Madisonville eighth grader Ivey Merrell has stolen the show at Sequoyah High School football games.
With her headdress flowing behind her, she sprints onto the field leading the Chiefs atop her horse, Rising Sun. Both are dressed in full Native American dress, with Rising Sun painted in traditional symbols and war paint.
In a recent interview with Madisonville radio station, WGSM, Merrell said she got the idea and decided to volunteer.
A kid who has grown up around horses, Merrell was perfect for the role.
“As a tiny baby, my mom put me on horses with my dad,” Merrell said. “We have roughly three or four colts we’re working with right now, and we have several others we’re working with.”
Merrell punctuates her entrance to begin Sequoyah games by riding Rising Sun to midfield and stabbing a spear into the turf.
“I’ve practiced a lot at home and a few times here,” Merrell said of her signature move.
You can see Merrell and Rising Sun at Sequoyah’s next home game October 12 against East Ridge.