Sam Stemper was forced to be a spectator during Caledonia's most important games in 2014. A shoulder injury that became progressively more irritating eventually caused him to sit out the final five games of his junior season, including the Warriors' 21-0 loss to B.O.L.D. in the Class AA state semifinals.
"Last year it was just horrible having to sit out, watch the brothers take the loss," Stemper said. "We spent a lot (of time) in the offseason getting ready, getting back for this year. Nothing we want more than to bring that state championship home."
Stemper's drive is showcased in the box score each week, with 18 rushing touchdowns, including seven in the postseason.
"He's definitely a big help. He brings a whole other edge to our game," senior wide receiver Tanner Gran said. "He's always jacked up playing as hard as he can killing kids like you seen in the last game. He's pretty amazing to, he's a beast."
Coach Brent Schroeder calls him a beast, one who hasn't been as "possessed" as anyone within the program for a long time.
"Connor McCormick ran that way a few years ago," Schroeder said. "Sam is a special kid, he's been in the air in some situations you wouldn't believe."
Caledonia faces Blue Earth Area High School (7-4) on Friday at 8 p.m. at Rochester Community and Technical College.