GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) After two straight seasons of posting a losing record, the Delta Panthers football team was able to come out with a much stronger showing in 2012.
They finished second in the 3A Western Slope League and earned their first trip to the playoffs since 2009.
The green and black has some history at the state level. In 1960 they took the 2A state championship. The following year they were runner-up. Ever since it's been the road less traveled, but last season they made it back into the playoffs as the 13th seed in Class 3A.
They started off with a 21-0 upset over the fourth-ranked Classical Academy - marking their second playoff victory since '99.
Unfortunately their post-season journey ended just one week later when the team suffered a 35-24 loss on their home grounds against Pueblo East
This year they're ready to take that experience and use it to advance them deeper into the post-season.
"Getting back into the playoffs is exciting," said head coach Ben Johnson. "I think it gave the kids extra motivation in the off-season, so hopefully we can get back into that situation again."
'I think that there'll be big shoes to fill, but I think that they can get it done," said senior Tyler Sandoval. "They worked real hard in the weight room and they got a lot of desire to win."