MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – WCCO has added a new member to its High School Sports Rally team, and her primary function will be to pick a winner for one game each week.

For the first installment, “Sparky the Sea Lion” from the Como Zoo has to choose the winner of Rosemount and Lakeville North, two undefeated teams who are both ranked in the top 10 in Class 5A.

Two footballs were introduced to “Sparky” this week, one with Lakeville North colors the other with Rosemount colors. We waited patiently, then finally the star made its entrance, like stars do. Her job was to pick a winner for the contest.

It’s another chapter in the life of a famous sea lion. She is in her prime at just more than two decades old and is the start at the Como Zoo.

“She could with healthcare the way that it is nowadays, she could go into her early 30s. She gets very well-priced care here at Como Zoo,” said her trainer Allison Jungheim.

“Sparky is an icon at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory,” said Como Zoo Marketing Coordinator Matt Reinartz. “It’s been around for 55 years. Maxie you remember the Sparky show when you were little, and I remember the Sparky show when I was litte.”

But you have to understand that she’s a little temperamental.

“She has her moods. She’s a little princess when she wants to be,” Jungheim said.

“Sparky” has watched extensive tape of both Lakeville North and Rosemount, studying the complexities of each offense and defense.

There have been plenty of nerves leading up to this moment, which she tries to calm by frolicking in the water. She stepped up and delivered who she thinks will be Friday night’s winner.

Without hesitation and with supreme confidence, “Sparky” picked Rosemount to stay undefeated and beat Lakeville North. She feels confident about her first pick.

“Sparky” will be featured every week through the rest of the regular season and our hope is to have her for the section playoffs and state tournament. Stay tuned, because anything is possible.

Sparky Picks Her First Winner

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