On Tuesday afternoon at Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.), the Eagles crank up their intensity during football practice.
All eyes are on the Friday matchup with Edina, Eden Prairie’s biggest roadblock to an eighth state title.
The Eagles’ winning tradition already includes seven Class 5A state titles in 17 years, which makes Eden Prairie a huge target for other teams.
“It’s bigger news if we lose than if we win,” senior cornerback John Reynolds says.
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Determined to avoid a loss, the Eagles get cranking Tuesday, which Reynolds says is the most rigorous practice of the week.
Players are introduced to the game plan and practice is executed at a faster tempo to mimic game-like situations for every play. Reynolds says this is the practice that wears down his body most.
The team breaks into special teams and scrimmages for an hour to get acquainted with offensive and defensive schemes.
“We want to eliminate mistakes so we try to prepare them as much as possible,” says coach Mike Grant.
Senior running back Jacob Woodring says when the team is practicing, players know there’s a lot more on the line than just preparing for Friday.
“You’re playing for the tradition of the teams that have played before you,” Woodring. “We try to keep that tradition going.”