LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Expectations are higher than ever at Henry Clay.
"It's fun to coach talent.," said coach Sam Simpson. "I'm not going to be bashful. It's a challenge to me. I've got a talented football team this year and so we're excited."
Simpson is excited to be returning 28 seniors and plenty of athleticism.
"I think people just see it as flashy speed athleticism, but this year the discipline is what is going to make the difference in the whole team because it's the team game," said quarterback Roman James. "The team has to have discipline. The whole team can't be athletic."
The Blue Devils went 9-3 in 2013, but had its season come to an end in a three-point loss in the region final to eventual 6A state champ Scott Co.
"That's in the back of everybody's mind," said guard Maurice Gibson. "Every day we come to practice we think that 12 seconds we could have been moving on in the playoffs. Potentially being state champs so that helps a lot and I think that's the fuel to everybody's fire."
"That's been our motivation this offseason in the weight room and just thinking about getting that next game further and playing on Thanksgiving weekend in the state semifinals," said center Sullivan Simpson. ''We just, that's what we're pushing for and hopefully we can make a run at state this year."
For Henry Clay, an empty picture frame in the meeting room is a constant remind of what the goal is at the end of the season.
"We have a picture of the last team that won the state championship and it hangs in our meeting room right next to the dry erase board where we go over plays and watch film. Right next to that picture is an empty frame.Who's next? Who goes into that one? We'll see. Hopefully this year."