First Look Frenzy: Jefferson J-Hawks

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) J-Hawks players were obviously shaken up by the firing of Ken DuBose as head coach, but a few weeks later, they have moved on and are looking to put together one of the best seasons the school has ever seen.

Jefferson now has Tony Ambrogio at the helm after his one year as an assistant.

The J-Hawks have not qualified for the playoffs since 1993, but a 4-5 season, in which they defeated both Hononegah and Harlem, has optimism running wild at the school.

The team is hoping to put the distractions of the coaching change behind them.

While Jefferson was late getting out of the gate, Ambrogio is trying to settle them into his gameplan.

"We've been trying to work on no distractions and just focus on the first game and nothing else and block everything out," said senior wide receiver Arkise Sturdivant.

"We were so far behind when we started or when I was hired so we're just trying to go and keep it to what they already know, keep it simple for them and just excel on our season last year," said Ambrogio. "We've got all the guys back and that happened pretty quickly so now we're just focused on football and focused on week one."