BRADENTON - Manatee High School is the 500-pound gorilla right now, because they haven't lost since practically the Nixon administration. They are ranked #1 in the country, and they have the reigning ABC 7 Athlete of the Year with QB Cord Sandberg – who is also this week's Athlete of the Week.
Sandberg has already committed to play at Mississippi State under former Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, and he has gotten even better this season, leading the ‘Canes to a 12-0 record thus far. “I think he brings out the best in the people around him. In his career he has completed close to 7,500 yards and 80-something touchdowns,” says Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan.
On the season, Sandberg has thrown 29 touchdown passes, and just one interception. The ‘Canes have outscored their opponents, on average, 56-12. “The ball’s in my hand, so…obviously it’s a team game, but a big part of the play on offense is going to be controlled based on what I do,” says Sandberg.
In his last home game as a Hurricane, he was 9-12 for 125 yards with 2 touchdowns and he rushed for another 54 yards and a TD. His final pass on Kinnan Field was a 32-yard TD pass. “That was pretty cool. JaJuan ran a great route, and to be able to have a touchdown pass on my last pass here at Hawkins Stadium was a pretty cool feeling.”
The ‘Canes are again in the Regional Finals as they try to repeat as state champs. But Sandberg may never see the field at Mississippi State -- and that is probably a good thing. “You know he is also a great baseball player. So if they make him an offer that changes his life financially, he could always do that,” says Kinnan.
Congratulations to Cord Sandberg of Manatee High School. He is our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week.