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Mike Cibene: From Panther to Buckeye

Former+Pine+Crest+student+Mike+Cibene+%282012%29%2C+poses+with+Ohio+State+mascot%2C+Brutus+the+Buckeye+after+Ohio+State+beat+Oregon+42-20+to+win+the+inaugural+College+Football+Playoff.+
Former Pine Crest student Mike Cibene (2012), poses with Ohio State mascot, Brutus the Buckeye after Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Former Pine Crest student Mike Cibene (2012), poses with Ohio State mascot, Brutus the Buckeye after Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Former Pine Crest student Mike Cibene (2012), poses with Ohio State mascot, Brutus the Buckeye after Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Sofia Caro

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[ot-caption title=”Former Pine Crest student Mike Cibene (2012), poses with Ohio State mascot, Brutus the Buckeye after his Ohio State Buckeyes upset the Oregon Ducks 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff. (Via Olivia DiCarlontonio/Ohio State University, Junior)” url=”https://pctypeone.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/mike.jpg”]

Hard working, dedicated and intensely driven to succeed. If you ask anyone, those are the words they would use to describe Michael Cibene. Mike is a 2012 graduate of Pine Crest and is currently a sophomore  at “The” Ohio State University. The older brother of current PC students, Matt and Mark, Mike was a pivotal part of the PC football team that made it all the way to the Conference finals in 2012. He was accepted into Ohio State and became a walk-on for their football team later that year. As a walk-on, Mike faced many obstacles in proving himself, but again and again he persevered. Given that he is one of the hardest workers, this dedication has earned him a spot on this year’s national championship team.

In wake of the college football championship, which Ohio State won 42-20 over Oregon, I was able to have a conversation with Mike about his teams’ stellar season and what it means to be a national champion.

T1: Congratulations on winning the national championship!

Mike: Thank you!

T1: How do you feel playing for the national champions?

Mike: The best way to describe the feeling is one way: a dream come true. I always had a vision of doing this. First getting there was one dream and to be a part of history in winning the national title was incredible. I feel truly blessed.

T1: Do you feel PC prepared you for Ohio State (both for football and academics)?

Mike: Coach Pletcher is the best coach in the country in HS football. He’s done so much for me in my life and helped mold me into who I am today. Another huge influence of mine was Coach Hibbs, who was a huge mentor to me and got me ready physically through conditioning. With academics, Pine Crest is the best private school in the country. They teach you so much, get you ready and teach you to organize. I’ve never felt behind or overpowered by schoolwork. Definitely the biggest thing I learned at PC was organization and time management.

T1: Leading up to the national championship game: how were you able to balance your academics, training, practices and social life?

Mike: We spent so much time practicing and watching film. It was so much preparation and conditioning going into it. Everyone had to be razor sharp – no matter if you were playing or not. But it was definitely manageable because of how I was brought up at PC and how I continued to work as a college student.

T1: There are always people who say that college football becomes more about the individual than the team, what is your take on this?

Mike: Football is absolutely a team sport. Our team this year had to deal with losing two QBs and the death of a teammate, and those things brought us together. Some people say that football only takes 11, but it takes a lot more than 11 to be successful. Everyone has to be ready to go whether you’re a starter or third-string. On our quest towards the championship we grew closer and closer as a team. As Bill Tarsal said “When you win a championship it’s a blood transfusion: your teammates are forever your brothers.”

 

Before our conversation ended I asked Mike if he had any other thoughts for the students of Pine Crest, and without hesitation he responded, “I’ll always bleed green and white.” We love you Mike and wish you the best of luck during the rest of your time at OSU and beyond! Mike Cibene may currently be a Buckeye, but he’ll always be a Panther.

 

 

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Mike Cibene: From Panther to Buckeye