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PELLA — It proved to be a weird season in high school sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic that wiped out all of spring sports. Even excluding the spring, Pella made their mark on the 2019-20 season with a handful of trips to state across the board. Here is a look at how the season stacked up for Pella.

Football (8-3)

The Dutch earned their 13th straight trip to the playoffs in 2019. They picked up seven wins in the regular season while tallying at least eight wins for a seventh straight year.

They had four players feature on IPSWA’s all-state teams. Defensive lineman Kody Huisman and defensive back Aaron Downs both earned nods to the first team all-state defense. Receiver Logan Shetterly and offensive lineman Mason Huerter were both selected to the second team all-state offense.

Huisman was a force on the defensive line for Pella. The North Dakota State commit would finish third on the team with 42 tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks and a team-best 21.5 tackles for loss.

Downs was a leader in the secondary for the Dutch. He would tally two interceptions with 18 tackles. Offensively, he led the team in rushing with 841 yards on 97 carries (8.7 yards per carry) with 14 touchdowns. Downs also caught 12 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown.

Shetterly had a dominant year out wide at receiver. He would lead the team with 49 catches for 860 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a favorite target for junior quarterback Ryan Mace, who finished the season with 1,735 yards and 19 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Huerter protected Mace on the offensive line and also created a lot of holes for the Dutch running game.

Pella defeated Independence 24-6 in the first round of the playoffs before losing 24-0 to Solon in the state quarterfinals.

Volleyball (18-19)

The young Lady Dutch scratched and clawed their way to nearly a .500 record in a rebuilding season.

Pella finished fifth in the Little Hawkeye Conference Tournament, which they hosted this year, after picking up a pair of wins over Grinnell and Pella Christian.

Pella had two girls selected to the Little Hawkeye all-conference teams. Bailey Van Voorst was a first team selection while Anna Vander Waal earned second team honors.

Van Voorst was the go-option on offense as she registered 276 kills with a 13.9% kill efficiency. She was also second on the team in blocks (39) and digs (159) while also leading the team with 46 aces.

Vander Waal served as the setter and was a good one with 643 assists on the year. She also proved to be solid defensively with 25 blocks and 147 digs.

Pella won their opening round of regionals against Washington before falling 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-19) to Marion in the semifinals.

Boys Cross Country

The storied history of Pella cross country had another positive chapter in 2019.

Pella was able to qualify for state with their third place finish at districts with a team score of 61. The Dutch had four runners earn medals for top 15 finishes that day.

Josiah Wittenberg was fourth overall at 17:03, Tony Schmitz sixth at 17:13, Thomas Gaul 11th at 17:34 and Mason Johnston 12th at 17:35.

The boys would head to Fort Dodge and come away with a 10th place finish as a team in a deep Class 3A field.

Wittenberg earned an all-state medal for his efforts in the event, taking sixth place individually with a time of 16:21.

Girls Cross Country

The girls made their 14th straight trip to the state meet. This season they did it with a senior-filled roster.

Pella punched their ticket to Fort Dodge at the district meet with a third place finish with a score of 89.

Caroline McMartin was seventh overall at 20:19, Tirzah Wittenberg 13th at 20:46 and Ashley Blommers 15th at 20:54 as all three would earn medals for the Lady Dutch.

Pella entered the state meet at Fort Dodge ranked 14th but they would perform very well to finish eighth as a team with 246 points.

McMartin was the Dutch leader in 17th place at 19:38. Next for Pella was Blommers in 44th at 20:40 and Wittenberg 46th at 20:42. The rest of the Pella scoring showed Abigail Cutler in 54th at 20:55 and Ellie Roorda 75th at 21:35.

Boys Basketball (19-6)

The high scoring Dutch averaged 76.2 points per game to lead Class 3A and earn their 17th state tournament birth and first in head coach Derek Schulte’s 14 years at Pella.

Logan Shetterly was a second team all-state selection for the Dutch. The Central College signee averaged 19.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game while shooting 45.7% from the field and 33.1% from three.

Shetterly was also a first team all-conference selection while his teammates Trenton Sturgeon and John Oltman were second team all-conference selections.

Sturgeon averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game for Pella while shooting 49% from the field and 27.3% from deep. Oltman also scored in double figures, averaging 12.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals per game while shooting 41.9% from the floor and 39.1% from three-point land.

Pella was able to defeat Oskaloosa and Iowa State signee Xavier Foster 62-51 in the substate finals to go to state. There they would fall 58-43 to Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the state quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Arena.

