There might not be a better first name for a middle linebacker than Hawk, which we all know is a bird of prey that swoops down from the sky to find his prey.
Lawton High School has its own “Hawk” in that key defensive position. Hawk Ritter is far from a big defender but the Wolverines’ MLB loves to hit people and has always had a knack for wanting to lay a blow on opponents.
“My brother (twin Dean Ritter) has pretty much always played offense but I’ve mainly been a defensive guy in my career,” he said. “We started playing in the fourth grade and have enjoyed playing football. Our dad was a good athlete and our older brothers were pretty good as well.”
The twins were born in Chickasha and grew up near Temple before the family moved to Lawton.
Like most athletes the Ritter boys love what their peers love.
“We play video games, hang out with friends, lift weights and even play some hoops with our friends,” Hawk added.
When it comes to his choice of food, Hawk is a chicken wings lover and his taste buds are what you’d expect from a middle linebacker.
“I can’t get enough wings,” Hawks said. “And I like them as spicy as they can make them.”
In the classroom Hawk admitted that he didn’t really like math until he got in a college prep math class this semester.
“I never really liked math but Coach (Jeff) Albert teaches this class and I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “If I do go to college it will be a good class to have taken.”
While college may be an option, he may put that on hold for a time.
“I am thinking about the military and then use those programs to go to college after I get out of the service,” he said. “Right now I haven’t made up my mind just what I will do.”
He does, though, know what he and the Wolverines need to do on the football field.
“Our practice habits have to be better,” he said. “We have to be more physical and it’s hard to do that in practice but we need to become a more physical team on offense and defense.”
Hawk’s job entails several key phases.
“First I have to get the defensive calls from Coach (defensive coordinator Stacy) Hunt and then make sure all the players have their calls. In my case the first thing I watch are the guards,” he said. “If they are holding their position it’s probably a pass. However, if they pull then it’s probably a run and I have to get to the ball carrier and make a hit.”
Against Ponca City in a tough 42-8 loss last week the Wolverines led 8-7 at one point but the Wildcats went wild as quarterback Tay Moore dazzled LHS with big runs and pinpoint passes.
“Yes, our morale isn’t that good in part because we have guys out with injuries and they are starters,” Hawk said. “We just have to keep our energy high and be aggressive.”
Hawk, who got his name from the family’s Choctaw heritage, has a big tattoo down his right arm.
“This is a dove up here and the praying hands are signs of my faith in God,” he said. “They lower part includes the word Loyalty. It took an entire day to have it done.”
Thursday the Wolverines will celebrate Homecoming with Northwest Classen coming to Cameron Stadium for a 7 p.m. contest.
“Northwest has some good athletes including their quarterback,” he said. “They also have a couple of pretty good receivers. Along the line I think we are pretty much even when it comes to size.”
After last week’s loss when the Wolverines went over to the bleachers to sing the LHS alma mater the band had left and there were just six or seven students along the rail.
“It was kinda frustrating to see everyone had left,” Hawk said, “but I understand, fans want to see us win. If we start winning some games I hope the fans will come out. This week we could really use their support.
“We need to win this one to aid our bid to get into the playoffs. We win this one and then we can start preparing for Deer Creek. We just need to focus and execute what we have been taught.”