It’s about a month ago, and I’m reading a story by Chapel Fowler in the Fayetteville Observer titled, “Video creators at North Carolina high schools lead the way in online recruiting.”
It details the social media creators for prep athletic programs across the state producing videos and more.
It’s an interesting piece, and I highly recommend it.
It got me thinking about social media accounts for our local teams, athletes and coaches.
We’ve got room to grow, to put it kindly, but there are some standouts.
And so, with the first games of the school year starting Monday, it feels like a good time to hand out some awards for best county athletic social media accounts.
He wears many hats as the East Carteret athletic director, basketball coach and baseball coach, but he also has time to produce the best social media content in the county.
His TikTok account, @griffdawg11, features high production values, lip-syncing, dancing, dancing with dogs and fishing.
On the downside, it’s mostly about charter fishing and has little to do with high school sports, but it’s totally worth it.
He’s produced 147 videos and has over 12,600 followers.
Dr. Rob Jackson
No offense to the Carte-ret County Schools Superintendent, but there wasn’t much to pick from here.
It’s a little lacking online around these parts.
That isn’t to take anything away from Dr. Jackson.
He’s a big supporter of county athletics, and you’ll often see him on a sideline, even if it’s a road playoff game hundreds of miles away.
Hardly a day goes by without him tweeting from his @Dr_Rob_Jackson account highlighting an achievement from a team or student-athlete.
He’ll even get fancy with graphics now and then.
Top Alumni Account
The former West Carteret volleyball standout has reached influencer status with 2.4 million followers for her @tulevech TikTok account.
I don’t know how to de-scribe it other than to put it like this: she’s tall, she has a unique voice, and she likes to yell … a lot.
There are 804 videos, so there’s plenty of content to entertain you.
West Carteret sweeps these awards.
The 16-time state champion cross country and track and field runner is more education than entertainment on her Twitter account @dodgeblake.
She’s a senior healthcare reporter at Insider, focused on big tech and digital health.
You can peruse some of her work for the site, including a scoop on Apple tap-ping its watch mastermind Kevin Lynch to work on self-driving cars.
The runner-up to this runner-up came in the form of former West athletes J.J. Williams, Josh Williams and Jalani Jones.
The three have generated a big following on TikTok with 1.1 million following J.J. Williams, @juucyj, near-ly 515,000 following Josh Williams,@dvojosh, and over 460,000 following Jones, @jalanijones.
If you like short videos of dancing … dancing … dancing … and even more dancing … those are the accounts for you.
One-Hit Wonder Account
At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, the West Carteret physical education department put out a YouTube video titled “PE PSA.”
It was released on the Daniel Barrow Jr. account, which now has four subscribers.
I don’t care if the ac-count has just a few videos, that’s a criminally low number for the West Carteret football coach.
The video has 1,926 views, which isn’t shabby, but again, it’s criminal how low that number is.
It shows members of the West PE department encouraging folks to stay fit and stay healthy during lockdown by changing up their routines.
Barrow is seen playing chess, planting azaleas, doing baby curls, perform-ing bed sheet battle ropes and playing disinfectant Frisbee.
It’s comedic gold … absolute gold.
Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David in their primes have hardly produced as many laughs.
But, alas, it was a one-hit wonder.
Barrow came and went as fast as Jeremy Lin.
I guess it was our version of Dansanity.
To be fair to Barrow, and the rest of the county, I can relate.
Each new school year, I have grand plans to post more to Instagram and to create a TikTok account.
And, yet, I’ve posted to Instagram 33 times in the past eight years – almost every photo is taken in Au-gust or September – and there is still no TikTok ac-count.
Creating social media content can be a lot of work, and for most of us, the day job gets in the way.
And to be even more fair to Barrow and the rest of the county, there are some solid accounts out there.
Each of the county high school athletic booster clubs have Facebook accounts, and each do a good job of highlighting the work of their teams and student-athletes.
West football, @WCPatriotFB, East football, @ECMarinerFB, Croatan boys soccer, @Croatanfutbol and Croatan baseball, @BaseballCroatan are probably the best team accounts on Twitter.
West social media accounts get the nod for the best tagline, “Go Patriots! Go America!” It’s just snappy.
A lot of team accounts have been dormant for years. Most egregiously, the student spirit accounts are also dormant.
The Patriot Militia has two accounts. One, @MilitiaWchs, hasn’t posted since January 2020, while the other, @PatriotMilitia, hasn’t posted since September 2016.
The Croatan Crazies (@Croatan_Crazies) hasn’t tweeted since April 2018.
And I can’t even find the Mariner Maniacs on there.
Perhaps we’ll all do better in 2021-2022 … or not.
Like I noted, creating social media content is a lot of work. Maybe we’re all doing the best we can, and that’s good enough.
(Send comments or questions to email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)