Cash Wise Foods Team of the Week: Blooming Prairie Football
It is said that football is the ultimate team game. Blooming Prairie has put together a great team effort in recording shutouts in each of their first two games of the season. Cash Wise Foods of Owatonna and Waseca names the Awesome Blossoms the Team of the Week. Cash Wise will donate a $50 gift card to a charity in the school district of the featured team each week.
Blooming Prairie is the only team in Class A to hold their first two opponents scoreless according to minnesota-scores.net. Only three other teams across all the classes have shutout their first two foes. BP blanked Wabasha-Kellog 49-0 in their home opener September 6 and beat Rushford-Peterson 46-0 in the season opener August 30.
BP head football coach Chad Gimbel commented on the defensive effort on September 7 on the KRFO Coaches Show, "(Defensive Coordinator) Matt Kittelson has the defense playing really well, the kids are responding. Our first score actually came off a defensive interception and return for a touchdown by Karson Vigeland."
"It all starts up front," added Gimbel. "We have four guys up front that are doing just a fantastic job, taking up blockers and the offensive linemen. That's Gabe Hagen, Colton Krell, Dylan Nirk, and Jarrett Larson. And Mitchell Fieberger is in the middle and Luke Larkoski, they're doing a great job getting off blocks and filling. Out on the outside we have two three-year starters at the cornerbacks. They're locking down receivers."
"That's the thing about defense, it's a team effort. All guys have to do their job and do their responsibilities. And they're doing an excellent job of that."
Several Blooming Prairie players joined KRFO on-air during coverage of the Steele County Fair which was the same week that official practice began. Senior Matthew Pryor commented on their off-season regiment, "We started about two months before school ended last year. We probably got our biggest show in the weight room that Blooming's seen for the football program, which should immensely help the program this year."
Senior Vigeland said teamwork was key to their 2018 success, which took the team all the way to the state semifinals at US Bank Stadium, "We had great team chemistry. We all were great buddies. We all got along. We did extra stuff outside the football season to build up our confidence together." He said playing in the home of the Vikings left an impression, "It was shocking. You first walk out there and you're just looking around. Holy (cow) I'm in this huge stadium where the Vikings play." BOLD beat BP in the semifinal match-up.
Senior Nirk works both sides of the line of scrimmage. Nearly all of the linemen return from last season and he says they are always looking to improve, "This year it's mainly on technique...Just trying to get better at that will just keep us going forward."
Senior Larson also plays both ways on the line, "We should have a strong d-line. The most important thing on defense, you talk to any one of those guys playing defense, they'll say they love playing defense. I think that's really our emphasis last year and is what took us to the next level. We all love playing defense and we all play for each other."
The Awesome Blossoms make the short trip to Hayfield for their Friday, September 13 game which can be heard on KDHL AM 920 and the KDHL app. Jason Iacovino will provide the play-by-play.
Previous Team of the Week: Medford football