The Battle of the Mascots
It was a battle to the finish in the annual Minnesota State High School League Nickname Challenge.
Combatants in the championship of the MSHSL contest were the Awesome Blossoms of Blooming Prairie and the Spuds of Moorhead.
Voting ended on June 29 with the Spuds winning the challenge of having the best nickname. With 6,782 votes cast, the results were: Spuds 50.4% to the Awesome Blossoms' 49.6%.
The total number of votes cast in the 64-nickname tournament was 87,074.
Voting was done on Twitter by following @MSHSLjohn
The Awesome Blossoms reached the championship match with the Spuds by defeating the Thief River Falls Prowlers, winning 52.8% of the votes to 47.2% for the Prowlers.
The Spuds reached the championship square-off by defeating the Two Harbors Agates, 54.4 to 45.6%.
The nickname contest was the creation of John Millea, media specialist of the Minnesota State High School League.
The late LeMar Nelson, a longtime educator in Blooming Prairie and writer for the Blooming Prairie Times, said the Blossoms nickname goes back to the early 1900s.
The Austin Daily Herald reportedly coined the Blossoms nickname in its sports accounts of Blooming Prairie sports teams.
The Blossoms' nickname later became the Awesome Blossoms, which it is to this day.