High-SchoolCalifornia: SPARQ Rating
May, 2, 2012
By Mark Tennis | ESPN.com
Scott Kurtz/ESPNHSThe late Junior Seau watches his daughter Sydney play volleyball on March 18, 2012.Death of one of the all-time best NFL linebackers brings back a ton of memories from his high school days and beyond. He was the original Cal-Hi Sports grid-hooper and the prototype for the modern-day SPARQ Rating.
Junior Seau, the former San Diego Chargers’ linebacker who died on Wednesday at age 43 from a gunshot wound that's being investigated as a suicide, can legitimately be called one of the best high school athletes from San Diego ever and one of the best three-sport athletes in California history.
“He’s probably the best multi-sports athlete I’ve seen from San Diego,” said Steve Brand, who has covered high school sports for the San Diego Union-Tribune for four decades. “Everybody around here is just crushed. We’ll never know what he would have done. We’ll all miss out on what wisdom he might have passed along to some of the kids here.”
Seau also has always had a special place in our hearts because he agreed to be photographed for the very first cover of Cal-Hi Sports magazine despite the date being just two days before the 1990 NFL Draft. Cal-Hi Sports magazine later became Student Sports, which in 2008 became part of ESPN’s high school network. Seau also appeared on a cover for California Football Magazine in 1986 with several other top California high school seniors.