Kang also won that award last year, and Pratt said Kang could easily win twice more before graduating.
The Buffalo Way award, given to someone Pratt said “exemplifies what we want for McAlester Football,” went to defensive back and receiver Allen Woodmore.
Mason Bumphus and Cade Harkins both won Defensive Player of the Year. Pratt said ties for this award are extremely rare, given that players and not coaches vote on it.
Caden Pratt, Coach Pratt’s son, was named Offensive Player of the Year. Jarome Smith was named Most Valuable Player.
“I’ll definitely miss it,” Caden Pratt said of his time as a Buffalo. “That’s just part of the thing about growing up: You have to get used to change.”
The event concluded with a candlelight service officiated by Buffs assistant coach Justin Mullins, with each senior lighting a candle before Mullins spoke and then blowing it out after he finished. Each senior then received a scrapbook commemorating his time as a Buffalo.
“They have worked together, laughed together, fought together, played together, and yes, cried together,” Mullins said during the service. “As this part of the journey comes to an end, we must remember all the joys of being a McAlester Buffalo.”
Some Buffs seniors will in all likelihood continue playing football in college next year. But college football isn’t high school football, a singular experience in an athlete’s life.
“You go through it every year, and you always see parents that are maybe emotional, and you don’t really think about it,” Coach Pratt said.
“But when it’s your kid, it’s a little bit different.”
The 2013 Buffs senior class came together to make one last memory. Life may take these Buffs away from each other in the coming years, but those hopefully those memories will always burn bright as a candle.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.