Native American Football Enjoys a Rebirth in South Dakota

In this photo provided by Zeke Prado, members of Lower Brule High School pose after a 48-36 victory at Red Cloud High School in Pine Ridge, S.D., Nov. 1, 2019. Lower Brule is among reservation football teams participating in a new All Nations Conference that helped give smaller schools a more competitive landscape this fall. (Tiauna Obago/Zeke Prado via AP)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Native American football is enjoying a rebirth in South Dakota thanks to a new league formed by smaller schools this fall.

The first All Nations Football Conference championship on Friday is giving players a chance to realize their dream of claiming a big victory at “the Dome” where championship games are decided in South Dakota.

Some schools say their teams have grown by as much as two-thirds since the conference gave them a more competitive environment. Two schools are fielding teams for the first time.

Supporters say the teams are giving students a reason to stay in school and out of trouble, while giving communities a reason to come together.

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