BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. (KTTC) – Deep in the bowels of U.S. Bank Stadium, Blooming Prairie senior Matthew Pryor calmly sat at the podium and spoke what was on his mind. Sure, his team had just punched their ticket to their first ever appearance in the Prep Bowl. But it wasn’t a historic first that had motivated Pryor — it was revenge: the chance at a rematch with top-ranked and undefeated BOLD, who ended BP’s season a year ago.
“After the loss [to BOLD] last year, we definitely had a chip on our shoulder and that’s what’s pushed us through this whole offseason, practices, extra stuff, camps… [the Prep Bowl] has been our target at the end,” said Pryor. “1-0 each practice, each day, but end goal – it was to get back to get revenge.”
To get back and beat BOLD, the Blossoms knew they needed to change. Known for their aerial attack, BP sought balance on offense — something that Pryor could provide.
“I think it’s been a huge part of what we’ve done,” said Blossoms Head Coach Chad Gimbel. “We spent a lot of time in the offseason trying to improve that part of our game, and make ourselves more balanced, and make it more difficult for teams to defend us because now they have to put more guys in the box.”
Pryor rumbled for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns in their semifinal victory, a stunning shutout in the state semifinals.
“Matthew is probably not the fastest runner, but he’s quick,” said Gimbel. “He’s got good feet. He sees the second and third levels very well.”
But now Pryor and the Blossoms prepare for their first ever Prep Bowl appearance, and a chance at revenge against the team that ended their season a year ago.
“It’s pretty crazy that we’re in [the Prep Bowl], sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are,” he said. “We just have to do the same thing. It’s just another game. We’ve been up on the big stage. We can’t be frightened about it, we just have to take each practice 1-0, each day 1-0, and we can get to our end goal.”
Matthew Pryor of the Blooming Prairie football team is this week’s KTTC Athlete of the Week.