Nansemond Suffolk Pop Warner founder honored

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For 13 years, Nansemond Suffolk Pop Warner Football has had only one president, the organization’s founder, David Birdsong.

Following this fall’s seasons for the seven Saint football teams, Birdsong decided to step away from leading the NSPWF.

Soon after, board members of the organization met, including Steve Goldberg, who was elected the new president of Nansemond Suffolk Pop Warner at the meeting.

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“There were 15 of us at the meeting,” said Goldberg, “it took all of us adding something to what we do to make up for all the jobs David was doing himself.”

On Thursday night at the Lee-Jordan Clubhouse in Suffolk, NSPWF held its annual Dad’s Night. The night is always an opportunity for the dads to get together, share some food and drink, and share stories.

This year, it had more significance as Dad’s Night was a chance for Birdsong to give his thoughts about, certainly not leaving the organization, but allowing others to take over the leadership. It was also a chance for other parents and coaches to show their appreciation for Birdsong’s 13 years of volunteering.

“It’s scary when one of your former players calls you, one, when he graduates high school, to say, ‘Hey coach I’m graduating.’ Then two, he calls you to tell you that he’s got two job offers after graduating college and wants your advice, and three, he calls to tell you that (he’s getting engaged),” said Birdsong.

Birdsong was presented with two awards. First, a golden whistle for his dedication to the program; and second, Steve Birdsong awarded David the inaugural David J. Birdsong Leadership Excellence Award.

The award will continue to honor those who made long-lasting contributions to Nansemond Suffolk Pop Warner Football.

“It’s not all about winning. It really is all about the kids,” said Goldberg.

“David always talks about (the organization’s motto) Pride, Respect, Love, Protect, Togetherness and that really is what the program’s about because of David.”

Goldberg’s been involved with NSPWF for four years and his son Jared was on the Tiny Mite team this past season.

“One thing that has made us successful is the support we’ve gotten from coaches and everyone,” said Birdsong. “I look across this room and see old timers and new folks.

“The support is the reason we’ve been so successful.

“I just want to make sure things keep going. It’s hard to step back, but it’s also good to let others get involved. My dad’s the same way with everything and if I had a whistle I’d give it to him. “