Column: Blossoms are in good hands
Published 8:45 pm Monday, November 23, 2009
The Blooming Prairie football team had a standout year this season. They finally won the Section 1A title game after dropping it the last two consecutive seasons, and they finally got to the Metrodome, where they fell to Minneota 49-26 Saturday.
The Awesome Blossoms found the right balance of talent and hard work and it paid off for them big time this season.
They will graduate 11 seniors — including their entire offensive line, starting running back Aaron Niles and starting wide receiver Justen Ingvalson.
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But I have a feeling the Blossoms will be just fine next year and it starts at the most important position in football — quarterback. Luc Zellmer put up big numbers at that position this year — 2,256 yards, 34 TDs and just 11 interceptions — but that’s not what’s most impressive about his play.
The sophomore took over a team with high expectations and he didn’t flinch this year. He calmly led the Blossoms to win after win, and as the games got bigger and bigger, he showed no signs of nerves or fear.
In fact, after BP beat New Ulm Cathedral, the No. 1 ranked team in the state in the Class ‘A’ quarterfinals, Zellmer said he was getting less nervous with each game.
He definitely wasn’t nervous on Saturday against Minneota when he threw for over 200 yards and three scores in the first half.
But that wasn’t even the best part of his performance. After he hooked up with Gabe Kartes on a perfect lob over the top that led to a 70-yard score, he didn’t give a fist pump, he didn’t give a high five, and he showed no signs of celebrating.
This was a score that put his team up 19-7 in the Metrodome and Zellmer was walking down the field as if he were walking to class on a Tuesday morning.
That kind of calmness is what every team needs to stay grounded.
Zellmer cemented his ice-cold attitude near the end of the first half when he found Cooper Nelson for a five-yard strike to make it 29-25 with just six seconds left on the clock.
Once again he didn’t celebrate, but instead he immediately looked back to his coaches and asked if they should go for one or two — now that’s focus.
Zellmer’s not the only key Blossom coming back next year. They will also return his favorite target in Cooper Nelson, along with Kartes, a sophomore, and hard hitting linebacker Luke Hueman, another sophomore.
The Blossoms may be mad that they lost in the dome on Saturday, but they probably won’t have to wait too long to get another shot to win there.