Big Lake Athlete of the Week: Jalen Pryor

Okeechobee High School senior Jalen Pryor has been a leader for the Brahmans this season. Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion.

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee High School senior Jalen Pryor is this week’s Big Lake Athlete of the Week for his performance in the Brahmans game against the Port St. Lucie Jaguars on Sept. 21.

Okeechobee High School senior Jalen Pryor has been a leader for the Brahmans this season. Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion.

Pryor was responsible for all of Okeechobee’s 14 points in that game with two clutch plays in the first half. On the second play of the first quarter Pryor tipped a Port St. Lucie pass up in the air, caught the ball as it fell and returned the interception for a touchdown. He showed great instinct on the play and read the Jaguars quarterback perfectly.

Okeechobee coach Ty Smith had nothing but praise for the senior wide receiver and cornerback after the Jaguars game.

“He’s one of our returning varsity players,” said Smith,” so he’s played at this pace and at this speed. It’s our job as coaches to get a majority of the other players up to that pace of the game. Pryor is one of our leaders on the team. He recognizes defenses and offenses and the things that they’re doing, so sometimes he guesses and he guesses right. That’s what happened on that interception and he was able to take that in for a touchdown and get us going in the right direction.”

Pryor was able to make his presence felt not only on defense and offense, but on special teams as well.

The Jaguars were able to take the lead on two Montavious Yearby touchdown runs that put them up 12-7, but one play is all Pryor would need to put Okeechobee back on top.

On the ensuing kickoff following a Port St. Lucie touchdown, Pryor caught the ball and returned it 98 yards for another Okeechobee touchdown.

Pryor circled around after catching the kickoff, then split the Jaguar’s kickoff coverage and used his speed to out run defenders along the home sideline at Okeechobee High School.

The kickoff return brought the big home crowd that came out to support the Brahmans to their feet and brought some life to the Okeechobee sideline that was needed a spark after giving up two touchdowns to Port St. Lucie.

Although Okeechobee would ultimately fall to the Jaguars, Pryor has been one of the bright spots on a team still searching for it’s identity. If coach Smith can bring the rest of his young team up to Pryor’s level of varsity play, then Okeechobee should be able stand toe-to-toe to teams that make the trip into Brahman Country.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email Lake Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at rmarion@newszap.com.

 

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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