January 3, 2011

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Syracuse-Bound Pratt is Total Package

by Brian Delaney | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Onondaga midfielder Matt Pratt, LM's Preseason Player of the Year in junior college men's lacrosse, recently signed with Syracuse.

© Greg Wall

Chuck Wilbur has seen his fair share of high-profile lacrosse players come through Onondaga Community College before embarking on playing careers at major Division I men's lacrosse programs.

Sophomore midfielder Matt Pratt, out of Chenango Forks High School in the suburbs of Binghamton, N.Y., appears to be the next in line. But even Pratt's skill set is unique for the Lazers.

"He's probably the most complete player we've had," Wilbur said. "When I say complete, he can play offense, he can play defense; he's a great kid and a great student. He has it all going for him. We've had great, great offensive players like a Cody Jamieson; great defensive players, great goalies, faceoff guys... We've never had as complete a player as Matt."

Pratt, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound two-way middie, finished his freshman season with 31 goals, 27 assists, a 3.5 grade point average and an NJCAA championship. He'll enter his sophomore season as Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year.

His recruitment picked up last year. He recently chose Syracuse over Albany, Cornell, Ohio State, Penn State and Syracuse. As a senior at Chenango Forks (N.Y.) High, he was uncertain where to go next.

"I didn't understand how to be recruited," Pratt said.

Now, he considers himself much more prepared for what lies ahead.

"I think I'm someone who's committed 100 percent to everything he does," Pratt said. "I'm committed to winning. I want to win, I want to help the team [I choose] win."

Wilbur said Pratt does everything on the field. He was the team's best short-stick defensive midfielder, he can face off as well as play the wing. Wilbur called him "old-school." As a sophomore, Pratt's adding leadership responsibilities to his repertoire.

"He's a leader now," Wilbur said. "Last year he was a very successful freshman, did a great job on the field. He has to help us be successful in crucial times, and to have that experience, he's someone you can count on. He's the type of kid that wherever we have him, he's going to be just fine."

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