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Whitney to host SST’s SPARQ testing event

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Sports Specific Training in Rocklin will host a SPARQ testing combine May 17 at Whitney High. The combine will take place from 1-4 p.m. and registration is $20 for participants who signup by May 15. Walk-up registration May 17 is $25. SPARQ testing methods will include the 40-yard dash, shuttle test, chest power ball throw and vertical jump. SST, run by former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz and Steve Kenyon, has hosted SPARQ combines at Whitney for the last three years. The combine is open to athletes in all sports and to both boys and girls but most of the participants in the past have been football players. A couple of kids, including former Lincoln offensive lineman Kevin Youtsey (Sacramento State University), have earned football scholarships after being seen at a Whitney combine. There were 140 participants at the last combine at Whitney and Bunz hopes for more this time. “Steve and I are hoping for about 200 kids,” Bunz said. “Word is getting out there and coaches are saying I can get them to go test. It’s a place to measure yourself and to see where you (measure up). What a lot of coaches have said is they like getting their younger kids there and I like that to. With a junior or senior, the pressure is on. You only get one shot if you’re a senior. It’s better to be tested as a sophomore and then as a junior and each time you’re more relaxed.” Bunz has over 20 years of experience in teaching or coaching at the junior high, high school and college level. He attended Long Beach State and says he was SPARQ tested about 20 times a year from his sophomore year on while in college. He credits it with helping him become a first-round pick with the 49ers. Kenyon is a SPARQ certified trainer and the 1995 National High School Strength Coach of the Year. He coached high school teams to the CIF playoffs in three different decades. Visit www.sportsspecifictraining.com for more information on SST or the combine. Before the SPARQ testing combine there will be a Speed and Power Clinic at Whitney from 9 a.m. to noon. This will be run by SST and members of the Whitney High football staff. The clinic is being offered to all football and cheer members currently registered in the Whitney Junior Wildcats program or anyone interested in joining the program. Visit www.whitneyjrwildcats.com or email wjw@whitneyjrwildcats.com for more information on the clinic.