Desoto County Sports

Chiefs’ Pratt named Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year

Photo: Magnolia Heights pitcher Cooper Pratt (Bob Bakken/

Gatorade has announced Cooper Pratt of Magnolia Heights School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year. Pratt is the first Gatorade Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Magnolia Heights School. 

Pratt now becomes a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in June.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior shortstop and right-handed pitcher led the Chiefs (40-3) to their fifth-straight Midsouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class 5A championship this past season. Pratt posted a 10-0 record with a 0.14 ERA, surrendering just 18 hits and eight walks in 49 innings pitched while striking out 66 batters. 

Pratt batted .469 with four home runs, 50 RBIs and 38 stolen bases. A Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-American, he is also a two-time MAIS Class 5A Player of the Year. Pratt has also volunteered locally on behalf of tornado and hurricane relief efforts, youth baseball programs, nursing homes and Second Chances Animal Rescue. 

“Cooper Pratt fits the bill in most every way possible,” said Brad Haines, head coach at Heritage Academy. “He’s got great hands, good speed, he’s athletic—an all-around phenomenal baseball player.” 

Pratt has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Mississippi this fall, but is projected as an early-round selection in July’s Major League Baseball draft. 

Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. 

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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