Football Players From 1963 Championship Team at Segregated High School Connect With Next Generation on Newly Renovated Field

Dominion Energy Spearheads Major Upgrades on Historic Field Known as "Dust Bowl"


CAYCE, S.C. (Nov. 22, 2022) – Thanks to support from Dominion Energy and other community partners, alums of the formerly segregated Lakeview High School in West Columbia gathered at their old field Tuesday to celebrate its future for the next generation. It was exactly 59 years after they won the school's last state football championship before integration.

The Tigers rolled undefeated through their 1963 schedule while outscoring their opponents 511-24, despite playing home games on a sandy and sloped field that lacked the resources of other schools in the district.

To commemorate the major victory – and to reinforce their ongoing commitment to the underserved communities in the area – Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center (BLEC), Dominion Energy and other project partners dedicated the newly renovated athletic field in a special event with members of the championship team. This featured the ceremonial passing of a football from a Tiger alumn to a Tiger youth football player and a bullhorn from a former Lakeview cheerleader to a youth cheerleader – a symbolic blessing of the next generations who will utilize the field.

About 300 youth on the West Columbia Tigers Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team still use the 61-year-old field, which had been called the “dust bowl” over the years. It had begun showing its age and did not have any lights. With help from Dominion Energy, the historic athletic field now features new turf, an irrigation system, and walking track and lighting.

“The newly renovated athletic field is the result of many years of working, waiting and praying,” said Rev. Charles Jackson, pastor of Brookland Baptist Church and honorary BLEC board member. “It is a testament that God's delay is not God's denial.”

Lakeview closed during racial integration in 1968. Jackson, who attended Lakeview, led BLEC's efforts to purchase the former school and convert it into a community center. Alums are working with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to place the former school on the National Register of Historic Places.

When he learned about BLEC's renovation plans, Dominion Energy South Carolina President Kellar Kissam wanted to help. Employee volunteers and company in-kind donations contributed to the labor to grade the field and install six light poles for night games.

“Lakeview helped shape many leaders who played an important role in this community long after it closed,” Kissam said. “Its legacy continues today through the tireless work of Pastor Charles Jackson and the dedicated team at the empowerment center who are fine examples of servant leaders who pour their hearts into this community. It was truly an honor to have our hardworking team put their talents and passions to work on this very special project, and we're excited to watch the next generation carry on such a proud tradition.”

Donald Burkett of Burkett, Burkett & Burkett, Certified Public Accountants, P.A. made a major donation to help spur the project. It was also assisted by a grant from the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Other contributing partners include the City of West Columbia, the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission, Martin Marietta Materials, Reeves Asphalt and W.P. Law Incorporated.

About Dominion Energy

About 7 million customers in 15 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to safely providing reliable, affordable and sustainable energy and to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. Please visit to learn more.

About Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center

Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center's mission is to engage and serve people of all ages and backgrounds while promoting advancements in health, education, economic empowerment and improving the lives of residents in Lexington and Richland counties and neighboring communities throughout the Midlands of South Carolina.

For further information: Dominion Energy: Matt Long, Phone: 803-767-0741, Email: Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center: Dr. Cindye Richburg-Cotton, Phone: 803-747-3519, Email: