BP ADVANCES TO STATE FINALS
For the first time in the school’s history, Blooming Prairie will be playing in a state football championship.
The Blossoms delivered a cake walk over Ada-Borup 41-0 in Saturday’s semi-final playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to qualify for the state title game on Nov. 29. Blooming Prairie will take on top-ranked BOLD to determine the state champion.
Blooming Prairie will likely have revenge on their minds against BOLD, which is the team that knocked the Blossoms out of state semi-finals last year.
“After the loss last year, we definitely had a chip on our shoulder,” senior Matthew Pryor confessed following Saturday’s victory. “That’s what pushed us through this whole off-season. That’s been our target at the end.”
Coach Chad Gimbel credited the Blossoms’ defensive effort for shutting down Ada-Borup and holding them scoreless. “The defense really controlled the game,” Gimbel said. Asked if this was the most complete defensive effort this season by the Blossoms, Gimbel replied: “We’ve been very strong on the defensive side, but to do it at this level against that caliber of a team with weapons the have I would say so. The defensive line didn’t give them any holes to break through.”
Added senior Jarrett Larson, “It was a total team effort.”
At a press conference after the semi-final victory, Coach Gimbel welled up when asked about his team’s success. “As a coach and a player that’s been through it for so many years to finally drag through and get that opportunity that’s a huge step for us and for our program and for our kids,” he said with tears of joy in his eyes. “This is quite a step that not everybody gets to endure this.”
Gimbel has been head coach for 23 years and this is the team’s fourth time in state playoffs with this year being the best they have ever achieved. He credited “a great group of senior leaders” for the Blossoms going as far as they have.
With the state title game set for the day after Thanksgiving, Gimbel gave his players Monday and Tuesday off. “Take a deep breath. It’s been a grind,” he said of the two-day pass. “Let them decompress” The Blossoms were scheduled to be back once again at practice today (Wednesday).
As for the ice breaker of finally getting past semi-finals, the senior captains were quick give credit where credit is due. “This just isn’t our accomplishment,” senior Jarrett Larson said, “this is for all the Blooming Prairie football players before us that carried on the Blossom way taught us tradition taught us how to play Blossom football the right way.”
The captains were also complimentary about each other. “He’s a crazy wide receiver, very talented,” Pryor said of Gabe Hagen.
Coach Gimbel said, “I’m super proud of these guys and they way they played.”
Blooming Prairie will take on BOLD in the state championship Friday, Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.