LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette Jeff is 19-3 over the last two season.
But two of those losses have come in sectional title games — both to Carmel.
"We've been knocking on the door," said fourth-year head coach Pat Shanley. "We've had some good regular seasons, played good ball within our conference but this group is hungry for more. Our slogan this year is 'Kick the Door In' and I think they've done everything to put themselves in a position to have a good year."
The Bronchos are looking to take the next step. Luckily for Shanley's squad, they will not play the Greyhounds, at least not in sectional action.
This past March, the IHSAA approved new sectional assignments for the next two years.
Jeff will now play in a bracket which includes Crown Point, Lake Central and Merrillville.
Offensively, the Bronchos replaced three starting lineman from a season ago. Maximus Grimes returns at quarterback after an all-state sophomore campaign. Grimes will have several weapons to work with including running back Marquis Munoz and receivers Derrick Matthews and Bishop Johnson.
"As a team last year we were pretty explosive but this year I feel like we have more explosive players on our team and we're going to be even better," said Grimes.
On the other side of the football, the reigning NCC champs feature a quartet of all-conference players in D'Marco Cross, Jalen Monrrow, Peyton Price and Kayden Sowders.
There's a lot to like about Jeff on paper.
The Bronchos have been knocking on the doorstep. This year Shanley and company want to kick the door in and capture the program's first sectional crown since 2002.
"We have to come in and put the work in everyday," said Grimes. "Obviously our goal is a state championship and obviously we want to see Carmel again. I would say Carmel is our biggest rival. People like talking about McCutcheon and Harrison but I like to look at Carmel."