Fiebiger’s super senior season
Besides getting a chance to compete in the state tournament, Blooming Prairie tight end/linebacker Mitchell Fiebiger’s senior season couldn’t have gone much better.
His team went undefeated and won the Section 1A Championship, he made the All-District team and was named District MVP and he was the only single A player to make the Minnesota Vikings All-State Team.
His season recently became even more illustrious; he was chosen as one of the 31 players in the state to be nominated for the 2020 Mr. Football Award and he was selected to participate in the Minnesota Vikings Showcase Game in June.
Fiebiger said he was thrilled when he found out about both honors, especially the Mr. Football Award.
“I found out two weeks ago that I was going to be a nominee for it, and I was super pumped, excited and hoping I would win it obviously,” he said.
Even though he ended up not being chosen as one of the 10 finalists, he said being nominated for the Mr. Football Award and chosen for the Minnesota Vikings Showcase Game both meant a lot to him.
“It’s a great feeling when you get those kinds of honors,” he said. “It was definitely a big relief after working so hard and having the season cut short by COVID-19. It makes all my hard work worthwhile.”
In addition to his hard work, Blooming Prairie Head Coach Chad Gimbel mentioned that these honors also validate the way he competes on the field.
“For him, I think it’s a testament to the way he plays the game. He is ultra-competitive, he is determined, he plays the game with passion and he stands out. There’s no doubt when he’s on the football field people notice him for the good things that he does on the football field. He’s a great athlete, but he’s relentless too. He plays hard and he brings it every single play,” he said.
Fiebiger said that playing style has been ingrained in him after years of playing with his two older brothers.
“They toughened me up from a young age and the players from last year’s team also helped me become the player I am today,” he said.
Thanks to his relentlessness, constant effort and the help of his brothers and teammates, Fiebiger becomes the first Blossom to be nominated for the Mr. Football Award since John Rumpza in 2014. Gabe Hagen was chosen for the Minnesota Vikings Showcase Game last year.
He noted that having Blossoms chosen for the Minnesota Vikings Showcase Game in back-to-back years speaks highly of the Blooming Prairie coaches.
“That’s definitely a shoutout to how good the coaches are to get us to this level and make us the athletes that we are today,” he said.
For Fiebiger, being chosen for the Minnesota Vikings Showcase Game just like Hagen made it an even more meaningful honor.
“Knowing that he was so good and got nominated for this award means that I’m that good because I also got nominated for this award,” he said.
It was also significant to him because there’s only a select number of players from nine-man to 6A who are chosen to participate.
“It’s definitely an achievement to be compared to a 6A kid,” he said.
What Fiebiger is most looking forward to about the showcase game is competing with and against the best high school football players from around the state.
He also wants to prove that Class 1A players can compete with the top players from larger schools.
“I’m definitely hoping to make a few big plays out there and put Blooming Prairie on the map,” he said.
Gimbel noted that Fiebiger made a lot of big plays on offense and defense throughout the season.
“Offensively, he played a huge role for us. We put another package into our offense just because of the player that he was. He was a physical kid who can block but also so athletic that linebackers couldn’t cover him so he made a lot of huge plays for us. He allowed us to change the way we do things and put more emphasis on the run game and all of that was because of his skill set.
“Defensively, we wanted him to see ball, get ball. He was a sideline-to-sideline player and he was physical; when he hit guys that’s where they stopped, they didn’t fall forward for those extra one or two yards. Other teams were intimidated by the way he played the game because he hit so hard,” he said.
“He’s going to be sorely missed because for four years we knew we had this thumper in the middle.”
On top of his play on the field, Gimbel said Fiebiger’s Blooming Prairie legacy will include his role as a leader and role model.
“A lot of kids followed him and for Mitchell it wasn’t just about Mitchell doing well, he wanted to see the team do well. He got equally excited when other players made big plays too. For him, it was about Blossoms football and Blossoms winning,” he said. “I think the biggest thing that kids younger than him saw was how to play with so much passion and determination and compete every single play.”
Fiebiger plans to continue to play football, preferably linebacker, and major in business at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.