The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


It Only Gets Better From Here


    For high school athletes, going to state for their sport is something that takes hard work and determination. Teams and individuals practice for several hours each week to be the team that comes out on top. Although they fell just short of this, Pella’s boys’ varsity basketball team made it to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time since their state championship run in 2021. 

    Those who propelled the team to the state tournament were sophomores Austin Schulte and Jack McGuire. McGuire led the team in points in the state quarter-final game, further stapling his place as team points leader for the season. All four sophomores on varsity, including McGuire and Schulte, as well as Harrison Mullens and Michael Manning, have made their names a foundation for the team in the next two years.

     “I feel that these next two years our team will only get better and better,” said McGuire. He feels his next two seasons have “a lot of potential to do great things.” 

     Although he didn’t start a game, Mullens could play in each one. He, as well, is thrilled for the next season, as he already knows one of his goals. 

     “I’m super excited to be stepping into a bigger role for the team in the following years,” said Mullens. “My goal is just to contribute positively and help my team win as many games as possible.” 

     Mullens wants to have the opportunity to compete for the 3A state championship and play the best he can while doing it.

     Next season, the sophomores will help fill the shoes of this year’s seniors, which won’t be an easy thing to do. Head Coach Derek Schulte says next year will be “extremely competitive to earn varsity playing time,” but that doesn’t phase them.
    “I plan on consistently putting time into the gym and the weight room and doing what I can to become better and better,” said Austin Schulte. Meanwhile, McGuire is excited to take on a new responsibility when the season rolls around.

     He says the five seniors this year left a “long-lasting impact” on the team. “I think what we have to do is work on our leadership, as the seniors made a big difference there,” McGuire suggested.

     Last offseason, changing his training was something Manning found unnecessary to play varsity.
    “I feel like since I was little, I always dreamed of playing varsity basketball and looked up to the players that were on varsity,” he said. “For that reason, I don’t think I necessarily trained differently. I just have been working since I was little to hopefully get the chance to play varsity basketball for Pella.” He thinks the previous varsity players also helped him become a better player for this season.

     On the flip side, Mullens made sure he was putting in more work than ever by getting in the gym more and gaining more skills that would allow him to play for the varsity team.

     He says, “Staying active was a huge part of me being able to perform the best way I could.”

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