New Pratt High football coach Forrest Mazey came to Pratt yesterday to spend the day with Curtis Nightingale while also meeting with students, parents and the community as he prepares to move to Kansas.


New Pratt High football coach Forrest Mazey came to Pratt yesterday to spend the day with Curtis Nightingale while also meeting with students, parents and the community as he prepares to move to Kansas.

Mazey put in a full day of work after driving six hours from Atoka, Okla., to spend the day in Pratt. He met with the football team – including eighth graders – during the day before meeting with parents and fans at night at the ‘Meet the Coach’ social.

By the time he finished answering all of the parents’ questions at the meet and greet, he and his soon-to-be fiancé were ready to do a little resting.

Mazey answered everything from potential practice schedules and summer camps, to what type of offense and defense he prefers to run, and everything in between.

Mazey hosted a meeting with players that was well attended, with around 80 players coming to meet the new coach and hear what he had to say.

“We had a great turnout as far as the meeting,” Mazey said. “After spending some time around these kids today, I can tell they are going to work hard. I have no doubt we can be league champions right away. I think that’s a very attainable goal.”

One of the things Mazey would like to see improved upon right away is attendance at teen camps over the summer. The camp in Hutchinson will cost around $150 per player, but he said the experience is invaluable for kids as they prepare for the season.

“I want to get a better turnout at camp,” he said. “I think they had 20-25 kids go to Hutch last year, I’d like to see us in the 40s. I want a sea of green out there.”

Mazey also detailed some of the intricacies of his spread offense that he plans to install as coach of the Greenbacks.

“The offense I run is almost completely no huddle, even if we’re trying to run the clock,” he said. “That’s just a way for us to dictate the pace of the game and make sure the defense doesn’t always get lined up. There was one game in Atoka where we ran 96 offensive plays. The typical high school team runs anywhere from 50-60, so you’re talking about an extra 30 opportunities to score the ball.”

He also expanded on the role of academics to a successful football team, mentioning that the school side of athletics will always come first.

“If they’re good in the classroom, they’re going to play smart on the field,” he said. “Academics will be a big focus for us.”

Mazey typically runs about a two and a half hour practice, which might seem short, except the team doesn’t often stop going for instruction and critiquing. Mazey said he stops practice very infrequently, so just running through practice each day is a conditioning program in itself.

The new coach also expanded a bit about why he chose Pratt High as his latest coaching gig.

“I came here because everything is geared toward the kids,” he said. “We have great facilities, kids are one-to-one with computers. Everything is in place for these kids to succeed. I want these kids to have the chance to be successful in every sport while they’re here.”