Having the opportunity to play defense for Chuck Smith at Boyle County takes a special mentality, especially to play in the middle of Smith's defense.
The player has to be a little mean, extremely tenacious and always close to the ball no matter what. That's why it usually is an upperclassmen that finally gets his chance to earn playing time in the middle of Smith's defense.
But not this year.
The Boyle coach had the confidence in sophomore Andrew Bertram to let him fill the inside linebacker position and Bertram hasn't disappointed the Boyle coach with his play this season. He has a team-leading 108 tackles heading into Saturday's Class AAA state title showdown with Fort Thomas Highlands at 12 noon at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Smith said it is more than his aggressive play that makes Bertram stand out on the field.
"Starting for us as a sophomore on defense is hard to do, but Andrew is an extremely intelligent young man," the Boyle coach said. "He understands the concept of our defense and its philosophy. He is a leader in the making and has proved that all year. He just goes out and makes the plays."