This week’s guest was recently nominated for the Mr. McKinney North award and won the Matt Self Endowment after a solid career on the football field and baseball diamond.
Please welcome recent North graduate Cade Pratt, who recently sat down for a Sunday Spotlight Conversation.
How much pressure did you feel playing sports in McKinney with your dad being the athletic director of the entire district?
Pratt: I wouldn’t say there was too much pressure because he was always supportive and encouraging towards me during my games and seasons. Between my dad being supportive, and my coaches helping me prepare to play at my best ability, the games were never too nerve-racking.
I felt comfortable playing no matter the outcome. It did make our Crosstown Showdown games interesting just because he is supporting both sides.
What is your favorite moment or memory that will stick with you for a long time from your high school career?
Pratt: In football, I will always remember bus rides, team dinners, practices, and meetings I shared with my lifelong buddies. I’ve been playing football with Brandon Frazier, Austin and Dillon Markiewicz, Carson Criss, and Sean Monsour since third grade and we have that special bond.
There was never a dull moment on the football field, but the celebration after winning district was hands down a memory I won’t forget.
In baseball, I will never forget my walk-off double against Frisco Centennial. Between the win and the dog pile, I enjoyed being able to celebrate with my teammates.
How special was it to be a member of the first North football team to go undefeated in district play this season?
Pratt: Being the first McKinney North football team to go undefeated in district was special in many ways. When I was growing up, my dad was the head football coach here at North, so I have grown up watching my dad coach, then my older brother Collin play, then coming into high school and playing myself.
With my family having the long ties of the orange and blue, it definitely meant more to be able to be the first team to accomplish it.
How did you handle being in the middle of a dream senior season on the baseball field only to see it come to a sudden stop due to the coronavirus pandemic?
Pratt: It was definitely tough not being able to finish out the season. Having such a great start to this senior season, I was building confidence in myself and my teammates.
After we played our last game at RoughRider Stadium in Frisco, it was very disappointing to know I wouldn’t ever know the ending to this special season. This year’s team was going to be special and we all knew, which motivated us to work harder.
I tried not to focus on my individual stats as much, but more of the idea of how our team was performing and winning.
Who is your role model off the field and how has their guidance helped you get to this point in your life successfully?
Pratt: Hands down my dad, Shawn Pratt. To know my dad has the experience and wisdom from playing himself, coaching, and be in the respected position he’s in today, it would be crazy to not listen to his advice. My dad is my personal coach on handling any situation.
Without my dad’s support, guidance and his love, I think I wouldn’t be the same person. He has shaped me into the person I am by instilling hard work and strong morals.
What does McKinney North and the city of McKinney mean to you and what are you going to miss the most about them next year when you are in college?
Pratt: McKinney is a special place where I have lived and gone to school my whole life. More specifically, McKinney North runs deep in the blood, with my dad coaching there at one point, my mom currently teaching there, my brother graduated from North, and my sister is currently a junior. The Bulldog tradition holds a special place in my heart, and I will always check up on North.
Being off in college, I am going to need to plan which games and times to come home and see my past coaches, teammates, and teachers. The thing I will miss most about McKinney North is the relationships I formed with players, coaches, teachers, and admin.
Where do you see yourself five years from now and what made you choose to attend Texas A&M next fall?
Pratt: Five years from now, I see myself having a job I enjoy in Texas. I don’t know if I would ever want to go work or live outside of Texas.
I choose Texas A&M University because of the great academics it has, and, of course, great SEC football. It’s not too far from home, but definitely not close enough where I will have my parents at my door all the time.
I look forward to taking the next step of growing up and working towards my degree.
What did it mean to you to represent McKinney North on the football field and baseball diamond the last two seasons?
Pratt: Wearing that Bulldog jersey for the past two seasons has been beyond special. The idea of preparing all week and going out in a battle of Friday nights for your city, your school is something always loved. In baseball, the three-game series with the loud fans is always fun to represent your school.
I had the best coaches and they were always fun to go compete for. My blood will always bleed that orange and blue.