Following Dalton’s Red and White spring game Friday at Harmon Field, Catamounts football coach Ronnie McClurg said he liked “this team’s attitude.”

The veteran coach, however, says the team leaves spring practice still searching for more senior leadership, especially for demanding summer workouts.

“We’re still looking for that,” McClurg said of the leadership aspect. “We’ve seen some kids step up but not enough of them. This is a good group but I want to see them be more assertive in their leadership.”

Running back Cameron Hudson said practicing just three days in spring due to shin splints enabled him to work more on being one of the team’s leaders.

“I didn’t get to practice that much because doctors told me that shin splints could lead to fractures if I didn’t stay off the field, but I used that time to show my leadership skills,” said Hudson, who led the area in rushing, receiving and scoring last season.

Linebacker Jake McIntosh feels ready to assert himself in a leadership role, as well.

“I try to lead by example and I’ve always been pretty vocal,” he said. “The seniors had a spaghetti supper (Thursday) night and we’re all on board.”

Defensive tackle Andre Johnson said it’s imperative the seniors take control of this coming season’s squad, starting now.

“We’ve got a lot of young players and us seniors have to be leaders,” he said. “We have to keep an up-tempo pace in practice and not be walking around. We have to help the younger guys. I know that’s very important.”

In Friday’s scrimmage, which was capped by a hamburger/hot dog supper, the Cats’ defense showed its usual aggressive style of play.

The defense came up with two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.

“The defense is definitely ahead of the offense, and we expected that,” McClurg said. “Our secondary was a concern coming into spring, but we’ve showed some good progress back there. It’s going to take patience and a lot of reps in the fall in the secondary.”

Quarterbacks Harrison Scott and Charlie Wilson scored on 1-yard sneaks while running back Blake Raber rambled 41 yards for a score. Chris White zipped 13 yards for a touchdown and Ethan Bennett had a 5-yard TD run.

“Offensively, we’re still looking for some people but it’s hard to evaluate them when so many players are injured,” McClurg said. “The injuries were the biggest disappointment of the spring. A lot of kids missed a lot of practice time”

Hudson watched from the sideline in street clothes.

“All track season I fought shin splints,” said Hudson, who has added 25 pounds to his frame and now weighs 165. “I had had them before, but don’t think it’s going to bother me over the summer. I feel stronger and might even be a little faster.

“I started eating as much as I could eat and drank a protein shake every night to add weight.”

It appears that four players are trying to replace All-Area Adrian Mora as the Cats’ punter and place-kicker.

Toombs Norman handled the punting duties during Friday’s scrimmage and three kickers — Jose Hurtado, Angel Arellano and Ricardo Rodriguez — worked on extra points and field goals.

“I like the way Toombs handled himself, but the overall kicking game is not where it needs to be,” McClurg said. “We’ll get there, though.”

Dalton opens the 2007 season on Aug. 31 at Calhoun.

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