In the latest episode of Gopher Talk, Mike Grimm chats with Gopher Wrestling’s Andrew Sparks about his first collegiate season.
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.
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.”
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.
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 intermatwrestle.com