BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – The Boyd County Lions are preparing for their season opener in just two days.

“Going into this year the biggest thing I’ve noticed is we have a change in attitude from this entire school expecting to win football games,” said head coach Evan Ferguson.

Ferguson is entering year five as the head of the program.

He took a team that was struggling, and is turning it into a state contender.

“Obviously the goal every year is a state championship,” said Ferguson. “But we want to become one of the elite programs in the state of Kentucky. So if we’re gonna do that we better play a tough schedule like we got lined up this year.”

The Lions have a tough road ahead, playing at South Point this Friday.

Then will face Belle, Johnson County, and Lawrence County – who each finished with 10 wins last season.

Boyd then ends their regular season against 1A state champion Pikeville.

Last year, the Lions finished 8-4, losing in the second round of the state tournament to the eventual state champion Boyle.

“We finished the year playing the state champs in Boyle County,” said Ferguson. “They won it the year before that and the year before that. So you play the team that was the best in the state last year, and we got to see what we need to be to become the best in the state and that’s our goal this year is to win it all.”

“Our main goal is to always win state,” said junior quarterback Rhett Holbrook.

Holbrook started under center for the Lions as a freshman, so this will be his third year leading the offense.

“He set our single game passing record last year as a freshman, the last game of the year,” said Ferguson. “We threw it a lot. He had like 325 yards passing as a freshman. Last year, he had a great year and he’s had a great offseason. His understanding of the offense has really improved and I think whenever you can start to do more and you understand the reads of the offense and the nuances of it, it’ll really help us.”

“Freshman year was really fast for me and it was hard on me,” said Holbrook. “This year, I’ve grown more as a leader for the team and everything has slowed down so it’s much easier for me this year.”

Now, he can help lead his guys to victory; a group that already has quite the chemistry.

“We all grew up together and we’re so close right now,” said Holbrook. “Plus some of my best friends came out from basketball too so we’re just all getting so close and it’s really fun.”

Dakota Thompson is another player Coach Ferguson says has been here since the start. He had a rough injury last year, but he’s rehabbed and worked his way back and Ferguson says he can’t wait to see all he accomplishes this year.

Boyd County’s season opener is this Friday night at South Point, with their home opener the following Friday against Belle.