The 18-year-old varsity quarterback for the Calallen Wildcats pleaded "not guilty" to one count of public intoxication recently, stemming from his arrest on Sept. 26.
Court records show Tanner Sparks entered the plea in the Corpus Christi Municipal Court. Sparks is facing a $360 fine for the charge, which is a Class C Misdemeanor, court officials said.
According to the arrest report filed with the Corpus Christi Police Department, an officer was patrolling the downtown area of the city at about 2 a.m. Sept. 26 when he noticed several people standing in a parking lot next to a pickup truck. According to the report, as the officer approached the vehicle, three young men ran away from the truck and hid behind other vehicles in the parking lot. The officer reportedly found Sparks crouched behind a car and noticed he was unsteady on his feet. Sparks' eyes were also red and glassy and there was a distinct smell of alcohol on his breath, according to the report.
Sparks reportedly told the officer that he and his friends were downtown celebrating his 18th birthday. He was placed under arrest after the officer determined Sparks "was a danger to himself and others," according to the report.
The case is still pending in the Corpus Christi Municipal Court, according to court records.
Athletic Director and head football coach Phil Danaher declined to comment Thursday on whether the team has taken any disciplinary action against Sparks. He did say, however, that the Nueces County Record Star should "be prepared for a lawsuit" if any article was written about the arrest.
The quarterback did not start the Wildcats' Oct. 1 game against the Moody Trojans, but was allowed to return to the game in the second half. At the time of that game, Danaher was quoted in other media outlets as stating that Sparks' absence from the game was not for any disciplinary reasons.