Rose Hill wrestling
Sparr, a senior, has had a successful career — he finished third in Class 4A as a freshman, second as a sophomore, third as a junior. But Sparr, ranked first at 119 pounds with a 29-2 record, badly wants a state title this weekend at Salina's Bicentennial Center.
How much do you want to win a state title?
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"If I don't get the state title, it feels like the year is a waste. I've been competing at a pretty high level for a lot of high school. I haven't been able to finish it off right in the prior years. I've lost to some really good kids, and you can't take anything away from them. There's been a lot of close matches. It's pretty disappointing to lose when you are so close.... I don't even think I could pick out one of the years (that hurt most). I lost in the semifinals twice in overtime and lost in the finals. They all hurt, they all hurt."
Were you injured at state in 2009?
"I actually dislocated and tore a bunch of stuff (in my right shoulder) in my semifinals match and wrestled the next day on it. I favored my left arm completely. I didn't use my right arm to compete, had to really use my left arm. It just happened when I was getting torqued when it was on bottom. My elbow was on the other side of my head touching my ear."
You had surgery last year, how did that change your decisions this school year?
"I knew that I wasn't going to be able to play football as soon as I had surgery. I decided to play soccer.... I was a little disappointed; it was my senior year. But looking back, I got to play varsity soccer and we got third in (Class 4-1A). It was a blessing in disguise."
What was your goal with soccer?
"To make varsity. Then we had one of our best guys, Josh Campbell, get injured. They needed someone to step in there. They gave me a chance and after that I started to play a little better. There was no way I could fill in as good as he did, but I was trying to fill in for him."
What are your plans after high school?
"Hopefully to attend (Kansas) to study pre-med. The end result, I want to be a cardiovascular surgeon. My 21-year-old brother (Matt) has had three open-heart surgeries. I've always wanted to be a doctor because I've seen first-hand how you can make a difference in people's lives."