A perfect convergence: BOLD Warriors have a showdown with Blooming Prairie

BOLD meets Awesome Blossoms for the state Class A title at 10 a.m. Friday in the Prep Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium

BOLD’s Matthew Moorse runs down the field past Browerville/Eagle Valley’s defense during the Class A semifinal Nov. 16 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Looking up and down the Class A bracket, this is the game BOLD head football coach Derek Flann saw as the likely matchup if the Warriors got to the Prep Bowl.

BOLD vs. Blooming Prairie for Class A superiority.

“I certainly think it’s the two best teams in Class A,” Flann said. “It should be a game worthy of the state championship.”

The undefeated Warriors and Awesome Blossoms will open Prep Bowl XXXVIII at 10 a.m. Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

After coming up short to Mahnomen/Waubun in last year’s Class A championship, BOLD has eagerly awaited another shot at a state title and is coming to the game the healthiest the team has been in a month, according to Flann, thanks to the bye week.


“Jordan (Sagedahl’s) health is improving; He’s been able to run the ball a little bit at 80- or 90-percent speed,” Flann said. “(Tim) Peppel seems to be getting right. Guys who have been nicked up over the last month are getting healthy.”

Meanwhile, Blooming Prairie has had a year to lick its wounds after BOLD booted it out of the tournament in the semifinals, 37-7.

A year later and in the school’s first Prep Bowl, Awesome Blossoms head coach Chad Gimbel doesn’t see a lot of difference from 2018’s Warriors to this year’s opponent.

“They were a very good team last year and they’re a very good team this year,” said Gimbel, who’s in his 23rd year as Blooming Prairie’s coach. “Everything obviously runs through (Sagedahl). He’s a great dual-threat quarterback and he can really throw the ball out there. Twenty-two (Gavin Vosika) is their main guy, but they have three other receivers who are capable, and they still got a good front line. They still run the ball well so you can’t put all your focus on stopping the pass.”

Most of Blooming Prairie’s team is back from 2018 including quarterback Kaden Thomas, top rusher Matthew Pryor and top receiver Gabe Hagen. Hagen is committed to play at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

“The amount of kids they brought back with that year of experience, you can see a lot of development physically, mentally and emotionally,” Flann said of the Awesome Blossoms. “You add that extra year and you can tell they’ve spent time in the weight room. It’s evident on the field that they’re just doing things better. It’s not a scheme change; they’re just more efficient.”

Trying to reverse their fortunes from a year ago, Gimbel said their success will hinge on playing disciplined football.

“We really work on reading your keys and flying to the ball and taking care of your responsibilities,” Gimbel said. “You have to be disciplined. You can’t get caught looking at the wrong spot and going after something you think you see. You have to believe and trust before you go.”


On BOLD’s end, the offense is hoping to stay in manageable down and distances to keep the Awesome Blossoms guessing on defense. And on defense, it’ll be key to turn Blooming Prairie into a one-dimensional team.

“We’ve got to stop their run game first,” Flann said. “They’re big up front. They’re a group that’s played together enough that they run double teams and combination blocks better than most teams we’ve seen. That comes from having the same guys together for a long period of time.”

BOLD Warriors

Record: 13-0

Head Coach: Derek Flann (1st year)

District: Mid State 2

Points/game: 43.5

Points allowed/game: 7.5

State appearances: 12


Championships: 2 (1990, 1991)



Jordan Sagedahl (138-197, 2,112 yards, 30 TDs, 1 INT)


Gavin Vosika (98 carries, 714 yards, 7.3 ave., 11 TDs)

Jordan Sagedahl (73 carries, 582 yards, 8.0 ave., 12 TDs)

Tim Peppel (95 carries, 516 yards, 5.4 ave., 11 TDs)


Gavin Vosika (43 rec., 841 yards, 11 TDs)

Matt Moorse (42 rec., 496 yards, 3 TDs)

Blooming Prairie
Awesome Blossoms

Record: 12-0

Head Coach: Chad Gimbel (23rd year)

District: Mid Southeast White

Points/game: 48.8

Points allowed/game: 8.7

State appearances: 9

Championships: None



Kaden Thomas (162-229, 2,422 yards, 43 TDs, 8 INTs)


Matthew Pryor (185 carries, 1,419 yards, 7.7 ave., 18 TDs)


Gabe Hagen (45 rec., 688 yards, 13 TDs)

Alex Baldwin (29 rec., 358 yards, 8 TDs)


When: Friday and Saturday

Where: U.S. Bank Stadium

Where to Watch: KSTC-45 (TV)

PrepSpotlight.TV (online)



A championship: BOLD vs. Blooming Prairie, 10 a.m.

AA championship: Minneapolis North vs. Caledonia, 1 p.m.

AAAA championship: SMB vs. Rocori, 4 p.m.

AAAAAA championship: Champlin Park vs. Wayzata, 7 p.m.


9-Man championship: Hancock vs. Mountain Lake, 10 a.m.

AAA championship: Dassel-Cokato vs. Pierz, 1 p.m.

AAAAA championship: Chaska vs. St. Thomas Academy, 4 p.m.

BOLD’s Gavin Vosika runs down the field before scoring a touchdown Nov. 16 during the Class A semifinal verses Browerville/Eagle Valley at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

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