Six sports kick off spring seasons

Spring is a busy season for PC as six sports have begun their competitions. With nearly 200 athletes participating in Track, Tennis, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Golf, and Clay Target, the school has scheduled dozens of competitions for everyone.


by Mary Kate Bandstra /

After six meets so far this season, several events have proved successful for PC.  On the boys side, the distance medley and 4X400 have placed in the top 3 at every meet.  For the girls, the 4X100 and sprinters consistently place.  Sophomore Allison Van Gorp and junior Blake Veenstra have dominated the field events in shot put and discus.

A total of 38 runners make up the boys’ and girls’ teams this year: 26 guys and 12 girls, which is comparable to past years’ numbers. The teams started practicing indoors in February with workouts consisting of hallway sprints and lifting. After spring break, the teams started off the season with indoor meets at Iowa State and Grinnell College which gave runners the opportunity to compete and run against others. With the April weather cooperation, the track teams have gotten to run and throw in outdoor practices and meets.

Last weekend, the day after JSB, the track teams competed at the Osky Relays. Sleep deprivation and late nights did not stop the teams from running great times. The girls had top finishes in the 4×100 meter relay, running a season best time of 52.17 seconds, and in the shot put  Van Gorp; she was runner up in the discus as well. Other high finishes were runner-up finishes by junior Erica Nikkel in the 100 meters and senior Mary Kate Bandstra in the 200 meters. On the guys’ side,  Veenstra led the way with first place finishes in the shot put and discus. The 4×400 team got a runner up finish with a season best time of 3:36.92. The Distance Medley finished 3rd. 

An experienced group of girls return for the team this year. Although numbers are not large, strong sprinters and middle distance runners should allow for some great relays this season. “We have a large number of our team that has participated at the state track meet and are hungry to get back.” said head coach Keith Anderson.

On the boys side, a huge strength is the size of their team. Many team members can contribute to several different races and events. “We will be able to fill a lot of different events and we have a number of athletes that will be able to score some points in a variety of events at each meet,’ commented Anderson.

A sufficient group of tracksters and an experienced coaching staff head into this spring with excitement. “You can’t go wrong with track season! Everyone works hard, wants to succeed, and gets to be together every day. We have some great athletes and leaders so we’ll just have to see where we end up in May!” said senior captain Lucas Bandstra.

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by Isabella Baugh / 

The Lady Eagles tennis team has had five successful meets already this season,  gaining a 5-0 record. They kicked off  the 2019 season with their first practice on March 11. With ten available varsity spots, six of them have been filled by new players and four returning varsity letter winners. This year’s varsity team is young and promising, causing head coach Danielle Stubbs to be filled with anticipation for a great season ahead.

So far this season, this group of young ladies has shown traits of diligence and encouragement to one another in their first week of practice. “Our strengths are girls who work hard and have positive attitudes,” said coach Stubbs. One challenge the team may face this year would be having a predominantly new varsity squad. “We have a lot of new girls coming up from JV this year, but we are really excited to see their improvement throughout the season,” said senior Jaden Joy Morgan.  

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Boys Soccer

by Michael Munoz/

The PC boys soccer team hoped to start strong with many seasoned athletes, but a smaller team has proven difficult with a 1-5 start to the season. Players still seem very confident in the rest of the season, with many strengths and great talent.

Things are looking up for the team this year, with plenty of strong suits. “We have a lot of returning talent, and a lot of guys who are really going the extra mile to improve. There is a good rapport throughout the team, and that’s continuing to improve,” said returning senior Jaed Van Maanen.

The team also has strong players in each position, with great chemistry. “We have some good speed on the team, especially with players like Nathan (De Bruin) and Kyle (Fynaardt). We have a couple of great goalies in Jaed (Van Maanen) and Jason (Lai), and we have plenty of people willing to play midfield,” said senior Parker Schnell.

The team has their fair share of challenges though, a big one being their small team. “We don’t have enough players for a separate JV and Varsity, so there’s a decent amount of overlap between the two teams. We need to work on our stamina, general ball-skills, and being willing to challenge opponents who have the ball,” explains senior Nathan De Bruin.

Thankfully, the Eagles “have a more concrete plan going into the season,” according to senior Levi Jansen.

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Girl’s Soccer

by Claire Milligan/

Although the PC girls’ soccer team started their season with a tough schedule of 10 out of 16 games against 2A and 3A schools, they hold a record of 3-1. The team of 21, with 8 returning players, is led by their Eagle Leaders, seniors Lindsay Breon, Claire Milligan, and juniors Annika Terpstra, and Sydney Hooyer.

Another challenge this season will be filling the roles of departed varsity starters that were key contributors this past season. However, the team is strong with depth on the field between their varsity players that not only played but started on last year’s team. “They’re also very strong in their quickness, coachability, and attitude,” said coach Mike Buchheit.

The team’s theme this year is “Believers.” As they are challenged academically, athletically, in work, in play, and in relationships, the girls are coming together as one soccer team this season. “Whether on the soccer pitch or off, we have to believe in something bigger than ourselves to accomplish great God-glorifying things in life,” said Buchheit.

 The Eagles will face North Polk at home on April 11.

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by Austin Dart/

With five golfers returning from the 2018 season, the thirteen athletes on the team this year have talent ranging from first-time golfers to players with years of experience. This is a group of diverse athletes who all have one thing in common: enjoyment of golf.

The golf team started practicing on Monday, March 18, at the Bos Landen Golf Club. At the Norwalk Invite on Friday, March 29, they competed for the first time this year.

Three of this season’s golfers have never golfed before. Sophomore Nathaniel Veenstra explained why he joined this year: “I really like Mr. Rietema, and I think golf will be fun,” he said.

Some of the golfers, on the other hand, have played for a very long time. “I’ve been playing golf for five years, and I really enjoy getting to meet new people and the comradery of golf,” said senior Micah Mitchell.

The team does not only prioritize golfing. They make sure to put God first instead of sports. “Every Monday we begin the week with a short devotional in the clubhouse or on the range to set the tone for the week,” coach Joel Rietema said.

The final golfing competition is on May 23, creating a long season in which all the golfers can grow and compete to win.

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Clay Target

by Abbie Altena/

The clay target team has begun their season with 89 team members, 57 of them returning, ready to compete in trap, skeet, and sporting clays. Practices were scheduled to start on March 5, however due to extreme cold the first practice was postponed for the first time in team history to March 12. Their first meet was held on Saturday, April 6, in Ottumwa.

Most of the meets will be on Saturdays running from the first weekend in April to mid May. With the team competing in all three disciplines, it has been tough to get meets set up and minimize the amount of travel that students have to do. The team has been reliant on their older students to keep the organization running smoothly. “The teams strengths include good leadership from high school athletes, very good committees keeping the team organized, and a great coaching staff,” said coach Todd Pinegar.

Joining the team this year, 14 fifth-grade rookies began practicing with the team in April. High school students are excited to see junior high kids getting involved and performing well. “I am most excited about the future of this team.  I see young kids that are enjoying this sport, and a lot of them that are shooting really well.  It is going to be in good hands for many years to come,” said junior Maclane Heinen.

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