The student news source of Iowa City West High

More than a name

January 20, 2022

Serafim Surguladze: a name that stands out.  

Seh·ruh·fim Sur·goo·lad·zay 

Names can often reveal a lot about a person, including their heritage, familial connections and history. Freshman Serafim Surguladze’s name holds a specific cultural meaning.

“My name is kind of confusing,” Surguladze said. “Some people just look at it and say ‘Really? What? Where’s that from?’”

Surguladze’s love for football began after he watched a Carolina Panthers game. (Sila Duran)

Surguladze’s name “Serafim” can be traced back to his place of birth: Moscow, Russia. He was named after the Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov. Although Surguladze’s name has Russian origins, he comes from a multicultural home, with his dad being Georgian and his mom being Ukrainian.

At the age of 2, Surguladze moved from Russia to Iowa. He continues to speak Russian at home while living in America.

Surguladze’s name is not the only thing that defines him; one major part of his life is playing football. For some, football is just a sport — people running around, tackling each other. For Surguladze, it has been a source of growth and learning. 

He first connected with the sport when he watched the Carolina Panthers play against the Denver Broncos at a friend’s house.

“Ever since I watched [that game], I just always wanted to be a football player.” 

As he watches each game, he remembers what the sport is all about.

“I love seeing [the Panthers] play,” Surguladze said. “Sometimes they lose, but everyone loses in life.” 

Now, he plays for the junior varsity football team at West and hopes to continue playing in the future. 

“I want to keep playing, trying to get better and better every single day.”

I want to keep playing, trying to get better and better every single day.”

— Serafim Surguladze ’25

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