There's not many Eisenhower football fans who wouldn't blame Dennis Pletcher for having a chip on his shoulder a rather big chip at that.
For the past three years the Eisenhower High School two-way starter had been subjected to just about every put-down imaginable when it comes to the Eagles' series with Lawton High.
And while Pletcher admits that each and every loss to his crosstown rival doesn't rank as one of the better experiences in his life, he's smart enough to understand that one game doesn't make a season, especially when its the first game of the year.
"Three years I've played against them (Wolverines) and every year we've lost," said the easy-going 215-pound senior. "This time around we just had too many mistakes, too many mental mistakes to overcome."
Despite being one of the old guard on the Eagles' unit, Pletcher is by no means immune to making mentral mistakes of his own. The big difference between he and the younger players is, he's learned from those mistakes and rarely does he repeat them.
"Dennis is one of those guys that committed to this program from the get-go," Ike head coach Boone Copeland said. "He's worked hard in the weight room, he's worked hard at learning his assignments and maybe most important of all, he's learned what his value is to this team."
It's doesn't take a genius to decipher why the Eagles were pummeled in their opener against the Wolverines, although Pletcher may border on it.
"Yeah, just had too many turnovers out there," said the always-smiling offensive guard-defensive tackle. "We didn't take care of the ball. We'd have good drives, we're able to work the ball downfield, but we just couldn't finish, We really need to work on our red zone offense and defense.