Athlete of the week – Justin Pratt


Olivia Borg / Legacy

Junior Justin Pratt runs with a football during a game.

Soft-spoken junior Justin Pratt makes up for his quiet voice with his loud presence. Lifted by the support of his team, he excels on the football field.

“I love football for the pure sport of it,” Pratt said. “Having people there with me, close to me, is really important, too.”

However being a varsity football player is hardly just fun and games.

“Football itself isn’t too difficult; it’s handling the nerves and anxiety,” he said. “Before every game, I’m always anxious to get started.”

Pratt is ranked 21st in the state, and 148th nationally, with 247 total rushing yards under his belt.

“He’s a very strong runner, and has great balance and flexibility,” Head Football Coach Andrew Svoboda said. “He also has a good work ethic. He’s humble and a great teammate.”

Talent, hard work and leadership skills are all things an athlete needs to be successful, but Pratt goes a step further.

“People don’t think he’s as smart as he is, especially when it comes to football,” teammate junior Willie Harvey said. “Coach will tell him something once, and he’ll never forget it. He makes it his own.”

Even with his intelligence to guide the way, the journey is never as easy as it looks. Being tackled, shoved and jostled is basically part of a running back’s job description. This, paired with his bad shoulder, means the football player is prone to frequent injury. However, Pratt refuses to let that stop him.

“When I get hurt, it’s just another bump in the road,” Pratt said. “I just look forward to being back to my best for the team.”