DOVER — So the story goes that, back when her parents were trying to pick a name for their daughter, Superia Clark’s mom was working for the attorney general’s office.
Her father first suggested the name Superior — as in a ‘superior court justice’ — but her mom thought it was a little too much.
Instead, they came up with ‘Superia’ as something of a compromise.
Now a 17-year-old getting ready to start her senior year at Dover High, Clark said she’s long since gotten used to her name. Besides, nobody really calls her by her full name anyway.
“I have a million nicknames,” said Clark. “They call me ‘Supe, Supey.’ They’re pretty cool about it.
“People say, ‘Oh Superia, you’ve got to be superior.’ But I don’t take it that much to mind. It’s just my name.”
The name does seem to fit, though.
A first-team All-Stater in both lacrosse and field hockey, Clark is also an honor roll student in the classroom. After the spring season, she became the first Dover High female player to be named All-American in lacrosse.
And she’s verbally committed to Syracuse, which just lost in the NCAA Division I national championship game this past season.
Despite that success, Senators’ lacrosse coach Molly Phillips describes Clark as “humble, looks to get her teammates involved and is coachable.”
“Superia is extremely athletic,” said Phillips. “She has the ability to take over games. Superia controls the midfield and the attack. She is also a great defender.”
Clark takes the All-American honor in stride.
“I hope I’m not the last — I know I’m not going to be,” she said. “So I know there’s girls coming up who are going to be better or just as good. I’m excited for them, too.”
Of course, Clark has had to work hard to accomplish the things she has.
Her summer has been spent playing in camps and tournaments around the Mid-Atlantic region. Even with her college choice locked up, there’s always a strong push for any college athlete to keep getting better.
Clark, who’s played for a club team based in Rehoboth, will be playing in a camp with other Syracuse recruits in a couple weeks.
“It is very exciting,” she said. “I met a couple girls a couple weeks ago at DE Turf. They were super sweet. I’m very excited for the future.
“I know I have huge shoes to fill (at Syracuse). You can never not get better. I just know that I have a lot more work to do. I have great girls, great players to look up to also.”
Of course, Clark is a pretty good player in her own right.
As a junior, she poured in 72 goals with 10 assists as Dover went 12-4. She also collected 47 draw controls, 62 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers.
Phillips said Clark’s speed really makes a big difference on the field.
“She is good right and left shooting and moving the ball,” said Phillips. “She takes the draw or gains possession from the circle. Superia is super fast and uses it to move the ball up the field, on free positions, and driving to goal.”
All those accomplishments as an athlete haven’t stopped Clark from wanting to succeed just as much in the classroom. She wants to major in something involving chemistry when she gets to Syracuse.
Clark said the fact that mer mother, Tiffany Smith, is now a teacher at Central Middle School is only part of that equation.
“I never get time off where I’m not doing school work,” Clark said with a laugh. “I’m like my own coach. I’m always pushing myself. But she (Smith) is always there to make sure that I’m not falling behind.”
As much as Clark is looking forward to the future, she’s not in a hurry to be done with high school. Like most kids her age, getting ready to start her senior has made her feel nostalgic.
“I’m kind of sad about it,” said Clark. “I don’t want to leave high school. I love the memories that I’ve made and my teammates and my school.”
The start of pre-season camp is only a few weeks away for Clark and her Dover field hockey teammates.
“I’m still very excited for field hockey,” she said. “It’s my senior year. I want to go out there and have fun but still be a competitive player and help my teammates and myself get better.”