Basketball: Back in Action


After receiving the boys’ basketball 3A championship in 2021, the returning players and coaches of the Pella High boys’ basketball team begin to look ahead. They are planning ways they can train and return this next season as strong as before. 

Three of the five varsity starters on the 2021 championship team were seniors. Karl Miller and Parker Elder, both juniors last season, also started for the team. The team has big shoes to fill, but head coach Derek Schulte feels the new seniors will take an important role of leadership this season to fill in the gaps. 

Great teams are always going to lose important players,” said Schulte. “I am excited to see our returning players take a step forward and expand their roles on this year’s team.” 

Although not a varsity starter, Noah Allen was an important player on the championship team. In fact, at the championship game against Ballard, he was named player of the game after scoring 19 points off the bench. Allen is ready to step into a new role this season. 

“I am prepared to take the role of being the leader on the team,” said Allen. “Last year, being the transfer and underclassman, I was not as vocal as I could have been. Having a year of experience under my belt and being a senior, I am ready to be a positive influence to my teammates.”

The off season training opportunities have given the seniors an area to work on their leadership. While some of the team are participating in other sports, most of the players lift weights together and practice on their own. The team has gotten together during optional open gyms to shoot hoops and run drills together. 

“Training now has been a lot of lifting and getting shots up at open gym and [practicing on] our own free time,” said Miller. 

As the team begins to look forward to the season, they’re beginning the early phases of goal setting. 

Our goal for next season is one not many teams can say, and that is winning another state championship,” said Allen. “Going back to back will be a challenge as we have one of the biggest targets on our back after winning last year.”