Coach Rich Kacmarynski is starting his 12th season in charge of the Pella Christian Eagles varsity football program.
PC was 8-4 last year and they made a playoff run which ended in the UNI-Dome for the second year in a row.
The 2018 campaign concluded with a hard fought 34-21 setback to Dike New-Hartford in the semi-final round of the playoffs.
Playoff wins last year were over Wilton 31-28 and Bellevue 23-21, both on the road.
Kacmarynski reports a squad of 56 players have reported to camp in grades 9-12. Among that group are 23 freshmen.
The 2019 roster shows 9 players back who started on the offensive side of the ball a year ago and 4 on defense.
The list of veteran starters back on the offensive include seniors Dan Jungling, Jase Amelse, Keann Cadwell, Stone Turner, Devin Haveman and Max Wichhart. Juniors back on the offensive starting unit are Zach DeVries, Ben DeBoef and Devin Rus.
Jungling is back at quarterback, Amelse as a running back, Cadwell and Wichhart as receivers and Turner, Haveman, DeBoef and Rus on the offensive line.
On the flip side of the ball, the defense returns four of their leaders, Amelse at linebacker and Wichhart at defensive back. Also anchoring the defensive line are Luke Mulder and DeBoef. Mulder is a junior.
Coach Kacmarynski said the strength of the team will be quarterback, running back, the offensive line and linebackers.
The weaknesses will be filling graduated experience at receiver and defensive backs.
When asked if any young players would be counted on to help, Kacmarynski listed Eric Mulder, Bennett Spronk, Caleb Belzer, Drew Geetings, Lucas Hol and Logan Kelderman as a few to keep an eye on.
Mulder, Belzer, Geetings and Hol are all vying for time at receiver on offense.
“I think we will be the best team in the district. I think I-35, Pleasantville and Woodward-Granger will all compete,” Kacmarynski said.
Teams in the district along with PC include Pleasantville, Interstate-35, Colfax-Mingo, Woodward-Granger and Woodward Academy.
The non-district portion of the schedule is brutal once again.
The season starts with Oskaloosa, a 3A playoff team last year. Then it’s Van Meter at home, a final four team in 1A a year ago and the 2017 State Champions.
Then it’s always tough Iowa City Regina and the PCM (Monroe) Mustangs.
PCM is the defending Class 2A State Champions.
Among the many talented players PC must replace are Noah Treimer, Nathan DeBruin, Kyle Fynaardt and Jayden Huisman.
In closing Kac stated, “I think we have a talented team that will get better each week. I think we will be very good by the time playoffs roll around.”