Black River Falls has established itself as a playoff contender in Division 4, winning a playoff game in each of the last three seasons.
After advancing to the Level 4 Playoffs in 2012 though, the Tigers have lost in the second round each of the last two seasons, and it's bothering them.
"We want to get a little further than just a couple playoff games this year," senior linebacker Alec Hartert said. "I think just do what we've been doing except do it a little better obviously and hopefully we can have a better season than the previous ones."
Senior quarterback and safety Jack Roou said first- and second-round playoff games have become an expectation. To get even farther this season, he has to be a better leader and everyone has to do their part, especially on defense.
"We have a lot of seniors that are going to start on defense. We have an excellent combination of size and speed, skills and smarts too," Roou said. "I think that's what's kind of going to separate us, we can all work cohesively together and we're going to be a pretty good defense."
Head coach Jim Bible said this is one of his more experienced teams in 15 years with the program. His focus is on staying healthy, as it was a key in the team's run in 2012.
"If we do I really like our chances," Bible said. "It's going to take a really good team to beat us. I think we're going to be very competitive every week."
Black River Falls opens the season Friday at Sparta.
Watch our special on area high school football teams with "Countdown To Kickoff", Thursday August 20, at 6:30 p.m. on WXOW.