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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: George Leibold

The Cardinal Mooney linebacker received an offer from Stetson University this offseason.

George Leibold.
George Leibold.
Courtesy photo
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George Leibold is a linebacker on the Cardinal Mooney High football team. According to MaxPreps statistics, Leibold had 117 total tackles in 2022, with eight tackles for loss, five interceptions and two sacks. Leibold received an offer from Stetson University this offseason. 

When did you start playing football?

I started playing tackle football with pads when I was in kindergarten, but I had been playing flag football since I was 3 years old. My brother Jack Leibold played football, so I watched him play and wanted to play myself. 

What is the appeal to you?

I love the team aspects of the game and taking the field with everybody, and I love getting to hit and tackle people. 

What is your best skill?

I am good at studying the game. I can read the field and figure out what the other team is going to do. 

What have you been working to improve?

My speed. I'm not the fastest guy on the field. In a straightaway, I can cover some ground, but I'm trying to get faster otherwise. 

What is your favorite football memory?

Last year, I had a pick six to win the game for us against Riverview High (14-7). That one meant a lot because Josh Smithers, the Riverview coach, he coached my brother at Mooney and he actually coached my sister (Margaret Leibold) in girls basketball at Mooney, too. So we're close to him as a family. Getting to beat his team like that was cool. 

How did it feel to get an offer from Stetson?

It was relieving. Once you get that first one, it takes all the pressure off. It's motivation to keep working hard and see what happens. 

What are your goals for the 2023 season?

As a team our goal is to win a state championship. For me personally, I'd like to get 150 total tackles. 

What is your favorite food?

I like a steak cooked medium. 

What are your hobbies?

I like to work out and I like to go fishing. 

What is your favorite school subject?

Math. Numbers just come easily to me. 

What is your favorite movie?

It has to be "Friday Night Lights." 

Which superpower would you pick?

I'd want to fly so I can get to places faster. 

What is the best advice you have received?

My brother told me to always be the best person you can be. Don't be a follower, be you and keep working hard. I've always remembered that. 

Finish this sentence: "George Leibold is …"

Dedicated. I love the game of football and I'm dedicated to it and to my team. 



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.

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