Vardaman's Pratt Using Fortius Project To Build On Successful Career
Patrick Pratt is the face of Vardaman Ram football.
The rising-senior running back and cornerback has led the Rams in rushing yards and interceptions the past two seasons and has been the main source of production in Larry Gann's offense. Now that Vardaman has graduated a whopping 14 seniors from a season ago, Pratt, along with other veterans, have to step up if the Rams are to continue making playoff runs.
"I'm just going to put my faith in the young guys and make them work hard on the field and in the weight room," Pratt told SES Mississippi. "Just going to try to be a leader. I'm going to do whatever I can for the program to be successful."
Pratt knows that for the program to be successful, he has to continue to execute at a high level, which he cites as his reason for attending the Fortius Project at Itawamba Community College.
"I'm trying to get better," Pratt said. "I have a lot of stuff I need to work on, and I feel like going to this camp will help me."
Although Pratt is seeking improvement, it's hard to imagine how he could play any better than he has the past two seasons. Pratt has 21 career interceptions (12 short of the all-time record in Mississippi) and rushed for over 1,000 yards a season ago. These performances have helped Vardaman land back-to-back playoff appearances after winning just four games in 2015.
"Patrick has always been a key part of the team," Vardaman head coach Larry Gann said. "When he and Michael [Williams] moved up at the end of their 8th grade season, they both started the next game. He has been a contributor on both sides of the ball."
When Pratt joined the Rams' varsity team as an 8th grader, Vardaman was in the midst of the longest active losing streak in the state. Now as a senior, Pratt has seen the Rams make two trips to the postseason in as many years and is looking to take the next step this season.
His goals for 2018 are simple: help his team reach state and etch his name into the record books.
"[I want to] try to beat the state record for interceptions, have a successful season and go to state."
To join Patrick Pratt and other athletes from the Magnolia State at the Fortius Project, head over to fortiusproject.com to register.
*Photo by John Macon Gillespie