Pella Christian

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PELLA — The 2019-20 sports season was not quite the same with the COVID-19 pandemic taking out all of spring sports. Despite that, Pella Christian battled through some tough regular season play in the Little Hawkeye Conference and were able to put together a couple of deep postseason runs this season. Here is a look at how the season played out for Pella Christian.

Football (5-5)

What a bounce back it was for the Pella Christian football team. After starting the season 0-4, the Eagles won five straight games to reach the postseason for a sixth straight year.

They had a pair of players on IPSWA’s all-state teams. Junior defensive lineman Luke Mulder was a second team selection while senior quarterback Dan Jungling received third team all-state honors.

Mulder was a force on the defensive line, leading the team in tackles with 61 including 15.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Jungling nearly joined the 1,000/1,000 club last season as the Eagles’ quarterback. The senior threw for 1,282 yards with 11 touchdowns against seven interceptions while also being a huge threat on the ground with 954 rushing yards on 131 carries (7.3 yards per carry) with 16 touchdowns.

Pella Christian got a rematch with Van Meter in the first round of the playoffs but would fall 38-12.

Volleyball (19-21)

The Eagles crept towards getting back to .500 at the end of the season thanks to a late five-match winning streak before being eliminated in the playoffs.

Pella Christian finished sixth in the conference tournament while struggling in conference play with a 3-8 record. They played well outside of the Little Hawkeye Conference, going 16-13 in non-conference matches.

The Eagles had two girls land on the Little Hawkeye all-conference teams. Molly Bolt was a first team selection while Anna Van Zee earned second team honors.

Bolt was the leading hitter for Pella Christian, racking up 354 kills and 20.8% kill efficiency. She would also finish with 22 blocks, 223 digs and 26 aces.

Van Zee was a force defensively on the back line for the Eagles. She finished with a team-high 482 digs to go along with 21 assists, 12 kills and 26 aces.

Pella Christian made a nice postseason run, picking up a couple of wins against I-35 and Pleasantville before losing 3-1 (25-17, 15-25, 25-21, 25-20) to Van Buren.

Boys Cross Country

The boys cross country team took another step forward this season, getting a strong team finish at the district meet while sending one boy to state.

Pella Christian finished sixth among the 14 teams at the state qualifier with 152 points. Daniel Mora Demestri led the charge by placing 12th with a time of 17:44. The top 15 finish helped him get a spot at the state meet.

Brayton Juffer just missed out on a chance to join Demstri at state after finishing 18th with a time of 17:56, just nine seconds behind the 15th-place runner.

Demstri would race at the state meet in Fort Dodge, finishing in 73rd among 137 boys with a time of 17:56.7.

Girls Cross Country

A small squad of just six runners competed well without any seniors as they all looked to gain experience this season.

The Eagles placed eight among the 14 teams at the state qualifier in Williamsburg with 212 points.

PC was led by junior Annaliese Admiraal in 23rd place at 21:22 and Sydney Hooyer 26th at 21:51.

The rest of the PC scoring showed Jenna Van Maanen 47th at 23:06, Annika Terpstra 50th at 23:16 and Tessa Brouwer 66th at 24:40.

Also running for PC but not counting in the team total for the night was Mira Ford in 75th at 25:41.

Admiraal came the closest to the required top 15 finish to qualify for state, but all six runners are set to return in 2020.

Boys Basketball (13-11)

Another strong postseason run saw Coach Larry Hessing’s Eagles, in his final season as head coach, earn a state birth for the 12th time under Hessing and 15th in school history.

Josh Van Gorp and Dan Jungling both received all-state honors after being selected to the Class 2A third team.

The 6-foot-9 Van Gorp was a double-double machine for the Eagles, averaging 15.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting a very nice 69.8% from the floor.

Jungling could hurt teams from outside and inside. He would average 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 46.1% from the field and 43.7% from deep.

Both players were voted to second team all-conference in a Little Hawkeye Conference full of elite players.

