The 2021 Hooten’s Arkansas Football Magazine named its preseason Super Team recently. El Dorado was represented by quarterback Sharmon Rester, offensive lineman Devin Walter and linebacker Patrick Sixbey.
A glaring absence to Wildcat fans was the omission of senior cornerback Mario Ganter. Defensive coordinator Trey Outlaw said he was surprised Ganter’s name wasn't mentioned.
“I think he’s been nothing but the best corner in the state for the last two years, even as a sophomore,” said Outlaw. “In games that we’ve played in anyway, there’s not been another corner out there that’s made more of an impact, in my opinion.”
Statistics for cornerbacks are, generally, meaningless numbers. Ganter didn’t record a lot of tackles or interceptions last season because teams didn’t challenge him.
“He’ll end up not having very many interceptions this year just because teams won’t throw his way. That’s something we’ve talked to him about,” said Outlaw. “The awesome thing about him is he doesn’t care about his stats. He cares about the team. A good night for him is going to be zero tackles, zero interceptions, zero knockdowns and that’s because the guy was so covered, nobody threw the ball his way. If that happens, he played a great game.”
Ganter’s name wasn’t included on that particular Super Team list but he’s far from an unknown throughout the state. Opposing coaches and quarterbacks know his number as do college coaches.
“One of the things I do each week is on Wednesdays I talk with opposing head coaches. Every single time, they always mention Mario and ask if he’s graduated, yet. Everybody mentions him. It was a little surprising,” Outlaw said of the Super Team snub. “Honestly, I don’t think it bothers him as much as it bothers his teammates that he maybe not getting the recognition he deserves.”