Awesome Blossoms rewarded for their hard work
This past summer members of the Blooming Prairie football team weren’t sure if they’d get to play during the fall season, but once they got it back their commitment to excellence never wavered. They went undefeated, dominated the section championship game and had seven players named to the Mid-Southeast All-District team.
Those seven players are senior wide receiver/linebacker Mitchell Fiebiger, senior offensive lineman/linebacker Luke Larkoski, senior wide receiver/linebacker Cole Christianson, junior quarterback Drew Kittelson, junior running back/defensive back Bradley Simon, junior running back/linebacker Tyler Archer and junior wide receiver/linebacker Colin Jordison.
Fiebiger also earned the title of District MVP, while Kittelson was named District Offensive Player of the Year.
Head Coach Chad Gimbel said that each of the seven all-district players has shown a commitment to self-improvement.
“It starts with their dedication to the team, the sport, and themselves in the off-season,” he said. “They are hard-working, dedicated, selfless, passionate, talented, pay attention to the little details, love to compete and love the game of football.”
All those characteristics helped them become impactful players on last year’s undefeated state championship-winning team and this year’s undefeated section championship-winning team.
“Some were starters who made big plays for us last year. Others were special team players, backups or scout team players who helped them get better and helped them get prepared to be starters this year. This year, obviously, they were players who led our team by making big plays, working hard and teaching the younger athletes ‘The Blossom Way,’” he said.
Gimbel also noted that these players were great role models.
“First, they led by example by giving 100% [effort] 100% of the time. They are coachable, listen to the small details and play as a team not as individuals. They focus on doing their responsibility and they play for the person next to them more than they play for themselves. They take pride in doing the right things even when nobody is watching. And they do things to the best of their ability all the time, in everything they do, not just football,” he said.
Thanks to that commitment to doing things to the best of his ability all the time, one of Blooming Prairie’s seven All-District honorees, Mitchell Fiebiger, is planning on playing college football, but he hasn’t decided which university he’ll play for yet.
With so many players who contributed to the Awesome Blossoms’ success the past two season graduating, including Fiebiger, Larkoski and Christianson, Gimbel said it will be hard to fill in the void left by this year's group of seniors.
“It’s always hard to replace the seniors. It never feels right the first few practices when you don’t see last year’s seniors at the beginning of a new season. They all have done many special things that has made us successful as a team,” he said. “They have all left a mark one way or another, but with that being said that is what makes replacing them possible, because they have left their influence for the underclassmen on how to be successful. We believe in being a player-led team, where our older athletes take ownership in the teaching process and helping the underclassmen in practice and in games. That is how our tradition lives on.”