Being the son of a coach can be tough on a high school football player.
Typically, more is expected of you from the coaching staff and your peers.
As a four-year starter at McAlester, Caden Pratt lived up to those expectations and then some while playing for his dad Bryan.
“Playing for my dad, it's had its ups and downs, but in the end I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world,” Caden said. “I wouldn't rather have been around any other group of people. They're all family to me.”
For Caden, The Oklahoman's first-team All-State punt returner, doing whatever it takes to win has always been his only concern.
Despite leading McAlester to the Class 5A semifinals last year at quarterback, Caden made the shift to slot receiver in his senior season with standout Dalton Wood returning from injury.
“Last year, I touched the ball almost every play of the game,” Caden said. “Some games I had more than 40 carries. Coming into this year, I knew I was going to be somewhat of a decoy. And I was a lot of the time, but it really didn't matter to me as long as we were winning.”
The Buffaloes did a lot of winning, going 12-2 and finishing runner-up to Guthrie in Class 5A. On the season, Caden scored 24 touchdowns while compiling a combined 1,779 yards rushing, receiving, and passing.
“It's been a blast (playing at McAlester),” Caden said. “Everybody knows everybody and it's a football town. It makes it special to know that everyone backs you and everyone cares about what you're doing.”
Bryan will miss having his son's playing-making ability on the field next season, but most of all he's thankful for how far the program has come during Caden's four years as a starter.
“It's been a really fun ride,” Bryan said. “There's some challenges with it. I was probably harder on him than I was on the other kids on the team just because it's my son. But he's given me everything I could ask a son to give me and I'm really proud of him. He's just a playmaker and has done a great job of representing me and our team.”