Girls Basketball (12-11)

The young Lady Dutch recorded their seventh straight winning season despite having only one senior on the team.

Two girls earned all-conference honors for Pella. Juniors Madison Naig and Faith Diers were both selected to the all-conference second team for the Lady Dutch.

Naig led the team with 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Diers also averaged in double figures at 10.3 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Pella won their opening round of regionals matchup against Oskaloosa before falling 75-59 to Clear Creek-Amana in the regional semifinals.


The Pella grapplers sent one boy to state this season while getting a pair of conference runner-ups.

The team would finish sixth as a team in the meet with 110 points. Ryan Hancock (113) and Ryan Van Donselaar (145) both worked their way to the finals at their respective weights but would both lose in the championship match to take second.

Pella got a tough draw of teams for their Class 3A meet. Southeast Polk took the district title with 300 points after qualifying 13 of their 14 wrestlers for state.

The Dutch were able to qualify one in junior Kody Huisman. The 220 pounder picked up an opening-round pin before being pinned himself in the semifinals. Huisman bounced back with pin in less than one minute to get a wrestle back for a shot at state. Huisman pinned Indianola’s Jaylin Smith in the second period to punch his ticket to Wells Fargo Arena.

The Dutch had seven other wrestlers place at districts with the next closest qualifier being Van Donselaar, who took third at 145 pounds after being denied a wrestle back.

Huisman would be pinned in his opening match at state before advancing to day two after pinning LeMars’ Brenick Hoppe in the first period of his consolation match. Huisman would be eliminated on day two after being tech falled by Linn-Mar’s Luke Gaffney. Huisman finished his season with a 20-13 record.

Boys Bowling (7-15)

The boys bowling team picked up seven wins while finishing seventh at the conference meet and sixth at the substate meet.

At the Two Rivers Conference Meet, Pella’s 2,456 pins was good for seventh as a team while they had two boys make the all-conference teams.

Matthew DeJong was named to the all-conference first team while Reid Miller received second team all-conference honors.

The Dutch would finish sixth as a team at substate with 2,497 pins. Miller was Pella’s top bowler that day with a 374 series and a game-high of 200.

Girls Bowling (3-19)

The young Lady Dutch bowlers only had one senior on the team this season as the rest gained some valuable experience.

Pella would take seventh at the Two Rivers Conference Meet with 1,815 pins. The girls didn’t have any girls make the all-conference teams but Sierra Vander Weerdt and Maranda Verschuure were honorable mentions.

The Lady Dutch improved at the substate meet where they would tally 1,927 pins, good for fifth place as a team.

Pella made history at the meet as Sydney Stursma bowled the second highest game in program history with a 181, good for 12th place, and the fifth highest individual round series with a 313. The girls also posted a new fourth high baker game at 175 and the second highest baker round at 692.

Boys Track and Field

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Track and Field

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Boys Tennis

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Tennis

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Boys Golf

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Golf

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Boys Soccer

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Soccer

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Baseball (9-11)

It was an up and down shortened season for the Dutch as they hovered around .500 all season long.

Pella had the toughest schedule in the Little Hawkeye Conference with an opponents win percentage of .581. They would finish middle of the pack in conference play with a 7-6 record.

Pella had three boys feature on the all-conference teams with Nick DeJong getting the nod on the first team while Tanner Dunsbergen and Jason Knox were selected to the second team.

DeJong led the Dutch bats with a .367 batting average and a .466 on-base percentage. He would also tally five doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs. He also proved to be a sure fielder at third with a fielding percentage of .978 this season.

Dunsbergen had a great year on the rubber for Pella. The senior would finish with a 2-1 record along with a 1.73 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.

Knox was a tough out at the plate with a .350 batting average along with two doubles, two triples and a team-high 15 RBIs. Despite a 1-5 record, he was effective on the mound with a 2.26 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 34 innings of work.

Pella saw their season end with a 10-3 loss to Centerville in the substate quarterfinals.

Softball (3-16)

Another young girls team for Pella. The Dutch were led by one senior, who was also the only upperclassman in a lineup filled with underclassmen.

The Lady Dutch picked up a pair of wins against Newton and a win against North Mahaska this year.

Lone senior Courtney Thompson was a second team all-conference selection for Pella. She would hit .281 for the season with a .352 on-base percentage and nine stolen bases. She also hit her first career home run, a grand slam, while leading the team by a long shot with 17 RBIs.

Pella had their best defensive game of the season in their last game but ultimately the Lady Dutch would fall to Knoxville 1-0 in eight innings in the regional quarterfinals.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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