MISSOULA, Mont. -

On the gridiron the Sentinel Spartans are working hard to build off last season's success. Last fall the Spartans made the playoffs for the first time in four years and now they are looking to get back to the postseason and make a run at a state title.

"It's always exciting for football," said Sentinel senior Cy Steele. "I mean this is the greatest sport on earth, and I'm just excited that it's my senior year we get to come out here and play with a great group of guys."

"I can't really explain how I feel unless you played high school football," said Spartan senior David Beach. "And senior year, it's the start of the season and you want to come out and perform at your best ability."

The Spartans are coming off of one of their more successful seasons in recent years. Sentinel finished with a record of 6-4 to earn a post-season berth, and this year's senior class knows it has some work to do.

"The senior class (last year) brought that mentality that we want to succeed in this, we feel like they gave us a lot of experience and put a lot of pressure on our shoulders," said Beach. "We want to live up to that."

"The last guys who were here, the seniors, they left a pretty big shoe to fill," said Steele. "I feel like early on right now we're kind of filling it little by little. We just have to keep working hard and we just have to get ready for that first game and the pressure is on us now."

"The best thing about this group of seniors and entire team is just their willingness to take coaching," said Dane Oliver who is entering his third season as Sentinel's head coach. "They've played with a passion that we're looking for in the game of football. It's an emotional game and they've responded to that and they're having fun, that's what we want to see."

Sentinel opens its season up on the road at CMR, and while the team is excited to play some live competition the Spartans also know it's important to set the tone week one.

"The thing about AA football is that first game matters, so there's a ton of pressure to come out game one and perform," explained Oliver. "Now with that being said our goal is to just continually improve throughout the year, we want to play our best football at the end of the year."

"I'm always ready, I love football man," said Steele. "Just that first game of senior year there's nothing better. I've dreamed about this my whole life so I mean I'm ready to go."

The high school football season begins for Class AA teams on Friday, August 29th.