NEAC Student-Athlete Spotlight: Daniel Sparkowski, Morrisville State

NEAC Student-Athlete Spotlight: Daniel Sparkowski, Morrisville State

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - Each week throughout the fall semester, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight student-athletes from one of the conference's member institutions through a brief Q & A. Female student-athletes will be featured each Thursday followed by a male student-athlete spotlight each Friday. Today, we catch up with Daniel Sparkowski from Morrisville State.

Name: Daniel Sparkowski
Sport(s):
 Men's Soccer
Hometown: East Meadow, N.Y.

What is your current class year and major?

I am currently a sophomore and I am a Criminal Justice major.

Why did you choose to attend Morrisville State?

What got me to attend Morrisville State was the hands-on curriculum that the college offers. I am a hands-on learner and the Criminal Justice program was just that. Also having most, if not all, of my professors being ex-law enforcement is really great. They pass on their knowledge and experiences to help us succeed in our future careers. The soccer program here was also a big reason why I came to Morrisville State.

What does it mean to you to be a member of the Morrisville State men's soccer team?

Being a member of this program gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. It makes me look back at all the hard work and dedication I made to the sport in my early years. Many players do not get a chance to say they play of the collegiate level and I am very fortunate to say that I have that opportunity today in such a fantastic program. I am extremely proud to represent Morrisville State soccer not only around campus but in my hometown as well.

If you could pick one favorite moment at Morrisville State, what would it be?

It definitely would be my first college win. It was my first home game on Drake Field and it was a night game under the lights. We had played a tough game against Utica College and we would come away with a 1-0 victory. I can remember the crowd cheering and myself running to my goalkeeper, who was also a freshman at the time, to celebrate. I still picture that moment like it was yesterday and it's something I'll never forget.

What are your career aspirations or future goals?

I would like to be a Counterterrorism Officer in New York City for the NYPD.

Are you involved in additional activities, clubs, etc. on campus outside of athletics?

Yes, I am a volunteer firefighter for the Morrisville Fire Department with aspirations to become an EMT on top of being a firefighter. I am also an Admissions Ambassador for Morrisville State's admissions office and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President for the Mustangs.

Give us three words that best describe being a Division III student-athlete. 

Awesome, Challenging, Rewarding

What is your pregame routine? Any superstitions? 

Before a game I will usually put in headphones and listen to music to get me pumped up for the game and in the right mindset. I don't really have any superstitions. I just go out and play a hard-fought game.

Share with us some of your favorites:

Food: Pierogis

Professional Team or Player: Chelsea FC

Movie: Saving Private Ryan

Class at Morrisville State: Crime Scene Management and Investigation

Finally, what makes you #NEACStrong? 

What I feel makes me #NEACStrong is my leadership skills. I feel that I am a strong leader on and off the field and I try to get the best out of my fellow teammates so that we can compete at the highest level possible. I will do anything for my teammates and I know they will do the same for me if needed. I try to set the best examples even when no one is looking. It sounds like a cliché but it is something I truly live by and have been brought up with. Having this mindset allows me to translate it to my teammates and gives me the opportunity to be an effective leader in the program. I am #NEACStrong.

To learn more about Morrisville State and Mustangs athletics, visit morrisvillestateathletics.com.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.