INDIAN LAND — It’s not every year that a long established football program breaks new ground, but that is what the Indian Land Warriors are doing.
Indian Land added it first ever home school player to its roster for the 2013 football season in wide receiver Tyler Blue.
Blue, 16, is a senior and is home schooled by his parents Laura and Tim Blue. The state now allows home school students to play high school sports at the high school within their school district. Blue is the first to take advantage of this opportunity with Indian Land.
“It is exciting that they are allowed that now,” Laura said.
Blue has always been home schooled, but has always carried on an active athletics life as well. He played Pop Warner and then for the Carolina Pride, a high school-age football team that is made up of private and home school students.
The Blues never sent Tyler to public schools because they found it hard with Tim’s job as a traveling evangelist.
“We couldn’t really put him in one school,” Laura said.
Now that Tim is off the road and a full-time pastor at Independent Bible Baptist Church in Charlotte, the opportunity is there for Tyler to go to school, but he prefers being home schooled.
“I’m not missing out because I know everybody and interact with them, just outside of school,” he said. “If anything, I feel I have an upper hand because I don’t have to worry about the downside of going to a public school.”
Blue said he has made a lot of friends by playing sports in the Lancaster County Recreation Dept. leagues in Indian Land. But because he couldn’t play with them at the high school level, he was always missing out on that experience.
“I have been waiting on it for a while,” he said. “I have always wanted to play with them .. so I can play with my friends, but still have the liberty of being home schooled.”
And having Blue on the high school team isn’t just for show for Indian Land said head coach Michael Mayer.
“He is a good athlete,” Mayer said. “He is going to be on the field for us. The only difference about his is just that you don’t see him in the building. He is a good kid and a hard worker.”
Blue said he is glad he can now play at the public school level. He said the atmosphere will be different playing this year.
“I love the hype with the stadium and the fans,” he said. “That is why I came to Indian Land so I could be a part of what goes on here. I like the competitiveness of the game and being on a team. My teammates are like family.”