Summer Sit-Down w/ Andrew Sparks

The true sophomore talks with GopherSports about his road to recovery and his path to reaching his true potential

As one of the most intriguing stories in college wrestling, Andrew Sparks jumped onto the scene in 2021 during his first season in the Maroon & Gold. Kicking off his collegiate career with a top-10 win, Sparks posted an impressive 8-1 regular-season record before a postseason riddled with injuries derailed what could have been a promising end to the young Gopher’s freshman campaign.

Now on the road to recovery, Sparks is already looking forward to making an even larger impact in the lineup next season, persistent on the idea that his best is only yet to come. Continue reading at →

Meet the Gopher Freshmen: Andrew Sparks

Most people would not have picked Andrew Sparks to win in his state title match last season, but in Andrew’s mind, it was all a part of the plan. The Costa Mesa, California native capped off his astronomical rise in the high school wrestling scene by defeating top 5-nationally ranked Cael Valencia in the California state finals via a decisive 7-1 decision (Watch on Youtube).

In turn, the once unknown grappler, who didn’t start wrestling until 8th grade, quickly became one of the most highly touted recruits in the late stages of the Class of 2020 recruiting cycle, and after signing with the University of Minnesota in April, Sparks now has the opportunity to compete for an NCAA Division I wrestling program.

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Gophers add California State Champion Andrew Sparks

The Gophers Wrestling program is pleased to announce the addition of 2020 California State Champion Andrew Sparks to the 2024 recruiting class.

Sparks underwent a meteoric rise in the wrestling community as he went from a nonplacing competitor to the state champion in 2020 as he knocked off then-No.2 Cael Valencia. Plus, the middleweight prospect also took home the title at “Battle for the Belt” and took bronze at the “Doc B.”

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The Guillotine – April 17, 2020

The April 17, 2020 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Featured content in this issue includes: Committed to Football, With a Little Help from Wrestling – Craig Orlando | Uncommon Passion, Uncommon Results – Patrick Kennedy | One-on-One with Andrew Sparks | The Guillotine High School Pound-For-Pound Class Rankings | Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Awards | A Team From Top to Bottom – Minneota Wrestling.

More content in this issue: Lace ‘Em Up – The Pandemic Experience | MWCA Report | Camps and Training Opportunities | Ask The Doc | Performance Nutrition – Staying fit during COVID 19.

View this issue below.

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One-on-One with Andrew Sparks

Andrew Sparks capped off an outstanding senior season at Calvary Chapel High School in California by claiming a title at the CIF State Wrestling Championships. Sparks defeated Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco), one of the nation’s top wrestlers, in the state finals at 160 pounds.

Sparks’ run to the state title solidified him as one of the nation’s top 160-pounders and caught the attention of many of the nation’s top college wrestling programs. On April 6, Sparks announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota. InterMat recently caught up with the Gopher commit.

What has life been like for you since being in quarantine during this pandemic?

Sparks: It’s been tough, especially for me because I wasn’t able to take any recruiting trips to help me make my decision. Continue reading at