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November 6, 2012

Family sparks Sparks

Broncho’s senior lineman credits success to family

CENTRAL HIGH — Character is like good soup, it’s best homemade.

For Central High senior lineman Jarrett Sparks, his character comes from the support of his family and the world of sports in general.

Now through blood, sweat and tears, along with hard work and determination this senior is going to fulfill a dream he thought would never happen: Playing in the high school football playoffs.

“Two years ago when we went to the playoffs, I wasn’t able to play because of an ankle injury,” Sparks said. “My family was waiting for me after the game last week and they are as happy as I am. I’m going to get to play in the playoffs for the first time and they’re going to get to watch me.”

While most players look at injuries as a hindrance, all they do in the world of Jarrett Sparks is provide motivation.

“I don’t really have to dig for my drive,” Sparks said. “You can worry about injuries after the game. Injuries are what drives me during the game, because I’m playing for my team not for myself. No pain, no gain.”

To fully understand Jarrett Sparks, you only need to look at who his siblings are.

His twin sister Christa is the starting pitcher on the Lady Bronchos softball team, and is a  a player on the Lady Bronchos basketball team. Jarrett’s younger sister Kylee, is also a member of the Lady Bronchos junior high softball team.

Plus, Jarrett’s dad was a standout pitcher for the Marlow Outlaws back in high school. In addition, Jarrett is a pitcher for the Broncho baseball team.

“We eat, sleep and think about sports,” Sparks said. “Most families take vacations during the summer, we’re somewhere playing baseball or softball. I’m either playing or watching my sisters. That’s all we do during the year is play sports and support one another in doing so.”

While they might play two different sports, Jarrett said Christa and he share a special bond during their respective seasons, and she has even shared advice with him about the playoffs.  

“Christa is the nice girl and doesn’t like to criticize anyone,” he said. “Me on the other hand I’ll tell her what she’s done wrong before I tell her good job. She’s told me that it’s a lot different when you go to the playoffs. There’s extra pressure and drive to do better. Once you get there if you lose then it’s over.”

Speaking of playoffs, Central High’s reward for earning the final playoff berth is a trip to top-ranked and undefeated Laverne Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

“Laverne does a lot of little things right all around,” Central High coach Darren Lamar said. “Their execution plus the depth they have really turns into an avalanche. If you don’t play well against them they will make you pay for it.”

A key element for the Bronchos success will be the play of the offensive and defensive line, as well as the overall play of Jarrett Sparks.

“He’s going to have to be the guy keeping everyone motivated,” Lamar said. “All season long he’s been the heart and soul of this team. I can only do so much with timeouts, so he’s going to have to help lead in both huddles.”

Jarrett added he has respect for Laverne, and he’ll be ready to play Friday night.

“They’re a good, solid football team,” he said. “When you do little things wrong they capitalize on them. That’s why they’re 10-0 and haven’t been beaten yet. We need to have good technique all around and be ready to play.”

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