DURANT, OK -- A 1-9 finish for the Durant Lions last season would bring a lot of change to DHS including bumping defensive coordinator Randy Matthews up to head coach.
"Like on defense last year, we knew to fly to the football and come prepared, he brings a lot of energy to us," senior defensive end and tight end Alex Steve said about his new head coach.
Matthews is a veteran in the business. He would lead Van Alstyne to a Texas state championship game in 2001. Now he is ready to bring his winning formula north of the Red River.
"One of the main things we're doing and I'll keep saying the same thing, we're just trying to get better one drill at a time, one rep at a time all the way through and just making sure we know what we're supposed to do and focus on that," he said.
Matthews has put together an impressive staff. Most notably, former Southeastern head coach Ray Richards will take over the defense.
"A lot of people think that our coaching staff is one of the best in the state and I believe so too and I think that they can lead us to victory this year," Steve added.
They will need all the help they can get though as Durant may have one of the toughest schedules in Class 5A with teams like Skiatook, Ada, McAlester and Ardmore on the slate.
"We know we have our work cut out, but we know the way to get there is just for us to show up every day and practice as hard as we can and get better and help each other get better," Matthews said.
There are less than ten seniors on their team, but their closeness could make up for a lack of experience in Lion country.
"These seniors have stuck together since 7th grade, we're a tight bond, we've been brothers for a very long time and we make sure that we lead an example for the younger kids and show them that we're here to fight for them in everything that we do," Steve concluded.