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Catawba Nation to bless Indian Land High School football stadium

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By Jenny Hartley

INDIAN LAND – Friday will be a very special night of football for the Indian Land High School Warriors, win or lose.

Indian Land High School’s stadium will be dedicated Friday at 7 p.m., which marks the first home game for the Warriors this season.Members of the Catawba Indian Nation will be on hand to give the stadium, nicknamed “The Reservation,” Indian Land High School and the Warriors a traditional Indian blessing. Indian dancers and drummers are scheduled to perform.Indian Land Booster Club member John Mace helped spearhead the ceremony. His son, Johnny, a sophomore, plays middle linebacker on the school’s junior varsity squad.Mace said the idea for the dedication came about during a brainstorming session with booster club president Dave Helms. Mace thought it would be a good idea to paint the long walls lining the stadium with “The Reservation.”But Mace wanted to make sure he was being politically correct, so he called Catawba Indian Nation Tribe Chief Donald Rogers.Rogers loved the idea and he and his tribal council asked to hold the ceremony. Tribe members will perform a traditional hoop dance.“They take it as a pride issue,” Mace said of the Catawbas. “They’re looking at it like it’s a continuation of their heritage.”The area known as Indian Land along the Catawba River was once the ancient home and hunting grounds of Catawba Indians, before European settlers moved into the area. The Catawba Indian Nation reservation is now located in York County.Friday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. The Warriors host the Eagles of Central Pageland.WBTV’s “Football Friday Night” will broadcast live there at 6 p.m. The game is slated to be the featured game of the week on the 11:30 p.m. show, Mace said.ILHS athletics director and head football coach Mike Mayer hopes the community will come out and show its Warrior pride.“We will be the featured game on ‘Friday Night Football’ at 11:30 p.m.,” Mayer said. “I hope we have a sell-out crowd.”

– Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at 283-1151