Mom's smile brings joy to Malcolm Pridgeon

St. Anthony's linebacker Joe Sotomayor (7) lines up
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St. Anthony's linebacker Joe Sotomayor (7) lines up on defense during the Long Island team practice for the 19th annual Empire Challenge high school football all-star game at Hofstra University on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.(Credit: Steven Ryan)

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Malcolm Pridgeon continues to push on after going through so much.

His father, James Earl Pridgeon, passed away from a heart attack when Pridgeon was 11, and his mom, Peggy White, had a heart attack and a stroke at the same time a couple of years later.

It drove Pridgeon to get to where he's at today, starring as one of the top linemen for Long Island as it preps for the Empire Challenge All-Star football game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.

"It's been a great experience," said Pridgeon, a Central Islip senior who will play offensive tackle in the game against New York City at a listed 6-7, 280 pounds. "I'm happy they picked me up."

Taking a break from Monday's practice, Pridgeon explained what it meant to record each of his high school games on video for his mom, whom Pridgeon said is "doing great."

Wednesday will be no different. The game will be recorded for Peggy White.

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"I record each game and have her watch it," Pridgeon said. "She's got that smile on her face. That means the world to me."

His mother resides at Berkshire Nursing Home in West Babylon. He lives with his sister, Kalisha, 32, and his brothers Jason, 31, and Tywron, 19.

Pridgeon will play football next season at Nassau CC.

But first things first: Dominate NYC in the Empire Challenge game.

"It's like a different skill set, like preseason college level," Pridgeon said. "I've been lifting weights, working on my speed and agility. It feels like I'm getting ready for college."

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