2011-2012 Male Athlete of the Year: Cord Sandberg

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BRADENTON - Fresh off Manatee High's victorious spring game last Friday and a workout with the Colorado Rockies this week, our ABC 7 Male Athlete of the Year Cord Sandberg will now play some baseball in Minnesota before working towards another football state championship in 2012.

He started as a ballboy for the Manatee Hurricanes tailing after his father Chuck, who is an assistant coach. Many fantasies sprung from those sidelines, sidelines he now commands.

“He’s a guy who understands the importance of our football team to our school and to our community and has accepted the responsibility of being the leader of it,” says head football coach Joe Kinnan.

“When I was little growing up watching these games, there was nothing more than I wanted than to win a state championship here at Manatee, and I'm very thankful that we were able to do it,” says Sandberg.

The 2011 football season culminated in the Canes’ 5th state title. And they were led by Sandberg, who ran for almost 900 yards and scored 25 TDs, and threw for 2,200 more yards and 20 TD passes. He was named the State 7A Player of the Year.

“It's a lot easier to coach good players. He is able to do all of the things that we ask him to do. He is able to comprehend the changes we make and the adjustments that take place during the game. And outstanding for him is his uncanny accuracy; that he can throw from either a set position or on the run and he really gets the ball in the money,” says Coach Kinnan.

In 2011, he also helped the Canes baseball team to the state final four, while this season he batted .358 and was named the Canes defensive player of the year. “It’s a lot of fun. You don't have anything to worry about. He comes to the field every day, he works hard and gives everything he has got. And when it's game time, he produces,” says Canes baseball head coach Dwayne Strong.

Like Tim Tebow, he is strong of faith, left-handed, talented, and his work ethic is unrivaled.

Already Auburn and Miami are after him for football, and several baseball teams have their eye on him. But at this point, he doesn't have to make a choice. “For him, I think whatever season it is, but I know down the road next year when it's all over with, he will make a decision if he is going to go baseball route or football. I know he loves them both,” says Cord’s father Chuck Sandberg.

And he also has a 4.3 GPA.

Congratulations to Cord Sandberg, state champion quarterback and standout baseball player at Manatee High School. He is our ABC 7 Male Athlete of the Year.