The Mentor defense is something to talk about this season.
The Cardinals secondary isn't always on top of the conversation, but don't stay quiet with the back of the Mentor defense because they let their play speak loud.
"We definitely get slept on, but we just have to keep doing our job and focus on technique. But, you can never get too overconfident," senior Billy Gorka said.
Braeden Gefert, Marco Toth. Nyzier Fourquean, D.J. Wolf and sophomore Noah Gladish run a solid rotation with Gorka on a 6-man rotation in the back of the Mentor secondary.
"It's a good group with a special sophomore in Noah Gladish, who has chance to be really special. They make a lot of plays and they seem to make a lot of big ones at the right time," Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said.
Cardinals defensive coordinator Jim Funk is confident his back four can play with anyone moving forward.
"This is a very confident group and has a nice mix of youth and seniors," Funk said. "They rotate quite a bit and get along well, so that has been a plus.
"I think they get overlooked a little bit and people aren't going to start the conversation on our defense with the secondary. But those guys go out and make plays. … Our message all along has been to identify what we do well and work on what we need to fix moving forward. We have confidence in those guys to make big plays in the big games like they have done all season.
Gladish has proven as only a sophomore he is ready for big things and has the support of his teammates and the coaching staff.
"If we work together well, we can great things out there. If teams are going to test us, we will be ready," Gladish said.
Fourquean understands the secondary may be overlooked and is fine with that as motivation.
"We love the challenge. We know we are expected to make plays and we will be ready to make them," Fourquean said.
Gefert is convinced the outside talk means nothing and the Mentor secondary hasn't come close to its potential.
"Our entire team is one group of best friends and brothers and we trust each other to do their job. I think we have the potential to be one of the best secondaries in the state," Gefert said.
Funk said Toth is one of the toughest players on defense and will throw his body anywhere. The junior is convinced all the defensive parts work together.
"Most of the time we try to be humble at Mentor, stick to our own thing, but there is motivation when you want to win every game no matter who you play. Our defense is complimentary and we all work together well," Toth said
Wolf has four interceptions, among the area leaders. He is fine with not getting all the headlines.
"The guys up front deserve all the press they get, but we always have that feeling like what play can I make to help the team," Wolf said.