COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The high school football season is nearly a month away and one local team has its sights set on a state championship despite only being in existence for four years.

KIPP, which stands for Knowledge is Power Program, is a national network of free college preparatory public schools with more than 250 in the United States.

KIPP Columbus started with 50 8th grade students in 2008 and has grown to more than 2,000 students at the elementary, middle and high school level. The school is already expanding its campus on the northeast side and the growth of KIPP’s academics has coincided with the rise of the Jaguars’ football program.

“My opinion: We the best in the city,” said senior lineman Jordan Hall who has an offer from Penn State and several Mid-American Conference schools. “I feel like nobody is better than us.”

But what exactly is KIPP?

“KIPP teaches you how to become a grown up basically. It teaches you a whole new way of living,” said senior quarterback Tymir Wynn who has offers from Army, Navy and Penn. “[It’s] a gateway to life out of school, not just football. Football also helps with that creating a brotherhood for me and my teammates.”

Second-year head coach James Lee is the dean of students at KIPP Middle School and takes the school’s acronym to heart.

“You know when we talk about football, it’s always secondary because the person comes first,” Lee said. “If you make a better person, I guarantee you’ll make a better football player.”

In their first three years, KIPP had a combined record of 4 wins and 26 losses. Last year, in Lee’s first season as head coach, the Jaguars went 7-5 and won their first ever playoff game.

A lot of people, they didn’t believe in us,” said senior lineman Sidikaba Kaba who has offers from Michigan, Duke and Penn State. “We had to belief in ourselves, we had to stick together as a team and just keep believing, keep working hard and prove the doubters wrong.”

At KIPP, it’s gone from no expectations to state title aspirations.

“We seen ourselves as the big dogs, so we wanted big goals for ourselves,” said junior athlete Cameron Frazier who has offers from Kentucky, Pitt and Michigan. “Why not go be champions and heroes and winners? It’s different here. It’s a great program over here.”

It’s a program that sends players to college. All 5 of KIPP’s two-way senior starters last year are now playing at the next level. This year, the Jaguars have 11 kids with college offers, including seven players with division one offers.

“It’s about getting that young man or that young lady here at KIPP to the next level in whatever it is that you want to be and if you’re athleticism helps you get to that point, then that’s great,” Lee said. “But we really just want to help their families out the best we can.”