Harnessing the power of social networking

Published 8:37 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Though Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football’s David Gough won Player of the Week last Sunday with a record amount of votes, runner-up Zach Pauley of First Baptist Christian’s soccer team had a vote tally that bears mentioning, too. His 647 votes surpassed the previous record by 196 and came about largely due to Stacy Pauley, soccer commissioner for the Suffolk Youth Athletic Association, who marshaled her social contacts made in the soccer world to help promote her son’s success.

The Suffolk News-Herald’s Player of the Week promotion has revealed the power of social networking. Even Suffolk’s smaller schools have had chances to have their players highlighted because of the efforts of students, parents and faculty to get friends and family to vote online at www.suffolknewsherald.com, on the newspaper’s Facebook page and via emails to sports@suffolknewsherald.com.

Friday night’s cross-town game between Nansemond River and Lakeland was a cross-family game in the Super household.

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Reader Alison Super recently submitted some sports-related information to the paper, and given her name, it was not hard to deduce that she was mother to a certain Lakeland quarterback. On the other hand, tracing her connection to her daughter, despite having the same last name, might have been confusing without her explanation.

“Yes, my son is Zach Super,” she wrote in an email last Saturday. “My daughter’s name is Kristina Super and she is a 10th grade varsity cheerleader at Nansemond River. She is in the (Project Lead The Way) Engineering Program at Nansemond River, and that is why she is at a different school. We are looking forward to this Friday’s game at Lakeland, because they will both be there together, but on opposing teams!”

Sister and brother weighed in on their unique situation on Friday night.

“Well, he is my brother, so I support him 100 percent, but I also support my team as well,” Kristina Super said. “It’s confusing and complicated. I sometimes get caught up in the moment, and I kind of start cheering for Lakeland, but then I kind of stop, remember my place.”

“It’s pretty weird, but she is my sister,” Zach Super said. “I gave her a hug before the game and I wished her luck, to tell her I love her. Basically, it is what it is. She’s over there, I’ll root for her, I’m not going to root for the team, but I love my sister, and I’m going to root for her with all my heart.”

Alison Super sought to highlight the performance of not only her daughter, but Suffolk cheering, in general.

“The cheerleaders at all the high schools work extremely hard at practice every day after school and do a great job supporting their team,” she wrote. “This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the (Southeastern District varsity cheerleading tournament) and was amazed at how wonderful Nansemond River, Lakeland, and King’s Fork High School performed. The teams should all be very proud of themselves.”

The Nansemond River varsity cheerleaders also performed in the regional competition at Churchland High School last Saturday.