Bertram, a fullback, and his Totino-Grace football teammates have big plans after a tough playoff loss that ended their season one step away from the Prep Bowl.

Q: Going back to last season, how difficult was it to finally beat Eden Prairie in the state quarterfinals but lose in the semifinals to Osseo?

A: We had one of the players from the Miracle on Ice hockey team [1980 Olympic gold medalists], Rob McClanahan, talk to us the night before the Osseo game. He was talking about how if we didn’t keep going, no one was going to remember it.

Q: Did it still mean something for the confidence of returning players to beat Eden Prairie?

A: It was a big win for us, and we loved beating them because we’d been losing to them for a while.

Q: Totino-Grace always works itself into the mix of top teams. What is the message from coaches?

A: Right off the bat, Coach [Jeff] Ferguson talked about the brotherhood. Between practices we have team-bonding time, and that helps us.

Q: You’ve got a loaded backfield with yourself, quarterback Kyle Halverson and halfbacks Gayflor Flomo and Ivan Burlak. I imagine you’re pretty excited about what this group can accomplish.

A: Before every game we tell each other that we’re the best backfield in the state and we want to go out and prove that every game. We direct-message each other on Twitter and talk about what we expect out of each other and how we need to lead the offense. We’ve got some young guys on the offensive line, and we have to show them where we want to go this year.

David La Vaque