Trail ride to benefit Octavian Burrell Scholarship Fund
A trail ride benefiting the Octavian Burrell Scholarship Fund is scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at Sunrise Park in San Augustine.
Octavian, 21, was a standout student athlete at Shelbyville High School who went on to play college football. He was killed in a vehicle wreck in November 2018.
Shelly Burrell, his mother, said she hopes the trail ride will become an annual event.
“We plan to award two $1,000 scholarships each at Shelbyville and San Augustine (high schools),” she said. “They will be awarded in May.”
Forms for students at each of the schools who would like to apply for the scholarships are available in the counselor's offices at the respective schools, Burrell said.
“All trail riders, ATVs and four-wheelers are invited,” she said. “Come celebrate the life he lived. I just want to keep his name alive.”
Cost to participate in the trail ride is $10 a person or $5 for ages 15 and under at the gate. Octavian's mother, Burrell said barbecue will be available and vendor spaces will also be available for $125 per space.
For questions or to reserve a vendor spot, please call (936)-201-5841; (936) 288-3146; or (936) 201-8033.
Octavian was a 2016 graduate of Shelbyville High School and an outstanding football and basketball player for the Dragons. He was a four-year letterman for the Dragons' football team who rushed for 2,337 yards and scored 37 touchdowns his senior year, according to Light and Champion articles at the time.
His senior year at Shelbyville High School he was district MVP and was named to the All-State First Team. In March 2016, his senior year, Burrell signed to play football for Bethel University in Tennessee.
His mother said the family was so appreciative of the scholarship assistance Octavian received they wanted to help do the same for other area students in his honor. He had received academic and athletic scholarships to Bethel University and also local scholarships from Shelby County Bass Anglers, the W.I Davis Sr. & Eula Davis Memorial, Shelbyville Athletic Boosters Club and the Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative.
At the time of his death the communities he lived in and went to school in showed an outpouring of support for his family.
A social media post by Shelbyville Athletics in November said Burrell was a well loved member of the Dragon athletics family.
“Octavian had such an amazing impact on our community,” a post on Facebook said. “He had a love and passion for football that was contagious and brought our entire community together.
“He was an amazing role model for our young kids and they all wore his Jersey number every Friday night,” the post said.
“His impact went far beyond sports and will never be forgotten.
We would like to extend our prayers and express our love and sincere condolences to his family during this difficult time.”