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Meet the superfans: Riverside official steps in to cheer on players
Juan Christiansen is the admissions officer at Riverside Military Academy and attends as many sporting events at the school as he can. - photo by Tom Reed

What is a superfan? On Fridays throughout football season, The Times will profile extreme fans of each team in Hall County.

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Juan Christiansen is the dedicated fan for the parents who can’t be.

As a former student at the school, the admissions officer at Riverside Military Academy understands the transient nature of the school’s student population who live away from their families to attend the school.

Christiansen attends as many Riverside sporting events as he can. And on Friday nights in the fall, Christiansen usually can be found working the chains and volunteering any way he can at Riverside’s football games.

"One of the things (about) being in this kind of institution is, a lot of parents aren’t here," Christiansen said. "...We have a very diverse group of students, and sometimes they don’t have that support from family members ... and any kind of support you can show to them, it helps out."

A 1997 Riverside graduate, Christiansen said he benefited from the support of the school’s staff when he played soccer, basketball and football there.

Hanging on his wall is some of the evidence of those benefits — an award for being an outstanding senior football player and an award for a demonstration of leadership, loyalty and dedication to the school.

"The coaches and the faculty and staff members were very involved back then," Christiansen said. "...That’s kind of just keeping this as tradition. Everybody here supports each other. ... It’s just kind of something I was always used to seeing faculty and staff members out supporting us."

Today, he says he’s just giving back what was given to him.

"In this environment, you become a little more of a close-knit family," he said.