BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The numbers look good at Central Catholic.

And not just the numbers on the scoreboard.

When Kevin Braucht became the Saints head coach four years ago, he had only 23 varsity players and just 41 in his entire program. Now he has 55 players, enough players for two underclass teams alongside his varsity squad.

“We’re running three levels for the first time (in his tenure), freshmen, JV and varsity,” said Bracht. “We haven’t done that since I’ve been here. All those things are starting to happen. Feels great.”

And the numbers in the win column look good too. After last week’s win over Monticello, Bracht’s first since becoming coach, the Saints are 3-1, a game out of first and chasing their first playoff berth since 2017.

“I feel like we changed the climate in year one but culture takes time to establish. We’ve done that,” said Bracht. “I feel good where we’re at. It’s a player-driven culture.”

The 15-player senior class that started with Coach Bracht four years ago had a goal of being the guys that help put Central Catholic football back on the map. And the Saints think this is the year to do that.

“Everyone knew we’d be the class because we’re the first class with 15 players. We haven’t had that in a while,” said senior Bo Moews. “It used to be such a playoff team, then we had a bad couple years.”

But the school that has won four state championships since 1982 thinks it’s about time to get back into the playoffs.

“I think this is the year we get things going around here again,” said senior Ian Whitaker. “It feels like everyone is talking about us at school. It’s really starting to feel like a team.”