strength. It will allow the Varsity lineup to be shuffled each meet for the purpose or allowing runners different experiences. Some will benefit from being put in a tough field propelling them to faster times. Some will hopefully get a chance to experience what it it is like to lead a field of runners from start to finish. Regardless of the race run, all runners will benefit greatly from the push they will constantly feel physically and mentally from a tightly united group of young men.
Another strength that the team has had over the years continues to be true, tremendous senior leadership. With nine senior captains this season the team is in great hands. These seniors know what it means to excel; they understand the work it takes to not only be good, but to constantly improve in order to be great.
Preseason rankings place Pella #1. It is a recognition of Pella’s success over past seasons and the depth of their returners. However, will this ranking spur an effort to rise to even greater heights than previously reached or will they relax in the team’s past success? The answer to that question is key as Pella Lights Up 2011 because regardless of any finish, these young men are capable of great things.
Senior Captains: Paul Andersen, Zach Buchheit, Andy Hardine, Joseph Heschke, Zach Hopkins, Brett Howard, Mitchel Nunnikhoven, Tyler Swanson
Returning Letter Winners: Zach Buchheit, Evan Jones, Michael Schemm, Ryan Sievers, Keegan Fitzsimmons, Tukker Bogaard, Matthew Klein, Alex Ropes, Joseph Heschke, Paul Andersen, Colton Haning, Michael Etnyre, Brennan Mejia, Josh Whitten, Mitch Shepperd