Pella Christian soared through substate, picking up wins against West Marshall, Des Moines Christian and South Hamilton to qualify for state. There they would run into Treynor, falling 69-53 to the Cardinals in the state quarterfinals.

Girls Basketball (5-19)

It was a difficult year for the Eagles but they were able to finish strong, winning three of their last four games.

Junior Allison Van Gorp was recognized for her nice year. The 6-foot-1 center led the team with 14.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for Pella Christian.

The Eagles started to hit their stride late in the year, defeating Oskaloosa in the regular season finale before starting postseason play.

There they would beat Colfax-Mingo in the first round before scraping past Pleasantville to advance to the regional semifinals.

That’s where they would run into a highly touted North Linn squad and see their season end with a 85-42 loss.

Boys Bowling (7-14)

The boys bowling team picked up seven wins on the season while finishing sixth in the Two Rivers Conference meet and fifth at substate.

Pella Christian’s 2,567 pins were good enough for sixth of eight teams at the conference meet this season.

The Eagles didn’t have any all-conference selections but Devin Haveman, Austin Van Kooten and Blake Veenstra were all honorable mentions.

The boys would then bowl at the district meet, where they would finish fifth with 2,461 pins.

Girls Bowling (4-16)

The Eagles sported six seniors on the squad of 10 girls this season. They registered four wins, eighth place finish at the conference meet and fifth at the district meet.

The girls tallied 1,734 pins at the Two Rivers Conference Meet, good for eighth place this year.

They didn’t have any all-conference selections but Alayna Van Kooten was an honorable mention.

Pella Christian then bowled at the district meet, taking fifth place among the seven teams with 1,914 pins.

Boys Track and Field

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Track and Field

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Boys Soccer

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Soccer

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Girls Tennis

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Boys Golf

Season canceled due to COVID-19.

Baseball (3-12)

After all of the uncertainty on if they would even have a season, the Pella Christian baseball team was able to take the field this year but they had a little bad luck with six of their losses coming by three runs or less.

Their highlight of the season was being able to play a regular season game at principal park against Grinnell. The game went back and forth with Pella Christian claiming the lead in the top of the seventh and holding on for a 9-8 victory.

The Eagles had three boys selection to all-conference teams. Matthew Bokhoven, Dan Jungling and Devin Haveman all earned second team all-conference honors.

Bokhoven racked up a .341 batting average with a team-best .460 on-base percentage to go along with two doubles and seven RBIs. On the mound, he finished with a 1-2 record and 3.77 ERA with12 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.

Jungling was very good in centerfield and batted leadoff for Pella Christian. He finished with a .292 batting average, two doubles and seven RBIs.

Haveman provided some power in the middle of the order with a .227 batting average and two home runs to go with five RBIs. He also got eight starts on the rubber, finishing with a 2-4 record and a 4.15 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings of work.

Pella Christian’s season came to an end in another close loss, this time a 2-0 defeat to Cardinal in the first round of substate.

Softball (10-9)

The Eagles had a handful of thrilling wins on the season and enjoyed a deep playoff run in their first winning season since 2017.

PC played their rivals in the Lady Dutch four times this year, winning all four games including three games in which they were trailing at some point.

Pella Christian had three girls grace the all-conference first team. Emri Agre, Chloe Morgan and Cheyanne Collins all received that honor.

Agre did not play at all like a freshman for the Eagles. She absolutely raked at the plate with a .522 batting average, seven doubles, three home runs and a team-best 26 RBIs.

Morgan, a Central signee, wrapped up her high school career with another strong season. She batted .433 with four doubles, six RBIs and 13 stolen bases at the top of the order.

Collins also finished her high school career with a great season. The cleanup hitter had a .391 batting average, .459 on-base percentage and five doubles while slugging a team-best four home runs with 23 RBIs. In the circle, she owned a 9-5 record and 3.59 ERA with 56 punch outs in 93 2/3 innings.

In the postseason, Pella Christian picked up comeback wins against Pleasantville and I-35 before suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to East Marshall in the regional semifinals.

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

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