Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is arguably Minnesota’s top high school football program. The Eagles have won seven Class 5A state championships since 1996, including last year’s.
This year, per usual, Eden Prairie’s biggest roadblock to an eighth state title in 17 years will be Edina. We spent a week with Eden Prairie to find out how the team got ready for Edina, the biggest game of the year.
Groundwork for the Edina game began seven days before kickoff, the moment the final whistle blew on Eden Prairie’s 42-7 win over Minnetonka.
For team captain and senior defensive tackle Tyson Reinke, that meant going home to ice his knees, ankles, shoulder and hands for an hour, alternating between 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
This recovery routine helps put Reinke in position to get back to work and focused on Edina the next day.
“Sometimes my hands get stuck between other players’ helmets, so I need to make sure my hands don’t swell up to the size of balloons,” Reinke said. “If I don’t do everything I typically do after a game, I wake up feeling almost dead.”
Ice is just one way Reinke recovers. He’s also careful about nutrition, making sure to include protein with his postgame meal.
Senior wide receiver Elijah Johnson agrees with Reinke’s attitude about the importance of post-game recovery.
Johnson’s focus is on healthy nutrition. After the Minnetonka game, Johnson gorged himself on fruit and vegetables. No fried or fast food in sight.
“Even when I’m tired, I do what I need to because it helps in the long run,” Johnson said. “If I don’t, the next morning I wake up feeling like I have no energy and like I can’t move.”
Once they’ve refueled and iced, both Reinke and Johnson put sleep at the top of their list for recovery needs.
They aim for nine hours of sleep – after all, the grind starts over on Saturday morning.