Letting it Fly: College visits await Glenwood QB Sparaco
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Dante Sparaco has a pretty busy travel itinerary this summer, but it’s not to the usual family vacation sites.
It spans three time zones and both coasts, from the San Francisco Bay area to the Florida panhandle. And suffice to say, he can’t wait to make the trips.
“I want to start building relationships with the coaches who are there,” the soon-to-be Glenwood Springs High School sophomore said. “I’d like to be able to show myself and spark some interest.”
Some interest has already been sparked in the Demons quarterback, who has gotten looks from Division I schools from the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. He’s also slated to play in the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge on July 12 in Jacksonville, Fla., an invitation-only camp reserved for players who are considered to be among the top players in the nation. He accepted his invitation on Friday night.
And considering all of that, it’s a pretty sure bet that he’ll be the top candidate for the Demons’ starting quarterback job come fall. He showed that on Friday at Stubler Memorial Field, where Glenwood hosted Hotchkiss, Roaring Fork and Basalt in a full-contact scrimmage to wrap up the spring practice sessions for the squads.
“Travis Lundin really helped me out last year,” Sparaco said of the Demon’s 2013 starting quarterback, who graduated this year. “I feel I’m ready to step into the starter position.”
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Sparaco, who was a starter as a freshman at defensive end for the Demons during Glenwood’s run to the Class 3A quarterfinals, made an unofficial visit to the University of Colorado in Boulder on June 1. On tap is a June 17 visit to Stanford, a visit to Notre Dame from June 22 to 23, and a trip to Colorado State in Fort Collins on July 25. He’s made previous visits to Stanford and Notre Dame in the past year.
Sparaco was able to show his versatility during Friday’s scrimmages. In a format where offenses were limited in the number of plays they ran, Sparaco finished the day with three long touchdown passes and scoring runs of 11 and 45 yards. He also showed he can shake off defenders in the pocket and can accelerate in the open field.
Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said that because of the running ability Sparaco has shown, the Demons will veer away from the spread-option look they’ve had in the past to more of a power-running, play-action passing look. That, however, doesn’t change the role that Sparaco will play as the Demons’ signal caller.
“He’s still just a young student, and there’s a lot going on there,” Whitworth said. “But there’s definitely some talent there, and he’s going to improve a lot. He knows it. The way we do our offense is not necessarily sophisticated, but he’ll have to make a lot of choices. He’ll improve.”
Roaring Fork also showed it could move the ball on offense, along with its ability to stop the run on defense. But the Rams, who are trying to post their first winning season since 2006, wore down as the day went on. That will be key for the Rams to work on during the offseason as they prepare to move from the 1A Western Slope League to the 2A WSL this season.
“We got punched in a mouth a little bit, but that’s OK,” Roaring Fork coach Tory Jensen said. “We’ll see who does what they’re supposed to do during the summer to get better.”
The first official day of practices for the 2014 football season is Aug. 11. Games begin as early as Aug. 22.
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