McALESTER — To make it all the way to a state championship game, a football team must get contributions from numerous players.
It’s no wonder, then, that 11 different McAlester Buffaloes found themselves on the All-District 5A-3 list obtained from McAlester Athletics on Dec. 17.
Caden Pratt led the Buffs’ honorees as Player of the Year. Spending time at receiver, running back and quarterback this year, Pratt compiled more than 1,200 all-purpose offensive yards, throwing, catching and rushing for 31 total touchdowns.
Pratt also played safety for the Buffs, returning an interception for a touchdown in Week 3 against Claremore and finishing with two total interceptions. He also made up half of McAlester’s dynamic punt- and kickoff-return team.
The other half, starting running back Jarome Smith, was named Offensive Player of the Year. Smith rushed for nearly 2,000 yards during the 2013 season, averaging 10.9 yards per carry and breaking into the end zone 24 times, and added 127 receiving yards and four touchdown catches.
Smith also record both of McAlester’s special-teams touchdowns this year: a 66-yard return against Durant in Week 7; and an 80-yard return against East Central in the first round of the playoffs. Also a starting linebacker for the Buffs, Smith forced safeties against both Noble in Week 4 and Lawton MacArthur in the semifinals and returned an interception for a touchdown against Nathan Hale in Week 6.
Cade Harkins was named Co-Receiver of the Year, along with Shawnee’s Chris Lester. Averaging almost 22 yards per catch, Harkins led the Buffs with 42 receptions, 923 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns.
Harkins also played well at cornerback on defense, his best plays including an interception returned for a touchdown against Claremore and a fumble returned for a touchdown against Memorial in Week 10. He finished with five total interceptions, including one in his own end zone during the state championship game against Guthrie.