It all started as a way to have some fun – and to knit the community together.

Now, it’s one of the most popular ways to keep up with all things related to North Iredell High School. And throughout football season, it will be the place to keep up with the games and all the happenings around them.

The site is the go-to for students, parents, alum and community members. It stays on top of the news in the area. Earlier this summer, after former player Marquise Dukes drowned, it featured moving tributes to his memory.

Now, it will take a lighter turn as football season gets under way.

The site is the brainchild of Van Galliher, who maintains it throughout the year. He’s gotten more help as time passes, but during football he’ll be the one there with lighthearted pokes at the opponents – and celebration of the top Raider moments.

Galliher is part of the North Iredell Class of 1986 and a 1990 alumnus of Appalachian State.

He said the idea for the Facebook page dates back to around 2013, when he was a North Iredell student parent. His two children have since graduated – in 2015 and ’18. When his children started getting more involved a the school, so did Galliher.

He started out being involved in the North Iredell Raider Athletic Boosters and the North Iredell Raiders Capital Improvements Club.

He soon thought it would be fun to develop a fan page for the site.

“It just sounded like it was an easy thing to do to set up a page centered around all things Raider Nation,” he said.

And besides … “since it was free to do why not, right?,” he said.

Since then, things have taken off – and everyone jumped in.

“I found out really quickly I did not have to be at every event,” he said.

They developed a description of their mission:

Every day is a great day to be a RAIDER! Every day we give our all for NIHS! And Unofficial site Unaffiliated with ISS/NIHS, but dedicated to positive uplifting updates on all things North Iredell High School, home of the Might Raiders of Olin, North Carolina.

Galliher started recruiting “like-minded” friends and parents, or any alum or fan with news to post.

He has only two rules: Keep it positive and keep it related to the North Iredell Raiders.

So far, the edicts have been followed with little trouble.

Galliher has found the site to be a useful tool when it comes to communicating news quickly to other NIHS.

Once people get involved, he’s found they “get into the spirit and post as many things as possible to keep buzz going” about the school and its programs. Teachers and administrators have gotten involved. Facebook live videos from games and events have allowed those outside the area to continue to participate with the school. And, from time to time, a little good-natured ribbing between teams surfaces.

But it’s all done in fun – and all done with the overall positivity of the experience in mind.

So far, there hasn’t been a problem keeping that message at the forefront of the site.

“We’ve had very little to no negative comments or interactions, and we constantly monitor content to insure all things stay positive, encouraging, bragging, and full of school pride for North Iredell Raiders,” Galliher states.

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