PORTLAND, Ind. (WANE) – Grant Zgunda hopes three is the magic number as he approaches his third season as Jay County’s head coach. The Patriots will need to battle through another tough field in the ACAC that includes Adams Central, South Adams, Heritage and Bluffton.

Last year, Jay County opened the season with a 2-1 record before losing seven straight to close out the year.

On offense, junior quarterback Sean Bailey is back for his second year under center. Bailey threw for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also rushing for three scores on the ground last year. Top tailback Kadin Ridenour graduated over the summer, but AJ Myers and Bryce Wenk hope to pick up the slack at key skill positions.

Defensively, Jay County returns a few key starters in the front seven. Austin Schoenlein, Isaac Dues and Bryce Wenk each piled up more than 40 tackles on the defensive line, while Carter Barton and Lucas Strait return at the linebacker spot.

Jay County kicks off the 2023 season on Aug. 18 against Blackford.