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Sandberg born to be Manatee QB | HS Sports

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Sandberg born to be Manatee QB
HS Sports

Bradenton, Fla. -- Cord Sandberg was not always a mobile quarterback.  The Manatee junior was first a standout running back.

"I played running back a little bit when I was a little guy," Sandberg said. "The past couple years, I've been playing quarterback. I've learned to like it, and it's fun having the ball in my hands."

The position switch has worked out well for Sandberg.  He has led Manatee to the school's seventh appearance in a state championship game.

He was freshman when the Hurricanes lost to Plant in the 2009 title game but he didn't play. This run to Orlando has been enjoyable for Sandberg.

"All I ever wanted was to win a state championship at Manatee High School," Sandberg said.

"Very intelligent young man," Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan said of Sandberg. "Extremely quick release. Very gifted athlete."

Sandberg has envisioned that title because he literally grew up on the Manatee practice field.  His father, Chuck, has been an assistant to Kinnan since 1986.

The younger Sandberg has grown from a ball boy to a 6'3", heavily-recruited quarterback, who was offered by Auburn before he threw an official varsity pass.

"you want to be a dad, then you're always a coach," the elder Sandberg said. "You try to separate the two, but you always talk football."

It helps that his son is an avid listener, most of the time.  One topic the quarterback hears a lot is Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

The comparisons are inevitable.  Both are big, physical quarterbacks who throw left handed, are avid runners and win a lot.

"To accomplish anything that he's accomplished would be amazing," Sandberg said of the high praise.

He can start to match Tebow with a state championship Friday night against First Coast from Tebow's home town of Jacksonville.

"I remember when I was coming to these games when I was little," Sandberg said. "There's really nothing like it."

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