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Wildcats' cornerback ready for boring season

by Tony Burns | August 29, 2021 at 5:53 p.m.

Playing cornerback can be a boring job only if that cornerback is exceptional. El Dorado’s Mario Ganter didn’t get a lot of action last season for the Wildcats as opposing teams were reluctant to test his skills.

For that reason, numbers don’t add up all the ways he contributes on the field.

“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 defensive coordinator Trey 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.”

A three-year starter, Ganter earned All-State honors last season. Playing one of football’s most challenging positions, cornerbacks’ coach Greg Roberson said the senior has all the prerequisite skills.

“I like his footwork. I like his hips and I like his eyes. He’s just fluid. He’s very comfortable at the position,” Roberson said. “He likes to study the position. That’s what I really like about Mario. He’s not afraid to ask questions. He’s very knowledgeable in how he approaches the game at that position. If you ever keep up with him on social media, he’s always doing his training on his own as well. What he says is, he’s always cramming. That’s what I really appreciate about Mario. He’s always trying to find ways to be better at the position - how he can cover better, how he can shut somebody down at the line better and things like that.”

Because he doesn’t put up gaudy statistics, some of Ganter’s talent might go unnoticed, perhaps even unappreciated by the untrained eye. College coaches understand, however. He already has offers to play at the next level.

“I think he’s the most underrated defensive back prospect in the state,” said El Dorado head coach Steven Jones. “The way he competes, the way he works, I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him. At this point, he’s a coach on the field. He has good leadership skills and communicates with his team in a way that he helps them. His work ethic is going to carry him a long way.”

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