Former Saint sets example for youths

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Being a former high school football player helps Calvin Pritchett when it comes to dealing with youngsters.

Winning four consecutive Selma Parks and Recreation Department youth football league titles makes Pritchett means Pritchett knows how to get the best out of his kids.

Playing with the Selma High School Saints from 1992-’95, Pritchett had to learn quickly what discipline was all about. As a member of the Saints’ offensive line, Pritchett was responsible for protecting his quarterback and the entire Saints’ offensive backfield. Now Pritchett, known to his friends as “Butch,” is about teaching responsibility to his players.

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The Vikings are off to a 5-2 start this year.

However, Pritchett also knows how difficult coaching can be. With all the distractions at home, in school and on television, keeping the attention of a youngster today can be nearly impossible.

“The most important thing kids today need to learn is discipline,” said Pritchett, himself a father of three. “Some kids today have attitudes that are pretty bad. All that starts at home.

“Parents play a big part with the kids,” Pritchett added. “A lot of what the parents tell the kids to do is hard to discipline. They can’t be with the kids all the time.”

That same discipline has helped the Vikings put together their titles and the same discipline Pritchett believes will help his players throughout life.

“They need to know that you have to be disciplined on the football field and in the classroom,” he said. “As long as they do what they’re supposed to, they’ll go far.”

Football has always been a big part of Pritchett’s life. The sport will carry on a new meaning next year when he steps down to Little League football to coach his 5-year-old son, Jamar.

“I miss playing football,” Pritchett said. “I miss the contact. I always want to play.

“I like being with the kids,” he added. “I just like the time with them, being able to talk to them and playing with them. That’s been a real joy.”