GLENWOOD SPRINGS — High school football season might be over in Colorado, but the season seems to still be going strong for Glenwood Springs High School freshman Dante Sparaco.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound freshman at GSHS will get to continue playing football this winter but on a larger stage than Stubler Memorial Field. Sparaco has been selected to play in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Jan. 5, and it’s one of four high-school football events he’ll take part in that include players from around the United States.
“I’m pretty excited because this is such an awesome opportunity,” Sparaco said. “This gives me a chance to show people what I can do in front of a big audience, and I’m really looking forward to that.”
Sparaco, who played quarterback and defensive end for the Demons last season, will have an itinerary filled with chances to play football against some of the top young high school football players in the country. He’ll also get a chance to participate in the Under Armor All-American Combine on Jan. 1 in St. Petersburg, Fla., play in the national under-16 All-American Game through USA football on Feb. 7, and participate in the Blue/Gray All-American Combine in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 11.
It’s a long offseason list of places to go for Sparaco, who has recently seen plenty of interest from FBS college football programs. He’s hoping to make the most of the opportunities he’s been given to show some of those schools what he’s capable of.
“I think the general attitude is that people think that since I’m big, I can’t move,” Sparaco said. “Going to all of these will gave me a chance to show just how fast I actually am.”
Sparaco served as a backup quarterback to the Demons’ three-year senior starter, Travis Lundin. He completed 2-of-5 passed for 40 yards, but finished with 102 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries. He was a full-time starter for the Demons at defensive end, however, finishing with 67 tackles — 34 of them solo — three quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery.
The Glenwood freshman, however, is leaning more towards playing quarterback. He’s drawn interest in that position from several schools around the country, including Notre Dame, Stanford and, more regionally, Colorado State. He’s made unofficial visits to each of those schools, and he was on the sideline for the Notre Dame/Stanford football game on Nov. 30.
Other schools which have shown interest, according to his dad, Dean Sparaco, include UCLA and Oregon State.
These aren’t the first offseason football activities Sparaco has taken part in. This past summer, he played quarterback for Team USA in the U-15 All-American Game, which was played against Team Canada in Canton, Ohio. He scored the only touchdown of the game on a 5-yard scoring run during Team USA’s 7-0 victory over Canada.
That doesn’t take anything away from his excitement to play in the Alamodome, however.
“This is definitely right up there,” Sparaco said. “That’s a place where people have played for national championships, and I’ll bet the atmosphere there is going to be really intense. I’m really looking forward to it.”