HENNESSEY — The days of wondering how to spell 'Luetjen' are long over. The play of Matt and Derrick Luetjen last season for Hennessey made it a household name in the greater Oklahoma City area.
You make enough plays and turn enough heads, and everybody is going to know who you are.
With the Luetjen boys paving the way, the Eagles took their next step, advancing to the semifinals in Class A.
Matt's now graduated and already doing his thing at Army. Derrick, on the other hand, is ready for one more magical season as the team moves up to 2A.
"Summer's been real good, real good for us," Derrick Luetjen said. "It's been all business, and we've all hit the weight room hard."
Business is a good word to describe the Luetjen family. The family has moved around a lot but thought they may have found a home in Locust Grove.
But being in a coaching family sometimes means you're always going to be on the move.
"It's always pretty tough, leaving friends like that," Derrick Luetjen said. "But we've done it so much that I guess I've kind of gotten used to it."
He was worried about how the move to Hennessey would impact things, but the town embraced the family, and family has done the same with the town.
Safe to say this final move has paid off for the family. Derrick's father, Rick, is the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, and Derrick has gradually risen up the ranks to become one of the top recruits in the state.
"He's got tremendous character and a great work ethic," coach Shannon Watford said. "He's a leader by example."
Derrick is also trying to become a vocal leader. Normally a quiet, reserved guy, Derrick said he's realized he has to step it up this season and has done so in the offseason.
The interest in Matt from Army has carried over to Derrick; the Black Knights offered Derrick in the winter.
Though many teams expressed interest in Derrick, he made it simple last week by naming his top three: Army, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.
"With Army, obviously, the big factor there is Matt," Derrick Luetjen said. "We've always talked about playing college ball together. The campus is absolutely beautiful.
"I've always been fond of Oklahoma State. They haven't offered yet, but it's so close to home and would be a great opportunity."
Derrick will get a chance to open even more eyes. At 6-3 and 265 pounds, he certainly stands out at left tackle and defensive end.
But he knows it's going to take more than just his performance to get the Eagles a gold ball. He's not worried about that, though, as Derrick said he believes the defense will be twice as good as last year.
And last year was pretty dang good, with Hennessey going 13-1. Derrick had 61 tackles and nine sacks last season.
"It's going to be a tougher district and every game is going to be tight, but it's going to make the season even more exciting," Derrick said.
District 2A-1 coaches' poll 1. Hennessey (13-1)* 2. Tonkawa (15-0)* 3. Oklahoma Christian (8-3)* 4. Watonga (10-3)* 5. Perry (5-5) 6. Alva (4-6) 7. Chisholm (3-7)* * Denotes new to district 2009 record in parentheses