Pella signees

Back row left to right: Tony Schmitz, Kody Huisman, Courtney Paxton, Mason Holland. Front row left to right: Rachel Coppock, Abby Cutler, Elizabeth Eisenbarth

PELLA — Seven Pella high students officially signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to continue their athletic and academic careers at the next level.

Tony Schmitz, a standout for the Dutch track and cross country team as a great distance runner, was accepted into West Point Academy in West Point, New York through the Army National Guard.

Schmitz has finished in the top 20 at the state cross country meet in each of the last two seasons. He recently ran at the Drake Relays last week, taking third in the 800, fifth in the 4x800 and 22nd in the 4x400.

Kody Huisman, a three-sport standout in his time at Pella, signed to continue to play football at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.

Huisman was a second-team all-state defensive lineman this season for the Dutch. He anchored both lines, garnering a lot of attention from opposing teams. Huisman was still able to finish with 36 tackles, 10 for loss and three sacks including two fumbles recovered for touchdowns.

Huisman is also a two-time state qualifier in wrestling, including an eighth place finish at 285 this past season. He is also enjoying a big season for the track and field team, coming off of a Drake Relays championship in the shot put and third place finish in the discus.

Courtney Paxton signed to continue her volleyball career at Simpson College in Indianola.

Paxton was a rightside hitter for the 23-12 Lady Dutch this past fall. She started in 19 matches while tallying 18 kills and 28 blocks (third on the team).

Mason Holland signed to continue his soccer career at Drake University in Des Moines.

Holland protects the net as Pella’s goalkeeper. After serving as the team’s backup in 2019 and missing a season in 2020 due to the pandemic, Holland has taken over the starters job and has done a great job. He currently boasts an 84.9% save percentage with five clean sheets in 11 games.

Rachel Coppock signed her letter of intent to continue her tennis career at Northwestern College in Orange City.

Coppock has been on the Lady Dutch tennis team for all four years and is a senior leader for the squad this season.

Abby Cutler is signed to continue to run track and field and cross country at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.

Culter finished 41st at the state cross country meet this year and is a staple in the distance events for the Pella track team.

Elizabeth Eisenbarth signed to the Hawkeye Community College shooting team in Waterloo.

Eisenbarth has been a part of the Pella Shooting Club for several years, winning several events including the State Skeet varsity ladies division in 2019.

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

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