Central’s Sanchez, Ruble to play in Down Under Games
Vandon Sanchez and Mike Ruble are going to put a lot of summer trips to shame.
The two Central High School seniors are celebrating their graduation by taking a 12-day trip in July to Australia to play football in the Down Under Games.
Sanchez and Ruble will be put on teams with other athletes from Colorado and will play at least two games against other teams assembled with players from across America.
“My family wanted to do a cruise or something, but I thought this would be awesome,” Sanchez said. “I hope to do well.”
The two players will fly out of Los Angeles and arrive in Brisbane, Australia. The first eight days of the trip will be filled with practice, games, and sightseeing. After they depart Australia, they’ll travel to Hawaii.
“It’s getting to experience everything,” Ruble said. “We get to play and do some sightseeing.”
The Down Under Games have been around for 20 years, and football isn’t the only sport, as basketball, cross country, golf, track and field, volleyball and wrestling are offered. The athletes have to pay their own way, and Sanchez was persuaded by another Central athlete who went last year.
“Loren Forney went for golf and she said I might as well do it,” Sanchez said.
Ruble is excited not only to see what Australia has to offer, but also see what the play on the field will be like.
“I really want to see what the other teams and players are like,” Ruble said. “I’m going to try to learn something from other people, and hopefully they can learn from me.”
Sanchez echoed Ruble’s thoughts, saying he’s looking forward to representing Central High School and the Grand Valley.
“We know we are going there to compete,” Sanchez said. “For me, this could be the last time I play football, so I’m going all out.”
Sanchez said he isn’t planning on playing at the next level, but Ruble is going to Adams State College this fall for football. The two players are both defensive backs, and anticipate playing together one final time.
“We’ve been good friends since we’ve been at Central,” Ruble said. “Finding out Vandon was going was a big bonus.”
The players are holding a benefit yard sale on Friday and Saturday during the day at 427 1/2 Dover Court, as a fundraiser for the trip.