Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Joe Ziegler

The Sarasota High running back is a big piece of the team's 2023 puzzle.

Joe Ziegler.
Joe Ziegler.
Courtesy photo
  • Sarasota
  • Sports
  • Share

Joe Ziegler is a rising senior running back on the Sarasota High football team. Ziegler was called one of the team's hardest workers this offseason by first-year Head Coach Josh Phillips. Ziegler ran for 750 yards and five touchdowns on 119 carries in 2022. 

When did you start playing football?

I started when I was 6 years old. I had been watching the game since I was 4, watching my older brother (Jeremiah Williams) play. I liked getting to be aggressive on the field, to be able to hit someone and not get in trouble for it.

What is the appeal to you now?

I have a different perspective on the game now. For me, it's about battling with the guys. You're bonding with them forever. It's a brotherhood. When the games get going, it's about physically getting over on the other team with the people you love playing with. 

What is your best skill?

Reacting to the defense. They always line up a few different ways. Any type of front, I can read it and find the gaps and maneuver to get positive yards. 

What have you been working to improve?

As a team, we've been working on bonding. We need to make sure we're all on one page by the time real practice starts (July 31). We're ready to learn and do whatever it takes. 

What is your favorite memory?

Playing Braden River High last season. That was the school I came from originally. When we played them, I went out for the coin toss by myself, and then we got the win in the end (28-3). It was pretty fun. 

What are your goals for the season?

I would like to surpass 1,200 yards this season. Other than that, I just want the team to have more wins than losses and for us to go deeper in the playoffs than we did last season (reaching the second round). 

What is your favorite food?

I like a pepperoni and bacon pizza. 

What is your favorite movie?

I like "The Express" a lot. 

What is your favorite subject?

Science is interesting. I like knowing how a person's body works, things like that. 

Which superpower would you choose?

Invincibility. No one would be able to move you around. 

What are your hobbies?

I'm actually a barber. I work at Real Vision Barber Academy in Bradenton. My family had advised me to find a trade, because football doesn't last forever, and I chose barbering. 

What is the best advice you have received?

If you're going to do something, do it 100%. There's never a reason to do something at 50%. If you don't want to do something, don't do it. If you do, give it your all. 

Finish this sentence: "Joe Ziegler is … "

Determined, fun and outgoing. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

Latest News