‘He ran so they could walk’

Cardinals defensive lineman Mikhari Sibblis returns to his home state for Ball State’s clash against Georgia

Mikhari Sibblis with his two brothers, mother, and father at West Forsyth High School. Sibblis went on to play at Lehigh University. Litisha Slibblis, photo provided
Mikhari Sibblis with his two brothers, mother, and father at West Forsyth High School. Sibblis went on to play at Lehigh University. Litisha Slibblis, photo provided

Related: Big Game Purpose

Just around an hour and a half from Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, the Sibblis family lives in Cummings. 

In just two days, graduate student defensive lineman, Mikhari Sibblis, will get the opportunity to once again play football in his home state with family and friends cheering him on when the Cardinals face the University of Georgia. 

“We're really excited to be a part of that moment with him, and we are just really looking forward to it,” his mother, Litisha Sibblis, said.

People have been reaching out to say they are looking forward to seeing Mikhari play in his home state against other alumni from West Forsyth High School, Litisha said. 

Mikhari knows previous West Forsyth alumni playing at Georgia. He knows redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Dylan Fairchild, tight end sophomore Oscar Delp and tight end redshirt freshmen Cooper Johnson. Even though Mikhari was a senior when they were freshmen and sophomores, he still said he was close with them. 

Litisha said anytime Mikhari got the chance to support his friends who made the team for Georgia, he would go to games to support them. 

When Mikhari comes to Georgia, it might be hard to spot his family in a capacity crowd of more than 92,000, including a small sea of cardinal red representing Ball State, but the Sibblis family will be repping No. 2 with Sibblis across their backs. 

“I have watched an amazing young man grow up into the person who he was really meant to be,” Litisha said. “I am so inspired by him; by his passion and his tenacity.” 

Litisha said, as a mom, she always made sure Mikhari's path in life would not be too difficult. Instead, Mikhari was always in advanced classes in school and playing basketball and football. 

“I would just always encourage him that you don't always have to take the high road, or you don't always have to take the most difficult path, and he just never backed down,” Litisha said. “He never backed down from a challenge no matter how much I would try to soften the blow. He always went for the difficult one. I think it just spoke more to his character.”

Sibblis RBG_02.jpg
Graduate student defensive line Mikhari Sibblis stands on the sidelines against Kentucky Sept. 2 at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. Mya Cataline, DN

Related: 'Bumps and Bruises'

Not only did Litisha say she was inspired by Mikhari and his actions, but she said it has also inspired his two younger brothers, and even his older brother, who is in the United States Air Force. 

Mikhari said he is most excited to play in front of his brothers. He would like to think he is a good role model for them and that they try to follow in his footsteps, walk like him and talk like him. 

“Them being able to be there [his brothers] and have them see the game while they're also in the middle of their [football] season, is huge,” Mikhari said.

His youngest brother, Mikeenen, wears the same No. 2 that Mikhari does for his eighth-grade football team. Litisha said Mikeenen wears it as a badge of honor. 

“He really turned me to football and taught me how to play,” Mikeenen said. “He's been my passion growing up, sports wise.”

His other younger brother, Mikaeden, plays the same position as Mikhari in his sophomore football season in high school. 

“I've seen him as a model for all my life,” Mikaeden said.

Mikaeden said when he was four or five years old, Mikhari always pushed him to be the best he could possibly be in sports at such a young age. He said Mikhari has also taught him a lot about the defensive line position and how to be better at the line. 

Both brothers said they are ecstatic to see their brother play in the Sibblis family’s home state and have been looking forward to the Cardinals' clash against the Bulldogs.

“[Mikhari] ran so they can walk,” Litisha said. “He's just setting that path in front of them to dream big, and nothing is impossible. That's the same way they've looked up and tried to follow in those footsteps.”

No matter the outcome of Saturday’s game, Litisha said she is proud of who Mikhari is and the amazing character he shows. 
Contact Elijah Poe via email at elijah.poe@bsu.edu or on X @ElijahPoe4.


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...