Millennium grad Sandau excels overseas by George Witkowski There are exhibition football games around the country and there is the other kind of exhibition football games that Shane Sandau played in.
Last summer, National Football League teams were playing their exhibition schedule in preparation of the 2002 season.
Millennium (AZ) High School graduate Shane Sandau played his exhibition game in Surfer's Paradise, near Brisbane, Australia. An all-region first teamer on the West Valley Region team last year and Millennium's Most Valuable Player in 2001, Sandau played guard for three years at Millennium. He played his freshman season as a center at Agua Fria High School.
Sandau, the son of Claudia and Steve Sandau, formerly of Gayville, and grandson of Doris and Ken Orr, Meckling, and 19 other graduating seniors from Arizona Class 4A and 5A went to Australia July 4-16 as part of a goodwill trip sponsored by a state travel agency.
Two 4A coaches and two 5A coaches went along. Gary Venturo from 5A Tempe Corona del Sol High School coached the team.
Sandau, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive tackle who plays football for Glendale Community College, was well-prepared when it came time to leave.
"I found out about it in March when my coaches called me," he said. "We were picked on the recommendation of our head coaches." Chuck Horn is Millennium's head coach.
"We played the Queensland all-stars, and the rules were pretty much the same as they are here," Sandau said. "None of them were high school football players and range in age from 18 to 45. None of them played football before, mostly rugby."
The coaching and experience levels showed, Sandau added, as the American team won 64-0.
A class person
Travis Guiney, third-year offensive line coach at Millennium, credits Sandau with making the school a presence athletically and academically.
"He could have gone to Agua Fria High School, but chose to stay," he said, noting Sandau's 4.5 grade-point average. "Having him here made this school a better place. His parents are great people and he set the standard for the young men who have come up.
"Shane would come to some of our workouts between GCC workouts just to work a little bit harder. He wasn't the most vocal kid, but he led by example. He was just a playmaker on the offensive and defensive lines. We said that whoever covered him, it was a mismatch."
Millennium coach Horn praised Sandau's playing ability and character.
"He's a big guy with great feet," Horn said. "He was the smartest kid on our offense with quickness and we'll miss him."
"He's a special kid and I've got two kids of my own. I hope they grow up to be like him."