Prep Insider Blog

SouthLake Christian star, who leads nation in picks, is Observer player of the week

SouthLake Christian’s Luca Lutzel, the third Charlotte Observer high school football player of the week, has figured out how to balance his school and sports lives.

Lutzel, a 6-foot, 165-pound senior free safety, has a 4.4 GPA and leads the nation in interceptions with nine.

“I think a lot of it is just time management,” he said Thursday. “I use study halls whenever I can and I’ll use lunches and I meet with teachers privately. Everyone here at this school is so willing to give their time and effort to help me succeed, which is so helpful.”

Lutzel won more than 50 percent of the nearly 54,000 votes cast for player of the week, which is highest total ever for the award. Lutzel is the third player to win.

“My family was a big part of that,” he said. “They reached out to some extended family and coach reached out to the school faculty and there was a lot of support behind me which was really cool to see.”

For the season, Lutzel has 30 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns, plus 33 tackles.

Last Friday, Lutzel had two carries for 12 yards, eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, and he had two tackles and an interception.

“Coach (Cheron) Fairley and the rest of the staff put in great games plans,” said Lutzel, who will play in the Blue & Grey All-American game in January in Atlanta. “I owe a lot to our defensive line, pressuring quarterbacks and making them throw before they want to. It’s a team effort. They just put in me in great positions to make plays.”

Note: Each Monday, the Observer releases a list of player of the week nominees. That is followed by the #BIG5 finalists. Readers then vote for the five finalists.

Previous Winners: J’Mari Taylor, West Mecklenburg (Oct. 3); Isaiah Kirby, South Caldwell (Sept. 26)