Bulldogs looking to senior QB to jumpstart season
As the starting quarterback, Mark Stewart expects to be the leader of the McLouth football team this season.
The way he conducts himself off the field will also be important to the senior being the face of the Bulldogs in 2007. So far, so good.
"The other day, he took a truck-full of underclassmen home," McLouth coach Harry Hester said. "He'll go get kids whenever. He does the little things, not only on the field, but in the locker room and in the classroom to help the other kids."
Stewart and the rest of the Bulldogs took part in a scrimmage, which lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday at the Stan Braksick Sports Complex in McLouth.
Before the scrimmage, McLouth players conducted a youth clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
"It was good to see where we're at and get a good idea how guys are doing at each position," Stewart said of the scrimmage. "For the younger guys, they get a chance to get more experience at their position. It's a good learning experience."
Stewart took all snaps under center at the scrimmage.
Last season, Stewart threw nine touchdowns and three interceptions for the Bulldogs, who finished the year 3-6.
Of the interceptions, two were tipped and one resulted from a Hail Mary at the end of a quarter.
"He has good footwork in the pocket and makes good decisions," Hester said of Stewart. "He can throw, he can run and he's a tremendous athlete. On top of all those talents, he's one of the hardest workers on the team."
Senior right guard Jesse Snyder will be one of the most experienced linemen protecting Stewart this season. He noticed impressive footwork from Stewart in Saturday's scrimmage.
"He's definitely fast," Snyder said. "He can maneuver around the field really well. If we don't get our job done up front, though, we're never going to get anything done."
Defensively, Snyder will be part of a line that features Brian Kabus and Dustin Summers. All are seniors and have played together since middle school.
"We like to go out and eat," Snyder said. "We go to King Buffet in Lawrence. After practices on Wednesdays, we all go in there and just tear it up."
Snyder said it was questionable which of the linemen could eat the most. There's little question, however, about the strength of McLouth's defense this season.
"We're going to have to tackle better as a unit, but we feel our defensive line is a strength," Hester said. "We're going to keep our linebackers free to roam. But with the d-line, it all starts up front."
McLouth will open its season Aug. 31 at home against Troy. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.