A Biloxi High student and football player was found dead at home Monday morning. School officials told WLOX News that 17-year-old Christopher Wayne Pratt of Woolmarket died at a relative's home. He was discovered dead when his uncle came home from working the night shift.
Pratt was a senior, an offensive lineman on the Indian football team, and a friend to many.
"It's a tragedy for Biloxi High School and our whole community."
Pratt's death is the fifth that Steve Jones has dealt with in 29 years of coaching. It's a topic he's unfortunately all too familiar with.
"It's always a tragedy, especially when you're dealing with young athletes who think they're invincible. When something like that happens, I think it hits the rest of them really hard. Of course it hits your whole community," Jones said.
Madison Collier was Chris Pratt's best friend. At a tear-filled memorial on Biloxi Beach Monday night, Collier remembered her best friend with words from the heart.
"He was the type of person that you could call at 4:30 in the morning, 5 o'clock, it didn't matter. If you had a problem, he'd go right there and be right there by your side and cry on your shoulder. He was just one of the greatest people," Collier said.
Pratt transferred from D'Iberville to Biloxi High after his sophomore year. Nearly 200 Indian and Warrior students, usually rivals on the field, came together to laugh, cry and remember their friend.
Those who know him best say whether it was on the football field, or just hanging out with friends, Chris Pratt had a lot of heart.
A Biloxi High coach and a fellow student told WLOX News that Pratt had complained of headaches since playing in Friday night's game. But Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said a cause of death has not been determined yet. An autopsy is expected to be performed early this week.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.