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October 13, 2013

Caden Pratt grows up on the football field

McALESTER — If you trap McAlester senior Caden Pratt in the backfield, tackle him quickly. Because once he stretches out those long legs of his, Pratt has a whole arsenal of jukes, shakes, cuts and sidesteps at his disposal.

Any one of those moves can turn a would-be tackler into a spectator. And once Pratt gets into open space, those moves can turn entire teams into spectators.

“It just depends on how he’s approaching me,” Pratt said Thursday. “I don’t think in my head, ‘juke right’ or ‘juke left.’ It just happens.”

Though born in Ada, Pratt moved multiple times in his childhood as his father, Bryan Pratt, moved to new coaching jobs at new schools. Muskogee, Owasso, South Grand Prairie in Texas — Caden Pratt never spent more than a couple of years at any one place until Bryan Pratt took over at McAlester.

“I’d never known any different, so I just kind of went with it,” Caden said. “As long as I got to watch football Friday nights, it didn’t really matter to me.”

Caden started in the McAlester school system in the fifth grade. Though he’d always been around football players, he said he didn’t start playing competitive football until the sixth grade because his father didn’t want him to burn out too early.

Bryan Pratt has coached Caden since the beginning, and Caden said he picked up many of his jukes playing in the backyard with his father. Though Coach Pratt may get on Caden in practice, Caden said the two make sure to leave practice at practice, making sure the coach-player relationship doesn’t affect them as father and son.

“He knows that if I had a bad practice, he knows that I know that I didn’t play well,” Caden said. “He doesn’t have to tell me.

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