By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports Sports
WAXAHACHIE — Six of the newest Waxahachie Indian baseball alums received a monetary boost Wednesday evening ahead of their first days on each respective college campus this fall.
The annual presentation of the Dulin Brothers Memorial Scholarship was once again held outside of the front gates at historic Paul Richards Park.
Josh Gates, Colton Lee, Campbell Sullivan, Aaron Tesei, BG Winn and Blaize Blaylock each received a split of the $10,000 awarded and a custom green and ash colored wood bat.
A group of Indian baseball alumni and the Dulin family established the annually awarded Dulin Brothers Memorial Scholarship in honor of Robert and Rodney Dulin in 2013.
Robert Dulin tragically passed away in a car accident late in 1976 during his sophomore year at Waxahachie High School. Many in the baseball community believed the lanky, 6-foot-2 righty would’ve been a surefire Division I or professional ballplayer, as the 15-year-old had a fastball already touching 90-92 miles-per-hour.
Robert’s brother, Rodney, passed away at his home in 1998. Their parents, Billy Earl and Linda Dulin, still reside in Waxahachie.
Each year, a scholarship committee chooses a senior member or members of the Indian baseball team “who have shown exemplary achievement on and off the baseball field.” The committee also takes into account volunteer hours and efforts, GPA and extracurricular involvement.
The endowment is primarily funded through apparel sales, an annual senior-night silent auction and monetary donations from the Waxahachie RBI Club and its supporters.
Through all of the suspended seasons and COVID-19 fallout, one of Wednesday’s six also received another rather significant and baseball-related scholarship.
Gates, who intends to continue his baseball career at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, was also previously awarded the 2020 Drew Medford Memorial Tournament Scholarship. The $2,000 gift was given to all 20 varsity baseball teams that competed in the fourth annual tournament scheduled for March 12-14.
According to the official announcement, each respective coach awards the scholarship to a player who “embodies the characteristics of the tournament’s namesake — drive to succeed, humility, empathy for others and a leader on his baseball team.”
Unfortunately, the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 after the Thursday slate and scholarship presentation was nixed. Waxahachie won both of its opening games against Duncanville (4-0) and Temple (7-6), with the latter coming in walk-off fashion to cap the COVID-19 shortened season. The Indians finished the season with a 6-6 record.
FORE! AND MORE!
The Waxahachie RBI Club, which donated $5,000 to this year’s Dulin Brothers Memorial Scholarship, has announced plans to hold the 15th annual “Classic Country” Mike O’Daniel Memorial Golf Tournament.
The tournament is slated for Monday, Oct. 12 at the Old Brickyard Golf Course in Ferris and aims to field north of 135 teams, according to Barry Navarro, president of the RBI Club.
“It is an honor and a privilege for the Waxahachie RBI Club to play a small role in keeping the legacies of Robert, Rodney and Mike alive,” Navarro said. “We are also honored to be able to award these scholarships annually and help our newest program alumni continue their educations so that they can one day support the next generation.
“The RBI Club is also very appreciative of all of our alumni and supporters. Without their donations and volunteer efforts, we wouldn’t be able to provide these scholarships or keep Paul Richards Park as one of the best baseball fields in the state.”
Navarro also noted all proceeds from the upcoming golf tournament directly benefit Waxahachie Indians baseball, historic Richards Park, the Mike O’Daniel Memorial Scholarship and the Dulin Brothers Memorial Scholarship.
The Mike O’Daniel Memorial Scholarship was established by a group of O’Daniel’s friends shortly after his tragic passing in 2006. A committee awards the annual scholarship to a Waxahachie senior or seniors who plan to further their education in the field of music or communications.
The Mike O’Daniel Memorial Scholarship committee selected Campbell Sullivan, BG Winn and third Waxahachie senior as recipients of this year’s scholarship, with each receiving $2,000.
Raymond Michael “Mike” O’Daniel joined Ellis County Sports 1390AM/99.1FM in 1985. He and Ken Roberts, the longtime “Voice of the Indians,” quickly endeared themselves to listeners of the Classic Country Show, Classic Country Coffee Cup, the Flea Market and Waxahachie athletics.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith