Capital was 114-25 from 1989-99.
"The big thing when I got this job, we knew that it wasn't what offense or defense you were running," Carpenter said. "You have to sell these kids and this community on the idea that if they stick together it'll be all right.
"For the last several years everybody in town has helped perpetuate the idea that you had to go someplace else to be on a good football team and get a good education. So, that was a big thing was to sell them on the fact of believing in each other."
Pratt, whose older brother Cliff Pratt is a senior wide receiver for the Cougars and one of Carpenter's first players, said he is eager to take a steadier role in guiding that effort as a sophomore. He added that he believes in Carpenter's vision of returning Capital to its status as a perennial power established under the team's first coach, Roger Jefferson.
"My main focus is being a leader this year," Pratt said. "Being a big-time leader. All my coaches and players want me to step up this year. I just got to lead my team and that'll be it."
There are a number of players on the Capital roster who would stand out on thinner teams. The Cougars' stable of running backs - already deep with senior James Richmond and juniors Kashuan Haley and Tyrell Davis - showed another potential standout in a scrimmage against St. Albans on Saturday when freshman Silas Nazario ran for a 40-yard touchdown.
"We've got a lot of players on the team this year. We've got a lot of weapons here," Pratt said.
The Cougars are idle in the first week of the regular season. They open their 2012 schedule against Riverside at home Sept. 6.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.